Our hearts and prayers truly go out to all of those affected by Cho Seung-Hui's evil actions. But not even senseless, brutal murder justifies taking away the God-given rights of the law-abiding.
It is also worthwhile to note that Virginia Tech is -- because of deliberate policies set by its administration -- a victim disarmament zone, where even those with a state-issued concealed carry permit are denied their right of self-defense.
In fact, pro-gun forces just last year tried to get the Virginia legislature to address the problem. The bill to allow permit holders to carry on state-supported college campuses died, due in no small part to rabid opposition from Virginia Tech itself.
VT spokesman Larry Hincker put it this way after it became obvious that the bill would not pass: "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."
The unfortunate irony continues when one recalls that not long ago, two students at nearby Appalachian School of Law managed to stop a gunman at that institution. Happily, they were able to dash off-campus to retrieve their guns from their vehicles.
Four GOA spokesmen (one based in downtown D.C. and three at our Springfield, VA office just outside the Beltway) are working non-stop -- doing literally interview after interview -- making certain that the above points reach the public.
GOA has appeared on Fox News, ABC, CNN, BBC -- lots of alphabet soup networks -- as well as countless talk shows like Michael Reagan and Lars Larson. GOA spokesmen have been heard in every major radio market around the country and have done interviews with large print media outlets, such as the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report.
The overall message that GOA is delivering is that gun prohibitions are part of the problem, not the solution.
We can expect some forms of new gun control to be pushed in the U.S. Congress. The Democrats control Congress, but more importantly, anti-gun politicians control the Democrat party. If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- certainly no friend of gun owners -- gives free rein to virulently anti-gun House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), literally anything can make it to the floor of the full House.
Conyers' counterpart in the Senate is Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), whose GOA rating of "F" is well-deserved. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has also earned an F. Gun owners will have to be especially vigilant in the coming weeks to block any new attempts to infringe upon the Second Amendment.
And whereas the predictable media stampede to give voice to the possibility of such new gun control is certainly there, it does not seem to have the same "this simply must happen now" tone that it did after the Columbine tragedy in 1999. Indeed, the idea of firearms for self-defense in schools is gaining serious traction. Which should not be all that surprising, given a Research 2000 poll which showed that 85% of Americans find it appropriate for a principal or teacher to use "a gun at school to defend the lives of students" in stopping a massacre.
ACTION: For now, stay tuned for future alerts. (If any anti-gun bills start moving on Capitol Hill, GOA will be counting on you to contact your legislators in record numbers.) And pray for all of those whose loved ones were injured or killed at Virginia Tech.