Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech And The NRA

First, let me explain to you what probably happened at the NRA's headquarters on Monday. Oh shit, a bunch of white kids got shot up in a quaint little college town. Gee, I hope it isn't a white guy who shot them up. What? He was Oriental? Good, now we can go on the attack. Let's blame it on the Virginia Tech's zero tolerance policy with regards to firearms.

And so it begins. TV appearances, radio appearances, op-eds, anything to push the heat off of themselves. They send every fucking tout they have out to say that if there were more guns on campus the scope of this tragedy would have been limited. But you have to ask yourself, even if this tragedy would have been slightly muted by a greater prevalence of handguns on college campuses, how many more individual tragedies would occur. The answer is many. It would be a net negative.

You have to look at what goes on at our universities. There are young people with little experience in the world indulging in drugs, binge-drinking, and the fights that are usually fueled by the previous two things. Does anybody rationally believe that handguns belong in that mix. I would say Virginia Tech had their policy exactly correct.

I am not advocating nationwide gun control, I believe it is a home rule issue. It is why I support the 180 mayors nationwide in their Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. Different parts of the country have different needs for controlling the arsenals roaming their streets. It is just a matter of fact, gun violence increases directly proportional to population density. If you live in a rural environment where it takes the county Sheriff fifteen to twenty minutes to get to your house you'd be crazy not to own a gun, but when you live in an urban environment owning a gun causes much more trouble than the limited protection they offer. For instance, did you know that in concealed carry classes they teach you that if a threat is within thirty feet of you, that threat will get to you before you get a chance to draw your gun and shoot?

But the NRA isn't interested in rational policy. No, they are forever fighting that slippery slope convinced that the end goal of reasonable people is unreasonable policy when they know damn well it isn't. So we get there touts telling us that if we outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. They tell us this knowing that gun violence claims four times as many victims as 9/11 every year. Only a fool would believe vast majority of those were all committed with illegally purchased weapons, yet they claim more rigorous background checks will do nothing.

There was a man on MSNBC this morning who said that this kid who shot up Virginia Tech would have never have been able to get those guns in his home state of New Jersey and that's true. All the recognizable signs were there to tell anyone with a brain that this kid had no business owning a gun. All anyone had to do is look.

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