Yesterday I heard on the news someone talking about how if the Virginia Tech incident had happened at a shopping mall or other public location in Blacksburg or elsewhere in Virginia it would likely have ended more quickly due to intervention from a gun toting by-stander. Having grown up in Georgia, I would have to heartily agree with this statement (though I don't think it is an argument for permitting guns to be brought into an academic setting), more its just a fact of life in the South. Case in point, Kennesaw, Georgia (the town next to where my parents live, which is indeed just a hop, skip and a jump from their house) where it is a town ordinance that all "heads of household" own a gun.
When living in Ithaca (where there were plenty of deer hunters and you could buy a gun at K-Mart)... I didn't think much of it, but then in relocating to New York and then New Jersey, it is weird to think that for the most part the only people carrying guns or with guns in their homes or cars are either police or criminals. I don't know if the thought that practically everyone in Atlanta and environs is packing heat makes me feel safer or less safe, but if nothing else, you're always on notice to expect the unexpected.