Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The solution to school shootings - arm the students

A recent Virginia Tech graduate called Wayne Chiang has reaped the jackpot with his blog. Interestingly, he has hit on the solution for school and college shootings:

...the situation could have turned out better if other students were allowed to be armed.
I would call this the "OK Corrall" solution. The fellow is only 23 years old, so it is a bit unfair to quote him and throw him into this controversy (mind you, he has been getting 80,000 visitors a day to his blog so my little blog won't make much difference). However, I mention the quote because it sums up what seems to be be the attitude of the USA, collectively, to guns. I am not sure whether it is an over-simplification to say this, but it all seems to have its origins in cowboy films.


  1. It has to do with the fact that the US was founded after a war in which 'the people' fought against the military.
    The right to bear arms was then enshrined in a written constitution so it could not be easily removed (as it has been in the UK).

    There is a completely different attitude in parts of the US than to the UK and its not about cowboy films.

    As for the point you dispute - if the students had been allowed to (and did) carry guns on campus it is possible that the death toll would have been lower. It would be a lone, deranged, shooter against several others, so the OK Corral isn't a good parallel.
    Its conceivable that the shootings would not have taken place if students were armed, although it doesn't sound like the killer was being very rational.

    Of course, it could have led to a worse incident, or could lead to more similar but smaller scale incidents. It is a lot of what ifs...

  2. Thank you Tristan. So the options appear to be:

    1. Arm everyone

    2. Just slightly tighten the gun laws in Virginia so that it is not "possible to buy a handgun at a Virginia gun store with no waiting period and only what is called an instant background check.” (ABC's Brian Ross)

    Neither is a 100% solution but it is a clear choice, it seems.