March 2002

Friday, March 1st, 2002

The students who stopped a
crazed gunman in late January at
the Appalachian School of Law in
Grundy, Virginia were able to do so
because they were armed with guns,
even though few media reports of the
incident noted that fact. When Peter
Odighizuwa, a discontented student
on the verge of flunking out, killed one
student and two faculty members,
students Tracy Bridges and Mikael
Gross ran to their cars and got their
handguns. The pointed their firearms
at Odighizuwa, who dropped
his weapon and was subdued. Out
of 280 separate news articles about
the event which author John Lott
examined, only four mentioned that
guns were used to stop the attacker.
At Mount Holyoke College, a
women’s liberal arts institution in
Massachusetts, the school’s chapter
of Second Amendment Sisters
(SAS) is lobbying for students’ right
to carry firearms. Christie Caywood,
a junior at Mt. Holyoke, pointing to
a series of rapes in the five-college
area that includes Mt. Holyoke,
insists that possession of firearms
might have enabled the women to
fight off their attackers. She says
that unarmed students are “almost
completely helpless.” She adds, “I’m
at a women’s college and they talk
about empowerment. We shouldn’t
have to depend on others to take
care of ourselves, and that’s what
it’s left at right now.”
Handgun buyers in Maryland
would have to be licensed, much
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like automobile drivers, under legislation
proposed by state gun control
advocates, reports the Associated
Press. Sponsors of the so-called
Handgun Accountability Act, which
was introduced in late January,
said the measure would make gun
owners more accountable for their
firearms. Pro-gun Delegate Carmen
Amedori of Carroll County, though,
says it won’t keep guns out of the
hands of criminals. If the proposal
were to become law, anyone who
wants to buy handguns or so-called
“assault-style” rifles first would have
to provide fingerprint identification
and demonstrate competency in gun
safety.
In Salt Lake City, Bernard Machen,
President of the University
of Utah, is fighting to maintain the
school’s ban on firearms, concealed
or unconcealed. He’s opposing a
recent state order demanding that all
state offices, day care centers, parks,
hospitals and college campuses
remove gun bans for people who
are licensed to carry a concealed
weapon. “I’m not saying we ought
to arm the entire student body,” says
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff,
“but there is plenty of evidence to
suggest that more guns equals less
crime.”
In Asheville, North Carolina, according
to a police report, a man
walked into Lord’s Drug Store on
Merrimon Avenue recently, and said
he would shoot the pharmacist if
he was not given all the Xanax in
the store. Xanax is a powerful antianxiety
drug that is popular among
street dealers. Pharmacist Michael
Overman told police that he grabbed
his own gun and chased the man out
of the store. Police believe Overman
shot at the man at least twice as
he ran away. District Attorney Ron
Moore has no intention of charging
Overman with discharging a gun
within the city limits, or any other
crime. “Technically, maybe you
could make a case, but I don’t think
12 citizens would ever convict,” he
stated.
In Arizona, the State Senate
Judiciary Committee reportedly is
considering a measure to mandate
that firearms in the home be kept
locked up. Another would require
background checks on all firearms
transferred at gun shows, threatening
felony prosecution of private
citizens other than licensed dealers
who transfer their personal firearms
at any gathering of firearm collectors
or enthusiasts without first obtaining
government approval.
In Minnesota, pro-gun advocates
in the state legislature are pushing
a proposed Personal Protection Act
which would standardize the right
to carry permit process throughout
the state so that law-abiding citizens
would be able to obtain a carry permit
to protect themselves and their
families while outside their homes.