Take Back His Bullets

By Christopher Preston

On April 2, The Daily Illini posted an article written by Jacob Vial that argued recently debated legislation in the Illinois General Assembly would violate citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment. “In addition to the egregious violations these bills pose to the individual right to bear arms, these pieces of legislation don’t specifically target violent criminals,” writes Vial, stating that law-abiding citizens permitted to carry handguns are not the source of violent gun crimes.

But Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman in the abysmal events that took place at Virginia Tech on April 16, was a law-abiding citizen up until he took part in one of the most sickening and tragic shootings this country has ever seen. The man was a U.S. citizen, not a felon, which permitted his legal purchase of a 9-millimeter Glock 19 and 22-caliber Walther P-22 pistol. Surely, you say, he was only purchasing these weapons on a completely legal basis, protected by his Second Amendment right and with only the intention of defending himself because an ordinary purse would not do the job. But because Cho Seung-Hui was given his so-called “right to bear arms” by the state of Virginia, he violated the most important right secured by our Constitution that belonged to 32 innocent people: the right to life.

And I’m sure that while our country’s universities, including our own, take up student discussions and faculty meetings on how to secure campuses and prevent such happenings, Jacob Vial will be there shouting that a shotgun or pistol should be in the hands of every professor to defend her or his students, justifying their legal right to bear arms in defense and their right to the occasional outing to hunt with a machine gun.

Christopher Preston

freshman in LAS