Saturday, October 06, 2012

VA Tech professor touts radical new advance in weapons technology

The self-described "progressive" Democracy Now! news program recently interviewed Virginia Tech professor Nikki Giovanni, who taught a class in which VA Tech mass murderer Seung-Hui Cho was (briefly) a student, before she demanded that he leave the class. In the interview, Professor Giovanni advanced some rather startling notions about guns:

I think that guns are not one of our good ideas. I read the Constitution, and I didn’t see anything that said that any fool that wants a gun should have one. What did I miss?

Well, one thing she seems to have missed is that the Constitution does not say that "any fool that [sic] wants a" vote should have one, but prospective voters are not required to prove their intelligence. This, of course, is exactly as it should be, because among other problems, such a system would make virtual kings out of those on whom was conferred the power of determining who the "fools" were. Exactly the same problem would apply to restricting firearms in that manner.

She also claimed that if Virginia Tech ever permitted students to carry concealed firearms in class, she would enact a class rule requiring that she and every student "drop [their] clothes outside the door, and we’re going to come in in underwear that is form-fitting," for every class session, so no guns could be concealed (good luck getting that rule to withstand legal scrutiny). She claims the reason for that rule would be that "I’m not going to try to teach somebody that I don’t know what’s in his pocket." How she knows now what students have in their pockets is left unexplained. She certainly did not explain how wearing only their tight-fitting underwear would have helped any of Cho's victims.

Perhaps most startling, though, was her next claim:

Guns are an idea whose time has passed. It’s that simple. Cars and guns are two things you don’t need.

Without even trying to explore her opposition to cars, if guns "are an idea whose time has passed," what weapon will now be replacing them? Star Wars "lightsabers" seem rather a long way off, and besides, Star Wars characters used plenty of guns (although not projectile weapons powered by chemical combustion), lightsabers notwithstanding.

She must know something about some imminent advance in weaponry, because obviously she cannot be contending that weapons themselves are obsolete. As long as the strong continue to prey on the weak, the large on the small, the numerous on the few, weapons, with their ability to make predation even by the strong risky, will be necessary.

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