Thursday, January 31, 2008

If it seems like I'm posting alot today....

Well that's because there's a ton of stuff running around in that crazy brain of mine that I want to post and don't get around to. I'm terrible about not doing things unless I do them right away or make immediate & definite plans. Just ask Falnfenix. I've been saying I should drive down to visit her for months now and still haven't done it. Doh.

Anyway, the following is a discussion I had with an anti in the wake of the VT shootings. This was done on the comments section of our student newspaper The Review At the time I was floored by her reaction, but over time I've come to realize it's not such an uncommon thing. Here's the discussion in it's entirety. I didn't bother responding to her comment because quite honestly, I wasn't sure what to say other than "wow! WTF woman?" and that wouldn't have been a highroad response.

One thing that really bothered me in the wake of this tragedy is that VT University created a "guns-free killing zone" for this gunman. Virginia State law allows the carrying of guns on campus. A VT policy prohibiting firearms and other weapons, as well as the carrying of such weapons by those with CCW permits ensured that all students would be defenseless today. An armed civilian, professor, or administrator could have stopped this shooting rampage and saved the lives of at least some victims.


And so now the only way to keep ourselves safe is to carry weapons? I would rather not live in such a world. The vision of a society where the only way to protect one's life is by taking the lives of others brings to mind horrible times in our world's history. To live like that is to live in a constant state of war.


I would also rather live in an ideal world where no one needs a gun, knife, pepper spray etc. to protect themselves and others from those intent on committing senseless acts of violence. The taking of life is not always the only way to protect onesself. However, if the immediate alternative is death then it is the most effective means of self defense. I can think of no one who would honestly prefer to die rather than take the life of someone threatening theirs. Even Ghandi, the Dali Lama, and the Pope believe it is just and right to, if necessary, take life in self-defense. Humans have always had a natural instinct, and natural right to self-defense. As we have evolved throughout history so has our means of self-defense. The fact that the gun is the most effective tool of self-defense is simply a reaction to the reality that it is also the most effective tool criminals employ to take and threaten lives.

this may very well seem like a grim vision of society, but it is reality. There are violent people in the world who cannot be reasoned with. Force or the threat of force is the best deterrent against such people. No sane person ever wishes to take a life, but in a free country personal protection should be a personal choice. This is especially true when the Supreme Court has stated that the police have no actual "duty to protect." A faceless third party should not be able to deny such a choice and fundamental human right under the false premise that they are making us "feel safe" by disarming citizens. I'm sure VT students aren't currently finding much comfort in policies that make them "feel" safe. I'm sure the families of those killed and injured would rather have seen policies in place that actually ensured a higher level of real safety and a possibility of thwarting these killings and not ones that ensured their status as helpless victims.

Would CCW have prevented or mitigated the tragedy in VT? No one will ever know. At the least it would have pushed the odds in favor of the victims. Maybe had the shooter known law-abiding citizens could be carrying he would have forgone his rampage all-together, or maybe he would have been killed before he shot 60 people.


Quite honestly, no, I would not shoot someone to save my life. So let that be a first. I understand that this is not a Utopian world and there will be violence. I understand that I could die because I refuse to answer that violence with more violence. I will claw kick and bite my way to safety, but I will never ever shoot a gun and I believe that everyone has the right to make that choice for themselves. More people die from accidental firings of guns and improper gun safety. I also think that if a gun is easily available, it will make its misuse more tempting. All of us have had the thought "oh if only i could do such and such to so and so" its human nature to want revenge and not always in a good way. If that route is more easily taken, no good can come of it. Senseless violence is not always senseless to the one who kills.

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