Texas college campuses are set to turn into the Wild Wild West if the lege allows students and teachers to carry firearms. Supporters claim that the relatively recent shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois would not have been as bad were students capable of firing back on the assailants. However, a Virginia Tech survivor, who was shot four times, disagrees. “People tell me that if they would have been there, they would have shot that guy –– that offends me,” Colin Goddard tells The Associated Press. “People want to be the hero, I understand that. They play video games, and they think they understand the reality. It’s nothing like that.”
And we all know that just about anyone –– no matter how nucking futs or demented –– can get a gun. And if the crazies are packing heat in class and are perhaps seated in the same room as some vigilante types, well, the fireworks are not going to be limited to only attacker(s) and defender(s). Mix in some alcohol, broken hearts, “unfair” teachers, and hormones, and you’re just asking for trouble.
We can’t become a police state, especially a citizen-policed state. Violence is one of the downsides of living in a free, non-self-policed society –– some pundits have said that injuries or deaths from violence amount to “collateral damage,” a price for freedom, so to speak. In any language, the answer isn’t allowing everyone to bear arms. The answer is developing the social infrastructure to identify and treat the mentally unstable or violent. But politics is a short-sighted game. There isn’t an American politician alive who can think past his or her own next election. So we get short-term solutions to timeless problems.