I find the arguments for "gun control" whereby no one is permitted to own a gun to be part of a growing phenomenom in the Western world where we deny the means of effective self-defense to law-abiding citizens. Regardless of what the gun control advocates say, the truth of the matter is the whole world is full of violent people quite willing to kill other people using any means at their disposal. Anyone reading the headlines today knows this. But is that any different than at any other time in history? I doubt it is with one exception: there are far more people and statistically that means there are more madmen who want to commit carnage, given time and opportunity,
So, the answer is: take the guns away. The trouble with that is that a determined killer will find a some means to kill hundreds of innocent people because, by the very definition, the "determined killer"is NOT going to respect the "no gun" laws. The 9/11 hijackers used box cutters as their primary weapon to seize control of a much larger weapon, the airplane itself. In fact, a gun is just one instrument used by killers. As many people die in the world from blunt-force trauma as die from gunshots, a statistic rarely cited by any of the gun control advocates.
But beneath it all is a gradual erosion of our notion of self-defense. The reason so many died at VTec is because the killer knew, with confidence, that no one would resist him, at least not effectively. With no means to defend themselves against someone with lethal power and the evil intent to use it, most were reduced to cowering or running. Only running helped but, as is often the case in urban-like environments, that is a limited option based on escape avenues that are not always readily available. Further, mass panic often ensues in such situations and it should be clear the dangers such a situations creates.
So, it's not just the fact no one other than the killer had a weapon, it was because everyone there other than Cho had been robbed of any sense of real empowerment and, even worse, of any right to self-defense. They were all reduced to fleeing or hiding or throwing themseleves on the mercy of the killer until someone WITH force arrived to stop the madman. But, as we see and as Farrah has pointed out, questions remain about how the police responded to the situation (both at VTec and at Columbine).
One person, man or woman, properly trained in the use of sidearms, could've brought Cho's short reign of terror to a quick end. I use the term "could've" because their efforts might've failed. But their efforts could've also succeeded and how many lives would've been saved? How many families would've been spared the heartache that has visited them even today? If one security guard at Columbine had been armed and trained to use that weapon, confident in his or her right to use deadly force when called for, how many lives would've been spared there? In the case with Columbine and VTec, the police did not really enter the scene until after the gunmen had committed suicide.
One thing is certain, so long as Cho had the guns and the ammo and his victims did not, he was free to kill as he wished. It is quite clear that is what he did, shooting many victims more than once.
While Mary was getting a third bullet pumped into her already mortally wounded body, Joe Shmoe cowered in the corner, unable to stop the assailant because he had nothing with which to act but, even worse, he had been robbed of his sense that it was right to do so. Well-meaning but wrong-headed social engineers had carefully weeded out his ability to defend himself and his fellow victims by making it immoral or unfashionable or non-progressive to defend one's own life or that of others and then ensuring victim status by outlawing any means to effective self-defense. But Joe Shmoe won't have to live with his emasculation because Cho finally got around to him, as well. But Joe and Mary died heroes in the minds of some because he and Mary died unarmed and without resistance.
They went quitely to their graves, victims but gun-free.
Meanwhile, the next set of victims are getting up and going about their defenseless way of existence, secure that the police will handle any emergency and confident that the gun-free zones will keep them safe, while somewhere a killer looks over his guns and ammo clips and dreams of a final statement to the world.
And so we become a world of sheep, so afraid that Joe Shmoe might -- just might -- blow his girlfriend away in the heat of the moment that we take away his gun -- and Mary's gun -- and ensure they will be the next victims to get memorialized at candlelit homages.
It's not the guns. It's the attitude behind the disarmament of the law-abiding individual that is the problem.