The Ole Perfesser on guns:
Virginia Tech graduate student Bradford Wiles also has a permit to carry a gun, in Virginia. But on the day of the shootings, he would have been unarmed for the same reason: Like the University of Tennessee, where I teach, Virginia Tech bans guns on campus.
In The Roanoke Times last year – after another campus incident, when a dangerous escaped inmate was roaming the campus – Wiles wrote that, when his class was evacuated, “Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness. That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.”
Wiles reported that when he told a professor how he felt, the professor responded that she would have felt safer if he had had a gun, too.
What’s more, she would have been safer. That’s how I feel about my student (one of a few I know who have gun carry permits), as well. She’s a responsible adult; I trust her not to use her gun improperly, and if something bad happened, I’d want her to be armed because I trust her to respond appropriately, making the rest of us safer.
Virginia Tech doesn’t have that kind of trust in its students (or its faculty, for that matter). Neither does the University of Tennessee. Both think that by making their campuses “gun-free,” they’ll make people safer, when in fact they’re only disarming the people who follow rules, law-abiding people who are no danger at all.
The Ole Perfesser on neighborhood watches:
Likewise, in the event of disasters that leave law enforcement overwhelmed, armed citizens can play an important role in stanching crime. Armed neighborhood watches deterred looting in parts of Houston and New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Precisely because an armed populace can serve as an effective backup for law enforcement, the ownership of firearms was widely mandated during Colonial times, and the second Congress passed a statute in 1792 requiring adult male citizens to own guns.
The twin purposes of self and community defense may very well lie behind the Second Amendment’s language encompassing both the importance of a well-regulated militia and the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. As the constitutional and criminal law scholar Don Kates has noted in the journal Constitutional Commentary, thinkers at the time when the Constitution was written drew no real distinction between resisting burglars, foreign invaders or domestic tyrants: All were wrongdoers that good citizens had the right, and the duty, to oppose with force.
The Ole Perfesser on Trayvon Martin and the gun law that killed him:
You will be happy to know that Reynolds did take the time to point out that the media was craven for pulling down the Malia Obama vacation stories, that there are layoffs at the Oprah Network, and Cee-Lo Green sang a song with a bad word in it, in case you hadn’t heard.
On the other hand, there are markdowns in patio, lawn & garden at Amazon…