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Gun Policy News, 19 April 2007

United States

19 April 2007

Independent (UK)

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — The shots from his Glock sounded like blasts from a cannon as Jimmy Lyon took aim and then emptied the ammunition clip — the spent cases dropping to the ground beside him. "This is really for shooting at close range," he said of the compact semi-automatic handgun, one of four weapons he had brought to the shooting range. "It's not for shooting at distance." Yesterday morning, there were just a few shooters at the range set in the forests north... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Independent (UK)

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United States

19 April 2007

New York Times

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and other members of the national coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns unveiled a 30-second television advertisement intended to pressure Congress to rescind the so-called Tiahrt amendment, a measure attached to spending bills each year since 2003 that bans the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from releasing gun-trace data, except to police officials and prosecutors working on a particular crime. The... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

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United States

19 April 2007

Toronto Star (Ontario)

How should Americans respond to the Virginia Tech slayings, the worst mass civilian massacre on American soil in modern times? Pop, pop, pop went the usual banal sounds of unspeakable violence. Thirty-two people killed, at least 15 more wounded. Afterwards, the gunman shot himself. Yet, the usual, knee-jerk responses by President George Bush and the American news media are woefully inadequate. Before the victims could even be identified, White House Press... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Toronto Star (Ontario)

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United States

19 April 2007

Age (Melbourne), Column

You can imagine lots of countries where a candidate for the presidency might lie about owning a gun so as not to alienate the voters, but only in the United States would he lie and say he does own a gun when he doesn't. That was Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's sin earlier this year — and he compounded it by claiming that he was a lifelong hunter. Diligent reporters checked and found that Romney had never taken out a hunting licence anywhere. (Where... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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United States,United Nations

19 April 2007

Chicago Tribune

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Although no place in today's world is immune to the kind of senseless violence that devastated Virginia Tech, much of the globe remains transfixed by what one European newspaper described as "the defining feature of the United States to the outside world." Other nations have suffered through such incidents. In 1996, a 43-year-old misfit named Thomas Hamilton gunned down 16 children and their teacher at an elementary school in Dunblane,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Chicago Tribune

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United States

19 April 2007

Sydney Morning Herald

Mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui probably studied photographs of himself posturing with guns over and over again before his shooting rampage at Virginia Tech. That's the opinion of Lynne Eccleston, a forensic psychologist at Melbourne University after watching the chilling multimedia package sent by Cho to NBC in the lull between the time when he gunned down two students, and went on to massacre another 30. One of the things that most worried Dr Eccleston in Cho's... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Japan

19 April 2007

Associated Press

TOKYO — When Nagasaki's mayor was fatally shot in southern Japan, it wasn't much of a surprise that a gangster was arrested as the suspect. In a country where regular citizens face strict gun laws, the mob does most of the shooting. Iccho Ito, 61, was shot twice in the back Tuesday evening and died early Wednesday. Tetsuya Shiroo, a senior member of Japan's largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, was captured at the scene and admitted to the attack, police... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

19 April 2007

Boston Globe

Mayor Thomas M. Menino urged the Bush administration yesterday to tighten gun control laws and stand up to the National Rifle Association in the aftermath of the massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech. "The federal government could take action … by getting the NRA to back off these issues," Menino said in a telephone interview. "Young kids have guns today … How is this being perpetrated throughout the country? It's not just a Boston problem. It's a national... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Boston Globe

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China

19 April 2007

Xinhua

A senior Chinese police official on Thursday said China's police would learn from the Virginia campus shooting and take measures to tighten gun control. "The tragedy in the U.S. has affected many lives of young students. We feel equally sad about that but it reminds us to strengthen management over the use of guns," said Wu Heping, the spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security, at a regular press conference. Barring those who need to carry guns on duty, people in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Xinhua

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United States

19 April 2007

CNN

When Cho Seung-Hui purchased two handguns this year, he apparently followed the letter of the law to get the weapons he eventually used in a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus. Some questions have been raised over Cho's mental health and whether that should have prevented him from being able to purchase the handguns. A Virginia judge in December 2005 deemed Cho "an imminent danger to himself because of mental illness" and ordered outpatient treatment for... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CNN

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United States

19 April 2007

BBC News

Cho Seung-hui was a deeply disturbed young man — as the shocking and horrifying video he left behind reveals. But did he fit some kind of killer's profile? It appears that the 23-year-old's actions and intentions fell into a pattern of previous school and college shootings. Robin Kowalski, a psychologist at Clemson University in South Carolina, has co-written a comprehensive study on school shootings. She told the BBC News website that Cho's actions bore strong... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: BBC News

23413

United States

19 April 2007

Scotsman (Edinburgh)

The Virginia Tech gunman paused in the midst of his deadly shooting spree to post a "multimedia manifesto" to a American television network. After murdering his first two victims in a dormitory, Cho Seung-Hui mailed a rambling account of grievances to NBC. It also included an 1,800-word manifesto-like statement diatribe in which he expresses rage, resentment and a desire to get even. In one video, Cho talks to the camera and at one point makes a reference to the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Scotsman (Edinburgh)

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United States

19 April 2007

Toronto Star (Ontario)

ROANOKE, Virginia — Cho Seung-Hui, a university student declared mentally ill by a Virginia court, strolled into a shop here five weeks ago and bought a handgun the store owner considers his personal favourite. "You just can't make a Glock 19 mess up," said John Markell, referring to one of the weapons Cho used in the Virginia Tech shooting spree that killed 33 people, including himself. "No matter how you mistreat them, they're still going to fire." Markell, 58,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Toronto Star (Ontario)

23415

United States

19 April 2007

Dominion Post (Wellington), Editorial

To most of the world, the tragic killing of 32 students and lecturers at Virginia Tech university on Tuesday was as inevitable as the killing of 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado eight years ago or five Amish schoolgirls in Pennsylvania last year. Give angry disaffected men and youths easy access to lethal weapons and the outcome is predictable, The Dominion Post writes. To the Gun Owners of America, the second largest pro-gun group in the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Dominion Post (Wellington)

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United States

19 April 2007

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia), Editorial

Even as America was dealing with the initial shock of the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech, the National Rifle Association never stopped arm-twisting Georgia lawmakers into approving a measure that would allow employees to keep guns in their workplace parking lots. The group's heartless bullying tactics were in vain; their gun bill eventually failed to pass along with another measure that would have let motorists carry concealed weapons in their cars. Still, Georgians... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia)

23420

United States

19 April 2007

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

TALLAHASSEE — Two days after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, a Florida House council took the unusual step — at least in recent years — of killing a pro-gun bill. The measure, which would let people keep guns in their cars at work, was forcing Republican lawmakers to choose sides between two interests they often support: the gun lobby and the business community. On Wednesday, as advocates nationwide ramped up demands for more gun control, members of the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Palm Beach Post (Florida)

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United States

19 April 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer, Column

There is little about life and death of which I'm certain, but after the rampage at Virginia Tech, it's safe to say Cho Seung-Hui could not have purchased his weapons of mass destruction legally in New Jersey. There's just no way a young man as obviously troubled as Cho would have survived one of the nation's toughest and most thoughtful gun laws. That is, presuming he submitted himself to the close scrutiny. I did, when my colleague Tom Ferrick and I set out to arm... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

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United States

19 April 2007

China Daily

BEIJING — Details of the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus on Monday have unfolded to confirm that the gunman was a U.S. resident originally from South Korea. He is Cho Seung-hui, who killed 32 people and then himself in the worst campus carnage in U.S. history. Cho, a senior English major at the university who had come to the U.S. at the age of 8, went about his murders methodically. Doors of one building where he opened fire on classes had been chained from... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: China Daily

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Uganda

19 April 2007

New Vision (Kampala)

KAMPALA — The army has expressed concern about the high rate of small arms trafficking as the northern insurgency ends. "There is going to be high rate of small arms trafficking after this war because we do not know how many guns are in the hands of the LRA and how many they shall hand over to the Government when the Juba peace talks succeed," Brig. George Etyang, the UPDF 4th Division commander, said. He was presenting a paper at a workshop organised by a group,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New Vision (Kampala)

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United States

19 April 2007

McClatchy Newspapers (USA)

WASHINGTON — Cries for stricter gun-control laws by some Democratic lawmakers following the Virginia Tech mass murders have been met with caution from their party leaders. Other Democrats recommend steering clear of the issue, because it could jeopardize their party's recent gains in pro-gun Southern and Western states. Bottom line: Don't expect gun-control legislation to result from this latest mass shooting. To begin with, most Republicans don't support it,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: McClatchy Newspapers (USA)

23427

United States

19 April 2007

Chicago Tribune

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — In the wake of the massacre at Virginia Tech, gun rights advocates and proponents of tougher weapons laws are wading into the debate about American gun culture. But what seems uncertain is whether there is the will to make a significant push to change gun laws-a hot button issue that has proven to be politically treacherous. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards of North Carolina called for more restrictions in the aftermath of the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Chicago Tribune

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United States

19 April 2007

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — In high school, Cho Seung-Hui almost never opened his mouth. When he finally did, his classmates laughed, pointed at him and said: "Go back to China." As such details of the Virginia Tech shooter's life come out, and experts pore over his sick and twisted writings and his videotaped rant, it is becoming increasingly clear that Cho was almost a textbook case of a school shooter: a painfully awkward, picked-on young man who lashed out with... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

23430

United States

19 April 2007

Washington Times, Column

Last year Virginia legislators considered a bill that would have overridden policies at public universities that prohibit students and faculty members with concealed handgun permits from bringing their weapons onto campus. After the bill died in committee, the Roanoke Times reported, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker welcomed its defeat, saying, "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Times

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United States

19 April 2007

News Sentinel (Tennessee)

NASHVILLE — In a surprise move, a House panel voted Wednesday to repeal a state law that forbids the carrying of handguns on property and buildings owned by state, county and city governments — including parks and playgrounds. "I think the recent Virginia disaster — or catastrophe or nightmare or whatever you want to call it — has woken up a lot of people to the need for having guns available to law-abiding citizens," said Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: News Sentinel (Tennessee)

23435

United States

19 April 2007

Sydney Morning Herald

LOS ANGELES — One hundred million Americans own 200 million guns. The body that represents their interests, the National Rifle Association, reported in its 2004 tax filing that it had raised $US234.4 million ($A281.2 million) for the calendar year. Last year, it spent $US5.1 million supporting some political candidates and attacking others. The independent Political Moneyline website reports that 85 per cent of that spending went to Republican Party... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Canada

19 April 2007

CBC News (Canada)

Premier Jean Charest's plan to restrict access to some guns in Quebec has come under fire from both sides of the gun debate. Charest promised that one of the minority government's priorities after the legislature resumes May 8 will be to introduce legislation on semi-automatic weapons, like the one used in last fall's Dawson College shootings. The plan is to have people store their restricted semi-automatic firearms at guns clubs or firing ranges and get them out of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CBC News (Canada)

23439

United States

19 April 2007

Australian (Sydney)

Few tragedies make their victims feel more helpless than multiple-victim shootings. Imagine the terror: unable to escape, simply waiting for the killer. With 32 murdered, the Virginia Tech attack this week left more people dead than the two previous most deadly shootings: the 1991 Luby's Cafeteria massacre in Texas, which left 23 people dead, and the shooting at a California McDonald's in 1984 in which 21 people were killed. Of course, these horrors are hardly unique... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian (Sydney)

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United States

19 April 2007

New York Times

WASHINGTON — Revelations about Cho Seung-Hui's 2005 stay in a psychiatric center under a magistrate's order have raised questions about whether background checks adequately scrutinize the mental health history of potential gun buyers. Federal law prohibits those who have been "adjudicated as a mental defective" by a court, as well as those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, from buying a firearm. Only 17 states, however, submit such... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

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United States

19 April 2007

New York Times, Editorial

There are myriad questions from the evolving tragedy at Virginia Tech. One is how such a gravely disturbed student as this killer could raise heightened concern among the authorities over a year ago, yet manage to proceed unhindered to take 32 lives. But no less pertinent is the question of how, after detailed tracking of the guns purchased for the ghastly spree, the lethal empowerment of such a troubled individual can somehow be pronounced entirely legal under the laws... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

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Canada

19 April 2007

Red Deer Advocate (Alberta), Editorial

Shock, remorse and dismay were the emotions of the day when 32 innocent victims were gunned down in Virginia on Monday. In some parts of the world, there was also smugness — a sense that it could not happen there. In Canada, we know that it can happen here. We are no strangers to school shootings. Fourteen women were killed and 13 wounded at the Montreal polytechnic college in 1989. One boy was killed and another was wounded at the Taber high school in 1999. One... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Red Deer Advocate (Alberta)

23467

United States

19 April 2007

Mother Jones (USA)

A little more than a month before Cho Seung-Hui went on a murderous rampage at Virginia Tech, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in a landmark gun rights case, Parker v. District of Columbia, repealing the District's stringent gun laws. Leading the Second Amendment challenge was Cato Institute senior fellow and constitutional lawyer Dr. Robert Levy, who, despite offers of financial assistance from Cato, has bankrolled the three-year effort himself.... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Mother Jones (USA)

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