It’s a commentary in the Roanoke Times entitled “Unarmed and vulnerable” and written by a Virginia Tech graduate student.

Upon exiting the classroom, we were met at the doors leading outside by two armor-clad policemen with fully automatic weapons, plus their side arms. Once outside, there were several more officers with either fully automatic rifles and pump shotguns, and policemen running down the street, pistols drawn.

It was at this time that I realized that I had no viable means of protecting myself.

Please realize that I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech’s student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offense, but not a prosecutable crime.

I had entrusted my safety, and the safety of others to the police. In light of this, there are a few things I wish to point out.

Did I forget to mention that this was published on August 31, 2006? Bruce Wiles was in a class at Virginia Tech on August 21 when an escaped convict shot and killed a security guard and a sheriff’s deputy. The school went into a lockdown and crisis mode at the time, but apparently no one in the administration learned the bitter lesson that Wiles was trying to teach.

The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed.

I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government.

This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.

Have they learned their lesson now?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli