Virginia Tech policy created an "ideal killing ground for criminals"

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A shooting at a Virginia Tech dorm Monday left has left 22 32 33 people dead (including the shooter) and at least 28 wounded. [ Live video feed ]

It should be noted that Virginia Tech has an anti-gun policy that creates an “ideal killing ground for criminals” by disarming all teachers, faculty, and students from being able to defend themselves with a state licensed concealed firearm.

See also More Guns, Safer Schools by Ninos Malek and Times Dispatch.

So what should we do to prevent this from happening again?

  • We should pass a law that makes it illegal to shoot someone.
  • We should pass a law that a person cannot possess a firearm while in the commission of a crime.
  • We should pass a law that a person who’s committed a violent crime in the past (dometic violence or a felony, for example) cannot carry or even own a firearm (then let’s take away their right to vote so they can’t try and get this law repealed).
  • We should pass a law that a person cannot conceal a firearm unless they’ve gone through a bunch of training and background checks, and has submitted their fingerprints and photograph for documentation.
  • We should also establish an elite group of people that enforce these laws that we can call any time night or day to come and apprehend anyone that doesn’t obey these laws.
  • We should set up secure buildings surrounded by fences topped with razor wire where we can lock up people who don’t obey these laws.

Once we pass those laws I think we’ll all be safe.

That won’t work

We’ve already got all those laws and very simply, they don’t work!

Something must be done about “violence” of all kinds, not just violence involving the use of guns. A violent crime committed with a firearm is no more or less tragic that a violent crime committed with a knife, tire iron, bat, or even fists.

We need to eliminate violent individuals from our neighborhoods; tell them we don’t want them here, they’re not welcome.

  • Create an environment that is potentially hazardous to anyone willing to commit a violent crime
  • Create an online database (just like the sex offender’s registry) that lists ALL violent crimes committed (including the location of the crime and the residence of the criminal).
  • Pass “Castle Doctrine” legislation to protect law-abiding citizens from retaliation should a criminal force them to defend them self, their family, and/or their property.
  • Repeal “Duty to Retreat” laws that effectively empower the violent criminal by forcing the law-abiding victim to “run away.” (These are also known as “The Criminal’s Safe Workplace” guarantee.)
  • In short, since the police aren’t required by law to protect individual citizens, give the individual citizens the tools to do it themselves!

23 thoughts on “Virginia Tech policy created an "ideal killing ground for criminals"

  1. Chair_tard, could you please cite your source for this statistic?

    According to my data1:

    This myth, stemming from a superficial “study” of firearm accidents in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, represents a comparison of 148 accidental deaths (including suicides) to the deaths of 23 intruders killed by home owners over a 16-year period. 2

    Gross errors in this and similar “studies”–with even greater claimed ratios of harm to good–include: the assumption that a gun hasn’t been used for protection unless an assailant dies; no distinction is made between handgun and long gun deaths; all accidental firearm fatalities were counted whether the deceased was part of the “family” or not; all accidents were counted whether they occurred in the home or not, while self-defense outside the home was excluded; almost half the self-defense uses of guns in the home were excluded on the grounds that the criminal intruder killed may not have been a total stranger to the home defender; suicides were sometimes counted and some self-defense shootings misclassified. Cleveland’s experience with crime and accidents during the study period was atypical of the nation as a whole and of Cleveland since the mid-1970s. Moreover, in a later study, the same researchers noted that roughly 10% of killings by civilians are justifiable homicides. 3

    The “guns in the home” myth has been repeated time and again by the media, and anti-gun academics continue to build on it. In 1993, Dr. Arthur Kellermann of Emory University and a number of colleagues presented a study that claimed to show that a home with a gun was much more likely to experience a homicide. 4 However, Dr. Kellermann selected for his study only homes where homicides had taken place–ignoring the millions of homes with firearms where no harm is done–and a control group that was not representative of American households. By only looking at homes where homicides had occurred and failing to control for more pertinent variables, such as prior criminal record or histories of violence, Kellermann et al. skewed the results of this study. Prof. Kleck wrote that with the methodology used by Kellermann, one could prove that since diabetics are much more likely to possess insulin than non-diabetics, possession of insulin is a risk factor for diabetes. Even Dr. Kellermann admitted this in his study: “It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide.” Law Professor Daniel D. Polsby went further, “Indeed the point is stronger than that: ‘reverse causation’ may account for most of the association between gun ownership and homicide. Kellermann’s data simply do not allow one to draw any conclusion.” 5

    Research conducted by Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi, 6 for a landmark study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, points to the armed citizen as possibly the most effective deterrent to crime in the nation. Wright and Rossi questioned over 1,800 felons serving time in prisons across the nation and found:

    81% agreed the “smart criminal” will try to find out if a potential victim is armed. 74% felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot. 80% of “handgun predators” had encountered armed citizens. 40% did not commit a specific crime for fear that the victim was armed. 34% of “handgun predators” were scared off or shot at by armed victims. 57% felt that the typical criminal feared being shot by citizens more than he feared being shot by police.

    Professor Kleck estimates that annually 1,500-2,800 felons are legally killed in “excusable self-defense” or “justifiable” shootings by civilians, and 8,000-16,000 criminals are wounded. This compares to 300-600 justifiable homicides by police. Yet, in most instances, civilians used a firearm to threaten, apprehend, shoot at a criminal, or to fire a warning shot without injuring anyone.

    Based on his extensive independent survey research, Kleck estimates that each year Americans use guns for protection from criminals more than 2.5 million times annually. 7 U.S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that protective use of a gun lessens the chance that robberies, rapes, and assaults will be successfully completed while also reducing the likelihood of victim injury. Clearly, criminals fear armed citizens.

    1 http://www.guncite.com/10myths.htm
    2 Rushforth, et al., “Accidental Firearm Fatalities in a Metropolitan County, ” 100 American Journal of Epidemiology 499 (1975).
    3 Rushforth, et al., “Violent Death in a Metropolitan County,” 297 New England Journal of Medicine 531, 533 (1977).
    4 Kellermann, et al., “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home,” New England Journal of Medicine 467 (1993).
    5 Polsby, “The False Promise of Gun Control,” The Atlantic Monthly, March 1994.
    6 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986).
    7 Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Handgun,” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 86 (1995): 150.

  2. Your data is suspect because of the age of the data, and the voracity of the gun lobby and the NRA. The spirit of the 2nd Amendment is NOT to arm the individual citizen, but for standing militias. The founding fathers NEVER considered that a citizen should be allowed to carry a gun to protect themselves against violent crime, but to protect themselves from threats to democracy and to the state. Today’s incident really doesn’t fall in that category.

    http://www.upenn.edu/researchatpenn/article.php?678&hlt

    The sources you site pretty much lay out the problem… which isn’t that guns kill, just that SOME PEOPLE LIKE GUNS and will do ANYTHING to keep them. But it should be pretty clear that what happened today COULD NEVER happen in a state like Japan, where guns are prohibited.

    So… the way I see it is you like guns. So you want to have one. Even at the risk of killing yourself or someone you love or even me.

  3. Chair_tard,

    Your assumptions on the meaning of the 2nd are flawed. Not unusual, you’re looking at the 2nd through the lenses of your own culture. Try that again, but by looking through the cultural lenses of those that not only wrote it, but ratified it.

    In the era of our founding fathers, most every adult male was armed. Much like most every person now carries a cell phone. A personal firearm was considered ‘usual’ and ‘accepted – easy to get and everywhere. Of course they’d be used in personal defence, but they were so ubiquitous as to be not worthy of special mention. A contrasting example of the era would be London and her climbing violent crime rates of the day.

    It was only when government tried to make things ‘safer’ and culture became ‘civilized’ thus making the display of a firearm an ‘extreme’ did the already existant violent nature of ner-do-wells express itself so openly.

    Here, where I live, in BFE, it’s *known* that around %25 of the population is armed at any given moment. Heinlein’s quote works. By far and away, the most popular places for violent and rude behavior are in those so called ‘safe’ locations where carry isn’t allowed. Bars, churches, schools, banks and government buildings.

    Not only that, but we haven’t degraded into a Wild West Blood Bath, as predicted by our oh so “educated” ‘friends’ from New England. Instead, we walk with heads high, confident in our own security.

  4. Chair_tard,

    The “spirit of the 2nd Amendment” states that a “well regulated militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”. The definition of “militia” being “all able-bodied men aged 18 to 40.” The Amendment goes on to say “the right of the people” (not the “right of the militia”, or the “right of the National Guard”).

    So, yes, the Founding Father’s DID believe that the right to keep and bear arms DID (and DOES) apply to the people. In fact, the original wording of what was to become the Second Amendment, as brought to the floor to the first session of the first congress of the U.S. House of Representatives was:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

    Guns are equally prohibited in England and Australia, yet these two countries have much higher rates of violent crimes than the US as a whole.

    Your UPENN statistics do not differentiate between legal and illegal firearms kept in a home and includes crack-houses and drug-traffickers. When you look at the relationship between law-abiding gun-owners and firearm deaths (and remove military and law-enforcement “in-the-line-of-duty” incidents) you find there is an inverse correlation, meaning, if you’re a law-abiding citizen and have a firearm, you and your family are LESS likely to die in a gun-related incident.

    Your Riley Hospital statistics count “children” as persons up-to (but not including) age 21, and include gang-related shootings. If you break out gang-related shootings and remove 18-20 year-olds, the number is ridiculously low, meaning the only reason that data was included was to artificially bias the statistics.

    Your point regarding the 2nd Amendment’s purpose being the protection against threats to democracy and the state is ABSOLUTELY correct. The Founding Fathers could in no way have known about today’s tragedy, but had the protections they built in to the Bill of Rights not been infringed upon by Virginia Tech’s “no guns” policy, how “inviting” would the campus have been to someone with mass homicide on his mind?

    Virginia Tech CREATED a “Criminal Safe Zone” with their policy. The police took TWO HOURS to respond before the killing stopped. TWO HOURS where the students, staff, and faculty were at the mercy of a criminal who didn’t abide by the school’s policy.

    Thank you for the good discussion!
    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  5. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms”

    I think we can safely say the FFs didn’t intend “arms” to mean automatic assault rifles, and handguns that carry 15 round clips and other devistating weopons.

    I don’t have problems with revolvers, or even shotguns, but you have to admit the majority of gun sales are for guns that are built for mass killing (quick auto load, laser sights, and whatnot). If you keep rifle for hunting, so long as its not an AK-47 or the like, but maybe bolt-action (all that’s necessary… deer don’t carry firearms), I personally don’t have a problem with it.

    However, if you think the 2nd Amendment entitles you to carry a concealed, 15 round clip handgun into my churchs, my grocery stores, or my schools, I really do have a pretty big problem with it.

    Get over your infatuation with guns.

  6. The Founding Fathers deliberately DID NOT say “muzzle loaders” or “long guns” or “rifles” (or any other era firearms), they didn’t even exclude cannons. Because they didn’t EXCLUDE anything, says that they did so for a reason.

    S.W.A.T. and B.A.T.F.E. all carry “automatic assault rifles, and handguns that carry 15 round [magazines] and other devistating weopons [sic]” aren’t they the true threat?

    I have a single firearm to my name (legally purchased). It is a concealable Glock .45 with a capacity of 10+1. I have never killed anyone with it. I’ve never even pointed it at anything more dangerous than a paper target.

    I would like to add a shotgun to my self-defense options, criminals seem to hate the sound of a round being racked into a shotgun, and very often turn and run just at the sound of it.

    It’s not what ~I~ think about the 2nd Amendment and what it entitles me to do. The Bill of Rights is just that, irrevocable RIGHTS. It says that the right to keep (own, store) and bear (carry, have with you) SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. That’s pretty hefty wording. The Founding Fathers did NOT say “the right of the of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed… except in churches, grocery stores, or schools.” If you have a problem with it, perhaps you should take it up with them. The Bill of Rights speaks for itself.

    1,800 felons serving time in prisons across the nation were surveyed and 81% agreed the “smart criminal” will try to find out if a potential victim is armed. 74% felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot. 80% of “handgun predators” had encountered armed citizens. 40% did not commit a specific crime for fear that the victim was armed. 34% of “handgun predators” were scared off or shot at by armed victims. 57% felt that the typical criminal feared being shot by citizens more than he feared being shot by police.

    I don’t have an “infatuation with guns” I have a deep rooted belief that since the Supreme Court has found that it IS NOT the duty or responsibility for any law enforcement officer or agency to protect the individual that we, as law abiding citizens have the responsibility to provide for our own protection and the protection of our family. The statistic that 81% of criminals surveyed agreed the “smart criminal” will try to find out if a potential victim is armed is the reason I own (and know how to safely use) a gun.

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  7. chair_tard

    I have a laser sight on my air rifle, my father has a Tritium nightsight on his Sig, as well as a 15 round magazine (almost incorrectly said clip), and these guns are only used for target shooting at indoor ranges. We also have two shotguns, only used for recreational target practice, and the shotgun can hold about 5 shells.

    I can safely say that the FFs intended that people be able to own the arms necessary to protect themselves. Only in war would an automatic rifle be necessary, but honestly, how often are legally obtained automatic rifles used in the commission of a crime? Do you have any idea what you have to go through to get a permit to buy an automatic rifle? Didnt think so.

    Same goes for 50cal rifles. I think the statistic was that in California a 50 cal rifle has never been used in the commission of a crime, but they were banned nonetheless.

    Would you mind a police officer carrying a handgun into your church or school, because I guarantee you that the people who hold carry permits practice more often and are probably safer with their guns.

  8. “I have a single firearm to my name (legally purchased). It is a concealable Glock .45 with a capacity of 10+1. I have never killed anyone with it. I’ve never even pointed it at anything more dangerous than a paper target.”

    Give it time, child.
    All those gun accidents happened to people with concerns and training and attitudes just like yours.

    I don’t carry a gun. I’m 150 lbs of pure sofa soft man. Why is it you need a gun to protect yourself, and I don’t? Do you think it might have something to do with, I don’t know… the way you see yourself? Could it be compensation for something you might not be aware of? Any feelings of inferiority? Did you get picked on as a child? Or is it that you just like guns?

  9. lol, yeah, I guess you could call it an inferiority complex, or that I’m “compensating for something.”

    When faced with a life criminal who is most likely high on some illicit drug, carrying a weapon (whether a gun or a baseball bat) and doesn’t care who he hurts to get money for his next fix, yes, I do feel inferior. A firearm is a good equalizer.

    I hope I never have to use it in defense of myself or my family. But if presented with a situation like the students at Virginia Tech (or the patrons at Trolley Square) I won’t be helpless and at the mercy of a criminal who’s sole intent is murder.

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  10. This was a waste of my time to read. I really can’t understand the logic of arming university students in order to prevent future school shootings.

    Joe, I get the impression that you just love the idea of taking the law into your own hands…dishing out your own warped idea of justice. Sorry, but I think you have to recognize the fact that a lot of people get uneasy thinking about people like you (with such a strong and fixed idea of justice) walking around with a gun at your waist. I’m perfectly capable of acknowledging the flaws within our justice system, but I trust them over the average Joe out there just waiting to get an opportunity to use that new gun they bought in the name of “justice”.

  11. gunsSAVElives, I think you’ve misunderstood the intent of my post. I am NOT advocating vigilante justice. I am NOT advocating “arming [all] university students”. I do NOT want to “take the law into my own hands” nor to dish out any form of justice.

    And to underscore the above, I hope I never, NEVER am put in a situation where I have to choose to defend myself or my family.

    The “problem” with society today is that we’ve been turned in to sheep. We’ve been taught to curl up and hide when faced with a threat.

    We saw this on 9/11 when the passengers of three airliners did nothing and thousands died. Passengers of another airliner, hearing about the hijackings of the other planes, refused to be victims and took down the hijackers of their plane.

    If 4 or 5 university students had rushed the gunman (without guns or weapons other than their own bodies) after he started shooting they could have saved a great number of the 33 now dead. Yes, this would have put them in harm’s way, but they would have saved dozens!

    The driving factor behind my post is the message that we need to change the mentality of a notable percentage of society to refuse to be a victim. Don’t let someone else force their will on you. Defend yourself, defend your family.

    No, not by taking the law into your own hands, not by exercising vigilante justice, simply by defending yourself and refusing to be a victim. Simply by removing the threat.

    So, let me ask you, if you are ever faced with a situation even remotely like these students were faced with, what will you do? Will you hide? Will you run away? What if you can’t? What if the “bad guy” breaks down the door and finds you and your family or friends cowering in a corner with only a cell phone to protect you, what will you do to protect yourself and your family? Or will you just allow the criminal to slaughter you?

    I, for one, refuse to be a victim. I hope the day never comes, but should it, I will be able to defend myself. Will you?

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  12. Just to let everyone know, this isn’t an “American” problem… it’s worldwide:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_School_Massacre
    Cologne, Germany – 11 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_Polytechnique_Massacre
    Montreal, Quebec – 15 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_massacre
    Dunblane, Scotland – 18 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erfurt_massacre
    Erfurt, Germany – 18 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson_College_shooting
    Montreal, Quebec – 2 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre
    Tasmania, Australia – 35 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathfield_massacre
    Sydney, Australia – 8 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Street_massacre
    Melbourne, Australia – 8 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanterre_massacre
    Nanterre, France – 8 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramoana_massacre
    Aramoana, New Zealand – 13 dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre
    Hungerford, Berkshire, England – 16 dead

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  13. Paul,

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. That’s what makes this country so great! We all have rights that are guaranteed to us by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

    Before you look at repealing any Amendments, would you mind considering another set of statistics?

    Type 5 Yr. Average General Population Protected by Constitution or Bill of Rights?
    Motor Vehicle 36,676 1 out of 7,700 No
    Poisoning 15,206 1 out of 18,700 No
    Work Related 5,800 1 out of 49,000 No
    Large Trucks 5,150 1 out of 55,000 No
    Pedestrian 4,846 1 out of 58,000 No
    Drowning 3,409 1 out of 83,500 No
    Fires 3,312 1 out of 86,000 No
    Motorcycles 3,112 1 out of 91,500 No
    Railroads 931 1 out of 306,000 No
    Firearms 779 1 out of 366,000 Yes

    http://hazmat.dot.gov/riskmgmt/riskcompare.htm

    Wouldn’t it make sense to go after prohibiting the ownership and/or use of motor vehicles (which is NOT protected by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or any subsequent Constitutional Amendment)? If not outright prohibitions, why not disallow use of vehicles by anyone other than Government/Military? Why not limit the number of vehicles that any one household can own to one? Why not limit the GVW to eliminate “large” vehicles that are fuel inefficient? 90% of people just need a little two-seater, for commuting.

    Shouldn’t we eliminate ALL the items on this list that aren’t protected by the Constition and/or Bill of Rights before we start on the ones that are?

    Or, since the 1st Amendment is “ambiguous” and doesn’t mention the types of “Press” specifically, shouldn’t we ban websites? ‘Blogs? Email? Text/instant messaging? The people writing these aren’t members of the Press, right?

    Once you start taking away any RIGHT guaranteed to the People, all the others are subject to fall.

    Thank you for your post and your professionalism!

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  14. Joe,
    found some very current studies linked from this blog:
    http://tinyurl.com/2eeta7

    and a wonderful, non-partisan treatment of the 2nd here:
    http://www.guncite.com/journals/embar.html

    Take a look again at the Amendment, and try not to let your desires change the meaning. Where ever the source for your right to carry a firearm for self-defense comes from, it doesn’t come from the 2nd Amendment. The Founders debated the issue of self-defense, and decided to leave it to the discretion of the states. It doesn’t matter how many misinterpret the 2nd, its still a misinterpretation if you think it has anything to do with crime or self-defense. It doesn’t. Not even a little bit.

  15. Regarding your tinyurl link interesting. It’s an article that cites a few studies that favor the topic of the article, then in the next-breath turns around and says that the studies proving “Gun Control” laws as inaccurate and unreliable. I can’t put much stock in hypocritical articles.

    We can argue all day about original intent of any Amendment, so let’s look at something more recent, how about March 10th, 2007:

    A federal appeals court (U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit) struck down the District’s 30-year-old gun ban, ruling that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment applies to individuals and not only to militias. “The Second Amendment would be an inexplicable aberration if it were not read to protect individual rights as well.” This comes after six D.C. residents filed suit to keep guns for self-protection.1

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  16. Chair_tard,

    On a personal note, although we disagree (regarding the topic at hand) I have really enjoyed hearing your side of the argument and reading the sources that you’ve cited. If you’ve got a website or ‘blog I’d like to include it in my “links” section if you’re okay with that.

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  17. “In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of ‘Wild West’ showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender. … The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 [the latest statistics available] per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.”1

    Thanks to Mook for the link!

    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  18. On June 27, in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the by a vote of 7-to-2 the Supreme Court found that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police protection, even in the presence of a restraining order.

    In 1999, Gonzales obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband Simon, which limited his access to their children. On June 22, 1999, Simon abducted their three daughters. Though the Castle Rock police department disputes some of the details of what happened next, the two sides are in basic agreement: After her daughters’ abduction, Gonzales repeatedly phoned the police for assistance. Officers visited the home. Believing Simon to be non-violent and, arguably, in compliance with the limited access granted by the restraining order, the police did nothing.

    The next morning, Simon committed “suicide by cop.” He shot a gun repeatedly through a police station window and was killed by returned fire. The murdered bodies of Leslie, 7, Katheryn, 9 and Rebecca, 10 were found in Simon’s pickup truck.

    In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court (South v. Maryland) found that law enforcement officers had no affirmative duty to provide such protection. In 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, “…there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”

    Later court decisions have concurred.

    Given the court’s position that the police are not obliged to protect us, responsible adults need the ability to defend themselves. Thus, no law or policy should impede the ability/capability of a law-abiding citizen from being able to defend them self and/or their family via any means they feel necessary.

    The clear message of Gonzales bears repeating because you will not hear it elsewhere. The police have no obligation to protect individuals who, therefore, should defend themselves.

    (Excerpted from http://www.allsafedefense.com/news/CopsDontProtect.htm and http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,162325,00.html)

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