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Gun Policy News, 17 April 2007

United States

17 April 2007

Agence France Presse

WASHINGTON — The deadliest school shooting in US history spread shock waves through the US today, reviving calls for tighter gun control and renewing the debate about campus security. President George W. Bush led expressions of dismay saying he was "shocked and saddened" by the shooting rampage that left at least 33 dead and many more wounded at a university in Virginia. "Schools should be places of safety, and sanctuary, and learning. When that sanctuary is... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Agence France Presse

23322

United States

17 April 2007

Reuters

The killings at Virginia Tech university will stir fresh US debate over gun control and what drives people to go on shooting rampages through schools and colleges. The killer's identity and motive were not immediately known, but as the death toll rose, it became the deadliest campus shooting in US history, the latest in a string of spree killings. It was the worst since Charles Whitman went to the top of a tower at the University of Texas on August 1, 1966, and opened... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

23323

United States

17 April 2007

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Monday's deadly rampage at Virginia Tech sparked a largely one-sided response in the long-running debate over guns. Gun control advocates said the shootings pointed to the need for tougher laws, while supporters of gun rights generally kept their heads down. And leaders of both major political parties expressed sympathy for victims and their families, while avoiding comment on gun control. In brief remarks from the White House, President Bush expressed... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Los Angeles Times

23326

United States

17 April 2007

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — A gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday, cutting down his victims in two attacks two hours apart before the university could grasp what was happening and warn students. The bloodbath ended with the gunman committing suicide, bringing the death toll to 33 and stamping the campus in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains with unspeakable tragedy, perhaps forever. Investigators... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23328

United States

17 April 2007

The Hill (Washington, DC)

Anti-gun control groups, sure to be back on the defensive after yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech, say they are having a hard time solidly backing any of the top-tier Republican presidential candidates. The only 2008 presidential candidates who have earned solid backing from anti-gun control groups are a handful of Republicans struggling to get their campaigns off the ground — and one Democrat. The first tier of Republican candidates, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.),... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: The Hill (Washington, DC)

23329

United States

17 April 2007

New York Sun

The shooting rampage in Virginia may revive the issue of gun control in the 2008 presidential contest and unravel what had been a growing consensus among Democrats not to mention the subject. "This is an issue that shows up during tragedies," a Democratic gun policy analyst and former aide to Senator Schumer, James Kessler, said. "That is the nature of the gun issue. It will recede from view and then, unpredictably, burst upon the scene." In recent years, Democratic... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Sun

23330

United States,Australia

17 April 2007

Reuters

SYDNEY, Australia — Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Tuesday decried the negative "gun culture" in America after the deadly shooting spree at a U.S. university, holding up tough gun laws in his own country as the answer. Howard introduced strict gun-ownership laws after the shooting massacre of 35 people in the southern island state of Tasmania in 1996. "We had a terrible incident at Port Arthur, but it is the case that 11 years ago we took action to limit... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

23337

United States

17 April 2007

Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech does not change his view that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to carry a weapon. "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," McCain said Monday in response to a question. The Arizona Republican, who was campaigning in this... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23338

United States

17 April 2007

Sky News (UK)

In the state of Virginia, where the deadliest shooting in US history has taken place, buying a gun is easy. Any state resident over the age of 18 can walk into a gun shop and purchase a weapon on the spot — subject to an instant criminal check. And even individuals who fail the background check may buy a weapon if the sale takes place away from a licenced gun store. No training or license is required to own a gun and there is no 'cooling off' period to help prevent... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sky News (UK)

23339

United States,Australia

17 April 2007

Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia — The leader of Australia — where a lone gunman went on one of the world's deadliest killing sprees 11 years ago — said Tuesday the university shooting in Virginia showed that America's 'gun culture' was a negative force in society. Prime Minister John Howard staked his political leadership on pushing through tough laws on gun ownership in Australia after Martin John Bryant, armed with a bagful of automatic weapons, went on a killing spree in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23340

United States,Australia

17 April 2007

Australian Associated Press

Prime Minister John Howard says strict controls are to thank for preventing a United States-style "gun culture" from flourishing in Australia. Mr Howard was speaking after a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech university before shooting himself dead, in what is regarded as America's worst shooting rampage. Mr Howard told reporters at Lowood, west of Brisbane, the federal government had acted quickly after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania to deal with the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian Associated Press

23341

United States

17 April 2007

Belfast Telegraph, Opinion

"A tragedy of monumental proportions" was how Charles Steger, the president of Virginia Tech, described the slaughter at his university yesterday, the worst campus mass shooting in US history. But whether it is of sufficient proportion to dent America's love affair with guns is quite another matter. Similar disbelief followed other mass shootings in recent years — from the 24 people gunned down in a fast-food restaurant in the Texas town of Killeen in October 1991,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Belfast Telegraph

23342

United States

17 April 2007

Kansas City Star (Missouri)

ST. LOUIS — When the National Rifle Association finds somebody to love, the relationship can lead to the White House. At least that happened with George W. Bush in 2000. But as the organization on Sunday wrapped up its 136th annual convention, it left a big question unanswered — to the delight, no doubt, of those who battle the NRA: Who's there to love now? All of the top candidates for president in 2008, Republican and Democratic, have gun-control stains on their... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Kansas City Star (Missouri)

23343

United States,Australia

17 April 2007

ABC News (Australia) / AFP

The Prime Minister John Howard says he is saddened and shocked by a massacre at a university campus in the US. A gunman killed 32 people in a morning rampage at the Virginia Tech campus before shooting himself. "It is the worst mass shooting incident in the history of the United States and it is a dreadful event for the university, for those who have lost loved ones," said Mr Howard. "On behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian people I extend my... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: ABC News (Australia) / AFP

23344

United States

17 April 2007

New York Times

People who live in communities with a lot of guns are more likely to kill themselves, a new study says. The findings, the researchers say, add weight to the argument that when people have less access to guns, they are less likely to commit suicide. Earlier research raised the question of whether people intent on suicide would simply switch to another equally lethal method if unable to find a gun. In the new report, in the current issue of The Journal of Trauma,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

23345

United States

17 April 2007

Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

TALLAHASSEE — A new survey shows 80 percent of Floridians think businesses and homeowners should decide what things are brought onto their property, which the Florida Chamber of Commerce said Monday undermines the push by the National Rifle Association to allow employees to keep guns in their cars at work. The chamber survey, conducted by the firm Tel Opinion Research, also shows 56 percent of the 600 respondents said business owners should be able to expressly bar... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

23346

United States

17 April 2007

Age (Melbourne)

He is an Asian-American student at Virginia Tech University, whose personal blogs reveal a recently wounded heart and an eye-opening gun fetish. But Wayne Chiang — the subject of fevered speculation on the internet — is not the man responsible for this morning's massacre at the southern US university. Rumours that Chiang, 23, was the mass murderer spread across the world after links to his various blogs were posted on social networking website Facebook and similar... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

23347

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Washington Post

LONDON — The Virginia Tech shootings received extensive news coverage around the world Monday, leading many to question how such violence could keep happening in the United States. In Britain, there was shock at the scale of the killings, but many people said they were not surprised, seeing the United States as a nation obsessed with guns, where firearms are easy to obtain. "I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons — you can go into a... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

23348

United States

17 April 2007

Daily News (New York)

WASHINGTON — President Bush grieved over the shooting rampage Monday at Virginia Tech — but the White House made clear it's not backing off its support for gun owners. "Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community," Bush said. "Today our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech." Earlier, as the news out of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Daily News (New York)

23350

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Associated Press

LONDON — The deadly university rampage in Virginia that killed 33 people sent shock waves around the world Tuesday with newspapers and talk shows delving into the American psyche and raising questions about lax gun controls in the United States. The gun control debate echoed across Europe, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. Prime Minister Tony Blair offered his condolences to the victims' families. "I would like to express on behalf of Britain... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23351

United States

17 April 2007

Washington Post

On a hot August day in 1966, a 25-year-old engineering student and ex-Marine named Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower of the University of Texas at Austin's Main Building and began firing. He killed 14 people — he had killed his wife and mother earlier — and wounded 31 in what, until yesterday, was the nation's worst shooting rampage on a campus. So-called spree killings are multiple homicides that erupt for no immediately apparent reason. They are not, by... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

23352

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Associated Press

LONDON — Expressions of sympathy rang out from Buckingham Palace to Beijing as the world absorbed the news of yet another deadly shooting rampage in the United States and questions grew over how such violence could break out yet again and whether lax U.S. gun laws are a case of freedom gone too far. Criticism echoed across Europe where gun laws are some of the toughest in the world. "Only the names change — And the numbers," read a headline in the Times of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23353

United States,Asia,United Nations

17 April 2007

Reuters

SYDNEY — The U.S. shooting massacre in Virginia resonated across Asia on Tuesday with Australia rejecting the negative "gun culture" in America and the anti-gun lobby in the Philippines saying it feared similar carnage. Prime Minister John Howard said tough Australian gun laws introduced after a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 had prevented the U.S. gun culture emerging in his country. In contrast the anti-gun lobby in the Philippines, nicknamed "The Wild West of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

23354

United States

17 April 2007

Reuters

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — Police and university officials faced pressure on Tuesday to explain how a gunman evaded detection between killing two people and going on to kill 30 others two hours later in the United States' worst shooting rampage. The man killed himself in a classroom at Virginia Tech university after opening fire on students and staff in an apparently premeditated massacre on Monday morning, leaving the sprawling rural campus reeling with grief and shock.... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

23355

United States

17 April 2007

New York Times

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — The gunshots were so slow and steady that some students thought they came from a nearby construction site, until they saw the police officers with rifles pointed at Norris Hall, the engineering building at Virginia Tech. Bang. Bang. Bang. They went on and on, for what seemed like 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, an eternity with punctuation. Bang. Bang. On the third floor of Norris Hall, Scott L. Hendricks, a professor, looked out the window of his... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

23356

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

BBC News

The killings at a university in the state of Virginia have sparked yet again a heated debate about gun control in the United States. The BBC News website looks at some of the issues arising from the worst shooting spree in the country's peacetime history. Why are shootings at educational institutions so common in the US? This depends on who you ask. For those opposed to the country's liberal gun laws the key problem is easy access to highly powered weapons. They say... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: BBC News

23357

United States

17 April 2007

Roanoke Times (Virginia), Column

No matter how much mayhem and tragedy may be caused by gun violence in the United States, such costs are more than an acceptable trade-off for many people who are determined to preserve "the right to keep and bear arms." No matter how many emotional appeals to stop the violence — like the somber ringing of a bell 80 times at a vigil in Richmond last January to mark the 80 deaths of Virginia children by gun violence in 2005 — the sacred Second Amendment pre-empts... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Roanoke Times (Virginia)

23358

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

CNN

LONDON, England — The United States is the worlds largest maker, buyer and seller of guns but the country's constitutional right to bear arms comes at a high price, one for which the whole world has been paying. The tragic shooting at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia Monday that ended in the deaths of 33 people is a symptom of a global epidemic of gun crime that is taking a greater toll every year. "The U.S. stands out as the developed country with... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CNN

23359

Australia,United States

17 April 2007

Agence France Presse

SYDNEY — Prime Minister John Howard, responding to a deadly rampage at a US university, said Tuesday that strict controls after one of the world's worst massacres by a lone gunman had helped Australia avoid a US-style "gun culture." Howard ordered tougher controls after Martin Bryant killed 35 people in a shooting spree through Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996. "We had a terrible incident at Port Arthur," he said. "But it is the case that 11 years ago we took... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Agence France Presse

23360

United States

17 April 2007

Agence France Presse

NEW YORK — Gun control surged back onto the US agenda after the deadliest school shooting in US history, but with few politicians willing to take up the sensitive issue, chances of major change look remote. With an estimated 40 percent of American households owning a gun and some 200 million weapons in private hands, according to surveys, challenging the constitutional right to bear arms is a potentially hugely unpopular move. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Agence France Presse

23361

United States

17 April 2007

ABC News (USA)

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy, political leaders and presidential candidates were quick to offer their prayers and condolences. President Bush said in an impromptu on-camera statement to media that Monday he was "shocked and saddened" by the shootings. The Senate observed a moment of silence and the House of Representatives quickly followed suit, with Speaker Pelosi saying that the prayers of the Congress were with the students and their families.... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: ABC News (USA)

23363

United States

17 April 2007

New York Times, Editorial

Yesterday's mass shooting at Virginia Tech — the worst in American history — is another horrifying reminder that some of the gravest dangers Americans face come from killers at home armed with guns that are frighteningly easy to obtain. Not much is known about the gunman, who is reported to have killed himself, or about his motives or how he got his weapons, so it is premature to draw too many lessons from this tragedy. But it seems a safe bet that in one way or... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

23369

United States

17 April 2007

New York Daily News, Column

Still love those guns, Virginia? Ready to admit that it's madness for any psycho to be able to saunter into a gun shop and acquire firepower capable of killing 32 innocents? Feel different now that the blood is the blood of so many of your most promising young people? You've been shrugging for decades as illegal guns from your state plague our city, killing and maiming and terrorizing New Yorkers by the thousands, at one point comprising 47% of the guns our cops... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Daily News

23370

United States

17 April 2007

Times (UK)

Not everyone concludes that tighter gun controls might prevent more gun deaths, although this has been the common conclusion on this side of the Atlantic. As the fatal shooting of 32 people at Virginia Tech sent the US into new analysis of one of its most controversial personal freedoms, some American commentators argued that if only students had been allowed to take their own arms into classrooms, they could have fought back. Michelle Malkin, a well-known... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Times (UK)

23371

United States

17 April 2007

CNN

WASHINGTON — Is the Virginia Tech tragedy likely to put gun control on the political agenda? Don't bet on it. In recent years, gun control has been an issue most politicians prefer to stay away from. The last significant gun control measures to make it through Congress were the Brady bill in 1993 and the assault weapons ban in 1994. And what happened? Democrats lost control of Congress for 12 years. President Clinton said the gun lobby had a lot to do with his... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CNN

23374

United States

17 April 2007

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — After the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cautioned Tuesday against a "rush to judgment" on stricter gun control. A leading House supporter of restrictions on firearms conceded passage of legislation would be difficult. "I think we ought to be thinking about the families and the victims and not speculate about future legislative battles that might lie ahead," said Reid, a view expressed by other Democratic leaders... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23375

United States

17 April 2007

Bloomberg (USA)

Gun control advocates in Congress said that while the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University underscores the need for tougher restrictions on firearms, they probably don't have enough support to pass such legislation. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, said she has little hope that the House would renew a ban on assault weapons that lapsed in 2004, even with Democrats in the majority for the first time in a decade. She said she will push for... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Bloomberg (USA)

23376

United States

17 April 2007

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Gun-control advocates made little headway after another bloody April shootout eight years ago and acknowledged today they face similarly tough odds in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. "It is a tough sell," said Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, the House's most ardent proponent of gun-control legislation. McCarthy was elected to Congress on a gun-control platform in 1996, three years after her husband was killed and her son seriously... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23377

Australia

17 April 2007

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

SYDNEY — Stricter gun controls enacted after a 1996 shooting massacre are to thank for preventing a US-style gun culture from developing in Australia, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Tuesday. The prime minister's comments came in reaction to news that a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech university before shooting himself dead. Howard made his reputation for firm leadership when he instituted a gun buy-back scheme and tightened gun control laws in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Deutsche Presse-Agentur

23379

United States,Europe

17 April 2007

Der Spiegel (Germany)

With a view to Monday's deadly shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, European newspapers are blaming the lack of gun control measures in the United States and implying that Charlton Heston is indirectly responsible for the scope of the killings. Across the continent on Tuesday, European media rubber-neck at Monday's massacre in the United States. Most seem to agree about one thing: The shooting at Virginia Tech is the result of America's woeful lack of serious gun control... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Der Spiegel (Germany)

23381

United States

17 April 2007

Talahassee Democrat (Florida), Opinion

It's the guns, stupid. The most developed, allegedly most civilized nation on earth eagerly and misguidedly bans drugs and abortions and smoking and gay marriages. But it allows virtually unrestricted access to individual implements of mass murder: guns. So 32 college students are slaughtered at Virginia Tech, five Amish schoolchildren are executed in Pennsylvania, four junior-high students and a teacher are killed in Arkansas and 12 high-school students and a teacher... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Talahassee Democrat (Florida)

23382

United States

17 April 2007

ABC News (USA)

Though the mass shooting at Virginia Tech is being called one of the worst in U.S. history, it certainly isn't the only high-profile shooting to spark national debate about the Second Amendment and the issue of gun control. Politicians have mostly stuck to condolences and words of prayer for the grieving in the hours since the shooting, but if history is any indication, the debate will heat up again soon. But that same history shows us that even in the face of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: ABC News (USA)

23383

United States

17 April 2007

Houston Chronicle (Texas), Editorial

A gunman's slaying of 32 people before taking his own life is a crime of shocking proportions. Virginia Tech, once before the scene of a manhunt following two fatal shootings, joins the ranks of American campuses known more for a shooter's infamy than for education. Many Texans know well the feelings of the Virginia Tech students who survived and those of the friends and relatives of the dead. In 1966 former Marine Charles Whitman scarred a generation when he climbed... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Houston Chronicle (Texas)

23384

United Nations

17 April 2007

Associated Press

Number of deaths from firearms for every 1,000,000 people in the following countries in 2003: Brazil: 213 South Africa: 126 United States: 41 Canada: 5.1 England and Wales: 0.3 Japan: 0.3 Source: The International Action Network on Small Arms using information from various government sources. 2003 was the most recent year that complete data from all countries was... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23391

United Nations

17 April 2007

Associated Press

School shootings from around the world since 1996: - Nov. 21, 2006: Sebastian Bosse, 18, opens fire at his former school in Emsdetten, Germany, before killing himself. Five people are wounded and scores hospitalized for smoke inhalation after he sets off smoke bombs. - Sept. 13, 2006: Kimveer Gill, 25, opens fire in a cafeteria at a Montreal college, killing one student and wounding 19 before shooting himself. - Sept. 28, 2004: Three teenagers are shot and killed by... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23392

United States

17 April 2007

Economist

It is surely an American oddity that, after the worst mass shooting in the country's history, some are already saying that such horrors would be less likely if only guns were easier to own and carry. Americans love firearms. The second item in the constitution's bill of rights, just after freedom of speech, religion, assembly and the press, is the right to bear arms. It is part of the national religion. Mass killings remain rare events, whatever outsiders might think,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Economist

23402

United States

17 April 2007

Newsweek

I don't know what I was thinking. It seemed to me that the gruesome tragedy at Virginia Tech might prompt a new wave of legislation — not just talk but legislation — to limit the sale of handguns in America. But a few calls and e-mails to people who know the politics of the issue led to a different conclusion: forget about it. Whatever the rest of the world thinks, whatever Rosie O'Donnell thinks, whatever big city mayors, present and former, think — it remains... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Newsweek

23431

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Investor's Business Daily (USA), Editorial

Left-leaning editorial boards both here and in Europe leaned so hard after the Virginia Tech shootings that they fell all over themselves making spurious arguments. It was, of course, predictable. 'What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss," grumbled the New York Times in Tuesday's lead editorial in response to the mass murder that left 33 dead. The Boston Globe was only a bit more... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Investor's Business Daily (USA)

23432

United States

17 April 2007

Financial Times (UK)

Last Saturday, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, urged delegates at the group's annual convention in St Louis, Missouri, to prepare for "the storm that lies ahead". He was referring to the threat posed to the gun lobby by a Democratic-controlled Congress and the risk that the White House could also fall into enemy hands next year. Mr LaPierre cannot have imagined that the storm he predicted would arrive two days later in the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Financial Times (UK)

23438

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Reuters

LONDON — World leaders and media commentators criticised what many called the gun culture in the United States on Tuesday after 33 people were killed in the country's worst shooting rampage. The world, including U.S. arch-foe Iran, united in sympathy. European newspapers saw a grim inevitability about the killings because the U.S. constitution enshrined the right to bear arms, and Australian Prime Minister John Howard pointed to the tough laws on gun ownership in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

23445

United States,United Nations

17 April 2007

Liberation (France), Opinion

[Amnesty International researcher and Control Arms spokesman Benoit Muracciole denounces the gun policies of the Bush administration]. Benoit Muraciolle, chercheur pour Amnesty International et responsable de la campagne "control arms", dénonce l'administration Bush Sur la législation des armes à feu aux Etats Unis, la situation a-t-elle changé depuis Columbine? Deux faits importants pour considérer l'action de l'administration américaine par rapport aux armes... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Liberation (France)

23457