I certainly hope it's pure coincidence, but I am certainly unsettled to realize that just as the NRA's massive convention wraps up here in St. Louis:
1) Possibly as many as 30 people were gunned down today at Virginia Tech;
2) Saturday morning about 5, a hard-working father of three was shot in the thigh and later died while trying to keep his car from being stolen from right in front of his house, on the 1900 block of Utah Street in Benton Park, less than a mile from my house;
3) Sunday night (last night) we heard several volleys of rapid gunfire from inside our own house. We did call police, the 2nd time but I have to confess I didn't the 1st time. In between and afterwards, we heard the police helicopter hovering overhead -- which is just as unsettling to me as the gunfire.
It doesn't matter to me whether someone is in the military, a police officer, a security guard, a licensed concealed-carry permit holder, a terrorist, a convicted felon on probation, or a gang member who hasn't been caught yet -- I wish no-one carried firearms. Yet, realistically, I recognize the 2nd amendment may have some function, at least in maintaining civilian control over the military.
Both the University of Missouri and Washington University ban firearms from their campuses, as do many public and private entities. I see no problem with that.
Then again, military bases have lots of weapons around, but they're usually among the lowest-crime places in the country.
I remember being pretty stunned the day of the Columbine High School shootings; at the time I was an UMSL student, and we had a pretty poignant discussion on the matter in a class that evening.
Anyway, I don't have any answers. I have far more questions than answers -- but my gut reaction is that firearms are, all-in-all, bad for our society.