Monday, April 16, 2007

Unarmed and vulnerable

From a Virginia Tech Blog, August 31, 2006
Bradford B. Wiles

Wiles, of New Castle, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech.

On Aug. 21 at about 9:20 a.m., my graduate-level class was evacuated from the Squires Student Center. We were interrupted in class and not informed of anything other than the following words: "You need to get out of the building."

Upon exiting the classroom, we were met at the doors leading outside by two armor-clad policemen with fully automatic weapons, plus their side arms. Once outside, there were several more officers with either fully automatic rifles and pump shotguns, and policemen running down the street, pistols drawn.

It was at this time that I realized that I had no viable means of protecting myself.

Please realize that I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech's student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offense, but not a prosecutable crime.

I had entrusted my safety, and the safety of others to the police. In light of this, there are a few things I wish to point out.

First, I never want to have my safety fully in the hands of anyone else, including the police.

Second, I considered bringing my gun with me to campus, but did not due to the obvious risk of losing my graduate career, which is ridiculous because had I been shot and killed, there would have been no graduate career for me anyway.

Third, and most important, I am trained and able to carry a concealed handgun almost anywhere in Virginia and other states that have reciprocity with Virginia, but cannot carry where I spend more time than anywhere else because, somehow, I become a threat to others when I cross from the town of Blacksburg onto Virginia Tech's campus.

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.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, "I would feel safer if you had your gun."

The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed.

I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government.

This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.


Anonymous said...

i hate to say it, because i believe being a law-abiding citizen, but since i'm also a great believer in the founding of this country - that i DO carry in many locations otherwise banned for strange and political reasons.

I prefer to be very careful about concealment, and ask forgiveness in the face legal jeopardy, rather than place my life in the hands of any street thug who wishes to take my life into their hands where it most definitely does not belong.

Anonymous said...

I think that is incredibly horribly warped. How is more students carrying concealed weapons the solution to a massacre inflicted by someone with a gun going after unarmed students?

My thoughts and prayers are with the students at Virginia Tech, but I will never ever concur that more guns could have prevented a tragedy like this.

Anonymous said...

> How is more students carrying concealed weapons
> the solution to a massacre inflicted by someone
> with a gun going after unarmed students?

To belabour the obvious, the more armed students,
the fewer unarmed students: fewer targets.
Plus armed students might shoot back rather
than line up against a wall.

> I will never ever concur that more guns could
> have prevented a tragedy like this.

If that's an article of faith, so be it.
But thinking literally, of course it *could
have* prevented it, if circumstances were

doctormark said...

Virginia Tech's policy of forbidding handguns certainly didn't do any good in protecting its students today.

If some of the victims killed by the mad man had been carrying a gun, perhaps he would have been killed before he killed others.

Anonymous said...

i am so sad about what happened at virginia tech... how can we stop this? but college kids being able to have handguns? where does it stop?? that cant be the answer here... but i agree.. it doesnt seem that we can entrust our safety to the police ..shame of virginia tech for not locking down the campus after the first shooting... this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.. how did they ever think that the shooting in the dorm was an isoloated incident... what ever happended to safety first??? protecting our kides???31 college kids that will never know a future...or their dreams... how pathetic..and sad... my heart goes out to everyone..

doug bennett. framingham, MA....

Anonymous said...

It isn't a matter of how long it would take the university authorities to "lock down the campus" at all if you are the first round of victims.

On the other hand, if there had been ONE legally armed citizen able to act decisively during the first instance of violence, there not only would have been no need to "lock down the campus" at all, there would be a lot more people still alive.

Those who think that the presence of firearms, carried legally by adults able to obtain the permit, will automatically result in more firearms problems are tossing around the same old straw man argument that has no validity.

They never will include the obvious, which is that FACULTY and STAFF are also prevented by the present VA Tech mandate from being legally armed, either.

Just the fact that it would be well known that there might be some armed resistance on that campus may have been enough to prevent the perp from even showing up today. It often is.


Anonymous said...

I'm a liberal on most things, but I absolutely believe people should have the right to own and use handguns to protect themselves, their families, and their property. The idea that this lunatic was in the classroom building shooting people for fully half an hour before the police even showed up should give everyone pause. Minnesota, a supposedly liberal state, now has concealed carry-- and a good thing, too.

By the way, who posted the ignorant comment about global warming at the top of the blog?

Anonymous said...

With toughts , positve thinking and prayer we have the chance to change things!

The NRA has to be taken down a notch.

Anonymous said...

After the shooting tragedy, I was browsing related blogs to piece together information on this horrible event.. what I found was sick.. I just thought I'd share it..

Someone actually pretending that this stuff was a game.. VERY sick stuff..

what a sicko

Anonymous said...

Suppose the majority of students were carrying guns. What is likely to have ensued is the same panic, which then results in a chaotic shootout whereby no-one knows who is shooting at who and the death toll ends up being much the same.

Loosen the gun restrictions?! Is it any wonder America has the highest murder rate in the world when its citizens pursue a climate of fear as partly purported by the KKK..err, NRA.

In places where the gun laws are extremely tight this sort of thing does not happen.

Anonymous said...

oh yes gun control helped me when the store that I worked at was robbed
by thugs so no thank you to tight gun control laws . let the students and staff carry as none of the fear mongering that is connected to legal carry has come true .

Unknown said...

I guess the goal is to have as many guns per capita as....say....Iraq??? Maybe then violence would decrease? Haha

Anonymous said...

wow Robert, that's some seriously flawed logic.

TrojanGuy said...

I doubt even the tightest gun control laws could have stopped a guy like Cho from going on his rampage. However, the other extreme where every citizen of legal age is packin' heat doesn't seem like it would be any better.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I find it quite strange at how many people are against self-reliance, responsibility, and general self-preservation.
I understand that we as humans can choose to make decisions which negatively impact our status among the living, but from a general biological approach, many anti-gun folk in here would really just be classified as defective organisms.

Or possibly parasites, since there is some odd expectation that others are solely responsible for their well-being.

Why would anyone be against SELF-defense?

Anonymous said...

It shocks me how everyone thinks this article has anything to do with the massacre at VT. Note how the date the original was written was a full two semesters before the massacre? Without looking anything up I would guess that this was written in the aftermath of the escaped convict killing officers in Blacksburg.

Just saying, especially for those who feel that this is incredible horribly warped.