New Gun Laws Aren’t The Answer: You’ve Gotta Read Roanoke Massacre Survivor’s...

New Gun Laws Aren’t The Answer: You’ve Gotta Read Roanoke Massacre Survivor’s Op/Ed

Vicki Gardner (Via WDBJ)

The woman who was being interviewed live on TV as two members of a Roanoke, Virginia news crew were viciously gunned down is breaking her silence, writing in an op/ed that the solution to gun violence lies not in the halls of Congress, but in the halls of our own homes. She also says the country would do well to simply follow the “Golden Rule.”

According to WDBJ 7:

“Vicki Gardner, the lone survivor of the August 26 shooting that killed WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, has released a statement about the shooting last week at a community College in Oregon.

“So what can we do? The answers may lie not in far off legislative halls but much closer to home,” Gardner wrote. “Perhaps it is parents monitoring more closely what their children consume in the terms of media. And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture. On a community level, let’s begin by “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” We can draw closer, get to know our neighbors, work together and hold each other accountable.”

>>>Here is her full op/ed:

My heart is breaking upon news of another mass shooting in this country. Just more than a month ago, I was a shooter’s target. It was a terrifying experience that left me with a long healing process ahead. Since that incident, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate this complicated social phenomenon and how it can be resolved.

For sure, violence has crept into our everyday lives in the form of entertainment. Upon return home from two weeks in a trauma center, I tried to divert my attention by watching television. Virtually every channel featured a crime show with shooting as the central theme. After being a personal witness to two murders and being shot myself, my attitude toward these forms of “entertainment” has changed from a passive, don’t-care-for-it attitude to one of asking, “How did we come to this?”

We see so much maiming and killing that perhaps we have become desensitized. Some may argue that we have always been exposed to violence on TV and in movies. This is true. However, we live in unprecedented times when it comes to both the clarity and quantity of violence in our entertainment. And now the virtual world of video games has made a generation of young people participants in the violence. Can we truly claim this has played no role in what we all are witnessing?

So what can we do? The answers may lie not in far off legislative halls but much closer to home. Perhaps it is parents monitoring more closely what their children consume in the terms of media. And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture. On a community level, let’s begin by “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” We can draw closer, get to know our neighbors, work together and hold each other accountable.

I’m not sure that hasty legislative action will be the solution to this problem. But I am certain that if each of us will allow the solution to begin with us, we can ensure that the tragedies we all have witnessed grow more infrequent with time.

Vicki Gardner
Executive Director
Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce




  1. the irony of a shooting HOAX “survivor” warning people on consuming too much media is just priceless.

  2. Guns are actually the answer to a peaceful existence. They put an 80 grandma on equal turf with a 300 pound street thug. They level the playing field for students sitting in a classroom being invaded by a psychotic mass murderer. Guns are tools; they don’t kill people any more than forks make people fat.

  3. Shootings are consequences of Gun Control: taking Guns away from law abiding citizens, but not criminals, leaving law abiding citizens a target, defenseless and murdered in the face of a criminal with a gun…As for the causes, in general a breakdown in civic engagement and social connectedness as documented by Robert Putnam in his book: “Bowling alone” and caused by isolation from automobile dependent development, isolation from electronic entertainment and work, shopping, etc away from one’s neighborhood..

    The second amendment reduces shootings and statist power grabs…

  4. But, but, but… the Golden Rule and ‘Love your neighbor’ are in the Bible! We can’t practice something that is tied to the Judeo-Christian religion!

    Can we?


    • Technically, the shooter did treat others as himself since he killed himself, too. He didn’t love himself; so he didn’t love others.

      • Well, at least we are being told he committed suicide…..but I don’t think the other 23 slugs from the police were completely without effect.

      • Hard to get into the mind of someone this unbalanced. People were afraid of him at the TV station from where he was fired two years earlier. He wanted revenge for assaults to his pride and found every reason to feed his anger. Out of revenge, he selected the news reporter as his target. After being pursued on I66, he crashes and shoots himself (or the other way around), maybe out of despair. Who knows what he would have done if he had escaped successfully. This was the kind of guy that everyone would be afraid to confront because of his “un-hinged” attitude. He might have “loved” himself more than others and decided to deprive others from seeking their justice. ….hard to be sure.

      • Of course he loved himself; if you knew your Maker, you would know that all men love themselves FIRST—”For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” The ‘golden rule’ is based on a self-evident premise, that all men love themselves, provide for themselves, protect and please themselves, and that we should be equally generous toward others to fulfill the righteousness of the law. (Being as we do not, that is Christ’s point, not to redefine a new set of requirements but to clarify the eternal requirement that our righteousness be equal to God’s if we are to be justified in our own works.) The shooter, a coward, lovingly sought to protect himself from the pains of justice and so, in his own darkened mind, ‘delivered’ himself out of the imminent suffering he anticipated. Sadly, he only delivered himself into eternal misery and outer darkness where, indeed, justice has now been done, forever.

        • It sounds like he went there with the intent of killing himself and others, but it’s not worth the stress of arguing the point of view.

  5. Intentionally or not, Ms. Gardner has perfectly restated the principle of subsidiarity, exactly the opposite message of what Big Government elitists are brainwashing “their” voters to think. Good for her.

    • Great word: Subsidiarity – I had to look it up. Of course, you never hear that word coming from Washington, DC. They want Big Gubmint in control. Subsidiarity means to control from the smallest term possible. 1000+

    • It is actually the original organizing principal used by the Founding Fathers to create the Constitution: the Federal government has very specific and limited Enumerated Powers, and all other powers are relegated to the states, with individual rights clearly delineated in The Bill of Rights.

  6. I think we should have everyone take a mental evaluation and if they pass the government should give them a personal carry weapon.with the stipulation it is an immediate death sentence if you use it for reason other than target practice, competition, self defense……that would make everyone equal alright. Maybe add biometrics to the firearms…

    • Mental health changes. A person breaks when life keeps laying one more tragedy after another on a person until he or she can’t handle the weight of it any more. That limit varies with each person and how much is experienced. A person can be fine one day and then be bombarded by a series of events later.

    • The problem is that the government is gaming all the ‘standards’ for ‘mental illness’ to stack the deck in order that all who apply and take the test will be found ‘severely mentally ill.’

    • That’s just backwards.

      We need to recognize that God gives us rights (nature, if you prefer), and that all government can do is limit or infringe them. And there are some occasions when a limitation is the right thing. But those occasions are, themselves, very, very limited.

      What we need to do, if such an occasion presents itself, is to have an appealable hearing when a person is suspected of being incapable of responsible gun ownership or use.

      We can, perhaps, agree that the following are such causes:
      Suicidal proclivities.
      Homicidal proclivities
      Mental instability (far more than mere depression)
      History of unjustifiable violence

      Even, however, when the charge is made, it is not un fait accompli. The accuser must prove the case, and the charged should be able to present evidence of his suitability. All such decisions must be re-justified every five years (I’d prefer two years) and the person denied his rights should be able to request a re-hearing every six months if he chooses.

      The II says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The Left tries to diminish the second clause, the right tends to ignore the first.

      The militia is “necessary” and we have allowed the government to abolish it. (No, the National Guard is not the militia.) But the militia relies on individual citizens’ right to keep’n’bear.

      If we want a free state (or better, 50 of them), we need to establish the legitimate and constitutionally mandated militia.

      Mr. Magoo O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

  7. There is nothing that would have stopped the angry ex-employee from getting his revenge other than shooting him first.

  8. Better mental health. People have no coping skills. Yes, life can be hard. God knows that I have had my severe share of crap piled up and up and up on me. There has got to be a way to help people before they break. If it were even possible to take away all the guns everywhere (which it isn’t), it would still leave the underlying cause – people in such intense pain that they are willing to hurt themselves and others.

  9. Great op-ed. Even if outlawing guns prevented 100% of these incidents, you have to ask At What Cost? If we give up our 2nd amendment rights, the government will not restore them willingly, it will take a revolution.

      • If the surveillance state we have today was in place in 1700’s AND a complete ban of firearms, there would have been no American revolution.

        • They tried that at the start of American revolution when British Gen. Gates ordered the citizens of Boston to surrender their muskets and shots but I guess only the idiots surrendered.

          The 2nd amendment is part of the “bill of rights”, the first 10 amendments of the constitution it can not be surrendered nor repealed by congress or the government, not by majority of the people, and not by any court of the land. These are God given rights and guaranteed in the constitution. Take away the second amendment; then, the entire bill of rights can be taken away. What do we have then but back to slavery or rule of tyrant.

    • And then with all the guns in its hands, government and its street goons will do as they’ve always done throughout history: commit genocide.

  10. Look into mental craziness and the taking of prescription mind-altering drugs. Mixed with lax access to guns and poor parental controls… this formula is a common denominator in mass school killings.

  11. What a wonderful, brave, wise woman. She speaks the truth. Politicians should heed her advice instead of scolding law abiding American citizens, threatening always to take their gun rights.

  12. A little situational awareness goes a long way too.
    She saw the guy walk up to them and did nothing, no indications to the two with their backs turned to him, nothing.

    • Ding Ding Ding we have a winner… I speak of this all the time. I am not paranoid, I am simply aware of my surroundings. Also little things like using your “off” or “weak” hand for carrying packages, keys and other such things.

  13. “Hold our neighbors accountable”?…..sounds good…..slippery slope though. Hitler….Mao….Stalin…..countless others – they all had the citizens turning each other in….not only for “law” breaking, but also just because they didn’t like them. Kids turning in parents….girlfriends against boyfriends….wife’s versus husbands….teachers turning in students…..neighbor versus neighbor. It’s all been done before …..a lot. It doesn’t lead to a better world. It leads to a terrifying police state.

    • I took her meaning as being “morally” not literally.

      In a polite society, people help each other… and people help those in their community who are struggling. If folks who are hurting don’t WANT the help… in polite society, they are left alone, and told “call us if we can help”.

      There are MANY folks… who have no cultural memory of what real neighbors and community looks like. Baby boomers are just about the last generation, that even knows what I am talking about.

      • I believe you’re seeing the agenda through rose colored glasses. I understand nobody likes admit their country is going down “that” road. But it is.

        • I don’t disagree with that… the lunatics appear to be running the asylum… and so far as I can tell, socially and economically, we are just about in that place that made the nation of Germany ripe for a “strong man” to rise.

          …and it could be a D or an R. Labels mean near nothing.

  14. i myself was at a mass shooting, july, 1984, the massacre at mcdonalds at san ysidro , ca. i had just left the restaurant and was in the parking lot when the gunman opened fire, killing 24. 16 were kids under the age of 14. if i had a weapon, i would have risked my liffe to stop this creep. he was eventually killed by a police marksman with a .308 to the chest, OVER 1 HOUR LATER. i now carry a ccw and live in another state. when seconds count, the police are minutes away. there is no mcdonalds there today, just a granite stone with the names of the victims. buy a gun, train with it, and be willing to care enough about your fellow man to do something about it.

    • I was near there as well.
      San Diego’s finest sat on their hands as Huberty went pop, pop, pop.
      All because the watch commander insisted the cops wait until he got there.
      And so the cops ‘obeyed orders’ while Huberty racked up his body count.
      In the good old days at least one of the cops would have charged in and taken him down.

      • chilling, babydriver. i see those people’s faces sometimes in nightmares, pleading with their lives before this guy killed them. no emotion, like a cyborg, sweeping back and forth, shooting, killing. 31 years later.

    • The only thing that the police are able to do most of the time is file the police report after the fact. A good guy with a gun on the scene can actually do something to stop the violence.

  15. She was allotted time to think about these things and I think we should all take a pause from our hectic lives and heed what she says. I for one am leary of any government who is so bound and determined to take our guns. We are so close to a tyrannical government right now, it wouldn’t behoove us to give up our guns.

  16. “And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture.”

    powerful stuff. this woman is super intelligent and spot on.

  17. Think of the possibilities, if for one weekend the cops stayed home completely (Baltimore, anyone?)
    Now think of the possibilities, if for one weekend the cops stayed home, and the law-abiding were allowed to take out the known lawbreakers without fear of government recrimination. What an overnight change could take place in our communities.

  18. Nice thought, and at least she didn’t scream “gun control”. However, millions of people play video games with violence in them; millions of people who play those games don’t run out and kill others.

  19. “And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture”

    Sounds like even more good reason to ditch NFL/NBA.

  20. This woman is 100% correct. Even if we removed every gun from America, we have not changed anything really. The deranged, the angry, the hate filled, the evil minded people are still running around. We’ve allowed government to act like a god and it doesn’t work. People are corrupt and someone bent on killing is not going to be stopped by a gun ban. Unfortunately, there are a great many people who utterly clueless and able to vote – a dangerous combination. Just look at what we have in the White House. But having said that, I don’t believe the liberals are wanting to rid us of guns for the sake of stopping someone from killing. Their goal is disarmament for the purpose of control. Most government people probably don’t give a rat’s rearend if the masses are killed. What they do care about is controlling us and staying in power.

  21. What we can do to reduce things like this from happening is institutionalize more nut jobs.
    What we can do to reduce the number of people killed in any given event that is going to happen regardless of what we do is ensure that as many good citizens are armed as possible. What stops a maniac with a gun? A good person with a gun.
    An armed society is a polite society.

  22. in another story they had five steps to a gun free america, but left out step 6 which would be kill 100 million americans who will not give up their guns

    • I would venture to say that the “non carrying” folks will perish in far greater number. I also would not count on the military or LE to enforce the confiscation. Many sheriffs have already stated they would not confiscate guns or enforce unconstitutional laws.

  23. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

    A Republic is the same, but the sheep has an Uzi.

  24. The prohibitionists (aka, unrealistic ideologues) tried to outlaw alcohol in the ’20s, yet they “roared”, people just kept on doing what they were doing and more – just to prove a point, and organized crime exploded on a grand scale that is still with us today. Yet, prohibitionists are still with us, but now identify themselves as having “zero tolerance” for this that or the other, when there is zero chance of achieving that with the attempt probably producing far more repression than any benefits could justify.

    So, here come the gun-prohibitionist, led by our dissembler-in-chief, who ignore the facts – i. e., hundreds of millions of guns in the hands of tens of millions of households in America that are managed safely every day, and dwell instead on the few anecdotal worst cases (“few” in that the number of “mass murders” were hideously exaggerated in this last frenzied round of sensationalism by the MSM and anti-gun activists) whose explanations always involve a half-dozen other causal independent variables, in addition to gun availability, that produced the tragic outcomes. Intentionally ignoring the facts around such tragic incidents and deliberately misleading the public into believing that the availability of guns is the principle cause of them would be understandable as mistaken priorities for the uninformed, but the gun-control activists, including the president, are well-informed by any standard, and they are simply lying through their teeth for an agenda that will bring more harm than good, as repressive prohibitions always have.

  25. What we REALLY need is to ban liberalism! The one thing all these shooters have in common is their left wing ideologies!

  26. I think she is correct. I would never give up my right to a gun to defend myself, but the reality of murder is so different from the imaginary world we inhale. Nothing shocks us = burning people alive, torturing, beheading and shooting – seen it all before. Rambo glorified….

  27. Progressives idolize Carl Marx, look it up. Liberals want to excoriate anyone who disagrees with their line of thinking. Our president and the congressscritters are slowly steering the country into a one world government under the thumb of the United Nations. It is no longer a “theory”,it is reality. If they come for our guns, WE THE PEOPLE are going to have two choices. Give up our second amendment rights or go quietly into the night as global citizens. Criminals, (this includes muslims) will somehow retain their weapons and the law abiding will become statistics in a New World Order. Google Henry Kissingers” comment caught on tape at the Bilderburg Confrence in 1991. If that don’t wake you up, then may your chains rest lightly upon you.

  28. Wow, who would ever have thought the answer were traditional families and personal responsibility? Not on the left’s agenda I am afraid.

  29. Spot on. Give kids Pills, Violent Video games, and lock them in a basement. A recipe for disaster like a ticking time-bomb!

  30. She is absolutely right on. I would also add to her analysis that the lack of individual spirituality year after year is helping grow the angry temperament in our society.

  31. Only godless liberal mooozlim lovers talk about taking guns then cry like sissys when they need protected. Typical satanist spew from the Marxist left

  32. “Gun Free Zones” are the primary targets. I wonder if the libs can make that out. The whole shooting in Virginia with the reporter is so tragic. That one will never be forgotten

  33. See John Cornyn’s bill to facilitate entry of the mental health records of potentially dangerous subjects into the background-check data-base for gun purchasers. There has been an over-emphasis on privacy of such records in the cases of people, including teenagers, who are diagnosed by mental health practitioners as being potentially dangerous to the public. That emphasis has to be brought within reasonable bounds and Cornyn’s approach is a good start in that direction.

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