Dave Vann

Would the Real Dave Vann Please Stand Up…

By Jeff Knox

I wasn’t surprised to see the name David Vann in one of David Codrea’s always excellent Gun Rights Examiner columns. Dave Vann has been a good friend and fellow freedom fighter for decades. But then I read David Vann’s suggestions for responding to the threat of campus shootings and I knew there was something very wrong in the world. This Dave Vann was advocating for the banning of all handguns, because they’re “made to kill people.”

Obviously this was a different Dave Vann. This Dave Vann is not a retired police officer with an addiction to advanced firearms training and a deep abiding interest in, and knowledge of, firearms, criminology, US History, and the Constitution. This Dave Vann is a creative writing teacher in San Francisco who has written a somewhat sympathetic book about the 2008 Northern Illinois University murderer, and is so mistrustful of his fellow US citizens that he spends most of his time in New Zealand. (Someone might wish to educate Mr. Vann about the widespread gun ownership in that island nation.)

Dave Vann the retired police officer has a simple solution for mitigating the destruction caused by suicidal mass murderers: Stop disarming the potential victims so those who choose to can respond to such assaults with something more immediate and effective than a cell phone.

David Vann the creative writing teacher has a somewhat less simple, four-point solution for universities to “limit shootings,” which he admits really won’t work, but which should be implemented anyway because, he says, not applying his admittedly ineffective solutions is “insane.” What he suggests is that college’s, universities, high schools and middle schools must:

  1. Group together to fight the NRA and push for gun control, including the elimination of all handguns, since handguns are made to kill people.
  2. Require mental health background checks (apparently on all students, faculty, and anyone wishing to own whatever guns are still allowed, going back their entire lives, not just 5 or 10 years).
  3. Flag anyone who has served in the military or been in the prison system. (Mr. Vann does not specify whether he is referring only to those who have been incarcerated or guards and prison service workers as well.)
  4. Use metal detectors, more police at campus borders, etc.

Mr. Vann (the creative writing teacher) says that these measures will all help to guard against campus shootings, but that they are “expensive and almost entirely incapable of preventing a swift attack.” So he suggests that the “best that universities can do,” in his opinion, “is to invest in fighting the pro-gun lobby.”  (Read the full interview with him here.)

It is clear that this “intellectual” David Vann is missing a few important points that I’m confident would never be overlooked by the less erudite, retired cop, Dave Vann. For instance, Dave Vann the cop understands that it is illegal and immoral for state colleges and universities to use taxpayer dollars to lobby against the rights enumerated in the US Constitution. He also realizes that the “pro-gun lobby” is not some small group of political specialists sitting around in a smoky room phoning instructions to politicians and writing massive campaign checks from the bottomless pockets of their firearms industry masters. He knows that the “pro-gun lobby” is a coalition of regular Joe’s and Jane’s who care deeply about their rights and donate their time, money, and talents to protecting those rights. He understands that the power of the “powerful gun lobby” comes from the 80 to 90 million Americans who own guns and oppose useless, ineffective infringements on their rights. Dave Vann the retired cop and rights activist, co-founder of www.USRKBA.org and www.GunLeaders.com, knows that restricting the rights and invading the privacy of 300 million people for fear of what less than a dozen people might do, is the very definition of paranoia and irrationality.

Dave Vann the creative writing teacher’s paranoia and irrationality sees threats from military veterans and anyone subscribing to a libertarian political philosophy. Dave Vann the retired cop sees veterans and libertarians as fellow workers in the cause of freedom.

Perhaps both of these men can stand up as being the real David Vann, but only Dave Vann the retired cop and rights activist can stand up as the real American, the real patriot, and the real man.

Here’s what Dave Vann has to say about the matter:

Meeting Your Doppelganger – David Vann v David Vann


by Dave Vann on Oct.12, 2011


A doppelganger is described as a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune.  When Jeff Knox and David Codrea emailed me and informed me that David Vann had written an anti-gun book and was a professor at the University of San Francisco, I knew I had found mine.

One David Vann is on the right coast, a former law enforcement officer, RKBA supporter, Co-Founder of Gunleaders.com & USRKBA.org who believes in the absolute right of individuals, including military personnel, to defend themselves, the other, on the left coast, is a virulently anti-gun professor who writes about those who commit mass murder, teaches at a liberal college, doesn’t trust military personnel to own firearms and believes handguns should be totally banned because, he says, they are only used to kill.

What to do?  I’ll follow conventional and traditional wisdom and confront the beast. So, David Vann, meet David Vann.

I saw exactly what you propose.  I saw a handgun ban at work from 1976 forward in Washington, D.C.  I witnessed the body count rise, steadily, each and every year, as this social experiment continued to fail.  I cringed at the battered, bloody bodies of women who had been raped, robbed, beaten and murdered and had no way to defend themselves.  I heard stories of business owners who were so terrified of being robbed and killed that they were willing to break the law themselves and obtain firearms on the black market rather than risk being shot and killed by robbers, an all too frequent event when D.C. became known as the “Murder Capitol” of the Country.

Gun control advocates have an explanation to all this that is far too simplistic.  “Well, they keep selling guns elsewhere”.  Yes, they do, however, law abiding D.C. residents could not simply go somewhere else and buy a handgun and bring it back to the city, a fact you and others conveniently forget to mention.  Criminals, however, steal guns and laugh at all laws.

As for handguns being only used for killing, every law enforcement officer in this country should be sending you a message loud and clear that if that was the case the body count would be astronomical.  Police officers do not carry handguns to kill people Mr.Vann, they carry handguns to protect lives.  Occasionally it becomes necessary to use that handgun to save an innocent life.  Are you going to object to a police officer using a handgun to save your life from someone who is intent upon killing you?  If you are, please let the police know so that they can avoid responding to your address, putting their lives in jeopardy, when you really don’t want to be saved.

The courts have ruled that the police have no obligation to protect the individual (Warren v District of Columbia), therefore it falls upon the individual to act responsibly in that regard.  A handgun protects the innocent and saves lives every day.  Forty eight States now have licensing for concealed carry and the consistent drop in violent crime attests to the fact that criminals are well aware that it’s becoming dangerous for them to ply their trade, except of course in cities like Washington, D.C., Chicago and a few other holdouts.

Is there aberrant behavior in our society that goes undetected?  Of course, just as there are journalists and writers who present one-sided rants.  Should we require them to register their computers and undergo a mental exam to determine if they are fit to fill the papers and academia with all the garbage we are subjected to today?  It might be tempting but the First Amendment is protected by the Second so we all remain free to express our opinions no matter how far from the truth some of them may be.

You rail against the NRA yet fail to acknowledge that the NRA is the chief training organization for Police nationwide and has developed more educational programs for firearms safety than any other group in this Country.

As a doppelganger you truly are a malevolent entity that seems bent on destruction of our most cherished freedoms; freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I reject you and I cast you out.

Dave Vann – The real one