Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Liberals grandstand after VA Tech shootings

The Virginia Tech shootings continue to reverberate. This naked display of evil chilled me all the more chilling because I have connections to the Tech community. Both of my parents grew up near the Blacksburg area, and I visited that gorgeous campus many times during the happy summers of my childhood. Each fall my father still watches Tech games on Saturdays, my sister and her fiancee are Michael Vick fans, and my mother spent yesterday morning trying to learn if her counsin's son, who attends Tech, was OK. (He's fine, thank God.) All of this made the tragedy more shocking and real for me as I watched events unfold on cable news yesterday morning.

Unfortunatley, national grief was quickly tossed aside in favor of political opportunism as liberals turned a tragedy into an excuse for political grandstanding. Some Democrats and left-wing groups are calling for more gun control, while European newspapers blame Charlton Heston and the NRA for the shootings. Jane Smiley at Huffington Post calls "casual" gun ownership a "national fetish," and the NYT ran an editorial -- with an exploitative title "Eight Years After Columbine" -- to plead for "stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage." (Is terming the tragic loss of human life as merely "wasteful" the best that a pro-choice newspaper can do?)

I'd just as soon ignore them, but the fact is that they're wrong. Gun control wouldn't have prevented this massacre. Quite the contrary, Virginia's existing gun control laws (including a 30 day waiting period between handgun purchases) didn't impede the gunman's meticulous planning at all. Moreover, Tech's prohibition on concealed handguns meant the murderer knew he'd face unarmed victims. In fact, WND reports that last year a state bill to allow qualified college students with concealed handgun permits to carry their weapons onto campus was defeated, a development which at the time drew praise from Tech spokesman Larry Hincker.

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