Rep. Steve Gallardo’s bizarre claim that passing a law preventing guns on campus would prevent massacres like Virginia Tech – but Virginia already had that ban!

Time and again we see that gun free zones, aka law-abiding citizen disarmament zones, do nothing but make law-abiding citizens easy targets for any maniac with a gun. This was recently borne out by the tragic events at Virginia Tech, a so-called “gun-free zone.” But this bitter experience has not reduced the fanatical zeal of extremists like Steve Gallardo to relieve us of our right to self-defense.

Gallardo states that he sponsored a bill to ban guns on Arizona college campuses “so that all students will know they are safe while they are in class.” Tribune, 5/15/07. Surely Gallardo must know that Virginia law prohibits guns on campus, but that didn’t stop Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho.

As an elected official, the fact that Gallardo would so blatantly mislead the Tribune’s readers by leaving that critical detail out is unconscionable. Even more, that he could claim that prohibiting guns on campus would ensure the safety of students in light of this terrible tragedy is incredible. Unless dead can be considered “safe,” the Virginia Tech gun free zone didn’t protect the students who were murdered in their classrooms, and a law prohibiting guns at ASU or U of A would not protect those students either. Rather, these gun free zones help ensure that anyone wanting to cause massive deaths in such a place will not meet significant resistance until many lives have been lost. I wouldn’t feel the least bit safe knowing that any non-police officer who happened to be carrying a gun was doing so in violation of law and therefore a criminal.

U of A and ASU already have signs everywhere stating that guns are prohibited on campus. Since it’s already clear to anyone on campus that those schools are “gun-free zones,” making it against the law as well seems a bit redundant, nothing more than a feel-good measure.

At the same time as he pushes to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, Gallardo has sponsored legislation to abolish the death penalty. Those positions are about as logical as his claim that the Virginia Tech students were actually safe in class because their campus was a “gun-free zone”–let’s lock up law abiding citizens who simply want to protect themselves, but if we happen to catch one of these monsters like the Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho alive, by all means let’s coddle him and protect him from the full accountability that only the death penalty can provide.

An article by Howie Fischer in the East Valley Tribune noted,

Backers of the legislation noted that it would have allowed people to be jailed for 30 days if they were illegally carrying a concealed weapon while committing or trying to commit a felony — and a year in prison if the offense were a violent crime.

But Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, called that meaningless. He said anyone who is going to commit a felony isn’t going to worry about also being charged with carrying a gun.

Uh, isn’t that the whole argument against gun control?


  1. Bill Bennett had a great take on this which I posted right after the VTU Massacre. Go back and view it here:

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