August 2005

Downrange: 08/05

A Tale of Two Gun Bans
Virginia Tech officials have banned guns on campus — even for concealed-carry holders eligible to wear guns elsewhere in the state — and has threatened to arrest anyone who refuses to disarm or leave campus.

The gun ban would clearly prohibit holders of concealed weapons permits from carrying firearms on campus. Earlier this spring, Tech came under heavy criticism from gun owners’ rights groups for disciplining a student who carried a concealed handgun to class.

The student had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, university officials argued that the school’s decades-old gun ban supersedes the permit. Even more confusing, Tech’s policies didn’t address whether faculty or campus visitors could bring guns to campus. Tech’s student life policies and state policies for state employees prohibit students and classified employees from coming to campus armed.

Students and employees who want to keep guns on campus must store them at the Virginia Tech Police Department. Anyone caught carrying a firearm onto campus, the policy continues, will be asked to remove it immediately. Failure to comply could result in university disciplinary action or arrest against students and employees and trespassing charges against anyone else.

An anti-violence policy that was under consideration by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors would prohibit students and all university employees except for law enforcement officers from carrying firearms on campus. However, visitors with concealed weapons permits could bring guns on campus, but not into campus facilities.

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Ban Guns, Then Knives
Three emergency room doctors have suggested in the pages of the British Medical Journal that a rise of stabbing attacks could be cured by … banning the sale of kitchen knives with pointed ends.

Such points have no culinary use, but they sometimes inflict fatal wounds in the course of domestic arguments, the authors argue.

I am not making this up.

Because the average life of pointed kitchen knives is ten years, it would be some time before such a policy could reduce stabbings, unless draconian confiscations were put in place — like those used in gun roundups several years ago.

The authors mention that Louis XIV forbade pointed knives at table to avoid fatal solutions to drunken squabbles. I think it is only fitting that a country that took away its citizens’ guns should have to eat its steaks with butter knives.


-Todd Woodard