First of all, my prayers and sympathy for everyone who has suffered pain or loss at Virginia Tech.
As parents, we send our children to school with the belief that they will be safe there, but time and time again incidents such as these remind us that those expectations may not be accurate.
I watched the coverage all last night and listened to the pundits analyzing who was responsible and how things could have happened. Why did it take the university so long to notify everyone, etc. Everyone was looking not just for answers, but for someone to blame. They were talking about a new era in America, although it’s been at least a generation since Charles Whitman opened fire from a tower at the University of Texas in Austin. It’s not a new era, it’s the same old problem we have yet to address and the blame lies with the gunman who committed this horrible deed.
Here’s the reality of it, IMHO.
A gun in the hands of the right person can mean the difference between life and death.
A gun in the hands of the wrong person can only bring pain and death.
Unfortunately, too many wrong people have guns. Guns are too readily available in our society. I’m sure you’ve heard the slogans some use to defend this availability:
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
If you outlaw guns, only criminals will have guns.
Then there’s the whole Second Amendment argument about the right to bear arms. For more details on the Second Amendment as well as comments on both sides of this argument, you can click here.
I don’t mean to downplay the Second Amendment. Like all the other amendments, it’s played a vital role in the development of our country and some will say that this amendment is one of the most important. Today, after what happened at Virginia Tech, or at Columbine, or at the University of Texas, you have to wonder if the Founding Fathers wouldn’t consider that this amendment needs some change.
Back to the reality of things — We can’t get rid of all the guns, but we also can’t allow all kinds of guns everywhere.
The answer is somewhere down the middle, namely, responsible regulation of who can get a gun and what kinds of guns they can get. That means a nationwide policy enforced across state lines, much like the drinking age.
Why nationwide? Because lack of a nationwide policy will continue to mean that guns from a state with less stringent standards will invariably end up in other states with stricter standards.
What are your thoughts today? How do you feel about guns and their availability?