Just yesterday someone was in my office telling me how it's impossible to get guns in Japan, and how even the criminal gangs have to manufacture special-purpose bats. So much for that tripe.
I have no desire to turn this into a gun control flamewar; if you're going to comment to the effect that more gun control could've prevented this tragedy, at least entertain me by explaining how it's Bush's fault (and bonus points if you manage to link this to the Israel lobby).
I'm writing about the general powerlessness and impotence fostered by a paternalistic government and eagerly accepted by the cud-chewing masses. Read this article by a Virginia Tech grad student. Money quote:
I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech's student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offenseI am in the same boat. I have a concealed carry permit, have had extensive safety and tactical training, and am even an instructor. Not that this is of any use on campus, where firearms are limited to the omnipresent and omnipotent police. Every time a student gets mugged or assaulted (every month or so, on average), campus police send out a report, with the helpful advice "If confronted by an assailant, don't resist. If he wants your wallet, purse or backpack, give it up." Not a word about carrying even a sub-lethal weapon such as pepper spray. Just give the bad guy what he wants and hope for the best.
Tragedies like this can be prevented if ordinary citizens are allowed to defend themselves instead of being infantilized. A Virginia Tech professor told that student whose article I linked to, "I would feel safer if you had your gun." In a similar vein, my Rabbi has specifically allowed me to carry my pistol in his house, even on Shabbat (when ordinarily carrying items like keys and a wallet is prohibited). As long as idiots like this continue to be the voice of campus officials, we can expect more attacks on soft targets such as schools -- whether isolated acts of insane individuals, or planned terrorist attacks.
[Update May 11, 2007] At least I wasn't kicked out of my school for expressing these views...