Thursday, April 24, 2008

Man Who Sold Gun Used in VT Massacre to Speak on Campus

While I agree with Eric Thompson's stance on allowing concealed-carry permits on college campuses, and elsewhere, it doesn't seem to be the brightest idea to have him speak at Virginia Tech.
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The online weapons dealer who sold one of the guns used in the Virginia Tech shootings is planning to visit the campus Thursday, a decision the school's spokesman called "terribly offensive."

Dealer Eric Thompson was scheduled to speak at the school Thursday night as part of a weeklong demonstration in favor of allowing people to carry concealed weapons at colleges.

A school spokesman denounced the visit in a statement Wednesday, saying it was "terribly offensive" that Thompson would set foot on campus.

"The organizers appear to be incredibly insensitive to the families of the victims who lost loved ones and to the injured students still recovering from this horrendous tragedy," said the statement issued by spokesman Larry Hincker.

Andrew Goddard, whose son Colin was injured in the shootings, said it is Thompson's First Amendment right to speak at the school but added: "I think it's rather insensitive of him, though."

Ken Stanton, president of the university's chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the group advocating weapons on campus, said that he lost a friend in the April 2007 shootings and that it taught him "firsthand the importance of self-protection."

Virginia Tech last week marked the first anniversary of the shootings in a dormitory and classroom building in which 33 died, including shooter Seung-Hui Cho.
Organizers really need to step back and consider the emotional impact of this. It's a noble cause they're pursuing, but the message will definitely be drowned out in the ensuing uproar.

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