Virginia Tech: No deportation and no deterrence
Crimson Trace ™ makes laser-grips for handguns that beam a red dot onto one’s intended target, revealing the exact spot where a bullet, if fired, will strike. In documented, armed confrontations, the deterrent effect of the red dot has caused many “targets” to surrender. This happens so often that Crimson Trace sells T-shirts with the slogan: “Helping Bad Guys Make Informed Decisions.”
Cho Seung-Hui was one bad guy. While he was certainly insane, Cho was not stupid. He knew the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia were going to make sure that he was the only armed person in the dormitories and the academic buildings. So, Cho made an informed decision that he would have a monopoly on violence until such time as the sounds of his gunfire caused law enforcement officers to appear.
You see, Cho didn’t mind dying. He just wanted to get a horrendous amount of killing done before he was interrupted. Indeed, from Cho’s own ramblings, it seems he was a student of mass public shootings as at: Columbine High School, that Amish School in Pennsylvania and some U.S. Postal facilities -- just to name a few gun-free zones where no sane, armed citizens were available to prevent or stop the carnage.
Actually, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a law on the books that allows properly screened and trained citizens to carry concealed firearms. But, after the passage of that concealed-carry law, Virginia’s anti-gun lobby went out of its way to get the law amended so that permit holders could not carry their weapons at schools and colleges like Virginia Tech.
In 2000, Professors John R. Lott and William M Landes, published “Multiple Victim Public Shootings." They found: “that the only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.” They found that the possible [italics mine] presence of law-abiding citizens with concealed weapons reduced mass shooting attacks by 60-percent. Also, the actual [italics mine] presence of armed, law-abiding citizens reduced innocent death and injury by almost 80-percent. (Apparently, shooting the shooter is highly effective.)
But the 60-percent figure is the more important number because that means that mass public shootings were deterred. This observer isn’t in love with the idea of even properly screened and trained college students with firearms in their backpacks, but it would seem prudent for schools and colleges to arm a few psychologically-screened and firearms safety-trained dormitory supervisors along with a few armed faculty for the academic buildings.
Ironically, the leading Lefties in Congress are calling for the (drum roll) “profiling” of college students to identify folks like Cho. (Yet wear a Yasser Arafat-style Keffiyeh on your head in an airport, and that will almost guarantee you won’t be hassled by secondary screening.)
Actually, Cho had already been psychologically “profiled” and diagnosed to be a dangerous mental case. Professors Lott and Landes found, “that about half of the mass shooters had received a "formal diagnosis of mental illness, often schizophrenia.” So, why wasn’t Cho’s student visa revoked? Why wasn’t Cho deported?
The U.S. Constitution and the due-process provisions of the 4th Amendment have been held inapplicable to non-U.S. citizens, so Cho could have been deported summarily. But the same kind of liberals who want to grab the guns of sane and law-abiding U.S. citizens argue that anyone residing, legally or illegally, within the U.S. should have all the legal benefits of U.S. citizenship. At Virginia Tech, political correctness prevailed over common sense. Cho wasn’t deported. Now, thirty-two innocent people are dead and others wounded.
So yes, there is blame to be assigned with regard to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Blame an excess of: political correctness, civil libertarianism, multiculturalism and diversity. And, once again, the liberal gun-grabbers made sure there was no armed deterrence on campus that might well have prevented Cho from harming others in the first place. (I may order one of those T-shirts.)
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.