I'm not a member of the NRA. I've fired a gun only once in my life, and that was just a few months ago. The closest thing to a weapon I own is a steak knife, and I use it to cut steak (sometimes vegetables too, I don't have a separate vegetable knife). So gun ownership and carry laws aren't much of an issue for me.
The recent events at Virginia Tech are really unfortunate. I feel sorry for everyone who had to be involved in that--the grief must be overwhelming. I don't know how many people choose to deal with grief, but the most popular American way seems to be to assign blame, and assign it widely and loudly. Of course the shooter is ultimately at fault, but why stop there ?
It took only hours for Jack Thompson to get up on his soap box to blame violent video games for the incident.
It took less time than that for others to blame the Second Amendment.
A Virginia Tech spokesman was quick to point out the university does not allow handguns on campus, even for those who have a license to carry them. His statement reads that "this will help parents, students, faculty, and visitors feel safe on our campus."
The reasoning here entirely escapes me. It must just be a feel-good thing to say.
The effect is that the lawful people will not have protection when it may be needed. Does he believe for a second that an assailant is going to plan a murdering spree, but stop short at the last second and say, "golly gee, my plan to kill all of these people would have worked perfectly, except they don't allow me to take a gun on campus! Oh well!" Yeah I know the expression is old and trite, but I'll say it anyway: When guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns.
I'm not saying everyone should be allowed to carry firearms around with them at all times. As I understand it, getting a concealed carry permit is no walk in the park as it stands, and it maybe could be a bit more difficult, just to make sure the people carrying weapons are really qualified to be doing so. If a person proves him or herself worthy through testing, background checks, registration of weapons, and whatever else to get the license, then I don't have a problem with it.
Here's what happens in a similar situation when there is someone with a gun nearby.