Virginia Tech Comments

In the last week there have been millions of comments, stories and analysis of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. Rather than post comments of my own, I want to offer a couple links to some interesting articles I personally agree with.

First is this posting that analyzes the role gun control plays in school shootings.

I have an acquaintance that holds a concealed weapon permit and he explained the process to me one day. He had to take a class prior to receiving his permit. In the class the students were instructed on the responsibility of having a concealed weapon permit. They were basically told that if they were going to carry, they should carry ALL THE TIME. There is no way to know when an event like what happened at Virginia Tech is going to happen, the only way to effectivly deal with a situation is to be prepared.

I used to think I would like to have a carry permit, but after the conversation I had with this person I changed my mind. It’s a lot of repsonsibility to shoulder and I applaud anyone that has strong enough convictions to go around the public armed with the knowledge that they may have to stop a deranged lunatic.

The second article discusses the warning signs that were ignored prior to the shooting.

The shooter had obvious mental problems and the problems were reported, but this individual did not get adequate help and disaster ensued.

One last comment. While I’m NOT an advocate of ANY legislation undermining our constiutional right to bear arms, this is clearly an incident where current gun control failed. Laws were followed, firearms were purchased legally, no one beside the shooter was armed in the gun free zone, yet tragedy struck. In many cases, like columbine, gun laws were circumvented, additional laws would not have made any difference. This time, it is possible that different laws may have impacted the outcome.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Back in 2002, as the Winter Olympics Torch passed by on the street in front of Juneau-Douglas High School, in Juneau, Alaska, 18 year old Joseph Frederick held up a sign that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” in an attempt to get his picture on TV.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Deborah Morris, then principal of Juneau-Douglas High School, subsequently suspended Frederick from school for 10 days for violating the district’s ‘anti-drug policies’. Frederick appealed ths decision and filed a lawsuit against the principal and school board for violating his 1st Amendment free speech rights. This case has now found it’s way to the United States Supreme Court.

The interesting thing about this case is it’s absurdity. On the surface, this appears to simply be the principal and school board using a policy designed to curb drug use in students as a punishment for a student that embarrased the school and the district. The sign hardly encouraged drug use any more than it encouraged religious practices. The incident occurred on a public sidewalk, across the street from the school (which the courts decided made it a ‘school function’), where the school’s principal should have no jurisdiction. If the Supreme Court finds for Fredering, the principal and the school board will have probably the effectiveness of anti-drug programs across the country and opened the door for many new civil rights cases – all for punishing a student who wasn’t actually advocating drug use.