April 18, 2007, - 11:10 am
By Debbie Schlussel
My friend, Dr. Aaron Lerner of the invaluable IMRA (Institute for Middle East Research and Analysis), writes:
I wanted to point out that if the gun laws in the USA were like they are here that this incident would not have taken place.
To qualify for a license you have to take a course and given the description of how this kid was behaving in class I find it hard to believe he would have succeeded in appearing normal through all the sessions.
David Kopel of the Independence Institute agrees, and mentions Israel in his op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Gun Free Zones,” by . He discusses how absolute gun control on campuses leads to more deaths. Some excerpts:
The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are “gun-free zones.” . . .
In many states there are certain places, especially schools, set aside as off-limits for guns. In Virginia, universities aren’t “gun-free zones” by statute, but college officials are allowed to impose anti-gun rules. The result is that mass murderers know where they can commit their crimes. . . .
Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the “gun-free zones” in Virginia’s public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly’s action “because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.” In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: “Guns don’t belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.”
Actually, Virginia Tech’s policy only made the killer safer, for it was only the law-abiding victims, and not the criminal, who were prevented from having guns. Virginia Tech’s policy bans all guns on campus (except for police and the university’s own security guards); even faculty members are prohibited from keeping guns in their cars.
Israel uses armed teachers as part of a successful program to deter terrorist attacks on schools. Buddhist teachers in southern Thailand are following the Israeli example, because of Islamist terrorism. . . .
The founder of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, understood the harms resulting from the type of policy created at Virginia Tech. In his “Commonplace Book,” Jefferson copied a passage from Cesare Beccaria, the founder of criminology, which was as true on Monday as it always has been:
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Time to let college students, faculty, and employees–most of whom are adults and of legal age to keep and bear arms–have the same rights to protect themselves on campus as they do off-campus.
Tags: Aaron Exactly, Aaron Lerner, associate vice president, Blacksburg, campus of Virginia Tech, Cesare Beccaria, David Kopel, founder, General Assembly, Independence Institute, Institute for Middle East Research and Analysis, Israel, law-abiding victims, Salt Lake City, Thailand, the Roanoke Times, Thomas Jefferson, Trolley Square shopping mall, United States, University of Virginia, Virginia, Virginia legislature, Virginia Tech, Wall Street Journal