Jonathan McGlumphy

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

In late August, much of the nation was horrified to learn through electronic and print news reports of a horrid event that occurred in Blacksburg, Virginia.
 There, William Morva, 24, had escaped from a hospital where he was being treated.  He had been jailed while awaiting trial for trying to rob a store last year.  After escaping from the hospital, he apparently shed his orange prison jumpsuit and allegedly went on a rampage, becoming the suspect in the slayings of a hospital guard and a sheriff’s deputy.
 After a massive manhunt, Morva was captured.  During the crisis, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) closed down on the first day of the semester, but only after remaining open for morning classes.
 The situation gave rise to a questioning of the University policy prohibiting the possession of guns on campus.  The school newspaper, Collegiate Times, ran several pieces regarding the policy.  A Graduate Researcher in Virginia Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering wrote a perceptive column proclaiming that “arming citizens could help security.”
 The author, as newspaper editor Ellen Biltz informed Point Blank, was Jonathan McGlumphy, the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for October.
 In nominating McGlumphy for the Award, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John M. Snyder noted that “it always takes the courage of one’s convictions to stand up for what is right against designated and recognized authority.  Jonathan has done that with his column.  He has stood up in a particular situation in defense of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.  He has done it in a forceful but diplomatic manner.  We applaud him for it.  He most certainly deserves the recognition of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award.”
 McGlumphy, who was born on George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1979 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, stated, “we must give due criticism to the University for its decisions that put students in greater danger than was necessary.  I am not so much referring to the decision to allow morning classes to take place, but rather the decades-old policy that prohibits students, faculty and staff from legally carrying firearms on campus.  This ban even goes so far as to include those who have valid Concealed Handgun Permits.
 “No doubt many people are thinking: ‘Guns have no place in an institute of learning!’  The most commonly used argument in favor of campus gun bans is that there are times when emotions run high – either because of an in-class discussion or a dispute between a student and professor over a grade – and someone with a gun could easily lose control and shoot someone else.”
 McGlumphy pointed out that “the campus gun ban is completely artificial, and relies on the honor system.  Because we don’t have metal detectors scanning every car and person that enters the campus, it is impossible to truly prevent someone from bringing a firearm if they are so inclined.”
 He noted also that,  “if your emotions are running high, you don’t need a gun to do serious harm to another human being.  Common objects such as pencils, large hole-punchers and metal trash cans can be turned into weapons very quickly…Remember that a gun is just a tool, and it takes a human being’s free will to use it.”
 McGlumphy wrote “a person who has a CHP has gone through both firearm training and an extensive background check to obtain that permit.  CHP holders are the good guys (and gals), and statistically are less given to violent crime than the rest of the population.  If we’re concerned about guns in residence halls, realize that in just about every state that issues CHPs, including Virginia, you have to be at least 21 to obtain a permit…A violent criminal who clearly has no respect for other people’s lives was running loose on campus, his precise whereabouts unknown.  While the police did an excellent job of patrolling campus, they simply cannot be everywhere at once.  Is it not obvious that all students, faculty and staff would have been safer if CHP holders were not banned from carrying their weapons on campus?”
 Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2002 and now is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech.  He and his wife, the former Shannon Smartt, are the proud parents of a daughter, Angel Anderson, 7.