It wasn’t that long ago when I started writing about a shooting at the University of Virginia. It was a rough day for a lot of people; folks who lost friends and loved ones, folks who didn’t know if their loved ones were alright, and a lot of folks who just felt their heart hurt over the senseless loss.
But we also knew it wouldn’t take long before the gun control vultures came out of the woodwork.
Since then, there’s been a lot of discussion, but it seems one of the latest tidbits is a Virginia lawmaker seeking to ban guns on all college campuses.
Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds and other University officials, including University Police Chief Tim Longo, have drafted a bill that would outlaw carrying a firearm at state-owned colleges. Under the proposed bill, any individual convicted of possessing a firearm on University property would be subject to a class one misdemeanor.
Currently, Virginia law forbids the carrying and possession of firearms on Commonwealth-owned property, with the exclusion of institutions of higher education. The new bill would amend the existing policy to eliminate the exemption for higher education, and would allow campus law enforcement to obtain a search warrant if they receive reports of illegal possession of firearms in university buildings. Under current policy, law enforcement is prevented from obtaining a search warrant if the suspect is not accused of an additional crime.
“[The bill] will give law enforcement more ability to intervene when there’s a suspicion that a firearm is present,” Deeds said.
The proposed bill comes after the Nov. 13 shooting when second-year College student Devin Chandler, fourth-year College student D’Sean Perry and third-year College student Lavel Davis Jr were killed. Two other students, third-year College student Mike Hollins and second-year College student Marlee Morgan, also suffered non-fatal injuries.
That may sound swell, but there’s just one problem with that. Guns are already banned on campuses.
See, current law allows the universities themselves to determine if guns will be permitted. Only one, Liberty University, does.
As a result, they’re already banned at every other college in the state.
That ban didn’t stop the shooting at the University of Virginia, nor did it do a think to stop the shooting at Virginia Tech, either.
But Liberty University has never had an issue.
What this bill would do, though, is ban guns on Liberty’s campus as well, regardless of what the school or students may want, all because of a desire to grandstand because the existing law that would basically do the same thing failed.
See, the problem is that it’s not the otherwise law-abiding citizen just walking around with a gun that’s an issue on Virginia campuses. The problem is the guy who will carry in spite of the rules in place at the time. The University of Virginia shooter was such a one, and while the law actually didn’t shield him, he still never faced charges for having that gun on his person where it wasn’t permitted.
So while I have no doubt that the gun control crowd will celebrate this effort, it’s important to remember that literally nothing will be accomplished with this measure.
Especially since, frankly, it’s not likely to pass.