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Boulder Weekly

 Arts & Culture


Wayne's Word

Blood zones
by Wayne Laugesen (

It was my proudest moment as the assistant editor of Boulder's own Soldier of Fortune Magazine. On a platform in Las Vegas, I introduced our war-hero publisher, Col. Robert K. Brown, and Joel Myrick—vice principal of Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss.

The year before I had introduced retired Gen. Paul Tibbets, who dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and ushered in the end of World War II. Like Tibbets, Myrick was receiving our annual Humanitarian Award. Myrick symbolizes freedom and peace, as a man who saved the lives of children with selfless disregard for his own life and professional welfare.

At Virginia Tech Monday, no heroes emerged. All that was left after a morning of bloodshed was the carnage of dead and injured victims, all rendered defenseless by laws and university bureaucrats running for cover. The bad guy won hands down, scoring a record kill. He won because the Virginia General Assembly, a year earlier, decided that heroes aren't allowed at Virginia Tech. Loudly and clearly, with the applause of cops and Virginia Tech bureaucrats, politicians enshrined in law the message that college students would remain defenseless targets for rapists and murderous sociopaths.

Like Virginia Tech's Cho Seung-Hui, Pearl High School's16-year-old Luke Woodham was an angry maniac with a plan for mass murder. But Myrick foiled his plan.

Woodham began his day Oct. 1, 1997, by slashing his mother's throat. Then he grabbed a deer rifle and headed off to Pearl High School, where Vice Principal Myrick was at work. At the school, Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and another girl.

Myrick, a short distance away, heard the shots. His instinct was to draw his handgun and take the killer down. But Myrick had obeyed a federal law that forbids guns on school grounds—a law the murderer broke. Myrick's gun was off campus in his pickup. As Myrick ran to retrieve it, Woodham shot seven more students.

Having sent dozens of victims scurrying for their lives, Woodham fled. Authorities learned later he was heading for the junior high, to find unsuspecting victims—just as Cho Seung-Hui did after he killed two students in a dorm and headed to Norris Hall.

But unlike Cho Seung-Hui, Woodham never left the parking lot, because Myrick returned with his gun. He pointed the gun at Woodham, causing the boy to crash his car. He ordered Woodham to the ground, and held him at gunpoint until police came. He's a world-class hero.

Myrick's story and others like it have made one thing clear to those with IQs above 80: Gun control kills children. It disarms those who obey the law—heroes like the Harvard-educated Joel Myrick. In doing so, it leaves easy prey for any suicidal monster who needs only a few minutes for an unimpeded killing spree. No gun law in anyone's wildest imagination derails the plans of a suicidal sociopath.

One cannot intelligently dispute, in this age of school massacres, that gun control kills our youth. Those who can't see this are astonishingly stupid. The studies are in, the murders in "gun free" zones have become routine, and the proof simply leaves no reasonable doubt.

This indisputable fact—that gun control abets murder—led Virginia State Delegate Todd Gilbert to introduce House Bill 1572 in 2006. The bill would have prohibited "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun" on a state university campus. It would have negated the Virginia Tech "no guns" rule that absolutely, positively, beyond question facilitated Cho Seung-Hui in killing 32 students and wounding dozens of others. Without that rule—identical to the policy at the University of Colorado and most other colleges—it's hard to imagine a scenario in which some student or teacher, in gun-rich Virginia, wouldn't have shot Cho Seung-Hui during his murder spree.

Yet cops, university officials and a majority of politicians embrace laws that create defenseless victim zones.

When Gilbert's bill died in committee, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said: "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." Moron.

When a Virginia Tech student with a concealed carry permit was discovered with his gun on campus in 2005, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police backed university officials for disciplining him. Yet, whenever some monster shoots up a school, cops arrive late on the scene. They scurry about, wondering what on earth they should do. Inside, students disarmed by gun control, die by the score.

"We're in the era of the maniac," said Geraldo Rivera, struggling with his colleagues to understand why school massacres have become routine.

Suddenly we have a surplus of maniacs? Hardly. Fact is, Geraldo, it's the era of the "gun free zone." To the sociopath, this rightly means "defenseless victim zone," or "hostility release zone."

President Bush told us Monday that "schools should be places of sanctuary, safety and learning." If so, then please stop idiot politicians from depriving students and faculty their rights to possess guns. Stop them from guaranteeing the maniac that he alone, on any bad day, can possess more firepower than 30,000 students and faculty in a modern "defenseless victim zone."


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