Bloggers, MSM and Geeks on Gun Control
Bloggers and some mainstream media pundits today fired the opening salvos in what is shaping up to be a lively policy debate over the future of the nation's gun-control laws following the shootings that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech on Monday.
Instapundit author Glenn Reynolds points readers to an essay by a VT student Bradford B. Wiles, who lamented campus rules that kept him from carrying his licensed handgun that he might have otherwise used to defend himself, and presumably his fellow classmates. Wiles writes:
"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."
Blogger Michelle Malkin also carried missives from students and parents who argued that the chain of events might have been different had other students been armed. Malkin also takes aim at a New York Times editorial (subscription required) for "jumping the gun" in calling for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the massacre. Andrew Sullivan, in his blog The Daily Dish, shoots back at Malkin: "Is it just me or is there something just a little creepy about the impulse to blame gun-control policies on campus for a massacre of over 30 people? While the corpses are not yet cold?"
Garance Franke-Ruta, a senior editor at The American Prospect magazine and author of the blog theGarance, suggests that the university's response to the initial shooting - which school officials said they thought they had contained because it was thought to have been related to a domestic dispute - overlooks a more fundamental issue: domestic violence. From her post:
"Because the first victim was a woman, and possible had a romantic connection to the killer, the police did not see her murder as a threat to the community. Now the police are pretty plainly telling the public that they failed to warn the campus there was a killer on the loose because they failed to understand that men who kill their partners are also threats to society."
Politico writer Roger Simon takes a dim view of the prospects for this tragedy to substantively advance the gun control debate. Simon notes that despite the fact that pretty much every major 2008 presidential candidate issued a statement in response to the attacks, none of them (not even the Democratic candidates) mentioned gun control.
Finally, over at the high-traffic news-for-nerds site Slashdot, an unusually minimalist news blurb about the shootings prompts 2,500 comments (a staggering response even for the Slashdot community) which predictably devolved into a shouting match over violence in video games and 2nd Amendment rights, a subject on which many geeks apparently have rather strong opinions.
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