Saturday, April 21, 2007

Killed by compromise

Compromise isn't always a good thing.

In Virginia, it was easy for a student with a history of psychological issues that fell short of certifiable illness to buy handguns. But gun-licensed students and teachers were not allowed to carry weapons on campus. This compromise led to a situation where an armed killer could shoot down tens of unarmed people.

If the sale of guns had been banned in Virginia, it would have been harder - though not impossible - for the killer to acquire his weapons. If everyone had been allowed to carry guns, the death toll would have been far lower - maybe just the two people who were shot initially.

The present compromise means there are likely to be more shootings, and higher death tolls, in America than would be the case if either side had its way entirely.

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