First, it is not a tragedy. Tragedies are sad things that occur naturally. A friend dying of cancer is a tragedy. This, instead, is an act of evil and of infamy. It is an act of terror and sabotage. The murders at Virginia Tech are willful malevolence, but they are not tragedy.
Second, the White House temporary press secretary just showed she is an amateur. Dana Perino: “The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed.”
That is a really dumb remark.
The idea that Americans should be hearing from the White House is: “The right to keep and bear arms provides for concealed-carry laws, which could have prevented this situation. We do not know why there were not more law-abiding citizens carrying firearms in the vicinity so that this madman could have been stopped. The vulnerability of our population to terrorism needs to be addressed, and the Second Amendment to the Constitution provides a starting point. The president intends to do everything he can to see more lawful people armed as a bulwark against terror.”
We have got to get over this namby-pamby, lets-squeeze-a-teddy-bear mentality. Frankly, the feminine response has become the national first-responder. It is fine for the families, for the home life, for children and for the interpersonal relationships that have been affected by this act of terrorism. But the public response, the societal response, the nationwide reaction, as distinguished from the interpersonal one, needs to be masculine, firm, well-defined and solution-oriented. I don’t want to hear a bunch of emotional garbage from the president of Virginia Tech or the president of the United States. I want to hear of good and evil.
And I want to hear about the good guys being armed and the bad guys being shot dead.
We should conduct a public ad campaign urging the law-abiding public to utilize concealed-carry laws as a bulwark against terrorism. We should consider legislation in state legislatures and Congress to require a large portion of teachers, professors, coaches, etc., to be given incentive to pass firearms training and carry weapons. And we should quit thinking of this as a random, naturally occurring, unavoidable disaster like a tornado.
You do not fight evil the same way you fight an earthquake. Disasters can be confronted with statistics and preparedness. But in the case of an evil-motivated individual, the only way to combat an evil intelligence is with another intelligence. You can hide people in basements from tornados, but there is no such thing as a safe-room where an intelligence is trying to get in. That should be the big lesson here: Lockdowns are for tornados, well-armed good-guys are the solution for bad guys. It is folly to propose the police as the well-armed good guys. They get called only after something happens. The good guys must be the great, historical, American citizen minuteman, the militia, the God-fearing and law-abiding rugged Yankee, the hospitable and reverent Southern gentleman with a shotgun within arms reach.
All of these massacres, these terrorist attacks, have genuine possibilities for being stopped dead in their tracks if they encounter a well-armed, well-trained, educated public vigilant to defend their freedoms. The proper private response to this evil is to share the emotion and inestimable losses with the families. But the proper public response is to promote the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
We can stop this evil if we choose to.
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Andrew Longman is a Christian and an applied scientist.