That's how I feel about my student (one of a few I know who have gun carry permits), as well. She's a responsible adult; I trust her not to use her gun improperly, and if something bad happened, I'd want her to be armed because I trust her to respond appropriately, making the rest of us safer.And ignoring defensive gun use. [Link]
Virginia Tech doesn't have that kind of trust in its students (or its faculty, for that matter). Neither does the University of Tennessee. Both think that by making their campuses "gun-free," they'll make people safer, when in fact they're only disarming the people who follow rules, law-abiding people who are no danger at all.
This merely ensures that the murderers have a free hand. If there were more responsible, armed people on campuses, mass murder would be harder.
In fact, some mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens. Though press accounts downplayed it, the 2002 shooting at Appalachian Law School was stopped when a student retrieved a gun from his car and confronted the shooter. Likewise, Pearl, Miss., school shooter Luke Woodham was stopped when the school's vice principal took a .45 fromhis truck and ran to the scene. In February's Utah mall shooting, it was an off-duty police officer who happened to be on the scene and carrying a gun.
Police can't be everywhere, and as incidents from Columbine to Virginia Tech demonstrate, by the time they show up at a mass shooting, it's usually too late. On the other hand, one group of people is, by definition, always on the scene: the victims. Only if they're armed, they may wind up not being victims at all.
"Gun-free zones" are premised on a fantasy: That murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student, or Bradford Wiles, are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers like Cho Seung-hui. That's an insult. Sometimes, it's a deadly one.
On February 28, 2012, an angry 28-year-old gunman entered a medical office building in Colorado Springs and took three women hostage. After a three-hour standoff, the police shot him, and he died later that evening at a local hospital. The hostages were unharmed.Yet the two largest newspapers in the state took two very different approaches in reporting the heroic actions of one of the clinic physicians, Dr. Jeff Ferguson, a legally armed civilian.The Colorado Springs Gazette noted:Ferguson said he has a concealed weapons permit and he grabbed his gun, which was stored nearby. He stood between the gunman and others as an estimated 20 employees and 30 patients in his offices went down the stairs. Some of the patients were in surgical gowns or partially undressed as they left the building, he said.The local CBS affiliate KKTV reported similarly: “Doctor With Gun Saves Others From Hostage Situation”:In the chaos, employees started shouting about another exit way, one Dr. Ferguson didn’t want the gunman to know about. He guarded the exit with his gun, allowing everyone else to escape and ready to shoot if he had to. … Dr. Ferguson got out and gave SWAT valuable information about the layout and the man inside.The Denver Post? They did not mention an armed civilian:Employees and clients at other offices in the medical building were able to escape with the help of SWAT officers.Most people would regard the Denver Post version as inaccurate and misleading. But this kind of misleading reporting is not an isolated occurrence.