Unfortunately for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, we receive the most attention after a sickened murderer goes on a rampage. It's the tragedy of "trigger points." Grave events or dire circumstances are necessary before the public recognizes the need for significant changes to status quo. In a nutshell, blood translates to action.
There's nothing SCCC hates worse.
Because of this, we have a policy of not immediately politicizing, co-opting or capitalizing on tragedy to score political points. While SCCC feels that gun-free zones empower murderers to carry out their shootings with confidence, we wish to preserve respect for the dead and the grieving.
This approach didn't stop at least one newspaper from claiming the shooting at the University of Alabama - Huntsville would be exploited for political gain on both sides.
It's true; our opponents do not share our respect for sensitive events, or anniversaries of such events. They base "lie-ins" and other staged political activities around anniversaries of events like Virginia Tech - days which should be set aside for memory, prayer and healing, not heated rhetorical discussion.
Now, just 3 days after Dr. Amy Bishop used an illegal weapon to murder three of her colleagues and injure three more, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus published a news release, claiming "this tragic incident shows once again that an angry individual with access to a deadly handgun can commit mass murder wherever people gather..."
"Grassroots" groups such as this, funded by the larger anti-gun lobby, have undertaken a very easy chore: lobby for status quo. They do so by standing on the caskets of the dead to propagate their confusing arguments and mindless appeals to emotion.
They claim the shooting at UAH bolsters their cause. In truth, it's an illustration of the deadly consequences of a gun-free zone. Was Dr. Bishop at all dissuaded from her murderous intent by a piece of paper taped to the door stating that carrying guns was against the rules? Was she deterred by laws against carrying a concealed handgun without a permit, any more than she was deterred by the laws against premeditated murder? Wasn't Dr. Bishop actually secure in the knowledge that not one of her University-compliant colleagues would be armed or capable of resisting her execution-style rampage?
Reports indicate that Dr. Bishop's gun malfunctioned, cutting short her cold-blooded rampage. Her colleagues, whose only recourse had been to duck and cover, rushed her and pushed her out the door. (This counters claims of critics who say that citizen intervention in a mass shooting is not only dangerous, but unlikely.)
It is difficult to understand the mindset of a psychopathic killer, especially when it's a Harvard-trained, highly-educated biology professor, but it does illustrate that a criminal can look like anyone, that a shooting can happen anywhere, and that there is no such thing as "safe" especially when it comes to unenforceable gun-free zones.
Again, while SCCC feels that events such as Dr. Bishop's spree are a tragic consequence of "on your honor" gun-free zones, and provide a clarion example of why these deadly policies must be changed, we seek to pursue a peaceful change to these policies through conventional channels. We seek this change not just in defense of the right to be armed, or for extra gun-fondling time during class, but to preempt the further spilling of blood.
We respectfully submit that all parties in this debate must exercise great discretion and sensitivity by not capitalizing on heartbreak to further their goals.