The Internet and the world's newspapers are already swamped with garbage like this posting on "California Conservative", arguing that the killings at Virginia Tech could have been prevented (or at least mitigated) if the students there were permitted to carry firearms to class. Money quote:
Today, a lone gunman killed more than 30 young men and women. The wrath of millions of Americans should be directed upon the political party, legislature, and university administrators that made it possible. Hundreds more will die tomorrow at the hands of armed gunmen who prey on disarmed Americans.
And then there's this, in the same vein, from today's Philadelphia Inquirer:
The killings on the Virginia Tech campus, the worst such rampage in our history, might have been mitigated if just one member of the faculty or a student had the means to return fire.
I have owned guns for decades. On rare occasions, I have had to "show" one of my guns to people with bad intentions. Not surprisingly, they changed their plans to take my money and do me harm. The Virginia Tech killings confirm the value of empowering ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons.
So, in the opinion of these writers, and others espousing the same nonsense, the situation would have been so much better if, instead of one young man with a loaded gun there had been 20 or more of them, all pulling their weapons. Want to bet what would have happened?
Sure--one of the students might have killed Cho Seung-Hui; but I'd wager that one or more of them would have also killed or wounded several other students or instructors in the ensuing melee...particularly if the initial shot didn't take Cho out immediately.
Not to mention the capacity for even more tragedies before and after. If every time an individual has a beef with somebody else, he has deadly force ready and available at a moment's notice, how often will that deadly force be called upon? Imagine two student bodies, both armed to the teeth, confronting each other at a hotly contested basketball game, for instance, between long-time rivals. I've seen fist-fights break out at such events over a stare, a bumping, an overheard comment. What would it be like if one or more of the offended parties could regularly brandish a handgun instead of his knuckles?
And this doesn't even begin to deal with the increased likelihood of suicide: Students despondent over bad grades, ruined romances, and even more trivial matters have been known to turn to overdoses, hangings, and other methods when all looks black. How much easier it would be to simply pull out the gun in the nightstand in the dorm room.
The rest of the world is appalled by the US insistence on a "gun in every home" culture. In Philadelphia, there have already been more than 100 homicides with guns in 2007; in Blacksburg, VA, 33 people are dead from shootings in one day. In all of Great Britain, there were fewer than 50 deaths (both deliberate and accidental) from firearms in all of 2006. Yet the anti-gun-control forces in this country will insist that stringent measures like those in the United Kingdom don't work (handguns are completely banned from private ownership there).
Tell that to the 26,000 students of Virginia Tech today. Go ahead; I dare you.