Day 370: NIU Shooting and UIC Threat

Another shooting. Another set of guns that were legally purchased. Another round of useless arguments about gun control that leave the status quo unchanged due to assinine arguments that claim that the problem will be solved by teachers carrying guns to defend themselves and their students.

Here a massmail we just received at UIC:


This afternoon, an anonymous e-mail was received by a number of people at UIC,
threatening violence on campus sometime this spring.

While we have no way of knowing at this time whether this is a genuine threat, the
UIC police department is pursuing it very seriously. A full-scale investigation is
underway in conjunction with the Chicago police, and patrols on campus, already
stepped up in the wake of Thursday’s tragedy at Northern Illinois University, have
been increased further.

In the meantime, all campus operations will continue as normal. However, we ask
everyone to be attentive, and as always, if you see criminal or suspicious activity,
please notify the UIC police immediately at (312) 555-5555 (or 5-5555 from campus
phones), or, if you are off-campus, dial 911. For general questions about safety and
security, the number for UIC police is (312) 996-2830.

Please also be aware that an update from me on campus security in the wake of
yesterday’s shootings at NIU was transmitted earlier today and should be arriving in
e-mail boxes sometime tonight or in the early-morning hours, and already is posted
on the UIC Emergency Information page (link on the UIC home page). This note gives a
further overview of security measures in place on the UIC campus.


XXXX, Chief of Police

To all those opposing gun control: what am I to do in the face of a threat like this? Should I arm myself, just in case there will be an attack? Even if this were the logically correct thing to do, consider this: I am not a U.S. citizen. I educate your children and am one of those people who will not be able to purchase a gun to defend themselves from those people you refuse to disarm for reasons I do not comprehend.

There is no reason on earth why any civilian in any highly developed country should carry a gun. There is no reason why civilians should have access to guns, especially not legally. It will never be impossible to get a gun, but we can sure as hell make it harder. If you do not agree with this logic, we must also stop trying to regulate access to illegal drugs and instead provide all cilvilians with methadone syringes–in fact, if we claim that regulating guns makes no sense because people will always be able to get their hands on guns we would have to abandon any commitment to law and justice just because people will always be able to break the law. Most highly develped countries understand this. How long will fanatical devotion to tradition (which in the U.S. actually just describes cultural practices that are little more than 200 years old) stand in the way of logic and progress?



  1. First of all, you are incorrect that you would be unable to get a gun (despite the fact that you clearly would not want one) legally. A legal resident alien (green card) can legally buy a gun here.

    Secondly, the right to keep and bear arms is considered a bedrock civil right by most people in this country. Having the right to defend yourself and your community, rather than ceding that right and responsibility in its entirety to the government authorities, is part of being a free and autonomous citizen. And I believe that it makes a difference. Other “highly developed countries”, particularly over the last century, witnessed unspeakable horrors perpetrated against their peoples by their own government or by the government of an invader. That would be difficult, if not impossible, in this country. 250 million-plus guns in civilian hands in this country would make for an instant insurgency the likes of which have never been seen in human history, against either a foreign invader or a despotic government. Even in less extreme cases, armed citizens in this country prevent or interrupt the commission of more than 2 million felony crimes in an average year.

    And, frankly, the regard and importance with which most of us regard this right, and the apparent disregard and cavalier attitude displayed by those who disingenuously call for “common-sense” restrictions, makes us entirely unwilling to cede an inch. Not until we can be guaranteed that they don’t intend to turn the whole country into a great big, gun-free blue-state.

  2. For now just this: I do not have a green card. I cannot get a gun. I am not allowed to vote–not even for Democrats. I am solely allowed to pay taxes.
    hope this helps,


  3. @tom: A government accountable to its gun holders. How romantic.

    @cj: Thanks for writing about this. I’m still in denial. Makes me sick.

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