If the gunman had pulled his psycho bullshit in a crowded Virginia mall, the shooter’s life may have ended a lot quicker, but that does not mean that fewer people would be dead. If someone started shooting back, there would have been more bullets flying around, and with more bullets flying around, there’s a lot higher chance that people will get hit, especially if this is taking place in a mall with a lot of people.
The problem with Col. Cooper’s statement is that killing people is seen as a bad thing, and is something that should be avoided. That is why soldiers and/or cops have to be authorized to use lethal force. A rifle is a tool, but it’s purpose is, basically, to kill. So, while a rifle may have no moral stature, it is a tool whose purpose it is to effect a morally wrong action. Because, even if evil men can be “corrected” by men with rifles, those men with rifles have done something that we as a society frown upon.
As for your assertion that gun-free zones are in effect “unarmed victim zones,” think about the fact that in our legal system there is a difference between manslaughter and murder; in order for murder to be committed, malice and forethought must be proved. If you piss someone with a gun off, they could very easily kill you, even if they weren’t justified in their action. Without guns, it is a whole lot harder, involved, and personal to kill someone, and that means that fewer people will die. It is very true that people kill people, and as long as that is the case, people will continue to kill people, no matter what weapons we outlaw. However, removing weapons from the market makes it much harder, and that means that fewer people die; hence, why some people place their personal safety in front of their right to bear arms, and call for tighter gun control.
From the hellmouth that is the Internet comes a still, small voice of reason.
As much as the Religious ‘right’ likes to bash the intertubes, there’s a lot of sane, clear-headed folks out there. Gives me hope.