Just gotta like this guy

Readers of Armed and Safe are, if they know what’s good for ’em, also readers of War on Guns, and should thus be familiar with Bradford Wiles. For those who need a reminder, Mr. Wiles is a graduate student at Virginia Tech, and also a holder of a concealed carry permit. Even before Cho’s evil atrocity last April, Mr. Wiles had argued strongly for a campus policy that does not claim to foster safety by mandating helplessness.

The VA Tech associate vice president for university relations, Larry Hincker, loudly ridiculed Mr. Wiles for his position. Hincker is, of course, the one who trumpeted in triumphant glee over the death of a bill that would have compelled universities in Virginia to allow licensed individuals to carry on campus.

As it turns out, Mr. Wiles is still fighting against state-mandated defenselessness.

Larry Hincker believed that Virginia Tech had a sound policy preventing students from bringing guns to campus. However, there is an important distinction that needs to be addressed. What Hincker really meant is that Virginia Tech had a policy prohibiting people from bringing guns to campus, but it did nothing to prevent someone with no regard for the law or policy from bringing a gun to campus and killing.

Don’t you get it, Mr. Wiles? It’s not about what the policy will actually do–Hincker just wanted a policy that will help people “feel safe.” If illusion matters more than reality, gun bans are fabulous.

Hincker ridiculed students like Mr. Wiles, for having the audacity to believe themselves capable of participating in their own defense, rather than depending on “the professionals.” Mr. Wiles, apparently, has no more patience for such arguments than do I.

But put the emotions aside again and reflect on the logic of what happened here. When the perpetrator was shooting and killing students, the police were called. Why are the police called to stop a gunman? Are they superhuman? No. They have guns and can shoot back.

I am not a policeman, but I am able to defend myself immediately when I have my gun. When properly armed, I don’t need to wait nine minutes for the police to come to save me. When seconds count, the police are still minutes away. While I am not interested in chasing down a criminal, or policing my campus for petty crimes, I am very interested in assuring my own safety, which the police both cannot, and are not obligated, to do.

Mr. Wiles’ parting words sum this up at least as well as I could, so here’s one more quote.

The university’s policymakers would rather we all just die defenseless, because someone could get hurt with a gun. That’s the reasonable, common-sense gun-control policy for the children that is currently in place.

Prohibitions only influence law- and policy-abiding citizens and do nothing to stop people bent on violence from harming others. Prevention is a different story. Properly armed, we can prevent someone from killing or seriously harming us or our friends, families and classmates.

It is time that those of us who wish to be responsible for our own safety be allowed to prevent violence against us. Prohibitions do not prevent violent crimes; people with guns do.

I sometimes fear that the next generation of citizens is going to consist mainly of empty-headed, “American Idol” watching, utterly useless Eloi–Mr. Wiles gives me hope that I have perhaps judged hastily.

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