Prague Twin

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


By now, anyone reading this blog is well aware of the horrific acts of violence perpetrated allegedly by a South Korean student at Virginia Tech, so excuse the lack of links.

A while back, I posted a piece about my recent target shooting experience, and my belief in the 2nd Amendment. This incident has not changed my mind.

It is too early to tell, but I have yet to hear anything about an illegal gun being used in this most recent incident. It looks like the perpetrator had a couple of ordinary handguns, and a reserve of magazines. One of the points I made in the earlier post is that limits on the number of cartriges that a magazine holds (please don't say clips by the way, they are magazines) is unlikely to prevent a crime. I think this case will bear me out on this point. The time it takes to reload a simple semi-automatic hand gun is not going to save lives.

However, having said that, certain gun laws actually can cost people their lives, as they did in this case. I don't want to get into the media bias argument made in this article, but I do want to point out something that may not have occurred to most of my readers. "Gun-Free Zones" do not work, and are incorrectly named. Obviously, Virginia Tech was a campus that was supposed to be gun-free, but clearly it was not. Only the law abiding students were without guns here. It only would have taken one more gun to end this thing a lot sooner and save some lives. Now, from the article I mentioned earlier....

Peter Odighizuwa tragically shot six people, killing Dean Anthony Sutin, Associate Professor Thomas Blackwell, and student Angela Dales.

Most news reports pointed out that the situation ended when several students "confronted," "tackled," or "intervened." However, Tracy Bridges, Ted Besen, Todd Ross, and Mikael Gross did not merely "confront" Odighizuwa. Bridges and Gross separately ran to their cars to get their handguns once the shooting began. Bridges approached Odighizuwa with Besen's and Ross' aid. Gross was close behind. According to Bridges, "I aimed my gun at him, and Peter tossed his gun down." Bridges, Besen, and Gross had previously received police or military training.

I understand that those who favor gun-control are well meaning, by and large. Perhaps if we had never needed guns in the first place, and America was not armed as it is, some type of gun-laws could have improved the situation. However, as it is now, gun-laws will only serve to disarm the law-abiding and leave those of us who abide by the law at the mercy of the thugs who do not.

I'll be sure to post further on this as more details come out and in reaction to the slew of comments that I hope I will get.


  • "leave those of us who abide by the law at the mercy of the thugs who do not"

    Only if you sit around waiting to get shot, as so many did during this event.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:27 PM  

  • PT

    Ideas, like diseases, are communicable, which accounts for their spread. Perhaps you and Roger merely think alike.

    Are you quite mad or only slightly so? Rememeber that the atricle you cite states: "Bridges, Besen, and Gross had previously ereceived police or military training" which distinguishes them somewhat from your average college student who is more adept at video games.

    See, frequently when people run to their cars to grab a firearm, they do so to protect themeselves from a real or perceived threat, only in the case of the late Bronco, Darrent Williams, a perceived disrespect. RIP Mr. Williams, have a safe journey. We miss you.

    Meanwhile, having two daughters in college, I shocked, shocked that there is drinking going on in the establishment where they currently matriculate. Recreational drug use also, I fear. So why don't we add guns to the mix of alcohol, drugs, and immaturity. Yesiree. What a good idea.

    Let me know when you return from Phantasyland.

    The team is 4-0.



    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 8:20 PM  

  • I'm sure you have a lot more insight of how Americans came to bare arms basically on every step. I imagine it was to ward of native Americans (and other "foreign nationals" of different color or language).

    Perhaps a lenghty post on American history's in order? :)

    By Anonymous romunov, at 9:38 PM  

  • Since you are overseas, pt, I wonder if you could take a look at gun violence in Europe and compare it to gun violence in America.

    It seems to me that countries with lower rates of gun ownership and/or strong gun control laws have much lower rates of gun violence.

    I just heard CNN report that the shooter used a legally purchased gun, btw.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 10:27 PM  

  • I hope this Virginia tragedy doesn't become another vehicle for gun control. I'm basically neutral about the whole gun issue. But every time Democratic candidates run on a platform of gun control, they get trounced. And we can't afford to have that happen again this time.

    By Anonymous Tom Harper, at 11:48 PM  

  • To start arguing with a gun crazed Yank about the merrits of the firearms is one of those futile exercises that one should avoid. So, I will do just that. In the mean while I read Tony Sokolow's comment, repeatedly.

    By Anonymous pekka, at 11:54 PM  

  • It is coming to light that this was a very disturbed young man and that faculty knew it, but were powerless to get him help since he refused counseling. He seemed rather bent on destroying as many human beings as possible before taking his own life. If he did not have access to guns, perhaps he would have built a bomb instead. I live near Blacksburg and I have a son in college although not VA Tech. The whole thing has sickened me and I my sadness for these kids and their families and friends is immeasurable. But gun control cannot fix the problems that led to this tragedy. We have a mentally disturbed man who fell through the cracks. We need to fix what in our society allows the Chos to fester within their madness without intervention. Our borders are open so illegal guns would continue to come into this country regardless of the law,just like they do right now. So what does anyone think banning guns is going to solve?

    By Anonymous rockync, at 1:58 AM  

  • Good one, Mike, and you certainly riled Tony up. Maybe I should take him shooting. I disagree about the clip/magazine thing. Where the bullets are in the gun is the magazine; the removeable metal or plastic thing that holds the bullets in the magazine is properly called a clip. To reality based educator: The crime rate is more closely related to the average character of the citizen than to the availability of guns. For example, England has a low rate of murder because the Brits are good people, so are the Japanese; and the low rates of murder in those two countries didn't change when handguns were banned (well actually violent crimes other than murder went way up in England). But look at Switzerland where nearly every young male has a full auto assault weapon in his closet and a hand gun (a SIG) in his desk--low murder rate--low gun crime rate. Same thing in Israel, where guns are everywhere. Russia has a huge murder and gun crime rate not because people can legally own guns there (they can't) but because Russians are as violent as we yanks, which is pretty violent. There is no correlation I can see between crime and gun control, but perhaps you are more perceptive.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:00 AM  

  • Tony,

    Yes, indeed those who are trained are licensed to carry concealed. Another point to be made is that a security gaurd should be able to have a gun, but of course can't in a "Gun-Free Zone".

    I know you are not shocked at all about the drinking and drug use going on in college. Funny how those laws don't stop kids from drinking underage or taking illegal drugs, do they?

    Go team!

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:03 PM  

  • Romunov,

    I have my theories about it, but it is debatable. One theory is that having the citizens carry weapons was a check on Federal power, and absolved the Fed from needing a large standing army.

    If so, it sure didn't work out too well.


    I will, actually, gladly. Have a look at Roger's comment for a pre-view.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:19 PM  

  • Pekka,

    If you figure out what he is getting at, please let me know. :)


    So what does anyone think banning guns is going to solve?

    Good question. Anyone?


    I still think you are wrong about the whole Magazine/Clip thing and linked this site in the comments on your blog.

    If anyone else is interested in this banal point, the link above explains it pretty well.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:22 PM  

  • It's not banal if we can argue about it.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 1:20 AM  

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