Pro-gun student: I told you so

Posted: Friday, April 20 at 09:21 am ET by Bill Dedman,

Bradford Wiles has been saying it all week: I told you so.

A graduate research assistant in the department of human development at Virginia Tech, Wiles wrote an op-ed in the Virginia Tech school newspaper in August pleading for the right to carry a gun on campus. He wrote the piece shortly after a shooting near campus triggered a lockdown.

"The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed," he wrote to the university president, Charles Steger. "I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government. This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety."

University spokesman Larry Hincker responded, writing to the Roanoke Times the same month, "Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Now it's Wiles' turn again. On Friday, he wrote a column in the Times arguing, “It is clear that we need to rethink the idea of gun prohibition.

"If just one person in Norris Hall had a gun to defend himself or his classmates from an armed attacker, lives could have been saved. It is difficult not to think about how I would have felt had I watched in horror as my classmates were gunned down, and me standing there without my gun, helpless. What would it be like to stare down the barrel of the gun when it was aimed at me?"

You can read his full column here.


Email this EMAIL THIS


Trackbacks are links to weblogs that reference this post. Like comments, trackbacks do no appear until approved by us. The trackback URL for this post is:

As officials, students and families struggle to come to terms with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, a team of reporters and editors and NBC News producers and correspondents is on the scene.