Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tragedy in Virginia

Hello, folks! I've been on hiatus for a while now, and while I have a few posts in process, I must weigh in on a subject that I feel strongly about. In the wake of yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech, I know that the gun control debate will be reopened again. This was a terrible tragedy, committed by a sick individual. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones who are left behind. I cannot possibly imagine their grief and sadness after this despicable tragedy. I can only say that I am a father and parent also. I would not want to go through this with my children. To the families and friends affected, may the mercy and kindness of God be with you in the days and weeks ahead, as you turn to Him for solace and comfort.

When a tragedy like this occurs, the gun control advocates come out of the woodwork. Although the time for debate is not now, I must clarify my position on this issue. I do not believe in gun control, as it has not worked in the past, and will not work in the future. Notice the weapon was a pistol? Note to those who wanted assault weapons banned: it stopped him from using an automatic weapon, so he just used something else. My point is this: The young man was bent on killing as many people as possible. If there had not been a pistol available, or other gun of some kind, he could have just as easily planted bombs, or became a suicide bomber to accomplish what he wanted to do. This does not condone the use of a pistol or other gun in any way to harm someone; however, as tragic and terrible as this event was, a bomb would have been far worse, with possibly hundreds killed. Ask those in Baghdad, who deal with suicide bombers every day, about this reality.

My point: If someone like this is bent on killing people, they will find a way to do it, whether it be with a pistol, knife, bomb, or whatever. Banning guns is not the answer. In fact, by removing the right to carry guns, we may have inadvertently allowed this tragedy to happen. In an article in the American Spectator, John Tabin writes about "A Disarmed Campus", in which he tells how a bill that would have allowed students to carry concealed weapons in places such as Virginia Tech, failed to pass the legislature:

"In January 2006, Virginia Delegate Todd Gilbert introduced House Bill 1572, which was meant to guarantee, with a few exceptions, that students with concealed handgun permits would be allowed to carry guns on college campuses. The bill died in subcommittee later that month. Like many schools, Virginia Tech had a policy prohibiting guns on campus, and Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker expressed pleasure at the bill's defeat. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions," said Hincker, "because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." "

Ironic, isn't it? Tabin makes the point that "...the gun ban didn't ensure safety. Virginia Tech was the site of the worst shooting spree in American history...Mightn't a law-abiding armed student have stopped the spree in its tracks? We'll never know." "

As I stated, don't jump to the conclusion that banning guns will prevent this from happening again. If a sick, twisted individual is determined to do this, they will try with any means possible, whether it be a gun, a bomb, a car, or whatever. The only way to stop them is for those around them to recognize the signs of trouble. From what I have heard this afternoon, the young man had raised alarm with faculty members who read his creative writings. That should have been enough of a sign of trouble to cause someone to either get the young man to counseling, or call the authorities to intervene. It obviously didn't happen, and now we have a terrible tragedy on our hands. Intervention by schools, family, friends, or the authorities, is the only way to prevent such a tragedy before it happens. Banning guns is not the answer.

Again, my heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy. May God wrap you in His arms, and may you find comfort and solace there in the days ahead.

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