On Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said the death toll at VA Tech might have been reduced if a student or faculty member had been carrying a concealed weapon. “If somebody had been able to stop the shooter before he was able to kill that many people, there may not have been that many,” he said Thursday during an interview with campus radio station KUAR at the University of Arkansas. This is such a ridiculous comment, because it ignores the fact that adding another person with a weapon to the situation might have resulted in a fire fight that would have killed even more innocent people. Cho engaged in a surprise attack that no except a person trained in military or law enforcement might have been prepared to counter.
Huckabee also said that reviving the gun control debate is not the proper reaction to the tragedy this week, but that instead the focus should be on how a mentally ill person managed to slip through the cracks in our society. “What was really most troubling about this situation was not just his choice of mayhem in terms of a weapon, but more disturbing was the fact that here was a clearly mentally person who was exhibiting many, many signs and he still slipped through the system and was able to do this.” I agree with Huckabee that the most troubling element of these events is that Cho, despite his record of mental problems, was still able to pass the federal background check and get guns.
Given his prior behavior, all that could be safely said about Cho was that he might have been a danger to himself. He didnâ€™t have a record of violent behavior towards others. I donâ€™t think that the gun was at fault here, but it was the thought processes of a person who decided that an act of mass murder was his only alternative. Huckabeeâ€™s â€œwhat ifâ€ makes for a nice Hollywood action sequence, but it isnâ€™t very realistic to think that adding more weapons into that type of situation would have been the way to avoid excess bloodshed. Comments such as the one above demonstrate why Huckabee is a GOP also ran who probably wonâ€™t even register a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar.
Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com. Â His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics
Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverseÂ