Mon
Apr 16 2007
12:29 pm
By: R. Neal

Reports: up to 22 killed in Virginia Tech shooting rampage. Shooter reported killed. Others, possibly as many as 28, reported wounded.

UPDATE: ATF says shooter killed himself, two 9mm handguns recovered. White male, connection to university unknown at this time.

UPDATE: Wounded victim who was shot in upper arm says shooter was "Asian", walked in and started firing at random, shot several students and possibly the professor, left, tried to come back in, they barricaded the door and he began firing through the door.

UPDATE: Reports now say 32 dead. Student journalists from the school paper are posting updates at a temporary alternate site.

UPDATE: CNN reports that the death toll is up to 33. They include the gunman in the count.

UPDATE: AP reports that Virginia Tech officials confirm shooter was a student.

UPDATE: CNN single source report (i.e. not confirmed) that a Glock 9mm and "a .22" were recovered.

UPDATE: NBC reporting that the shooter purchased both handguns in Virginia.

UPDATE: New revelations about the shooter's state of mind.

UPDATE: The Hillbilly Savants blog has an extensive roundup.

Blog accounts from the campus:

Ruination Day

Madness on campus

Rather scared

Virginia Tech shootout (scroll down)

Insane freshman year

Holy....

Topics:
Andy Axel's picture

Words fail

This stuff just never goes away, does it?

It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

How tragic.

[preempting the inevitable gun nuttery…]

Yes, I know.

Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people. Guns just make the bullets go very fast.

[/preemption]

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

UnderDuress's picture

I hope you didn't hurt

I hope you didn't hurt yourself there ...

Let's switch terms:

Smallpox doesn't kill people. People kill people.

That's quite a stretch, with logic that thin to begin with, and a correlation that is totally non-existent, it must have made one heck of a pop when your premise snapped.

I think maybe an ice compress will help

Andy Axel's picture

Even better trope:

The NRA has an even more quaint trope than that:

"An armed society is a polite society."

Is it only the fear of retributive violence that prevents a person from shooting other people?

The next time that the checkout clerk at Publix asks me to have a nice day, should I just assume that they're strapped?

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

rikki's picture

Is it only the fear of

Is it only the fear of retributive violence that prevents a person from shooting other people?

Yes, much like fear of eternal damnation prevents Baptists from getting naked and high on crack with a gay prostitute.

bangbang's picture

smallpox rubbish

............................
Switch the premise above back to guns and what you see is that the classic "blame the victim" discourse rears its head.
...........................
also rubbish, we're blaming the shooter, not the victim

Geckofile's picture

maybe if Lumpy was there ,

maybe if Lumpy was there , he coulda took him out before he got to anyone.......

sad news..... :(

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

WhitesCreek's picture

WE need our President to be

WE need our President to be an example of moral leadership and publicly vilify people who take innocent lives. Ok, maybe a Vice president, then?...I guess we're down to the House Majority Leader...Fair enough.

What social change will America have to make in order for this kind of gut wrenching outrage to be damned forever in our social fabric? Somehow I'm thinking giving everyone the proper caliber to shoot back is not the answer, but I'll bet we hear that as a suggestion.

Damn, I hurt for those people! Just the parental nightmare of wondering even for a moment if your child...

Rachel's picture

I have a friend on the

I have a friend on the faculty at Va Tech. I pray he's ok.

Brian A.'s picture

Another day

I was going to make a point about this not being the time to argue gun politics, but after seeing this post, I use the opportunity to argue war politics.

Larry C Johnson points out that today at least 65 people were killed due to violence in Iraq. In other words, American's deadliest day of shootings would be just another day in Baghdad.

And yet morons on TV ruminating about the tremendous progress being made . . . .

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

gattsuru's picture

If you follow the premise

If you follow the premise that smallpox doesn't kill, people kill, you must conclude that getting smallpox, passing it along, or dying from it is your fault and all other victims fault.

False logic, for the same reason that an undiagnosed HIV infection is not always the fault of either individual included -- people may not have reason to know they or other individuals are carriers, or even if they did check, the necessary symptoms would not show up immediately. Giving any guilt to the victim unless the victim willingly exposed themselves to obvious sources is just idiotic.

I think the difference is pretty obvious to anyone with a functioning brainstem; guns don't go off by themselves, while smallpox and most other infectious diseases do.

If someone's been killed with a gun, it's not because the killer didn't know he picked it up and decided to shake hands. It's not because the victim decided to expose themselves to people known to carry guns (in fact, such situations tend to be very safe; I'm unaware of any shooting sprees at an NRA convention). It's because someone pointed a gun at them, and pointed the trigger.

Knives make excellent weapons, but when someone cuts another person, it's not because of the knife. It's because of the person. Knives don't sit in drawers and in Wal-Mart plotting mass murder. Electrical capacitors make excellent weapons, but when someone kills another person with one, it's not because of the capacitor (unless Americans everywhere have managed to resist the siren's call of the computer PSU as a killer taser).

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

Oh, and using a tragedy to further your political agenda before the death toll hasn't even been tallied completely is just sick.

R. Neal's picture

Oh, and using a tragedy to

Oh, and using a tragedy to further your political agenda before the death toll hasn't even been tallied completely is just sick.

But it's OK for gun rights activits to have already been saying there wouldn't have been a problem except for strict laws that prevented students with CCW permits to go armed on campus so they could defend themselves?

Apparently the solution to gun violence is more guns, and more people carrying them in more places.

UnderDuress's picture

Yes! You've got it! If just

Yes! You've got it! If just one person there had been armed, the shooter could possibly have been stopped sooner. But as one person previous alluded, that is not the *only* thing that keeps a polite society. By and large, we do that because we are mostly good people. But when one goes bad, there's nothing quite like a bit of leaden dissuasion. If you were gonna go shoot a place up, would you go to the Cold Creek Armory? Or a liquor store? If you were going to bust into someone's home, would you bust into the one with NRA stickers? Or the one with the gun control bumper sticker on the car?

Fact is, if someone is hell bent on doing evil, they will do it. More and stricter gun laws will not stop them. The knowledge that someone else might be there with a gun though just might give them pause.

R. Neal's picture

Oh, and using a tragedy to

Oh, and using a tragedy to further your political agenda before the death toll hasn't even been tallied completely is just sick.

"I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon... And so, obviously, we have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people." Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, yesterday while campaigning in Laredo, Texas.

"The president believes there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed." White House spokesperson Dana Perino, commenting during a press briefing on yesterday's tragedy.

Elrod's picture

Stupid gun debate

The gun control debate has nothing to do with what happened. It seems likely that most of the deaths occurred in one or two classrooms. Nobody could have arrived in time to "save" the victims. On the other hand, as a college professor I would walk out of the room if I knew that my students were armed. What I say may piss them off on any given day. Being armed is not conducive to open and critical learning. The answer is better building security. Somebody entered the building who should not have been there, and he was heavily armed. Sadly, this means that a public university has to be guarded instead of open to the public.

Actually, though, the better lesson is that there is no lesson. Just as there was no cosmic lesson from Columbine either except that kids are cruel to each other and some of them lash out with self-destructive violence. That's probably what happened here too. Unfortunately we are about to be subjected to a series of pseudo-sociological theories about why violence is "rampant" when it is so out of the ordinary. Here's the political statement of the day then: you want to see violence out of control? Go to Iraq. Even after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, campuses are some of the safest places in America.

gattsuru's picture

But it's OK for gun rights

But it's OK for gun rights activits to have already been saying there wouldn't have been a problem except for strict laws that prevented students with CCW permits to go armed on campus so they could defend themselves?

Do you care to actually show where I even suggested that? The note was for all sides here.

And guns do go off by themselves and smallpox has been used as a weapon.

Guns don't "go off by themselves". I could sit a 1911 on a counter here, and if no one touched it it would be dust before a single round fired, even if I left the safety off. Short of [i]extremely[/i] poor care or someone pulling the trigger, guns don't fire, both of which I'd consider far from "by themselves".

If you'd prefer to continue this course, we can describe every item in your home which has been used as a weapon and can go off by itself, suggest that you call the police to get these deadly vectors taken away, but I don't think this is a particularly pertinent time or place.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

R. Neal's picture

Guns don't "go off by

Guns don't "go off by themselves".

Guns "go off by themselves" all the time, usually while cleaning them. Just ask the people involved in accidental discharges. They will tell you that every time.

Brian A.'s picture

Well put, Elrod

Actually, though, the better lesson is that there is no lesson. Just as there was no cosmic lesson from Columbine either except that kids are cruel to each other and some of them lash out with self-destructive violence. That's probably what happened here too. Unfortunately we are about to be subjected to a series of pseudo-sociological theories about why violence is "rampant" when it is so out of the ordinary.

Get ready for the attack of the talking heads.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

JaHu's picture

I hate to say this but it's

I hate to say this but it's beginning to look like that we need tighter gun control legislation. Maybe limit the amount of amo any one person can have in their possession. I also think anyone who has committed such atrocities should have their names removed from all records and the news organizations shouldn't be allowed to make public spectacles of the incidences by over broadcasting it, and they also shouldn't be allowed to mention the shooters name either.

Let's not let these villains feel as if they will become famous in death for committing these horrendous crimes.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

Johnny Ringo's picture

deleted

gattsuru beat me to it

Knoxquerious's picture

Toll now at 32 people dead.

Toll now at 32 people dead.

Some sick F*ck thought it might be funny to call in a bomb threat at UT an hour ago also.

gattsuru's picture

Maybe limit the amount of

Maybe limit the amount of am[m]o any one person can have in their possession.

Because, you know, limiting the amount of sudafed anyone can have in their possession has done wonders to combat drug use, and no one has ever been in a situation where they might want more than fourty or fifty bullets (:hinthint, every single rifle match, any plinking, self-defense:).

I also think anyone who has committed such atrocities should have their names removed from all records and the news organizations shouldn't be allowed to make public spectacles of the incidences by over broadcasting it, and they also shouldn't be allowed to mention the shooters name either.

Because, hey, when you've tossed the Second Amendment away like an old newspaper, why bother stopping there when you can kill parts of the First?

Rachel's picture

Forget the gun argument for

Forget the gun argument for a minute. Here's what's bothering me.

The first shooting was at 7:15. The second two hours later. If campus police knew they had a shooter loose on campus, why were students apparently going to class as if nothing had happened? Or did I miss something?

Andy Axel's picture

...using a tragedy to

...using a tragedy to further your political agenda before the death toll hasn't even been tallied completely is just sick.

Oh?

Spare me.

I was going to make a point about this not being the time to argue gun politics

It wasn't the time to discuss race and income inequality during late August of 2005 as the Katrina relief effort dragged on and on. It wasn't time to discuss civil liberties as the TIPS program started, or as the eavesdropping program was revealed, or as the president unilaterally declared that your mail is subject to sneak & peek. It wasn't a good time to discuss electoral irregularities as the most corrupt presidential administration in American history was being inaugurated. It wasn't a good time to discuss the ideological future of the Supreme Court while Alito's nomination went on. It's not a good time to discuss campaign finance reform as every chiseler, hustler, and swindler on the block is stuffing money into every available orifice to get their guys (& occasional gals) elected. Et cetera, ad nauseum. And yeah, it kinda makes me sick.

Turns out there's never a good time.

But you can rest assured that the NRA rapid response team is formulating their talking points as we speak.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Elrod's picture

No answers

Once again, there are no answers to this tragedy. This will likely end up as some mentally deranged man - possibly a disgruntled grad student, a spurned lover, a paranoid schizo in the area, etc. - who went on a horrific rampage. Gun control would not have stopped this. Neither would a fully armed campus. Get over all the BS policy provisions that will "save lives." They won't. This sort of atrocity comes along now and then in the modern world. Our job is to help the unfortunate people who suffered through these bouts of pointless violence, or their family members who must grieve lost loved ones. We need to cope and heal, not try to "correct" something that cannot be corrected - or even identified. Sometimes the absurd crimes are the worst. Let's accept the absurdity on its face and deal with the uncertainty as caring human beings. That's how we live.

R. Neal's picture

What a sad day for America.

What a sad day for America. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Elrod is right, there's no explaining it, never will be.

But we live in a culture of violence. We are taught that violence is a solution to any problem from a very young age. We glorify thugs and violence and murder and murderers in literature, music, movies, television and our new-age leisure pursuits such as video games. Even our most popular sport, football, is based on a military approach to problem solving that involves violence against one another to gain and hold ground by projection of force. We condone state-sanctioned murder as retribution for crimes. We elect thugs to political office and have a president who feels honored to fulfill his destiny as a War President and to impose "democracy" at gunpoint. What a fine Christian example For the Children. And we wonder what The Problem is.

And the sad fact is, this monster in Virginia probably acquired his legal guns and ammo legally and was in possession of them legally until he stepped into the lecture hall with them and started shooting. Or got them from someone who got them legally. But By God it was his God and Charlton Heston Given Right to possess those guns and ammo right up until that point. Meanwhile, possession of a joint will land you in jail, even if you never light it.

But that's not relevant, and even suggesting that such a thing might be worthy of rational debate in a civilized society means you are a fascist out to shred the Constitution and deny the collective People's fundamental God Given Rights, and besides, he could have had a baseball bat or a knife and still been able to kill at least, like, 20 people.

But let's not bring any rational thinking into the political debate about our Culture of Violence, otherwise the 2nd Amendment pornographers will have to step out of their fantasy world of muzzle velocity and foot-pounds of impact energy and wound channel theory and castle doctrine rhetoric into the physical, emotional, real world of human pain and suffering and death in order to use their guns to protect their right to use their guns against those who threaten their Constitutional Right to use their guns to protect their right to use their guns, or something. Just like that guy did today.

In the mean time, perhaps it's time for them to justify how or why this guy had access to enough 2nd Amendment firepower to kill 32 innocent university students trying to make a better life for themselves.

There is also evidence that the monster may have studied Columbine. Well, he certainly bested their record and raised the bar, didn't he? He'll be a new cult hero to thousands of twisted little deviants-in-the-making who are products of our Culture of Violence just waiting to be the next monster who goes out in a blaze of glory to inspire the next one who will be even more spectacular than the last but not as spectacular as the next and so on.

And you just never know who it will be, do you? He could be sitting right next to you in class, on the bus, in your office, in the next stall at the firing range...

What a sad day for America. And sadly, it's not likely to ever change.

Rich Hailey's picture

Clarification on a couple of points

And the sad fact is, this monster in Virginia probably acquired his legal guns and ammo legally and was in possession of them legally

As of the latest reports, even though we still don't have his name, we hear that he is an immigrant, here on a student visa, which means he can't legally possess a gun.

In the mean time, perhaps it's time for them to justify how or why this guy had access to enough 2nd Amendment firepower to kill 32 innocent university students trying to make a better life for themselves.

That "firepower" has been identified as a .22 and a 9 mm. No evil black rifles, no high powered armor piercing rounds, no cop-killers. It's not the size of the gun, or the ammo; it's the desire of the man who pulls the trigger. It's this principle that belies 90% of all gun control legislation, which focuses on the gun instead of the shooter. Every gun is dangerous in the hands of a motivated killer. That means the only gun control notion that makes sense is total abolition, which would require a Constitutional Amendment. If that's what you believe (and by you, I don't mean R. Neal personally. This is directed at anybody who thinks we need more gun control laws.)is needed, then go for it. Make your case to the American people. Stop trying to duck around the Constitution, and stand for what you believe in. After this, you might even win.

But let's not bring any rational thinking into the political debate about our Culture of Violence,

Actually, rational thinking is exactly what's required here. Before you can fix a problem, you have to define it properly. Why do we have a culture of violence? Is it all the evil BushCo's fault? Did the culture not exist under Clinton? Reagan? Carter? Or is it a symptom not of the Presidency, but the Congress?

Or is it more likely that maybe the politicians we elect are also symptomatic of the cultural decay? After all, they are elected by the culture. Do they represent it, or lead it? Will the culture be healed by President Hillary or Obama? Or will they too be another expression of its disease and decay?

These are important questions because they define the cure.

I'll stop writing now before a moderator deletes this comment because it resembles a blog post.

R. Neal's picture

As of the latest reports,

As of the latest reports, even though we still don't have his name, we hear that he is an immigrant, here on a student visa, which means he can't legally possess a gun.

I think all he needs (if he is not a citizen and here legally on a student visa) is a hunting license to legally purchase and possess a gun and ammunition in Virginia and most states.

EDIT: If he's here legally on a visa he needs a hunting license to purchase from a federally licensed firearm dealer. He doesn't need anything to purchase from an individual or at a gun show. And he can legally possess anything except an "assault rifle" (20 or more round clip, capability to be equipped with a silencer, and/or folding stock), if I read Virginia law correctly.

No evil black rifles, no high powered armor piercing rounds, no cop-killers.

Didn't say there were any. You are defending possession for no reason. Your toys are not under attack. A perfect example of the kneejerk response to any discussion of gun control. People aren't buying it any more.

EDIT: I didn't know the ballistics reports were in on what kind of bullets were used. Do you have a link?

Is it all the evil BushCo's fault?

I listed five other possible general reasons. There are many more. You choose to single out this one to defend, which is not really a reason but a symptom, as you note. I understand your need, however, to defend your judgement and justify your bad choices in government. And yes, I think a different president can set a better example for the youth in our society with regard to violence.

Rich Hailey's picture

Clarifications

And he can legally possess anything except an "assault rifle" (20 or more round clip, capability to be equipped with a silencer, and/or folding stock), if I read Virginia law correctly.

The actual statute reads:

"It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States or who is not a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any assault firearm or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, an assault firearm...For purposes of this section, "assault firearm" means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol [emphasis mine] that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock."

Also, while allowed via the hunting exception to possess a firearm, a temporary resident is prohibited from getting a CCW, which when combined with the brandishing laws means he could not lawfully transport the gun except in an unloaded and inaccessible condition.

Additionally, the Virginia Tech campus is a gun free zone, so even if he did purchase the weapons legally, and I've heard nothing about a hunting license yet, it was against the law to have them on campus.

So we both have errors. I was under the impression that temporary residents could not carry. I was wrong. However, their ability to possess a firearm is much more limited than your reading of the law suggests.

You are defending possession for no reason. Your toys are not under attack.

I don't own any of the so called "toys". I own two pistols( .22 and .40) and a .22 rifle. You must have me confused with somebody else. I was responding to your talk of "firepower" as in "...why this guy had access to enough 2nd Amendment firepower..." like he was carrying an arsenal around campus. The point was not to "defend possession" but to point out that legislation that only partially bans gun ownership, particularly when it is targeted at guns rarely used in crimes, is useless. The vast majority of firearm related deaths are not from guns that get all the attention, the "assault" rifles and .50 cals. They come from easily obtainable garden variety handguns. I even suggested that the correct, effective approach to gun control was a Constitutional Amendment repealing or re-constructing the 2nd Amendment.


I didn't know the ballistics reports were in on what kind of bullets were used. Do you have a link?

Nope, and I can't find it again, so I withdraw that portion of the comment. But my point is still valid regardless of the caliber of the handguns. Unless of course they were .50 Desert Eagles.

I listed five other possible general reasons.

And I asked multiple questions, including whether or not the cultural problems (the gist of your 5 other possibilities) in our country were independent of politics.


I understand your need, however, to defend your judgement and justify your bad choices in government.

It's difficult to read my comment as a defense of my judgment, unless you think the events in West Virginia have some bearing on my suitability for carrying a weapon. It's also hard to read it as a justification for my voting preferences since there's not a word in it that can be taken as support for any political party or ideology, other than a respect for the integrity of the Constitution.

And I surely don't feel a need to justify that.


And yes, I think a different president can set a better example for the youth in our society with regard to violence.

In light of the recent study which shows that government programs have absolutely no effect on teenage behavior, that is an optimistic assessment. We still pay far more attention to our militaristic violent football players than we do our Presidents. But going with it for the sake of argument, it still begs the question: If our culture is so sick, then will it elect a President who can set a better example?

R. Neal's picture

I have made no error in my

I have made no error in my reading of VA law other than saying assault "rifle" instead of assault "weapon."

A resident alien here legally can purchase and possess handguns and ammo from a federally licensed dealer if they have a hunting license. (And it appears virtually anyone can obtain a hunting license). A resident alien here legally can purchase from an individual or at a gun show without a hunting license, and can legally possess handguns and ammo.

I didn't say anything about CCW. As long as he was carrying the weapons unloaded he was within the law. When he loaded them and started shooting and indiscriminately murdering people, he broke the law.

Many failures of weak laws allowed him to get to that point. No constitutional amendment required to see that.

Just today the KNS reports a guy convicted of multiple counts of selling firearms at gun shows illegallly to undercover agents who told him they were felons was given probation because he was a "good man" with no record.

Rich Hailey's picture

A fairly significant error

Since it directly affects whether he can possess a pistol which comes from the manufacturer with the ability to accept a silencer. I'm not a fire arms expert, so I'm not going to even venture a guess as to how many pistols are manufactured for muzzle accessories. I know one of mine, the .22, is.

And I brought CCW up because it is only one of the many existing gun control laws the shooter violated.

1. The guns had their serial numbers filed off.

A federal law enforcement official said Tuesday he had been told by other federal law enforcement officials that the two guns recovered in the shooting had had their serial numbers scraped off.

This argues against a legal purchase. Either the shooter filed off the serial numbers, violating a gun control law, or he bought them illegally.
2. From the same source, the shooter was a student and a resident of the dorms. Since Va Tech is a gun free zone, merely having the weapons in his possession, even unloaded, was illegal. Your original contention that he probably legally purchased and possessed the weapons is no longer a possibility.
3. According to the Virginia statutes I cited earlier, merely carrying the weapons unloaded is not enough. The must be securely wrapped, making loading impossible.
4. The shooter, by all reports so far, was not a resident alien. He was a temporary alien on a student visa. The difference is crucial.

The offenses so far, and I'm just talking about gun laws here, not what he did with them, are as I count 6 (3 per weapon, illegal purchase/removal of serial numbers, possession in a gun free zone, violation of CCW law) Class 6 felonies, the penalty for each being a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

So for having two illegally purchased guns on campus he was facing up to 30 years in jail. So maybe instead of stronger laws, we need tougher enforcement of existing laws?

R. Neal's picture

A fairly significant

A fairly significant error
Submitted by Rich Hailey on Tue, 2007/04/17 - 10:10am.
Since it directly affects whether he can possess a pistol

Unbelievable. Replace "rifle" with "weapon" and everything I said is exactly correct.

But keep spinning. The only point you have been able to make so far is that even legal guns are lethal and dangerous, and that because of political pressure from your likes the existing laws aren't effectively enforced.

Rich Hailey's picture

Unbelievable

Your statement:

And he can legally possess anything except an "assault rifle" (20 or more round clip, capability to be equipped with a silencer, and/or folding stock), if I read Virginia law correctly.

I already quoted the text. Let's examine more closely how it differs.

According to the law, he cannot possess any weapon, rifle or pistol, if any one of the following criteria are met.

1. If he has in his possession a clip that can contain in excess of 20 rounds.

or

2. It is equipped with a folding stock.

or

3. It comes from the manufacturer with the capacity to accept a silencer.

Your statement says he can own any pistol. That was the context in which you made it. That's why the difference is important. Additionally, your phrasing implies that the "weapon" must meet more than one of the criteria, when the statute itself makes it clear that any single criteria makes the pistol an assault weapon.

No spinning here, just the facts.

As for my points, you're partially correct. All guns are lethal, even a .22. But it's the man pulling the trigger that determines how dangerous it is. As for the second point, well, you've got it 180 degrees out of phase. Didn't I just now suggest that more stringent enforcement of existing gun laws was a better option than creating new ones? Isn't that in fact a common thread among gun owners? I know I seem to hear it a lot whenever this debate comes up. In fact, even the hated NRA has come out publicly urging that existing gun laws be enforced more stringently.

But it's clear that this discussion is moving away from the facts and becoming personal, so I'm finished. Let the readers decide who made their points.

JaHu's picture

According to the law, he

According to the law, he cannot possess any weapon, rifle or pistol, if any one of the following criteria are met.

Laws are meaningless to a person whose ultimate intent is to commit suicide.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

Rich Hailey's picture

Amen to that

Amen to that

R. Neal's picture

He had a Glock 9mm,

He had a Glock 9mm, according to some reports, with a receipt for it, according to other reports, and he bought it from a legit gun dealer in Virginia according to other reports (none confirmed by law enforcement).

Are you saying a Glock 9mm is an "assault weapon" under Virginia law?

Rich Hailey's picture

It depends

The relevant section is Code 18.2-308.2:01

For the purposes of resident aliens, it defines "assault firearms" as:

any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.

By this definition, the .22, being a rimfire, doesn't fall under the definition. And I don't know if Glock's come from the factory designed for a silencer.

And at this point, since he was a legal permanent resident, it doesn't matter. Even if it were an assault firearm, since he was a permanent resident, it would have been legal.

R. Neal's picture

And I don't know if Glock's

And I don't know if Glock's come from the factory designed for a silencer.

Don't think so. Pretty sure that would be illegal just about everywhere in the U.S. for any gun. I think you'd have to buy a modified barrel or have the factory barrel cut down and threaded, and before that you'd have to apply for some kind of federal permit and get an FBI background check and stuff like that.

Rich Hailey's picture

Found the link

I must have heard it on CNN while I was writing.

Here

"CNN news citing a source close to the investigation said a .22-caliber handgun and a nine-millimeter handgun were recovered at the scene."

R. Neal's picture

Where's the link about the

Where's the link about the ballistics report that says no "cop killer" or armor-piercing ammo was used? That's the one I was asking about.

Andy Axel's picture

Bravo.

I have so much I could say in response, but I am so completely outraged by the days events (from the substance-free coverage to the inconsequential presidential response to the moralistic finger-wagging of gun 'advocates') that it's best if I don't.

That said: One of your best summary posts, Mr. Neal.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

WhitesCreek's picture

Best comment on guns and Va. Tech

R. Neal's picture

Interesting results in the

Interesting results in the poll of all those commie fascist gun confiscating nanny state liberals over there at Kos.

gttim's picture

And the winner is rikki!

Yes, much like fear of eternal damnation prevents Baptists from getting naked and high on crack with a gay prostitute.

Then we get wingnut logic:

If just one person there had been armed, the shooter could possibly have been stopped sooner....

As I posted at TBogg's place:

I am imagining a campus full of guys packing heat. The first guy shoots his girlfriend and then starts on others. Then some guy sees him shooting, and so he starts shooting. Others see the second guy shooting and so with glee they begin shooting at him. Soon hundreds of guys with Wal-Mart jeans and camo shirts are all shooting at each other. Nobody knows who is a good guy and who is a bad guy, unless they have an orange hat on and even then, who knows. Bystanders are taken down in waves. Hundreds die! Most from badly aimed bullets. It is carnage. Then all the gun blogs can post about many more would have died if everybody wasn't allowed to pack heat.

This is a sad day. More guns do not make it better.

R. Neal's picture

It's indeed a sad state of

It's indeed a sad state of affairs when we live in a society that belives kids and teachers need to go armed to be safe in school.

rikki's picture

holy horowitz

your professor says something that you do not agree with and you shoot and kill your professor

What in the hell are you teaching those kids?

Andy Axel's picture

Digby Speaks...

...much truth:

You might believe that an unfettered constitutional right to bear arms is embedded in the constitution (a belief I actually share) but it's just wrong to downplay what a lethal goddamned right it is. Nobody wants to hear sermons about how many fewer kids would have been shot to death today on that campus if only there had been more guns around.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Andy Axel's picture

Possible outcome

David Horowitz and his neo-Maoist cadre of "revolutionaries" descends on Rutgers. You are labeled a traitor and summarily executed by mob of your students licensed for CCW at mid-term. Participants receive A's. There is no curve.

Michelle Malkin sees a silhouette of the Blessed Virgin in the gore and spatter on the classroom whiteboard.

Glenn Reynolds links to a press release from JWR, saying only, "Heh."

LGF sponsors a national moment of masturbation in honor of Horowitz, thereby layering a thickened crust of dried semen upon their acolytes.

Bill Hobbs dedicates 1500 words to the National Day of Anti-Islamofascist Orgasm.

Bill Hobbs' sockpuppet, bearing the guise of an actual journalism advocacy organization, submits Hobbs (that is to say, himself) for Pulitzer consideration.

#9 squeals, grunts. Posts something sub-pithy, buried in comments at NashvilleIsTalking.com in an avalanche started by "Satorifartblast."

SayUncle goes to the frig and pops himself a cold one. A smile crosses his face.

Death.

LesJones says, "Markets!"

Neil Young.

Death.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Daniel DiRito's picture

A Symptom of our "Chain Letter Society"?

Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Tina D. Shang's picture

I have been tracking this

I have been tracking this story all day and it has left me exhausted and numb. It has left me with more questions than answers. It has left me at a loss as to how I can have a positive impact in my community let alone in the world. We always think "it can never happen here" but time and time again we are proven wrong. It can happen here and yet few people seem interested in getting involved in bettering our world. You would be hard pressed to even manage to get a hand full of parents to show up to a meeting to address drugs in the local highschool let alone change the world.

I am usually the optimistic one spouting quotes such as Margaret Meads "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." and most days I truly believe that but tonight I am left wondering if indeed we can make a difference. I hope that for the sake of the victime of this horrific event the quote stands true and that this community can come together and rise above.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families as I turn in this evening I can think only of the young lives cut short and the grieving families left behind. I can think only of those families who have not yet been notified and must be going absolutely insane with worry and fear. I think of those who are left with only tears and questions. I hope that in the coming days these families get their answers, justice and closure.

Tina D. Shang
Rogersville Online
New site will officially launch May 1, 2007

gttim's picture

That "firepower" has been

That "firepower" has been identified as a .22 and a 9 mm. No evil black rifles, no high powered armor piercing rounds, no cop-killers. It's not the size of the gun, or the ammo; it's the desire of the man who pulls the trigger.

Just be grateful that he did not have an assault weapon which can many times be easily modified to shoot on full automatic. If he had, the death count could be in the hundreds and there would be some Senators and Congressmen coming after your toys. Although I sometimes wonder which the NRA loving right would feel more bad about.

Rich Hailey's picture

You're missing the point

Again, I don't own any of the "toys" you are referring to. You are leaping to a false conclusion, which isn't all that surprising.

I am grateful that he didn't have illegal possession of an illegally modified weapon, instead of illegal possession of handguns not because it would have cost me any "toys", but because the loss of life could have been massive had he broken more gun laws than he already did.

But gun laws stop this kind of thing, right?

gttim's picture

But gun laws stop this kind

But gun laws stop this kind of thing, right?

Allowing pretty much anybody who wants a gun to have one seems to be working real well. There are few if any laws that restrict ownership right now thanks to the NRA and gun nuts. God forbid we try something different.

Rich Hailey's picture

What exactly do you want to try?

It's not enough to throw your hands into the air and exclaim, "We've got to do something!" You have to have something to do.

So, who do you allow to buy a .22 rifle? Or a .45 hand gun? How do we decide?

I'm serious about this. What changes do you want to make in the law that you believe will result in an increase in public safety without eroding a fundamental right embodied in the Constitution. When you answer, demonstrate how your changes will minimize the chances of gun violence.

I've already said the only thing I think that will work as far as legislation. If guns are the problem, and not the people who use them, then ban private ownership outright. Amend the Constitution and take care of the problem that way.

talidapali's picture

Reasonably logical gun laws like...

A three week waiting period on ALL gun purchases. Mandatory background checks with fingerprints to make sure the purchaser is who they say they are.

Graduated ownership beginning at age sixteen: 16 to 18 year olds allowed to have hunting licenses for rifle and sport shooting only (no handguns) PROVIDED they have parental (adult) supervision at ALL times while handling guns in home state only (but not legally able to PURCHASE a gun); 18 to 21 year olds can purchase rifles and go hunting in all states (with appropriate state licenses purchased) without adult supervision but must have a minimum number of hours practical experience and firearms training from a licensed professional firearms safety trainer (but still not able to legally buy a handgun) also must purchase insurance to cover accidental injury to another person; at age 21 can legally purchase a handgun for target shooting only (no CCW permit and no transporting to another state) with trigger locks and insurance and no magazine over 20 rounds; at age 25 fully vested in gun ownership with minimum gun safety training hours accomplished would be allowed to obtain CCW license good for ALL states within the United States.

We ask our children to take on more responsibilities as they mature and become adults, like anything else, such as driving and drinking and voting and being eligible for the draft.

All gun owners should be required to take a one-time gun safety and handling class before be able to purchase for the first time if you are already over the age of 25. The gun laws should be made to apply across the country kind of like a national drivers license, they apply in all states.

Anyone without a criminal record of violent offenses or felonies should be able to own a gun if they choose.

I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also KNOW that some people are too stupid to be let out of the house most days much less with a gun in their hand.

I do not think it unreasonable to ask that people who want to own guns also be asked to demonstrate a minimum of responsibility by taking a safety class and carrying insurance in case of an accidental shooting to cover the medical expenses of the victim.

And guns do just go off, as we have seen just recently in this area with the tragic shooting of a child by her law enforcement father who was innocently cleaning his firearm. Accidents DO happen, and guns ARE dangerous, but they are a danger that can be ameliorated with some proper precautions and training.

Just because I am a Democrat does NOT mean I want to take your guns away, in fact, with this administration in the White House that is making a humongous power grab I am MORE likely to purchase a gun for myself to defend my other Constitutional rights, not just my 2nd Amendment ones.

_________________________________________________________

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

R. Neal's picture

Those are pretty reasonable

Those are pretty reasonable regulations if you ask me, and I could live with that and I don't see how or why anyone could object.

I think maybe it's time to go even further. Just some random ideas for discussion...

- Ban CCW altogether. Why do we need this? If someone has a legitimate need because of their occupation, they can get a license and they can be required to wear it openly. They should have to go through extensive background checks.

- Ban handgun possession except in one's primary residence and licensed shooting ranges. While being transported, they have to be unloaded and have a trigger lock. Law enforcement would be authorized to confiscate any handguns not in compliance.

- Require proof of safety training* and a state operated proficiency test (not private certificates) before sale of handguns, similar to driver's license. Require re-testing every five years. *EDIT: Also instruction in gun law, use of deadly force, and civil liability.

- Make possession of more than two clips for any type of firearm illegal. Nobody needs more than that.

- Make possession of more than 100 rounds of ammo for any type of firearm illegal. Nobody needs more than that.

- Institute a lifetime ban on firearm possession for any person convicted of a crime involving domestic violence.

- Bring back the assault weapons ban, and tighten up the law to eliminate confusion and exceptions. Maybe the simplest way would be to just ban semi-automatic rifles altogether. Nobody needs these weapons except the military. Folks would just have to find another hobby. Hunters would have to get by with bolt-action rifles.

- Eliminate gun shows and all firearms sales by individuals, and transfers to individuals other than the owner's immediate family. All firearms sales would be through licensed and regulated dealers, who have to comply with all background checks and other provisions. Owners who want to sell their guns would have to sell them to a dealer. Consignment sales probably shouldn't be allowed, but that's a possibility as long as all other regulations are followed.

- Require purchasers of all firearms to account for their whereabouts by filing an annual report with the state law enforcement stating the serial number, description and location of each firearm in their possession, a statement of any transfer or sale of firearms indicating date and person to whom firearm was transferred or sold.

Those are just some ideas, I'm sure there are others worth considering.

Disclaimer: I own guns, and if all of these were the law today I'd be in violation of most if not all of them (haven't owned any "assault weapons", but have owned semi-automatic rifles). But I would have no problem complying if they were the law.

talidapali's picture

I agree mostly, but...

I really don't have a problem with CCW permits. I can understand a woman not wanting to strap a gun holster on her hip...carrying a small handgun in a purse would be fine with me.

I definitely wouldn't want someone with a history of domestic violence being able to carry a gun at all. They have ALREADY demonstrated that they don't have any compunction about using violence against another person.

Personally I don't see the need to have an automatic assault weapon of any sort, I think you are far more likely to hurt or kill yourself or someone you love than someone who is carrying out a full-on tactical raid (unless you are barricaded in your house and it's the SWAT team knocking, which kind of leads a reasonable person to want to comply rather than "break out the winders and start a-shootin'"). They don't call them "assault" weapons for nothing I suspect. Unless you call hunting "assaulting the wildlife".

_________________________________________________________

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

talidapali's picture

Just an addendum...

I think gun shows are fine but purchases AT gun shows should not be allowed. If you find a dealer that has a weapon you would like to purchase you should be able to fill out the paperwork and submit your licensing information and fingerprints and then three weeks later after the required background checks have been done then you would receive your purchase through a certified carrier that requires an in-person picture-ID'd signature receipt. Or if the vendor was within a reasonable driving distance you could pick-up in person, it's a good excuse for a weekend get-away trip.

As far as individual sales and transfers of guns by private citizens, that should be banned altogether. They have consignment shops for clothing, why not for guns? If you have a gun you personally want to get rid of, take it to the gun consignment shop...they sell it for you and take a percentage of the sale for doing the storage and background checks (reasonable percentage like 12% or so). You don't have the headache or the liability for selling or transferring a gun to someone who shouldn't have one.

_________________________________________________________

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Rachel's picture

If guns are the problem, and

If guns are the problem, and not the people who use them, then ban private ownership outright. Amend the Constitution and take care of the problem that way.

That would be fine with me, but it's not going to happen because the vast majority of Americans don't want it to. I respect that.

So we have to work within the framework of what we have. And don't insult anyone's intelligence by insinuating that there isn't a lot of workable ground of gun control between "ban all guns" and "no restrictions on guns."

I'm a passionate supporter of the first amendment and I sure as hell believe in restrictions on free speech to protect public safety. Why is the second amendment any different?

bizgrrl's picture

While waiting for a Business

While waiting for a Business Law class at U of Ctrl FL to start, a student was so mad at the prof (it was a hard class), she (yes, she) said out loud she's thinking about going to her car and getting her gun (to use on him). This was at least 10 years ago.

I, in my reactive way, immediately jumped on her verbally, telling her to never speak that way, even in jest. Yes, there were other students in the room. I told her I should report her to the campus cops. She apologized and said she wasn't serious. But, then, everyone in the room knew to keep an eye on her.

Some call me paranoid, non-trusting. I call me trying to be safe. We must all be vigilant, be aware. Speak up. It's not always a joke.

MJ's picture

I haven't read up on the

I haven't read up on the finer details, even if they are out there, but is it safe to assume this was a case where maybe a gun was bought the day of or day before the rampage took place? That could make a good case for waiting periods before purchase, especially for first time gun owners.

Long time gun owners are usually very responsible gun owners, it seems it's the people who have never fired one but know they can run out and buy one in the heat of the moment that can cause the most harm to society.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the VT suspect was not a previous gun owner and may have made just such a quick purchase. I'm not sure if the details of how the gun acquired are available as of yet, if anyone finds them post them here.

There are ways around any law, but a waiting period and background check on first time gun owners doesn't seem to be too out of line in my mind.

Andy Axel's picture

There are ways around any

There are ways around any law, but a waiting period and background check on first time gun owners doesn't seem to be too out of line in my mind.

Virginia is an "Insta-Check" state. They used to have a 7-day waiting period.

Just sayin'.

As of the latest reports, even though we still don't have his name, we hear that he is an immigrant, here on a student visa, which means he can't legally possess a gun.

You might want to wait before using this as an affirmative defense. Latest latest reports state that this person may have been a permanent resident. That's would be a different story than a visa.

Per MSNBC this morning, the early report came from the fact that there was a cell phone located near the body of the perpetrator, but apparently that phone belonged to one of the victims.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

gttim's picture

Oh, and using a tragedy to

Oh, and using a tragedy to further your political agenda before the death toll hasn't even been tallied completely is just sick.

However, Bush has already announced that he will go to the funeral.

Guns don't "go off by themselves".

Better ask Bob Barr about that.

R. Neal's picture

It's interesting that the

It's interesting that the media approach last night was to make the story about school and law enforcement officials not doing enough to prevent it.

Today's big, bold, top of the fold front page headline in the KNS says "Blood on their hands" (quoting a student) with the subhead questioning if officials did enough.

But curiously, of the interviews with students I have seen so far, the cable news reporters could not get any of them to say they were upset with the authorities' handling of the situation, and some say they think school officials did all they could do given the circumstances and information available at the time.

Andy Axel's picture

It's interesting that the

It's interesting that the media approach last night was to make the story about school and law enforcement officials not doing enough to prevent it.

Yeah. What a shock. Inventing (and blaming) more victims.

We are all favored with this brand of "Nancy Grace journalism" every day.

Today's big, bold, top of the fold front page headline in the KNS says "Blood on their hands" (quoting a student) with the subhead questioning if officials did enough.

Apropos of media cluelessness, not of this story: The head on the Sunday Tennessean this week was, "CAN YOUR PRIVATE LIFE RUIN YOUR JOB?"

Priorities.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

WhitesCreek's picture

not correct

The shooter, by all reports so far, was not a resident alien. He was a temporary alien on a student visa. The difference is crucial.

He was a permanent legal alien.

Rich Hailey's picture

Good info

Here's the link

Police identified the classroom shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior from South Korea who was in the English department and lived in another dorm on campus...Cho was a permanent legal resident of the United States, according to a Homeland Security Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced.

So he could have legally purchased even greater firepower. Should we suggest then that there be greater restrictions on legal ownership of guns by resident aliens? Remember however, that the guns used in the shooting were still on campus illegally, carried illegally (even resident aliens are not allowed a CCW), and illegally defaced. While the guns may have been purchased legally, the destruction of the serial numbers makes that doubtful, in my opinion.

R. Neal's picture

Geez, Rich, didn't you read

Geez, Rich, didn't you read the summary of the press briefing at the top of the page posted a while ago? Keep up!

Rich Hailey's picture

Nope

been too busy researching Va law and answering comments to see that the post was updated.

Sven's picture

In other words, you have two

In other words, you have two choices: LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!!!!

R. Neal's picture

"Sources say Cho was

"Sources say Cho was carrying a backpack that contained receipts for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol."

Of course, this too may turn out to be more misinformation and rumor being tossed about by the wingnuts. But it suggests the weapon was purchased legally, and recently.

R. Neal's picture

Another wingnut talking point debunked

The wingnuts and gun nuts, including a law professor, are hyperventilating about the violation of "gun free school zone" laws in the Virginia Tech case to argue we already have enough gun laws.

Federal law: "The term 'school' means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law."

Virginia law: "[long list of stuff not allowed on] the property of any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds"

Hmmm, so apparently firearms are not illegal on college or university campuses under either state or federal law. But I am not a lawyer, so somebody check me on that.

Obviously, VT or any other college or university may have policies, and probably do. But policy is not law. Can't put a guy in jail for violating a policy.

Yet enother loophole in our weak gun laws.

Rich Hailey's picture

Backing your point

link
They upshot of the article is that guns are not illegal on college campuses in Virginia, just against school policy.

So CHo only faced 4 counts of violating gun laws, dealing with defacing the guns and carrying them improperly.

It is weak.

Any suggestions?

Elrod's picture

Permanent resident aliens

Cho was a permanent resident alien. He immigrated as a child and went to high school in Centreville. Does Virginia ban permanent resident aliens from possessing a CCW permit?

Rich Hailey's picture

Nope

If you are a permanent legal resident, you can have a CCW according to Virginia Code 18.2-308 Paragraph E item 10

marat's picture

Crossfire

There was a very early press release yesterday--this was mentioned on Olbermann's show last night--from a pro-gun group who said that the whole thing could have been avoided if students were allowed to carry guns on campus and to classes. Just what this situation needed to reduce the body count--a crossfire!

gttim's picture

McCain said:We have to look

McCain said:

We have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people.

That would be through gun control?

I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon. Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Sounds like he was pretty law-abiding until he decided to kill 30+ people. Don't we always hear the phrase "never been in trouble with the police before." Please, tell me how you suppose to do this. Do you have a minority report situation developing?

Andy Axel's picture

Among the dead: Liviu

Among the dead:

Liviu Librescu. Holocaust survivor.

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

WhitesCreek's picture

You people are all wrong

You obviously haven't read the second amendment which supercedes all other amendments. it says that you can keep and tote arms. Nothing about legs or purses is mentioned anywhere in the Constitution and neither is the right to Habeus Corpse.

Elrod's picture

CCW irrelevant

I'm quite sure Cho did not have a CCW permit. This is what happened: Cho decided a month or so ago that he wanted to kill himself and a bunch of other people. So he want to a gun store in Roanoke and bought one legally. He passed the background check because he has no record. Then he kept the gun someplace - probably in his room. Then, yesterday, he decided to murder over 30 people and kill himself with it.

It's really that simple, and that tragic. He had no desire to possess a CCW permit because he wasn't going to tote it around with him "for protection." He probably never thought anybody would find it, but just in case he decided to file off the serial numbers (though that's still a bit odd - they proved via surveillance camera that he bought the guns at a store so why did he file the numbers off? Or is that a bogus account?)

End of the day: Cho wanted to kill. He didn't care about Tech's ban on guns or CCW laws. All he wanted was a gun so he could kill people and commit suicide. And he had no trouble obtaining one legally.

This is a one-off crazy event. He would pass any background check. He was a legal resident of the US with no criminal record. If he can prevented from owning a gun, anybody can.

The answer has nothing to do with guns - not banning them or giving them to students OK Corral style. The problem was that this increasingly paranoid, depressed loner meandered through life and nobody intervened to stop him or steer him back to sanity. I thought of the Jackson Browne song "Late for the Sky" today, which played in the movie Taxi Driver just as Travis Bickle loses his mind. Listen to that song again...it's chilling.

ANGRYWOLF's picture

Here are a couple of plays Cho

the shooter allegedly wrote as posted on AOL:

(link...)

R. Neal's picture

Cho wanted to kill. He

Cho wanted to kill. He didn't care about Tech's ban on guns or CCW laws. All he wanted was a gun so he could kill people and commit suicide. And he had no trouble obtaining one legally.

That's all very true.

But it's time for some checks and balances to our gun culture of violence so the next Cho isn't able to get a gun so easily. (Apparently he lied on the paperwork, don't most states ask about mental problems and medication and stuff?)

And so there aren't so many illegal handguns on the street that are so easily available to kids and thugs and former felons who shouldn't have them.

And so mayors like Haslam who try to do something to keep them off the street aren't vilified in the press and on the blogs and worry about a handfull of gun nuts keeping them from getting reelected.

Sven's picture

The fundamental fallacy

The fundamental fallacy being promoted is that a lift of gun bans and allowance of CCW on campuses is going to save lives.

Even granting that such measures would deter or mitigate incidents like that at VT (and I don't believe it would), such changes would cost far more lives through increased rates of suicide, accidents, and crimes of passion/stupidity than they would save. We just wouldn't hear about them on CNN.

R. Neal's picture

Two Secret Service officers

Two Secret Service officers were injured on Tuesday after a gun held by another Secret Service officer accidentally fired inside the White House gate, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford. One officer suffered a shrapnel wound to the face, and the other was wounded in the leg.

Another one of those guns going off by themselves ("a gun held by another agent accidentally fired" instead of "another agent accidentally discharged his/her weapon").

calloway's picture

Good words from VA's

Good words from VA's governor ...

<
"People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them,"
>
and I'd say for every 1 NRA guy in the news I have heard from about 10 folks who seem to be awaiting another Michael Moore documentary on the subject.

Ok, then..

Factchecker's picture

Because words are for wimps;

Because words are for wimps; violence is for MEN!!!!!

Guns are for the weak, the cowardly, the scared, the ignorant.

Guns are the great equalizer. Except to the other guy.

Now back to hearing gun zealots equivocate, nuance, and parse how this is different and guns are wonderful, patriotic, and All-American.

Andy Axel's picture

Buncha Yakovs...

Psychiatric care is expensive. Treat 'em and street 'em.

So, yet another chronic American issue is tangled up in this unfolding drama. Immigration. Guns and violence. And now, a health care system that turns dangerous psychopaths out on the street.

"WHAT A COUNTRY!"

____________________________

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." K. Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives