Virginia Tech: Lefty AZ columnist continues to get it


April 19, 2007, 10:58 AM

You may wish to send kudos to Ed at

I was interviewed by local left-of-center columnist Ed Montini back in 2000, when we were dealing with the Arizona Dept of Revenue trying to keep a rape victim (and DoRev employee) from using Arizona's weapons checking statute as her rapist-father was due to be released and placed in a half-way house one block away.

I was frankly amazed that he came down on our side back then (while I suffered some arrows from his quiver.)

And now, today's article featuring Ed's interview of Alan Korwin of on the topic of Virginia Tech and the similar situation in Arizona's campi:
New ASU mascot: The Sitting Duck

E.J. Montini
Republic columnist
Apr. 19, 2007 12:00 AM

The students at Arizona State University are sitting ducks.

There is no polite way to put it. Our universities have security plans. They have police forces. There is a systemwide anti-weapons policy imposed by the Arizona Board of Regents. In spite of all that - and partly because of it - we may as well hang a sign on Sun Devil Stadium reading: "Nothing here but victims."

"We know that what happened at Virginia Tech is possible," said Alan Korwin, a local author and publisher who operates a Web site called "We know that it has happened in the past. The next time it happens, we can't say that it took us by surprise. But our response has been, 'Let's make people defenseless.' "

ASU bans the "use, possession, display or storage of any weapon, explosive device or fireworks" from "all land and buildings owned, leased or under the control" of the university. The only acceptable self-defense tools are over-the-counter chemical repellants.

"Weapons have been outlawed for criminals since Cain slew Abel and it doesn't work," Korwin said. "You could outlaw guns completely and they'd be as difficult to get as an ounce of cocaine. We don't allow cocaine, yet you can buy as much as you want in any city."

At Tucson's University of Arizona, where a man stalked and killed three women and then himself in 2002, a police sergeant explained the school's emergency-response tactics to The Republic earlier this week. He said, "The old response was to secure the area and call in SWAT (team). They don't wait for SWAT (anymore) because there is an active shooter inside and the longer you wait, the more people die."

That is why some suggest allowing average people to carry concealed weapons on campus. In Arizona, any law-abiding 21-year-old can obtain a concealed-carry permit. The idea of armed students roaming the campus frightens most of us, however.

But what about faculty and staff?

"For instance, teachers who would be willing to be trained," Korwin said. "I'd be fine with that. How effective would it be? I don't know."

State Rep. Russell Pearce told me Wednesday that the university's current policy "needs to be changed."

He added, "It just so happens I have a couple of e-mails from ASU students asking to at least allow CCW (concealed-weapon permit holders) to carry guns, as should be. I intend to run legislation to deal with this."

I wondered what Gov. Janet Napolitano thought. Her spokeswoman, Jeanine L'Ecuyer, told me, "(The governor) said that we need to focus on the families and what happened at Virginia Tech. Using this as platform for a gun-control debate she thinks is just not appropriate."

What about a safety debate? I asked.

"We have good safety plans in place and two days ago the governor asked all three of the state's universities to review their plans. . . . It is the right time to go back and review them, and make sure they are sufficient," L'Ecuyer said.

"The other thing she has asked them to do is that when Virginia Tech is finished with its post-incident review that they be in contact with that university to find out, for lack of a better term, lessons learned and whether or not we can apply any of them here in Arizona."

All of that won't stop a madman, however. It didn't stop him at Virginia Tech. It probably wouldn't prevent such a person from getting to you or me, since most businesses ban weapons inside the workplace. The unspoken reason for keeping things this way is simple:

It isn't the occasional armed lunatic whom we fear the most. It's the sane people.
Reach Montini at or (602) 444-8978. Read his blog at

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April 19, 2007, 05:59 PM
One shameless bump... :evil:


April 19, 2007, 06:02 PM
Damn... that's actually sensible.

April 19, 2007, 06:14 PM
I emailed Ed Montini expressing my sincere gratitude for him speaking out.
And I asked him to consider that college students that have qualified for permits should also be allowed the right to self defense.

April 19, 2007, 10:21 PM
Just carry the gun and shut up about it.

April 20, 2007, 01:05 AM
One can do that, or advise others to do that, while still fighting to change bad laws.


April 20, 2007, 01:58 AM
Just carry the gun and shut up about it.
That might be illegal. And if the student is caught they could lose their right to carry and possibly even own a gun.

April 20, 2007, 08:32 AM
That might be illegal. More likely a violation of POLICY rather than illegal, unless the regents' rules have been codified in law.

Same situation in Virginia--a violation of college rules, not statute.


April 22, 2007, 01:25 PM
Just carry the gun and shut up about it.
That's a good way to get jailed and denied a college education, to say nothing of the felony causing inability to ever go legally armed again. Big, big risk, that "test case" route.

This article is right on the money. No in-your-face attack can be stopped by dial-a-prayer. In such situations, people's ability to defend themselves is of paramount importance. In reality, it often is the only thing that can stop the attack. To have that ability forcibly taken away is illegal and unconstitutional. It should be criminal. No two ways about it.

It's not that having a few hundred armed persons on a 20000-student campus would necessarily stop such incidents. However, it would allow people to choose for themsleves whether to take charge of their own security for those times when they're not standing right next to an armed, uniformed police officer. That question is of life and death importance to the person being attacked.

April 22, 2007, 02:33 PM
There are a lot of left wing pro-self defense people out there. All kinds. Dems, open Socialists, agrarian communists, IWW commies, anarcho-communists, greens, you name it. Left wing doesn't = pacifist.

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