I haven't yet blogged about the tragedy at Virginia Tech, but my $.02 is still worth $.0221 Canadian.
I'm wearing maroon but no orange today (not on purpose to support the Hokies, whatever a Hokie is). I was in Atlanta at the end of December. I saw a lot of Hokies who were in town for the (insert giant corporate sponsor name here)
Cho Seung-Hui was profoundly disturbed young man. Unfortunately, predicting his violence is only possible in hindsight. He could have as easily slipped into substance abuse and life on the streets, or gone on to a successful career as a writer, or most anything else, though his social skills could have used an upgrade.
I grew up with guns, but today there are too many guns and they are too easy to obtain and there are too many people too willing to use them. As far as gun control, I am in favor of it. That being said, I hunted with firearms from the time I was eight. At 11, I got a shotgun for Xmas. I hunted (birds and varmints) through high school and once or twice later. When I was growing up, we had a small arsenal in my house. (now passed own to my siblings, the arsenal, not the house.)
I used to carry a .357 magnum for personal protection. I had a nice leather shoulder holster. I wore it openly sometimes and concealed sometimes. Oh, did I mention I worked in Alaska in bear territory? I sold my pistol when I moved from Alaska to the big "scary" city.
I had an uncle (by marriage) who didn't hunt in my memory, but slept with a pistol under his pillow, traveled with it in his pocket, or on the seat beside him in the car. I don't know what he was afraid of, or thought would happen. His son (he's the oldest cousin and I'm the youngest) learned to hunt under the tutelage of my father and other uncles. After my dad died when I was four, my cousin was one of my father surrogates. He was a life member of the NRA, a certifiable gun enthusiast, but not a nut. I can remember reading American Rifleman (the "organ" of the NRA) from a young age. I remember being amazed that you could subscribe to a magazine forever.
Anyway, a few years ago, we were talking and somehow the NRA came up. I was gobsmacked to learn that he had renounced his membership. His comment was along the lines of "they never talk/write about shooting and hunting anymore, all they do is beg for money to do more politicking." He's a hunter plain and simple, and also anti-handgun, anti-assault weapon. He definitely has the smarts to see through the NRA's bovine excrement. I only wish more people had the mental wherewithal to do their own thinking and not let the NRA dictate their position.