The odds are that absolutely nothing will result from the Virginia Tech tragedy, except maybe some backbiting about when to sound the alarms on a college campus when a shooting happens. Yet if Cho Seung Hui had known Virginia Tech could successfully “lock down” its campus at the first sign of trouble, he’d have just attacked Norris Hall first — or picked some other place off campus to launch his sick bid for glory.
I’m guessing the gun culture and lobby is too entrenched to allow even mildly stricter standards for gun buyers and owners. Do the mentally ill have a right to own guns? Do the rest of us have a right to know they can’t? The sane answers are no, and yes – even within the strict parameters of the Constitution, since Cho was not part of a “well regulated militia” by any stretch of the imagination. Of course, we can count on that being ignored in whatever limp debate about gun control our curiously incompetent culture conducts in the weeks and months to come. Yet we’ll go on being shocked into numbness every few years as some new massacre eclipses the old one: University of Texas, Columbine, West Nickel Mines , Blacksburg.
So be it, then. These massacres are therefore inevitable tragedies , and “second half of the Second Amendment” zealots effectively want it that way — as Glenn Reynolds ‘ bizarre prescription of more guns on campus vividly demonstrates. But a word to Reynolds, the NRA, and their allies: please, please, please spare me your “this is awful ” comments next time. You own the political landscape on this; now own the results.