What vexes John Markell most about the Virginia Tech massacre is not that he sold the killer one of his guns but that none of the victims was able to shoot back.
"I shoot with those people at the university - the professors, the deans, the grad students - and they shoot good," he said, fiddling with the same model handgun as that used in the killings.
The owner of Roanoke Firearms, a packed armoury of shotguns, assault rifles and handguns a half-hour drive from the university, said that his daughter graduated from Virginia Tech 10 years ago.
"What aggravates me is that my daughter is a heck of a shot and she has a concealed weapon permit but nobody is allowed to carry a gun on campus," he said.
Millions of Americans will accept his implication that the killings happened not because guns were too freely available but because they were not available enough.
And so does this blogger, for one. The phrase "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns" may be so cliched that one blushes to reproduce it, but it holds true nonetheless. Let's face it, most people who go out murdering aren't particularly fussed about the law. If they're prepared to kill people, then gun control laws aren't going to stand in their way.
But the majority will obey the law and go unarmed. In this case the 'law' was a rule imposed by Virginia Tech, banning guns on campus. Nonetheless, good students obeyed this, meaning that the one psychopath among them was able to go on his killing spree without any risk of return fire. Just think how many deaths might have been averted had his first attack been met with a barrage of bullets.
A while back, here in Britain, one of the issues over which liberals liked to attack Tony Martin was that the guns he used on that glorious night back in 1999 were illegally owned. Now, just consider: because Tony Martin had an illegal firearm, a career thug ended up dead. Good riddance! Whereas, had Tony Martin obeyed the letter of the law, he would probably have been the one who ended up getting hurt, perhaps fatally, and Fred Barras would probably have spent another sixty worthless years stealing from decent people.
So, I say, let's have more guns in Britain too. After all, if the public don't fight crime, who else will? The police? Don't make me laugh.