Everytime we are faced with a shooting, it raises the question of gun control. Could we have stopped this by taking away everyone’s guns? Should we make it harder to get a gun? If we take away the guns, will only the “bad guys” have access to them? What could we have done to stop this?

Before I go any further, let me state for the people who merely skim these blogs and get mad about something I didn’t really say, I am not advocating gun control.

With that said, let me also say that I don’t particularly like guns. I think it speaks to the fallenness of man that, instead of more people trying to cure cancer or end hunger, we have hundreds of people sitting around trying to come up with better ways to blow each others heads off. I realize that everyone has been put in something of a defensive position and that if we didn’t do this, we’d be taken out faster than you can say 2nd Amendment. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I realize that a world without violence is extremely idealistic but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for it.

Since we find ourselves in this position, I do believe that we need to exercise better control over something that can take away someone’s life in mere seconds. Cho Seung-hui should *not* have been able to get ahold of a gun legally. He had been declared mentally ill in 2005 and was ordered by the court to seek outpatient care. Which, by all appearances, he never did because no one enforced it. Many people dropped the ball on this. He was given a background check when he purchased the gun. Apparently being declared “an imminent danger to himself and others” was’t enough to make the gun seller pause. Or the check didn’t dig deep enough. I know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover but the kid looked insane. If I had been the dealer, that would have made me at least cover all my bases in the background check. This wasn’t a guy who was otherwise calm and quiet and then lost it. He had serious mental problems. Enough that students and teachers had reported him numerous times. He should not have been able to purchase a gun. He should have been institutionalized.

I don’t believe that guns should be taken away from law abidding citizens but I also don’t think that everyone should have a gun. I’ve heard people say “If the kids on that campus had been carrying guns….” This too is dangerous. People are trigger happy, especially after something like this. All it would take is a car backfiring and someone would be pulling out their gun because they think they’re being shot at. Also, firing a gun is not as easy as it looks in the movies. People who buy guns should either A: have already taken a class to teach them how to handle a weapon or B: be enrolled in a class when they purchase the gun with a follow up to make sure they take it. Some people are naturals with a gun. Most are not. Some people are calm and collected in scary situations. Most are not. If the VA Tech students had all had guns on them, it’s likely more people would have been killed. There is a possibility that Seung-hui would have been stopped sooner. But I don’t think that’s as likely. Because the kids would have freaked out, more shots would have been fired, probably by people who had had no or very little training, and more casualties would have occured. “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.” – Men in Black

So no, I don’t believe that gun control is the answer. Nor do I believe that giving everyone a gun is the answer. I believe that people like Sheung-hui should be placed in institutions. I believe that background checks should be more thorough. I believe that tragedies like this could be avoided if Americans weren’t so damn lazy and didn’t have the mindset of “someone else will take care of it.” Sure, some people are still going to slip through the cracks. But if we all took responsibility and didn’t leave it to “someone else”, not as many would. My heart goes out to the families and the faculty, staff and students of VA Tech. My prayer is that we would continue to rally around them and support them.

“We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious, we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.” C.S. Lewis