The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, September 18, 2017
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Brady activists: abstinence, not prevention, answer to violence

What message does it send our children when they see men and women use firearms as tools to protect them? Violence is never the answer, especially when it comes to protecting children. A child protected by a handgun might as well be killed for all the mental anguish it causes his parents. Abstinence from self-defense is more important than prevention of murders.

Murder Lasts Forever

The Campaign to Protect Gun Violence’s abstention campaign also warns rape victims about the consequences of using firearms in self-defense.

Imagine dropping your son off for college and learning his roommate—some veteran you’ve never met before—has a gun in his desk. And it’s perfectly legal!

This was the unthinkable state of affairs during the heyday of the G.I. Bill—and you don’t have to know the unbloodied history of colleges in the fifties to know it was absurd.

Do we really want to return to those horrible days when students would bring their rifles to school and go hunting immediately afterward? When teachers, often veterans, were legally allowed to carry concealed handguns? Sure, it might have protected students from crime, but what kind of message did it send to them that guns can prevent crimes?

Prevention is not the answer. You wouldn’t ask men to wear condoms to prevent pregnancy. Abstinence is the only cure both for pregnancy and for firearms.

When it comes to keeping colleges safe for the poor, misguided, violent minority, a small group of self-defense extremists keeps telling us that we just need more defenders.

It doesn’t work. Why, when you define a mass shooting as any shooting where four or more people were killed, the number of shootings stopped by “good guy” civilians with a gun is zero.

More defenders is not the answer. Not when those defenders use firearms. Like millions of Americans, I was heartbroken when I learned about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Why could it not have happened in Texas, or in Oregon, or some other D-rated state? Why an A-rated state like Connecticut?

The only consolation is that, thanks to our brave Connecticut legislators, those children and parents were spared the anguish of learning that they survived only due to a teacher who happened to keep a concealed firearm.

Whether your child is in college or first grade, Texas or Connecticut, no parent should ever have to experience the torment of having their child alive thanks to a firearm in a teacher’s desk or fellow student’s purse.

My son was fortunate enough to live through the Virginia Tech shooting six years ago without having to endure the pain of being protected by a gun-wielding student. Colin and I are both eternally grateful for Virginia’s laws ensuring that none of the thirty-two people who died that day were forced to endure such pain either.

So how do we fight back against a small but powerful group of self-defense lobbyists who wish to inflict the pain of gun defense on students and parents throughout the country? We’re counting on you to get involved and make your voice heard.

Celebrating victims of gun violence can’t be all we do in the wake of tragedies like Virginia Tech or Newtown. It’s time for everyone who opposes effective self-defense to stand with me and the Brady Campaign to Protect Gun Violence. Together we can transform the pain of self-defense into the happy silence of knowing, at least they weren’t saved by a teacher with a concealed carry permit.

When it comes to self-defense, abstention is the only sensible policy.

Andrew Goddard is Chairman of the Board of the National Gun Victims Action Council of activists of the Brady Campaign to Protect Gun Violence. His son, Colin Goddard is the Assistant Director of Victims and Youth Advocacy and Federal Legislation for the Brady Campaign to Protect Gun Violence.

Yes, we made up everything in this article, but we did not make up those titles.

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