atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#365: This is all I'm going to say about Virginia Tech.

The campus was a "gun-free zone". That worked perfectly. It sure stopped that guy from walking around unharassed and shooting 33 people dead, didn't it? It sure made people feel safe, didn't it? I mean the guy who killed 33 people with a gun (in the "gun-free zone") sure didn't feel like he had to hurry or worry about his safety.

The people who are responsible for creating that "gun-free zone" didn't take something into account: the military definition of "weapons free" means your weapons are ready to fire.

It reminds me of the arrant nonsense of the "nuclear-free zone" from the 1980s. I had heard about those when I was in high school, made a few wisecracks, and forgot about it, until I happened to see a street sign in Iowa City in 1997 designating it a "nuclear-free zone".

The theory behind the "nuclear-free zone" was that if the USSR was informed that an area was not involved in military pursuits, they would not target that area with a nuclear warhead, so that--in the event of a strategic-level nuclear exchange, which most campus liberals thought was inevitable after Reagan was elected--the good liberals would be spared vaporization and would instead die horribly of radiation poisoning, famine, or disease in the aftermath.

The only problem with the concept of the "nuclear-free zone" is that it's based on utter ignorance of war strategy.

Iowa City is home to a major university, one which boasts a world-class teaching hospital. Iowa City sits astride one of the major east-west highways (Interstate 80) and has a large river running through it. There is also, not far from there, the manufacturing plant of a major defense contractor, Rockwell-Collins, which makes (among other things) avionics for military aircraft.

Even if Iowa City wasn't a primary target--and it probably was not--it would have been a "second wave" target at least...and even failing that, it was right smack-dab in the fallout pattern for Des Moines, which--as a state capital and home to more colleges and industry--would have been a primary target. Even if the USSR's generals had decided, "Whoa, there are good Marxists in Iowa City! We can't bomb them!" it wouldn't have mattered. Dead of vaporization or radiation poisoning--dead is dead.

The point I am making here is that the liberal zones which purport to be "free" of things they dislike don't fucking work.

Even if a city has nothing to do with nuclear power or nuclear weapons, it has a certain strategic value which makes it a target for a nuclear strike, just by virtue of its concentration of population and economic value. You target cities because, in a strategic exchange, you want to destroy your enemy's ability to make war and his will to make war. Since military units are (by definition) mobile, you target the big, fixed installations that no economy can do without, and you target the fixed military installations which no military can do without.

Destroying any city helps. Destroying a city with hospitals, universities, a disproportionately high number of young people (particularly men, who could be drafted), and a vital industry is highly desirable.

"Nuclear-free zone". Yeah, that'll stop it.

The same situation prevails with banning weapons. Gun-control activists scoff at the oft-repeated bromide, "Make guns illegal and only criminals will have guns", but they scoff because that's all they can do--not only do the facts support the statement, but it's a matter of common sense.

The cities with the highest murder rates have something in common: they ban personal ownership of firearms, particularly handguns.

The liberal establishment gets its collective panties in a bunch whenever a state considers making the switch from "may issue" to "shall issue". This refers to wording in the gun laws governing the issuance of concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits--the license which lets you carry a handgun wherever and whenever you choose. "May issue" means that the state can deny the license for whatever reason it chooses, regardless of whether or not the applicant has correctly jumped through all the legal hoops. (It also means that politicians and celebrities can get gun permits for their bodyguards without any trouble at all. But not the regular people; they have the police, after all.) "Shall issue" means that, if the applicant has satisfied the requirements, the state must issue him a CCW permit.

The liberal establishment doesn't like that. That means that any law-abiding citizen can go out and get himself a handgun, and actually carry it with him wherever he goes. The man next to you at the supermarket might be packing heat! What if he's not a policeman? He could snap at any second and start shooting people!

Notice that I said "law-abiding". Felons are categorically denied CCW. There is a training process an applicant must go through, including taking special classes. The applicant learns about the law of self-defense and he learns how to handle his weapon, and he doesn't get his CCW permit unless he passes the class.

And then what? Well, Texas and Florida made the switch from "may issue" to "shall issue", to much liberal hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. The result: a precipitous drop in crime.

Trying to stop violent crime by banning weapons borders on fantasy--one may as well wish real hard--and always fails because criminals, by definition, don't give a rat's ass about the law. (Let's see: Murder One, life in prison or execution; Murder One plus using an unregistered firearm without possessing a gun license, life in prison plus ten years for the gun crime or execution.)

I linked to a story about the ban on "dangerous knives" in Scotland. It sounds like parody or hyperbole, but it's not; it's real. Banning guns failed to stem the tide of murder, so they banned "dangerous knives".

Where does it stop? Where can it stop? Banning hands?

Heinlein said it best, in Starship Troopers: "Son, there are no 'dangerous weapons'. Only dangerous people."

For the government to take away our ability to defend ourselves is inexcusable. Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, demonstrated why.

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