July 27, 2007

The Wild West Scenario

Representatives from Virginia Tech urged the legislature to let them prohibit concealed carry on campus. They then said that everyone would be safer. Within a year 32 students and the perp were dead. Some people are now urging greater restrictions on guns.

It was the perp’s will to evil that killed people, not some malevolent action on the part of the gun. The perp, while clearly not sane, acted in a way that was based on the premise that his goal should be to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible before he killed himself. So he did some planning and calculation. Now what would have happened had Tech allowed concealed carry? This would have introduced an element of uncertainty into the perp’s calculations. He would have no way of knowing how many people he might aim at would be armed. This would introduce an element of uncertainty into his calculations, if he considers it. If he fails to consider it, and the number of people with concealed carry permits, and who are actually carrying is large enough, it becomes probable that he will be killed at some point. He will probably be killed before he kills 32 students. Were his first victims armed he would have been killed immediately.

Now suppose that a mix of open carry and concealed carry is in effect. The greater the number of guns openly displayed, the more certain he becomes that he will be killed before he his goal of mass murder is accomplished. As the percentage of people carrying rises, the certainty of being killed before accomplishing his goal mass murder increases till it approaches 100%. So the perp must then either abandon his plans, or change his tactics. In either case the massacre at VA Tech would not have happened as it did.

UPDATE: We did the weekly grocery shopping yesterday, and I saw a character that I’d seen before. He was wearing camouflage gear, and had on a tricorne hat. For some reason I checked out the rest of his costume, and I saw a holster with a gun in it. I assume that it was an automatic. I turned to my wife, and as sub rosafully as possible, said to her “He’s packing heat.” She checked, and was rather surprised to see that he was indeed carrying. “Is that legal,” she asked. “It’s an open carry, so I think it is,” I replied.

So the obvious questions are: 1) was the guy sane? The tricorne, and the camouflage are a little bit much, but tolerable. 2) Were we safer because there was an armed civilian in the store? Possibly, as long as he was well trained, and capable of taking defensive action. 3). Did his carrying a gun constitute a threat? I don’t think so. We’ve seen the guy before, and he seems harmless enough. 4)What if everyone did the same thing, but dressed sensibly? I think that if people were walking around carrying, and were properly trained that we would be safer.