screen resolution of 800x600 or greater is recommended
profile pic   ChuBlogga!
Offended? Intrigued? Contact my manager.

    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.

Monday, April 16, 2007
 What if?    [L]

You've probably heard about the VT shooting by now:
Gunman Kills 21 at Virginia Tech
Apr 16, 12:31 PM (ET)
By SUE LINDSEY

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing 21 people and wounding another 21 before he was killed, police said.
A horrible tragedy, in its own right.
However, it's even worse in light of this:
Gun bill gets shot down by panel
HB 1572, which would have allowed handguns on college campuses, died in subcommittee.

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.
[...]
Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." (emphasis mine)
[...]
Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus. The legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."
[...]
Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university's authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus.

In June, Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities.


It won't be long before both sides of the argument starts comparisons to Columbine:
The anti-gun group will again argue for tougher restrictions and more gun control, even though such methods are proven time and time again to be more harm than help.
The pro-gun group will again be proven correct in that gun control only affects the law-abiding, and not the criminals.

So, the rhetorical questions begin:

What if one teacher at Columbine had been armed?

What if one student at Virginia Tech had been armed?

Now, college students are not known for a developed sense of personal responsibility, so maybe allowing them to CCW may not sound like the wisest choice. However, that's a training issue. We allow college students to drive cars and keep keys in their rooms, even though there's a very good chance of drunkenness and stupidity. But we hammer into their heads every chance we get to not drink and drive. Why not simply apply the same method to firearms? Now I can't back this up with data (although if anybody comes across some, let me know), but has the drunk-driving rate been affected by tougher drunk-driving penalties? Likewise, why not do the same thing with firearm offenses?

Besides, in many states, having a CCW permit implies 2 things: that 1) you have a clean criminal record, and 2) you have taken a handgun safety course. And statistically, CCW licensees have been proven to be a very law-abiding and responsible group (there are, as always, a few bad apples - but such in the CCW community are exceedingly rare). I'd like to think that we can reliably count on a CCW licensee, even one in college, to be responsible enough to maintain control and be responsible with a firearm.

But Virginia Tech, like most campuses, has forbidden everybody, even the responsible, the option of self-defense. It's my contention that if you're going to take away the ability to self-protect, then you better darn well provide it for me. Otherwise it's just plain irresponsible. For that reason, I will not do business with any bank that will not allow CCW (especially in the Dayton area). BTW, compared to other cities with populations between 135k and 185k, Dayton (160k) ranks 1st in robbery, 3rd in forcible rape, 3rd in murder, and 7th in overall violent crime (source: FBI UCR 2005).

So, in the end, you have to find your own answer to this question:
Would you rather ask "What If?" - or would you rather have the answer?

Read my next post for some answers.

DISCLOSURE:
Yes, I'm an asian male, and I enjoy the proper use of firearms.
No, I've never been to Virginia Tech.



UPDATE 04/17/2007 01:05AM
Some more discussion in the comments:
By tim, at 4/16/2007 09:30:00 PM
Ridiculous. In Valparaiso, Indiana, where I go to school, a cop shot a kidnapped woman instead of the kidnapper. If a trained officer can make a mistake like that, what is going to stop me from getting shot on campus by some jack off with a concealed gun who thinks he's protecting everyone?
Maybe with a gun in your own hand, you could defend yourself. Because the only person ultimately responsible for your well-being is YOU.

But no, you don't feel confident enough in yourself and your abilities to be able to defend yourself. And apparently, by extension, you don't feel anybody is capable.

As your argument goes, if a law enforcement officer isn't capable of protecting himself, or others, then how could a non-law enforcement officer be capable?

That's like saying if a Nascar driver gets into an accident, then no one should drive, because it's obviously too dangerous.
By Anonymous, at 4/16/2007 11:47:00 PM
Guns are what's wrong with America. Guns should be outlawed. I don't get this post at all. You're saying you're bummed because the right to carry a concealed weapon on campus was shot down? Hallelujah! I live in Europe and we don't have this kind of stuff happening because it's hard as hell to get a gun in the first place and no one I know can understand Americans' obsession with guns.
You're right, Europe doesn't have the same problems. Europe's got a completely different set of problems, like "youths" "torching" cars, or yobs overrunning British society, or senior citizens dying in mild heat waves.

But enough fun at Europe's expense.

Anyways, ask a British subject what their crime rate was before handguns were banned, and after they were banned. Ask an ozzie. Ask a Jewish holocaust survivor. Ask a white South African.
By Anonymous, at 4/17/2007 12:41:00 AM
As horrific as this situation is...and countless lives are affected by this siuation and it is going to be a lot pointing the finger at what is to blame for this situation. Some say MORE GUN CONTROL... others say HEY WE SHOULD CARRY WEAPONS... the real problem is folks who have no regard for human life and decide to go on a rampage like that kill innocent people. But we are assuming that our problems would be solved if at least one person carried a weapon today other than the shooter. We cant begin to imagine the terror and stress that the students and faculty went through. Under perfect situation the ONE person carrying the gun would ignore all the fear and pull out the gun and fire perfectly and save the day!!! But like someone already said, Police officers hesitate all the time and they get paid to do it. Like it is nice to think in hypotheticals and try to make this situation seem better by finding something that we could have changed that would have made the situation better. We do that so we dont have to admit to ourselves that we live in troubled times. People are being slaughtered all over this world and until recent years the US has not understood how quickly things can happen and how sadistic some people are.

Now I do agree that making strick gun controls does not change a thing because I know people who have guns without permits. So I know that changing that aspect would not make anything better. However I dont think it is as black and white as saying okay every one who meets the criteria should go apply for CCW or whatever. This situation this tragedy opens up a whole sea of ideas about what needs to be done and It is not even close to being one dimensional.
You make some very good points, Anonymous.

Clearly, not everybody will have either the will, discipline, or proper mindset to use a firearm.

But here is the cold, hard, reality.

The police are not responsible for your safety. They can boast of 5-minute emergency call response times all they want - but that doesn't help you at all if the trouble is a bit closer than that, does it? And plenty of lawsuits have proven that the police will not and can not be held responsible for their inability to protect you from harm.

The person ultimately responsible for your safety is yourself. You may use a gun, or you may not. Statistically speaking, the firearm has been proven to be most effective self-defense implement. However, at the very least, you have to decide that your life is worth preserving.

What strikes me most is that this crazed man killed/wounded 50+ people, and wasn't stopped until he killed himself. I don't care if you're John Wayne reincarnated, there's no way you can take out that many people with a handgun (or 5!) if they are fighting back. The high kill count and suicide of the gunman doesn't speak to me of resistance. It sounds like a slaughter.

Now, i'm not going to speak for the dead, or even pretend to know what happened there that morning, but it certainly seems to me, at this time, that these poor kids were told so often that "it could never happen here" that they believed it even when the exact opposite happened before their eyes.

Should everybody carry a gun? Certainly not.

But why not for those who are capable and willing?

And, what if, today, one had?


UPDATE 04/17/2007 01:21AM
From The Countertop Chronicles, a first-hand account of a VT student/victim/CCW licensee:
Upon exiting the classroom, we were met at the doors leading outside by two armor-clad policemen with fully automatic weapons, plus their side arms. Once outside, there were several more officers with either fully automatic rifles and pump shotguns, and policemen running down the street, pistols drawn.

It was at this time that I realized that I had no viable means of protecting myself.

Please realize that I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech’s student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offense, but not a prosecutable crime.

I had entrusted my safety, and the safety of others to the police. In light of this, there are a few things I wish to point out.

First, I never want to have my safety fully in the hands of anyone else, including the police.

Second, I considered bringing my gun with me to campus, but did not due to the obvious risk of losing my graduate career, which is ridiculous because had I been shot and killed, there would have been no graduate career for me anyway.

Third, and most important, I am trained and able to carry a concealed handgun almost anywhere in Virginia and other states that have reciprocity with Virginia, but cannot carry where I spend more time than anywhere else because, somehow, I become a threat to others when I cross from the town of Blacksburg onto Virginia Tech’s campus.

Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness.
[...continued...]

Labels: , ,




Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

By Blogger Biby Cletus, at 4/16/2007 02:09:00 PM      


This sickens me. "No gun" zone malls in Utah, "no gun" zone colleges in Virginia, same result.

By Blogger Keith Walker, at 4/16/2007 05:45:00 PM      


Very good post Chu. Just out of curiosity, what bank do you use that allows CCW? I just assumed no banks allowed it. I don't really want to switch banks, but it would be convenient to not have to remove my carry just to go into the bank. Oh and do you know anybody looking to get their CCW anytime soon? I think I'm going to register for a course in the next week or two, so please let me know if you know of anybody. It'd be nice to go with someone. Thanks!

By Blogger Patrick, at 4/16/2007 06:15:00 PM      


Ridiculous. In Valparaiso, Indiana, where I go to school, a cop shot a kidnapped woman instead of the kidnapper. If a trained officer can make a mistake like that, what is going to stop me from getting shot on campus by some jack off with a concealed gun who thinks he's protecting everyone?

By Blogger tim, at 4/16/2007 09:30:00 PM      


tim:

Maybe with a gun in your own hand, you could defend yourself. Because the only person ultimately responsible for your well-being is YOU.

But no, you don't feel confident enough in yourself and your abilities to be able to defend yourself. And apparently, by extension, you don't feel anybody is capable.

As your argument goes, if a law enforcement officer isn't capable of protecting himself, or others, then how could a non-law enforcement officer be capable?

That's like saying if a Nascar driver gets into an accident, then no one should drive, because it's obviously too dangerous.

By Blogger Chu, at 4/16/2007 10:50:00 PM      


Guns are what's wrong with America. Guns should be outlawed. I don't get this post at all. You're saying you're bummed because the right to carry a concealed weapon on campus was shot down? Hallelujah! I live in Europe and we don't have this kind of stuff happening because it's hard as hell to get a gun in the first place and no one I know can understand Americans' obsession with guns.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/16/2007 11:47:00 PM      


Anonymous:
You're right, Europe doesn't have the same problems. Europe's got a completely different set of problems, like "youths" "torching" cars, or yobs overrunning British society, or senior citizens dying in mild heat waves.

But enough fun at Europe's expense.

Anyways, ask a British subject what their crime rate was before handguns were banned, and after they were banned. Ask an ozzie. Ask a Jewish holocaust survivor. Ask a white South African.

By Blogger Chu, at 4/16/2007 11:53:00 PM      


As horrific as this situation is...and countless lives are affected by this siuation and it is going to be a lot pointing the finger at what is to blame for this situation. Some say MORE GUN CONTROL... others say HEY WE SHOULD CARRY WEAPONS... the real problem is folks who have no regard for human life and decide to go on a rampage like that kill innocent people. But we are assuming that our problems would be solved if at least one person carried a weapon today other than the shooter. We cant begin to imagine the terror and stress that the students and faculty went through. Under perfect situation the ONE person carrying the gun would ignore all the fear and pull out the gun and fire perfectly and save the day!!! But like someone already said, Police officers hesitate all the time and they get paid to do it. Like it is nice to think in hypotheticals and try to make this situation seem better by finding something that we could have changed that would have made the situation better. We do that so we dont have to admit to ourselves that we live in troubled times. People are being slaughtered all over this world and until recent years the US has not understood how quickly things can happen and how sadistic some people are.

Now I do agree that making strick gun controls does not change a thing because I know people who have guns without permits. So I know that changing that aspect would not make anything better. However I dont think it is as black and white as saying okay every one who meets the criteria should go apply for CCW or whatever. This situation this tragedy opens up a whole sea of ideas about what needs to be done and It is not even close to being one dimensional.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/17/2007 12:41:00 AM      


You make some very good points, Anonymous.

Clearly, not everybody will have either the will, discipline, or proper mindset to use a firearm.

But here is the cold, hard, reality.

The police are not responsible for your safety. They can boast of 5-minute emergency call response times all they want - but that doesn't help you at all if the trouble is a bit closer than that, does it? And plenty of lawsuits have proven that the police will not and can not be held responsible for their inability to protect you from harm.

The person ultimately responsible for your safety is yourself. You may use a gun, or you may not. Statistically speaking, the firearm has been proven to be most effective self-defense implement. However, at the very least, you have to decide that your life is worth preserving.

What strikes me most is that this crazed man killed/wounded 50+ people, and wasn't stopped until he killed himself. I don't care if you're John Wayne reincarnated, there's no way you can take out that many people with a handgun (or 5!) if they are fighting back. The high kill count and suicide of the gunman doesn't speak to me of resistance. It sounds like a slaughter.

Now, i'm not going to speak for the dead, or even pretend to know what happened there that morning, but it certainly seems to me, at this time, that these poor kids were told so often that "it could never happen here" that they believed it even when the exact opposite happened before their eyes.

Should everybody carry a gun? Certainly not.

But why not for those who are capable and willing?

And, what if, today, one had?

By Blogger Chu, at 4/17/2007 12:57:00 AM      


Here is a thought and my concern with the idea of if a student was allowed to CCW. First of all, I completely support CCW. The question and concern I raise in this question isn't in order to shoot it down. So here it is. Say CCW was allowed on the VT campus. Say one student was carrying, say this student returned fire, didn't hit the shooter, and it became a drawn out, behind the desks, shoot out. Cops show up. Rush in. Kill innocent CCW because he has a gun. More lives might have been saved, but the person trying to protect his life was killed. If CCW was permitted and someone was heroic, how can we train to save the life of the one that is trying to stand and save the lives of others and himself. Are law enforcement agencies trained to expect someone with a CCW to be involved, or when people are getting slaughtered, will they shoot first and ask questions later?t

By Blogger Aaron, at 4/17/2007 09:04:00 AM      


The best defense against a "deranged" gunman is an accurate gunman, but you have to be carrying to protect anyone!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/17/2007 09:40:00 AM      


Aaron:

That's an interesting question, but one I don't think is realistic. Let me explain why:
1) Chances are that there won't be a long, drawn-out gunfight. It would be over quickly as either one person will surprise the other, or the defender runs out of ammo. Ideally, a CCW licensee will carry multiple magazines "just-in-case", but realistically, most will just have the single magazine in the gun, or just a single extra magazine. So most likely any confrontation would be over very quickly.
1a) Also, it could be that ANY act of resistance, let alone resisting with a firearm, would be enough for the attacker to consider going after less dangerous targets. Granted, it all depends on the attacker's mindset, so it might not have apply in this case.
2) Cops are trained not to shoot unless a life is in danger. So if they come upon a person carrying a gun, they will first order that person to drop the weapon, and will not fire unless the person makes a threatening move. So if someone's hiding behind a desk and not actively involved in shooting, or pointing the gun at anybody, then the cops probably won't shoot.
3) Anybody who's taken a CCW course is told to comply IMMEDIATELY with law enforcement officers' instructions. If they don't, and the cops shoot them, then really it's their own fault.
4) Also part of the CCW training is the idea that you don't go chasing after the attacker - you repel him, find a safe place, hunker down, and wait for help to arrive. This changes as circumstance dictate, but I doubt we'd have very many (if at all) instances of a running gunfight throughout the hallways.

The main factor in all scenarios is TRAINING. The CCW licensee must know ahead of time what they're going to do, their plan of action, and how not to get shot by police officers.

By Blogger Chu, at 4/17/2007 12:08:00 PM      


Aaron,
One more question for you. What is the difference between a citizen with a gun shooting at bad guys and an off duty cop (like say in a Utah in a "no gun zone" mall) engaging a shooter also? Using your argument, the police should not carry off duty because they may be shot by another cop.

By Blogger Keith Walker, at 4/18/2007 08:55:00 AM      


Thanks Chu. Good Blogging.

I notice you changed your banner.

Hey Europeans: When we want your opinion about our internal politics, we'll beat it out of you. Otherwise mind your own business.

Most police are NOT trained for this kind of action. Especially true for security guards at college campuses. Even with SWAT/seal teams nearby and ready to go, you are likely on your own until after the psycho has killed most of you and himself. Read the paper. Poilce never get there in time to help. When they get there, they establish perimeters and try to open a dialog. Meanwhile, bad guy keeps shooting.

By Blogger Roci, at 4/19/2007 11:28:00 AM      


^^^ speak up ^^^