Bryan Fischer
April 17, 2007
Second Amendment: designed for Virginia Tech
By Bryan Fischer

The Second Amendment unequivocally protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, both for their own self-protection and for defense against the tyranny of an autocratic central government.

The American war for independence began when the Crown tried to disarm the colonials, and when the Bill of Rights was created, the Founders wanted to make sure that the central government in the new nation would be forbidden to do what the Crown had tried to do.

However, the trendiness of gun control laws has disarmed one American after another, in the guise of making our streets, cities, and schools "safe" from gun violence. But as the Virginia Tech tragedy illustrates, disarmed Americans are defenseless Americans.

The school president, trying lamely to defend the university's response, said that it is impossible to have an armed guard at the door of every classroom. Well, that's exactly the point.

According to columnist Alan Caruba, the Second Amendment Foundation says that firearms are used defensively an estimated 2.5 million times every year, four times more than the criminal use of firearms. Overall, this represents about 2,575 lives saved and protected through the responsible use of firearms for every life lost to a gun. The loss of life due to accidental firearm death is at its lowest point since records were begun nearly100 years ago.

However, according the Virginia Tech website, even citizens with right to carry permits are not allowed to be armed on campus, under threat of arrest. But as Second Amendment historian Clayton Cramer points out, speaking of the Virginia Tech massacre, "This is exactly the situation where one armed student, faculty, or staff could have cut this short."

A virtually unreported story in the old media's coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy is that, according to the January 31, 2006 edition of the Roanoke Times, Virginia lawmakers voted down a bill that would have allowed permit holders to carry concealed handguns on campus. The bill was generated in response to the campus arrest of a Virginia Tech student despite the fact he had a state-issued concealed handgun permit.

When the bill was voted down, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hinckler chortled, "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 campus." Mr. Hinckler has been strangely silent since Monday morning.

Utah is the only state which has a statute specifically authorizing law-abiding individuals with carry permits to possess firearms on state university property.

At least two school shootings have been stopped by armed civilians before police arrived, one in Virginia in 2002 (three deaths) at the Appalachian School of Law, and another at Pearl High School in Mississippi (two deaths). Armed citizens in these two circumstances were able to apprehend the gunmen and hold them until police arrived. In both cases, however, the guns had to be retrieved from vehicles, giving the shooters more time than necessary to work their mayhem.

Commenting on the fact that it is unlikely that lawmakers will learn from this tragedy, a spokesman for a Second Amendment organization said, "The only schools and universities where these tragedies have been stopped abruptly were the places where law-abiding citizens had a gun that was accessible to them and they were able to stop the shooter. The schools and universities that had to wait for the police to arrive, those are the ones that find these high death tolls. It's just a real shame that these guys never get it."

Boise engineer and Virginia Tech grad Doug Batten drew my attention to the story of Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who was on the faculty at Virginia Tech when Batten was a student there. Librescu died yesterday by throwing himself in front of the shooter as he attempted to enter his classroom. All the students in his classroom lived because of his selfless act.

As Batten pointed out, Prof. Librescu gave us a remarkable example of the teaching of Jesus, who said, "Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). It is certainly unfortunate and tragic that the professor had only his body but no weapon with which to defend himself and his students.

© Bryan Fischer

 

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