If you put manned metal detectors at all the entrances to all school buildings (including fire doors), you might have a case for banning guns on campus. Otherwise, what? How would a campus-wide prohibition against all guns—illegal and otherwise legal—make a university campus any safer? Seriously. I don’t get it. But then I’m not arguing for collegiate “gun free zones.” Unlike Colin Goddard, the comely, media-friendly survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre, who’s made control his raison d’etre. It behooves Colin to explain how a gun ban helps rather than hurts student safety. From what I can glean from Goddard’s remarks at thenewsstar.com, his logic is a little . . . odd . . .
“I don’t think the way to deal with campus shootings is to have more shots fired,” said Goddard, a 2008 Virginia Tech graduate who now works with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Oh, I don’t know. A few shots to Seung Hui Cho’s center of mass early on in his attack, or maybe one to his head, would have prevented at least some of his murderous mayhem. That’s a common sense conclusion that kind of messes-up Goddard’s (and his Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence financiers’) rationale. So they change the subject.
Goddard said the proponents of the bills around the country always argue, “We don’t want another Virginia Tech happening” but they allow guns to be purchased at gun shows and from private sellers without doing a background check. “That doesn’t provide safety for anyone.”
Goddard’s misdirection is not only irrelevant but it’s really irrelevant. Cho bought his guns from a Roanoke gun dealer. As with Jared Lee Loughner, the real question surrounding the Virginia Tech massacre is why a man with a long history of severe mental health problems, a man clearly identified as a danger to students and faculty (accused of stalking two female students), was allowed to remain on campus.
Goddard: pay no attention to the nutcases behind that curtain. Focus on the guns.
Guns shouldn’t be allowed on campuses because “college campuses are unique places,” he said. For many, it’s a place for “major life-changing experiences and having guns does not promote a safe environment for those changes.”
At the risk of seeming impolite and insensitive, what the hell is he talking about? Is Goddard saying that if you allow guns on campus college students won’t have their first gay sex experience or hit from a bong or decide that they should devote their life to the teachings of Karl Marx?
Even the article’s writer senses that Goddard’s logic is a bit dubious. So Mike Haston lines up another quote from a Virginia Tech survivor due to testify against Louisiana bill HB413, which would strike down bans against campus carry. Well someone who was there.
Joining Goddard will be Kaamil Khan, an LSU Law School student who was attending Virginia Tech at the time of the shooting.
“Personally, I don’t think it would make campuses safer,” he said. “I was there at Virginia Tech. I don’t think having a gun would have made a difference.”
And he’s an expert because . . . ? And Hasten doesn’t give a quote to Students for Concealed Carry because theirs is a prima facie case. Why shouldn’t eligible students and faculty exercise the same Second Amendment rights that they exercise walking down the street or sitting in their [off campus] homes?
They joined the [bill’s] author in arguing that if students and faculty members were armed on the campuses where innocent students were gunned down, the attackers would not have had so many victims. They also say it would be a deterrent for anyone to come on campus to shoot students if other people were armed.
TTAG is preparing a little demonstration on that score. Meanwhile, what’s wrong with the supposition that legal guns on campus are both a security advantage and a deterrent? And why aren’t Goddard and others of his ilk making the same case against campus carry in Louisiana that they made up north: that college students are too immature and emotionally unstable to carry a firearm?
Answer: culture eats strategy for lunch. Louisiana’s gun culture, which exposes its citizens to firearms from an early age, would kick that one to the curb in a New York minute. And here’s something else that doesn’t get a look in: if there’s a campus ban on guns, thousands of gun-toting parents lose their right to carry a concealed weapon when visiting their children. How do you think they feel about that?