In a comment to the original VT massacre post, Reid stated that this is not a gun-control issue. I agree that in terms of prevention, no law would have stopped this kid from slaughtering his classmates. So in terms of prevention I agree that gun control is not the issue. Mental health recognition and treatment may have affected enough change in this kid so as to avoid this killing, but who really knows?
Now what about reaction? As insensitive as it sounds, I've heard a few questions ask why didn't any of these kids fight back when faced with their own deaths? I think the phrase "paralyzed with fear" pretty much sums it up. And that's where my plan for reaction comes in.
Here is what I think would have prevented at least some of the deaths at VT this week:
1- Institute a campus-wide policy which states more or less, "Any faculty, employee, or student over 18 may be in possession of a firearm provided they meet the following criteria:
-the weapon is obtained lawfully with all appropriate competency and mental health background checks
-the person provides campus security with gun registration, serial numbers, proof of gun safety certification, and a plan for on campus safe storage.
-the person requalifies himself for weapons possession with campus safety officers each semester
I know what you're thinking. "But Ed" you whine, "we can't have every student walking around with a pistol strapped to their leg like the wild, wild West."
The wild West to which you refer was not all that wild. During the 20 years following the Civil War characterized as the wild, wild West, the crime rate was lower than every before. In fact, in any 10 year period, there were fewer gun killings than in a single year in NewYork city. Besides, noboby will be forced to carry a gun. That people are allowed to have guns on campus would give a would-be killer pause. How could he know which teacher, student, or custodian was armed and could defend themselves? Answer: he couldn't.
I believe that constitutionally, is it not lawful for the State to prevent an adult from defending himself if that State is not providing adequate defense?
The obvious solution to gun violence on campus is to give competent adults the rights to defend themselves.