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U. Alabama Huntsville Shooting Shouldn't Have Happened

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Just a few days ago, a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) shot three colleagues–including her department head–to death after apparently being denied a tenured position. In the wake of the tragedy, it was discovered that this woman committed fratricide in 1986, but the killing was subsequently ruled an accident and the records seem to have vanished. In the midst of this tragedy, what is the Brady Campaign’s focus? Preventing citizens from lawfully carrying weapons into a California Starbucks.

In addition to conveniently ignoring this tragedy, the Brady Campaign has failed to acknowledge the UAH gun control policies.  The University, like many others in our nation, has embraced the Brady Campaign’s “ultimate solution.”  The university had a total ban on weapons, even though such a ban is not mandated by Alabama law.  Page 89 of the UAH Staff Handbook reads:

Firearms or other weapons (including explosives) are not to be kept or brought onto University property by anyone, whether holding a firearms license or not, except police officers and other law enforcement officials in the exercise of their lawful duties.

If we are to believe the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership, this is an ideal policy geared towards keeping the campus safe.  This policy will prevent people from using weapons to commit crimes on campus because it’s against the rules, and offenders and their dangerous sidearms can be removed from the premises. There’s only one problem, three UAH biology professors are dead and several others were injured.  The Brady Campaign’s policy has failed again, and yet there is little or no discussion of the simple fact that “gun-free zones” have never stopped gun crime, and never will.

I don’t want to minimize the tragedy facing the families of the deceased, but the other members of the UAH community should be thankful this professor didn’t let her anger spill outside the department.  There would have been no one to stop her.  This is the cost of our collective devotion to failed policies.  Until our lawmakers acknowledge the truth about defense-free zones and recognize that a policy reversal does not necessarily represent a condemnation of the good intentions of the original policymakers, multiple homicides in “gun-free” zones will continue with equally tragic results.

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