Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Moment of Silence in Remembrance, and Preparation

I scheduled John Lott months ago to come speak at Chapman. The scheduled appearance was for yesterday at noon, the topic "The Bias Against Guns." Then the shooting happened at Virginia Tech, and everything momentarily froze. Lott was scheduled to speak at several schools, and I think a few considered cancelling, thinking it inappropriate to have a gun event after what had occurred. I kept our scheduled event, even after Lott was 15 minutes late because he was on the phone with CBS.
I think the event actually comforted a lot of us. Lott opened with a moment of silence, and it gaves all a moment of unity. People had RSVP'd because they loved guns, because they hated guns, but there was a good moment there where all of us just sort of stopped, and just got it for a second--regardless of our opinions, we're all people, and we can't forget that, because the shooter this morning had.
Lott made some really good points. He of course made the classic one, that gun control laws only keep guns out of those that follow the law anyway. He then made the practical one, that police are critical but they can't always be there, and generally brandishing a gun is all you need to get a criminal to run away. But the one that struck me the most was about the media. He said to watch closely in the upcoming weeks how many soapboxes are occupied, and not just by people condemning guns, to watch how everyone uses this to pin this on someone, and what stories the media picks up. He freely admitted he'd be advocating for his side of the argument, but it was obvious to all of us there would be no room for him to advocate for gun rights--he was going to be playing defense for a long, long time.
Lott told us a few stories that the media never brings up. Like how in Columbine, the only other person on campus with a gun was a guard that had been assigned to the school because he was the worst shot on the force. That one guard shooting blindly around a corner held back the two shooters long enough for several students to escape from the library--the footage that's always shown on the news. Or how in a 1000-ft gun free zone around a school, the vice principal was ex-military and kept a gun in his car and refused to take it out, so he parked 1/4 a mile away. When there was a school shooting on his campus, he ran over 1/2 a mile to get to his car and back, used his gun to threaten the shooter and force him to the ground, and held him there until police arrived (something like 20 minutes later). Or still another school shooting, where one ex-sheriff and another student with a concealed weapons permit had guns in their cars, ran and got them, and stopped the shooter just yards from his car, which he was going to for more ammo. They kept their guns trained on him until another student was able to rush him and tackle him to the ground. The media reported the tackling student was a hero. Only a handful of local papers even noted the two with guns.
Right now I'm sitting here at school in what I'm sure is a gun-free zone. I don't feel any safer. We need to keep guns out of crazy people's hands, I get that. But I also get that police are only going to be able to arrive after the fact, and there will always be someone who slips through the cracks and gets ahold of something deadly. So how is the solution to take away everyone else's defense? I know it's just a hypothetical what if, but really, what if one of those teachers had a gun to shoot back? And what does it contribute to these shooter's minds, knowing they're going into a situation where they are in total control, where they have complete power, and where they can horribly slaughter people for as long as they like without a single person being able to shoot back? They walk in and KNOW they're the only firearm for 1000 feet.
What happened yesterday disgusts me, saddens me, and terrifies me. It's hard to believe there are people out there that are so soulless. And it terrifies me that in California, there is very little I can do about it.
Incoming presidents, here is an important event that you should join together and organize: firearm training, a day at the range, how to get your permit, and what it takes to get a concealed weapons license in this and surrounding states. Passive compliance doesn't work with psychopaths. I want to be able to shoot back.

1 comment:

  1. It amazes me that 32 people died, and this guy only had a hand gun. This means that he had time to reload, and people did nothing!! Obviously nothing could eclipse the sadness of the senseless deaths, and the reality of such wackos in our society. But the fact that we have no heroism, no courage, no fight in us, is also very saddening. I mean, can we at least all agree, as a people, in the interests of self-preservation, not to mention our very dignity: NO WAY WILL WE GO OUT EXECUTION STYLE! The next sonofabitch who pulls a stunt like this is at least going to have to hit some moving targets, hopefully several of which are running straight at him with pencils aimed right at his eyeballs.