The die-in (it was called a lie-in, actually) was organized by Protect Minnesota, an umbrella group representing five gun-control organizations pushing for tighter rules on sales and universal background checks on buyers. Thirty-two people wore black T-shirts that said, "Minnesotans Against Being Shot" as well as ribbons of maroon and orange (Virginia Tech's colors) made by families of the victims. One by one, to the solemn beat of a drum, they went down on the Capitol steps and remained motionless, as if asleep.
It was like the state Senate, but without the pompous speeches.
OK, it was one of those media events that is easy to mock and, indeed, it was mocked by a few underemployed members of the gun-rights lobby who couldn't resist the temptation to spoil a somber moment by holding up frat boy signs to the effect that a teacher or student packing heat could have stopped the carnage, which is the kind of thing I wonder about when a cop gets shot.
Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people. And sometimes people with guns kill other people with guns. It's as complicated as our feelings, and nobody's come up with a convincing response to slaughters such as Virginia Tech, especially proposals to let college kids carry guns on campus. Rep. Tony Cornish, a Republican from Good Thunder, introduced one such obscenely timed proposal Wednesday. Are you kidding, Cornish? Have you ever been to a kegger at Mankato or St. Cloud or the U of M and thought, "Cool! I hope these dudes have guns!"
Here is a poll that was conducted on the subject: Should guns be allowed on college campuses? (look at the results)
Yes 402 35.4 %
Only if the gun owner is well screened and highly trained 274 24.1 %
No 457 40.3 %
Total Votes 1133