Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One of my favorite co-workers in the last dozen years or so of my corporate life was Dan Shawhan, a engineering graduate from Virginia Tech just before WWII where he also played football. A former Chairman and CEO of the company we worked for also was a VPI graduate.
I thought of them yesterday (April 16) along with all of the shooting victims when the news broke of the massacre at Blacksburg.

Like most people, I guess I'm still in some shock that such an event could happen. Could it have been prevented? will be a question to be debated for some time to come. It would have been difficult at best, what with 75% of the school's normal daily population living off campus. Had the school been "locked down" immediately following the first shooting, it might have worked but with the shooter still on campus, probably not. Spread out over 2,600 acres, VPI is really a fair sized town or small city. Short of an armed law enforcement officer in every classroom and building on campus, I don't know how any university. college or K-12 facility could be made safe against someone bent on taking lives such as the one in the VPI incident. I don't think you will see any school going that far. So, if there is a solution it will have to be something other than turning our schools and colleges into armed camps.

As was to be expected in the wake of the massacre at VPI, gun control proponents are set to mount another strenuous campaign to outlaw gun ownership. They will cite European nations such as Great Britain et al who have strcict laws in place against guns in private hands. Yet, many of their citizens still own guns and probably always will. They will cite high crime rates in this country involving the use of guns v. much lower rates in European countries. At the same time they will ignore the fact that armed private citizens have thwarted the efforts of numerous criminals in this country.

I believe the Second Amendment insures the sanctity of all the other rights spelled out by the founding fathers. Without that amendment there would be precious little to stand in the way of a force intent on a takeover of the country. I know that sounds like NRA talk, but I believe it as sure as I'm sitting here.

Having said all of the above, I do believe we should deny the right of gun ownership by all aliens living in this country until or unless they become naturalized citizens. I also believe the system now in place but not yet fully reliable whereby a check of police records is made before a gun sale is made should be strengthened. Counter to the NRA's position, I believe all privately owned small arms, be they handguns, rifles or shotguns, should be registered with the local police or sherriff's department. Any resale of such weapons should be reported to those agencies for re-registering in the name of the buyer. Automobiles, boats etc. require registration in a similar manner, why not guns?


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