Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do Something More Than Just "Remember"

Today I received this message:

Moment of Silence in Remembrance
Of Virginia Tech Victims TODAY at Noon

The Northern Kentucky University campus community will have a moment of silence today at noon in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy. NKU President James Votruba will begin his Spring Convocation with a moment of silence. He invites all NKU faculty, staff and students to join him at noon in honoring all those affected by the shootings.

Kent comments:

Many universities are probably doing the same today. The Virginia Tech episode was a tragedy. But in what is an even worse tragedy, universities around the nation stubbornly refuse to do the one thing that would make any repeats of that episode much less likely. Here at NKU, and at campuses around the nation, we should do more than just ‘remember.’ We should take constructive action.

At NKU, as at many (most, all?) universities around the nation, legally armed citizens may not legally carry concealed on campus. Some probably do anyway. But the law-abiding do not, and that leads to a dangerous situation.

Those signs that announce a campus as a “weapons-free zone” are a kind of perverse invitation for those who might want to go on a killing spree such as the one last year at Virginia Tech. Campus security officers cannot be everywhere at all times. That leaves students on campus targets ripe for would-be mass murderers.

States that have very sensibly put into place concealed-carry laws should do one more life-saving thing: they should require state universities to allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry on campuses. The presence of armed citizens is a statistically proven way to reduce the likelihood of armed criminal wrong-doing.

If a state has decided that it is appropriate for legal concealed carriers to be armed in public at other places, why not on campuses? Irrational prejudices against firearms and their users should not be allowed to diminish public safety, and the right of people to defend themselves - even on campus.

No comments: