What is it about the phrase “gun free zone” that signifies safety and security? Nothing.
Those precious words, immortalized on signs at schools, parks and other places around the country don’t do a thing to actually provide any safety or security. Not in the least. The bloody massacre at Virginia Tech, on April 16, has shown exactly that yet again.
According to the Virginia Tech spokesman, Mr. Larry Hinker, it is important to recognize that students, faculty and visitors “feel safe” when visiting the VT campus. Oh really? More important than actually being safe? Not hardly.
At places of forced disarmament like Virginia Tech’s campus, victims are summarily deprived of their ability to protect themselves, as a matter of policy. It certainly cannot be expected that murderers and other violent criminals will obey signs and policies when it comes to committing their crimes. The result? Only the innocent victims are disarmed and left helpless.
Consider the range of safety and rescue equipment in use by individuals and organizations all over the globe: ropes, knives, fire extinguishers, flares, firearms, telephone and satellite equipment, all-terrain vehicles, saws and axes, and any number of other implements. These are tools used in emergency situations, each of which has no good substitute. When a fire breaks out, there aren’t good alternatives to fire extinguisher. When a violent attack breaks out, there aren’t any good alternatives to a quality defensive firearm, when the chips are down and a murderer makes himself known.
I am acutely aware of the fact that by living in Oregon, I am assured the right to carry a concealed firearm if I choose, even onto school campuses and buildings. The Oregon legislature wisely recognized that forced disarmament of victims does nothing more than play into the hands of violent criminals. The result? A free-fire zone devoid of people with any ability to resist or withstand an attack. In Oregon, Utah and other places that specifically reject the disarmament of victims, no blood has flowed to the streets as a result of this policy. Sadly, there are far too many that cannot bring themselves to understand the simple reality of this.
The blood of the innocents at Virginia Tech should not be allowed to be just another blip on the radar. The murderer whose rampage sparked sadness and consolation around the world has also lit a fire of outrage and disbelief at the callous myopia that seeks to disarm innocent citizens and deprive them of all ability to defend themselves against attack.
Now is the time to act. Now is the time to correct this grievous wrong perpetrated on the citizens of this country. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution acknowledges the inborn right of every individual citizen to keep and bear arms in self-defense. At the time of the founding of this country, it was well-understood that the right of all people to be armed and self-sufficient in their ability to look after themselves was crucial to maintaining freedom … whether from tyranny of government or from terrorist or murderous actions by violent criminals.
It cannot be justified that safety results from keeping innocents unable to protect themselves. Tell that to any one of the families of the 32 dead who gave their lives for no purpose, this week. Please, give their death meaning. Have mercy on the suffering innocents of this country. Lay down your opposition to victim disarmament and push to acknowledge that law-abiding citizens have every right to be able to defend themselves. You owe it to the dead at Virginia Tech. You owe it to the living. We owe it to each other, as citizens of the United States.
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