Friday, April 20, 2007

Fred Thompson Takes Virginia Tech To Task

Take away Fred Thompson's accent and what's left?


In 650 words Sen. Thompson brought clarity and candor to Monday's tragedy at Virgina Tech.

Virginia, like 39 other states, allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens. They walk, joke and rub shoulders everyday with people who responsibly carry firearms -- and are far safer than they would be in San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., where such permits are difficult or impossible to obtain.
Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon onto campus. (Canticle Note: Posthumously?)
In recent years, however, armed Americans -- not on-duty police officers -- have successfully prevented a number of attempted mass murders. (Canticle Note: I am not aware of a recent incident where a mass killing has been stopped by on-duty police action.)
When people capable of performing acts of heroism are discouraged or denied the opportunity, our society is all the poorer. And from the selfless examples of the passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11 to Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who sacrificed himself to save his students earlier this week, we know what extraordinary acts of heroism ordinary citizens are capable of.
Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.

So, what are we going to trust, the experience of 200 million citizens in 38 states who allow or encourage responsible citizens to carry arms and have reaped the benefit in terms of lower crime, or the folks in places like Washington, New York City, Chicago and the other bastions of safety who prefer that we depend absolutely on others for our personal safety?

Liberals want more of the centralized command and control model where victims dial 911 so that the police will show up later to carry the body bags.

The "me, too" conservatives want… to get along.

It takes a leader like Thompson to point out the obvious:
One of the things that's got to be going through a lot of peoples' minds now is how one man with two handguns, that he had to reload time and time again, could go from classroom to classroom on the Virginia Tech campus without being stopped. Much of the answer can be found in policies put in place by the university itself.
Politicians score points.

Leaders make them.

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