Everybody's beating up on Newt Gingrich because of his appearance on ABC's "This Week," in which he said, A) Somebody with a concealed weapon could have stopped the Virginia Tech killer earlier in his rampage and, B) It's all the fault of liberals and "elites" for creating the culture we have. On the second point, there are certainly things wrong with our violent and permissive culture -- including many of the things he indentied. But blaming everything on one group alienates half the people you might want to help you fix the problems -- that's why Gingrich, while he might be a very good professor in the way he throws out provocative statements to open up discussion -- might not be the best of the bunch of potential presidential contenders. And whatever happened to the conservative idea that people are responsible for their own actions? "The culture made him do it" is just as lame as Imus' "Rap music made me do it."
As for the first point: If a deranged gunman starts shooting at a group I happen to be in, I'm pretty sure I would rather have a gun than not. About you, I'm not so sure. Maybe you are like the professor, who would have been much more effective by returning fire than by trying to keep the door shut with his body. On the other hand, maybe you are another Seung-Hui Cho just waiting to be set off. That's the debate we should be having but aren't -- how best to keep guns out the hands of people who shouldn't have them without violating the rights of responsible gun owners.