In today’s Baltimore Sun, a firearms expert weighs in on the guns used in the Virginia Tech massacre. The quotes come off as almost too enthusiastic, verging on R. Lee Ermey’s Oswald/Whitman speech in “Full Metal Jacket” (he concludes: “Those individuals showed what one motivated Marine and his rifle can do. And before you ladies leave my Island, you will all be able to do the same thing.”):

“B. K. Blankchtein, a self-defense trainer and former member of the Israeli army, said the killer picked good weapons for his murderous purpose.

“Blankchtein, general manager of the Owings Mills training facility of Krav Maga Maryland, said the Glock and Walther models are relatively affordable and easy to conceal. He said the Glock is particularly simple to use and fast to reload. ‘Straight out of the box, it’s probably the best firearm out there,’ he said.

“Glock 9 mm pistols can be bought with 33-round magazines in some states — including Virginia, but not Maryland — but Blankchtein said the larger magazine might not have been needed. He said it takes just seconds for even a relative novice to eject one magazine and put in another.

“The Walther, Blanktchein said, doesn’t have as much penetrating power as the Glock because of its relatively low caliber. But he said the .22-caliber rounds are lethal in their own way. ‘Once they go in they will ricochet and create a lot of internal damage,’ he said.”

Then there’s this, in the same article, from a gun rightser who suggests the Virginia Tech tragedy could have been headed off by … more gun-toting students, teachers and staff members. That way, they could have stopped the killer in his tracks (please: don’t think about the confusion and mayhem that would have ensued if police had encountered a bunch of self-appointed deputy sheriffs wandering around campus; “instant Baghdad” is the picture that comes to mind. But enough of my bleeding-heart whining — let’s hear from a defender of our individual freedom:

“Jim Purtillo, editor and published of the pro-gun rights newsletter Tripwire, said much of the blame for the high death toll should go to the administration of Virginia Tech for its policy prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons on campus. He said that if other students in the vicinity had been carrying guns they would have had a chance to stop the killer.

” ‘A gun-free zone is a place where a thug can wreak havoc with impunity,’ he said.”

You know, I’d like to honor Purtillo and all those who think the answer to the violence among us is more guns. I’d like to give him and his free-thinkin’, free-shootin’ cousins a slice of territory they could call their own; a place where they could make all the laws and enforce them with their guns; a place with a nice stout wall around it to stop the stray bullets from flying out and ruining my vegetarian cookouts; a place you could call Gunsylvania.

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6 Replies to “Gunsylvania”

  1. I didn’t check the blog this morning, otherwise I would have brought these articles up in our discussion this afternoon. Very scary stuff. The thought of real people thinking like Ermey’s character in “Full Metal Jacket” is especially frightening.

  2. We’ve heard all this before–during previous bloodbaths–and will hear it again. I’ve heard it from people who think it would be a good idea for citizens to carry firearms on the subway. Bet you’d get some ricochets down there. As for me, secession from the Confederate States of America and its boob president is starting to look better everyday.

  3. “they all just should’ve ganged up on Cho and stopped him by kicking his ass”
    Well that’s part of the problem, isn’t it. In my opinion, one of the reasons suicidal/homicidal youth who feel rejected by society turn to this kind of act is because they’ve seen it works. It’s easy for people to laugh at you and kick you around when you’re not holding a gun, but hardly anyone will stand up to you when you do. Sure if they had stormed him a lot less people would have died, but who’s brave enough to take that risk. Individuals were (like the teacher that gave his life for his students), but not the majority.

  4. In 1980, the homicide rate in the United States was 10.2 per 100,000 population.
    In 2004, the rate was 5.5
    I don’t present this statistic to back up any particular political position. Just a fact that seems worthy of consideration.

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