Missing At Virginia Tech: A Culture of Self-Defense

There`s no polite way or time to say it: American
colleges and universities have become coddle industries.
Big Nanny administrators oversee

speech codes

segregated dorms
, politically correct

academic departments
and designated "safe spaces"

protect students selectively
from hurtful (conservative)
opinions—while allowing mob rule for approved leftist
positions (textbook case:

Columbia University`s anti-Minuteman Project


Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs,
American educators

shield them

vigorous intellectual debate.
Instead of encouraging
autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke
passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes,
so goes the

erosion of physical self-defense

Yesterday morning, as news was breaking about the
carnage at Virginia Tech, a

reader e-mailed me a news story
from last January.
State legislators in Virginia had attempted to

pass a bill
that would have eased

handgun restrictions
on college campuses. Opposed by
outspoken, anti-gun activists and Virginia Tech
administrators, that bill failed. [Gun
bill gets shot down by panel
|HB 1572, which would
have allowed handguns on college campuses, died in
By Greg Esposito, Roanoke Times,
Roanoke Times,
January 31, 2006]

Is it too early to ask: "What if?" What if
that bill had passed? What if just

one student in one of those classrooms
had been in
lawful possession of a concealed weapon for the purpose
of self-defense?

If it wasn`t too early for Keystone Katie Couric to
be jumping all over campus security yesterday for what
they woulda/coulda/shoulda done in the immediate
aftermath of the shooting, and if it isn`t too early for

New York Times editorial
to be publishing its knee-jerk call
for more gun control, it darned well

isn`t too early for me to raise questions
about how
the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials
may have put students at risk.

The back story: Virginia Tech had punished a student
for bringing a handgun to class last spring—despite the
fact that the student had a valid concealed handgun
permit. The bill would have barred public universities
from making "rules or regulations limiting or
abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid
concealed handgun permit . . . from lawfully carrying a
concealed handgun."
After the proposal died in
subcommittee, the school`s governing board reiterated
its ban on students or employees carrying guns and
prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus

Late last summer, a shooting near campus prompted
students to clamor again for loosening campus rules
against armed self-defense. Virginia Tech officials
turned up their noses. In response to student Bradford
Wiles`s campus newspaper op-ed piece in support of
concealed carry on campus, [Unarmed
and vulnerable
, August 31, 2006] Virginia Tech
Associate Vice President Larry Hincker

] scoffed:

"[I]t is absolutely
mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles. . .
. The editors of this page must have printed this
commentary if for no other reason than malicious
compliance. Surely, they scratched their heads saying,
`I can`t believe he really wants to say that.` Wiles
tells us that he didn`t feel safe with the

hundreds of highly trained officers
armed with

high powered rifles
encircling the building and
protecting him. He even implies that he needed his
sidearm to protect himself . . ."

The nerve!

Hincker continued:

"The writer would have us
believe that a university campus, with tens of thousands
of young people, is safer with everyone packing heat.
Imagine the continual fear of students in that scenario.
We`ve seen that fear here, and we don`t want to see it
again. . . . Guns don`t belong in classrooms. They never
will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing
same." [Imagine
if students were armed
Roanoke Times,
September 05, 2006]

Who`s scratching his head now, Mr. Hincker?

Some high-handed commentators insist

it`s premature or unseemly
to examine the impact of
school rules discouraging students from carrying arms on


Andrew Sullivan
complained that it was "creepy"
to highlight reader e-mails calling attention to
Virginia Tech`s restrictions on student
self-defense—even as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
Violence rushed to capitalize on the massacre to sign up
new members and gather e-mail addresses for Million Mom
March chapters.

"We are outraged by the increase in gun violence
in America, especially the recent shooting at Virginia

the online petition
. "Add your name to the
growing list of people who are saying: `Enough Is

Enough is enough, indeed.

Enough of

intellectual disarmament.

Enough of

physical disarmament

You want a safer campus? It begins with

renewing a culture of self-defense
—mind, spirit and

It begins with two words:

Fight back.

Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.