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9 mm Handguns, Virginia Tech Massacre, & Military Recruiting Vehicles

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"When I hold you in my arms

And I feel my finger on your trigger

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I know nobody can do me no harm

Because happiness is a warm gun."

- Lennon/McCartney

There's something deeply ingratiating, something soothing and empowering about a warm gun, especially the 9 mm pistol. To understand this magnificent weapon, hold it in both your hands and gently squeeze off a few rounds. It rivals the best sex, the greatest rush. It is intoxicating, pure power. Happiness is a warm gun!

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Apparently, Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech killer, knew the 9 mm's intoxicating power. It was Cho's weapon of choice.

The 9 mm was also one of Michael Kennedy's favorite weapons. Kennedy gunned down two Fairfax County police officers in May of '06 before being shot to death by 9 mm-wielding police officers. Kennedy and Sueng-Hui attended Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia at the same time. Two of Seung-Hui's 9 mm victims also attended the suburban Washington school.

The month before Kennedy graduated, a Westfield High School teacher was found to have a loaded 9 mm handgun in his car while it was parked on school property.

No big deal.

Official Sanctioning of the 9 mm handgun

Virginia high school students are officially encouraged to use the easily available 9 mm. Fifteen and sixteen year-olds in classrooms throughout Virginia are delighted to be excused from class to spend a half hour shooting life-like 9 mm handguns when the Army's Adventure Van, a huge 60-foot, 30-ton 18-wheeler, comes to visit. The massive Army recruiting vehicles have several interactive exhibits that bring an adrenaline rush and glorify weaponry and combat. See here.

The Army's 19 vans frequent various community events and two thousand schools a year, generating 63,000 recruiter leads.

The kids love the weapons!

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We don't know if Kennedy or Seung-Hui ever visited the Adventure Van or any of the Army's other 18-wheelers when they came to call, but there's little doubt they would have enjoyed themselves.

Happiness is a warm gun, sanctioned by the state of Virginia and the US Army.

The Army has nineteen full-sized trucks with interactive, weaponry displays. Aside from the Adventure Van, the Army's Aviation Recruiting Van contains an interactive air warrior and weapons display. The American Soldier Adventure Van has a future warrior display. The Army Marksmanship Trainer has an interactive rifle range. The Army also brings machine gun-toting humvees, tanks and other military vehicles on high school campuses to enhance their recruiting efforts. The Navy and Air Force also have multiple 18-wheelers and assorted vehicles with simulated weaponry.

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Pat Elder is the Director of the National Coaliton to Protect Student Privacy,, NNOMY

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