On the Aug. 26 Op/Ed Page A5 there is a cartoon depicting two women. One woman is holding a cup of coffee. The other woman is holding up a calendar.
The text cloud pointing to the woman holding the calendar reads, “Shouldn’t there be a ‘leave your guns at home’ day?”
I would submit that the answer is no. In recent history every mass shooting has been at a time or place where properly licensed concealed carry weapons were banned.
The 1991 Luby’s shooting right here in Killeen took place before the concealed-carry “will issue” law was passed. You may remember that Suzanna Hupp lost both her parents to George Hennard’s murderous attack on unarmed lunch diners that day. She was later elected a Texas state representative and championed the right for Texas citizens’ concealed-carry so that they could protect themselves and their loved ones from madmen like Hennard.
Seung-Hui Cho, the gunman at Virginia Technical College in 2007, took advantage of the fact that guns were not permitted on campus on any day.
He had free range to slaughter his fellow students knowing that there were no guns in the immediate proximity of the buildings he chose to attack. He killed 32 and wounded 17 others. In fact, there is still no provision for concealed weapons on college campuses in any state that I know of, not even for adult faculty members.
Maj. Nidal Hasan chose the safety of no concealed carry weapons policy of Fort Hood to allegedly execute 13 and wound 30 victims in 2009.
He was eventually stopped by two federal police officers who shot him. He had plenty of time to shoot his fellow unarmed soldiers and one civilian who were trapped in a building unable to defend themselves.
The recent mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., by James Holmes was also done in a movie theater which banned concealed-carry firearms. The shooter had a target rich environment with no threat of return fire from the movie audience or theater staff. Twelve people were killed and 50 wounded. They had no way to defend themselves from a nut with multiple weapons and lots of ammunition.
By leaving our guns at home we empower these cowards to prey on us. Being a sheep is contrary to everything Texan to me.
I suggest that even if you do not wish to carry a concealed weapon, you support your friends and neighbors who do.
Moreover, I feel it is unsafe to frequent homes, institutions and businesses where concealed carry is not permitted. That is where the next group of victims will be assembled when some madman does not leave his guns at home that day.
George Van Riper