Friday, May 4, 2007

Guns or No Guns

The shootings on campus at Virginia Tech have ignited a welter of debates nationwide. Should college campuses be gun-free "safe havens," as VT was, or does that merely signal an open invitation to shooters who know they won't be facing any armed resistance?

The Virginia Tech Pistol and Rifle Club, in opposition to the university's ban on guns, has posted this on their website:
"We note that restricting appropriate firearms for good, responsibe citizens leaves the field completely open to psychopathic criminals."

Oye! Even the seedy Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has come out against the idea of having more guns as the way to prevent violence on campuses. "I don't think that is the answer, quite frankly," he said.

I never imagined the day would come when I'd be quoting Alberto Gonzales in order to agree with him. He's hardly an icon of what Susan Sontag liked to call "models of the serious."

It seems obvious to me that the proposition of "more guns means more safety" is the perfect example of a malignant paradox, a version of logic on steroids. Just imagine a scenario in which there is a viral explosion of guns. Any person you meet, someone who is just passing by, may or may not be carrying a concealed weapon. Would you feel safer?

Obviously the gun-carrying individual may believe himself better protected agains the horrors of defenselessness. But what about the rest of us? The notion of guns as the new protective apparel seems as perverse as the idea of wearing lace to keep out the rain.

I finish my last sentence, and then, as if on cue, Virgil suddenly roars in like a whirlwind. He's been tied up all day, he explains, at the podiatrist's, getting his paws checked. "I have something for you," he says, handing me this quote:

"So when in anguish over any human violence done to innocent victims, we ask of God, 'How could you let that happen,' it's well to remember that God at that very moment is asking the exact same question of us."

I still can't quite figure out how Virgil does it. My cutie-pie alligator is just so fabulously, impossibly SMART.

And he seems to really love his new job as blogging assistant. Truth be known, he is a whole lot better at it than I am.


colleen said...

Virgil, the blog muse. You gotta love him.

Gun Control, yes. Let the government start with their own house.

Bimbo Borg said...

Is the answer a better mental health system?
I don’t think it would hurt – a lot better solution than more guns.

EZ PZ said...

The idea that the gun (violence) is the final arbitrator of any confrontation is down right freighting on so many levels. Because the advances in the technology of violence (think nuclear) has the capacity to end all life as we know it, if as a civilization we can not halt the logic of violence as the final arbitrator then the human race will be just another failed experiment in evolution. God won’t be asking “How could you let that happen?” just moving on to the next experiment. I’m not quite ready to give up on the human race … yet.