The Shootings at Virginia Tech
Recently a friend of mine and were discussing the inevitable exploitation of the shootings at Virginia Tech. Literally, within hours of the shootings, numerous organizations from all over the country descended to use this “opportunity” to further their agendas. Our topic of focus was the issue of guns.
My friend spent 6 years in the Marine Corps and was in the Service during the first Gulf War. Simply knowing that you’d think he was a big “gun guy”, but he truly surprised me with his comments on the NRA’s actions after the shootings. He owns guns, but does not support the NRA whatsoever. In fact, he said the NRA, for the most part, is filled with a bunch of “pussies” who talk tough, but have never really been in any kind of combat situation. His ire was further spurred by the suggestion that what America needs is, more people with guns, and that if the student body had been armed, fewer people would have been killed.
He reminded me that of the 148 soldiers killed in the first Gulf War, 24 % were victims of “friendly fire”. His point being that even trained professionals succumb to pressure and make egregious mistakes when in combat. “What in the hell is some college kid going to do when someone bursts into his class unloading rounds?” he asked. “Think about a classroom of twenty-five or thirty kids and eight or nine of them have guns. Would you feel safe if they started poppin’ off rounds if you were in there? That’s fucking insane. They’d end up shooting each other.” He went on further to dismiss the suggestion that these students would have been through some kind of gun course. “First of all, a gun class is what, one or two sessions and that’s it? Paper targets don’t move or shoot back. It’s ridiculous. These NRA guys act like we live in the fucking movies. Rambo standing there calmly returning fire. Most people if they are being shot at will worry only about not getting killed, aiming won’t be high on their list. You’ll have a bunch of hung over morons hiding behind their desks blindly firing.” (I must admit the idea of thousands of twenty somethings carrying Glock 17s around a college campus doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Let’s not forget that science has demonstrated the brains of people in their early twenties are not yet fully developed and they are still prone to “adolescent” type reactions. Imagine an armed student upset about getting a “D” on his mid-term).
So is the suggestion of arming students a good one or is it simply a ploy by a group with an agenda to exploit tragedy?