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Gun Policy News, 20 April 2007

United States

20 April 2007

Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK — This week's shooting rampage at Virginia Tech is focusing new attention on Americans' relationship with guns. Internationally, critics have decried America's "gun culture," and gun-control advocates are trying to seize the momentum. Supporters of gun rights have pointed to the dangers of abridging the constitutional right to bear arms. But quietly, American attitudes toward firearms have shifted. Gun ownership is at the lowest level in three decades, and... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Christian Science Monitor

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United States

20 April 2007

Agence France Presse / Reuters

Teachers in two northern California cities locked classroom doors, lowered blinds and kept nearly 22,000 school children inside all day today after a man threatened to go on a killing spree inspired by the mass murder at Virginia Tech. Possibly hyped on the drug ice and psychotic, he was said to have an AK-47 assault rifle, explosives and poison. Police patrolled public schools in Yuba City and nearby Marysville 65 km north of California's state capital Sacramento... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Agence France Presse / Reuters

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Japan

20 April 2007

Associated Press

TOKYO — Japan's government said Friday that it will consider tightening gun-control rules after the murder of Nagasaki's mayor, as a new gun death rattled the country. A man was shot dead outside a shop in suburban Tokyo, just three days after the mayor was gunned down in Nagasaki in a killing that has stunned a nation priding itself on its safety record. Underworld gangs are linked to most gun violence here, including the death of mayor Iccho Ito, who was attacked... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

20 April 2007

San Francisco Chronicle, Column

You know what offers just tremendous amounts of pleasure? Shooting guns. It's true. Shotguns, handguns, rifles, BB guns, squirt guns, you name it. Try it yourself: Just head out to a shooting range and have the gun boys yank you some clay pigeons and blast those things out of the sky and, oh, my God, it's just a ridiculous barefaced thrill, a sense of godlike power, a rush of adrenaline to go along with a hot buzz of precision and concentration and the smell of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

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United States

20 April 2007

Boston Globe

LITTLE ROCK — Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, says a concealed handgun carried by a faculty member or student at Virginia Tech might have reduced the toll from Monday's shooting spree by a student. "If somebody had been able to stop the shooter before he was able to kill that many people, there may not have been that many," Huckabee said Thursday in an interview with University of Arkansas at Little Rock radio station... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Boston Globe

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United States

20 April 2007

Associated Press

MADISON, Wisconsin — The owner of a Green Bay-based Internet gun store told The Associated Press on Thursday that one of the weapons used in the Virginia Tech shooting was purchased from his website. A Walther .22-caliber handgun picked up by Cho Seung-Hui at a Virginia pawnbroker was purchased from the Green Bay-based site www.thegunsource.com, the store's owner Eric Thompson said. "I just feel absolutely terrible that this tragedy even happened in the first... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

20 April 2007

Washington Post, Column

Why do we have the same futile argument every time there is a mass killing? Advocates of gun control try to open a discussion about whether more reasonable weapons statutes might reduce the number of violent deaths. Opponents of gun control shout "No!" Guns don't kill people, people kill people, they say, and anyway, if everybody were carrying weapons, someone would have taken out the murderer and all would have been fine. And we do nothing. This is a stupid... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

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United States

20 April 2007

Associated Press

McLEAN, Virginia — A judge's ruling on Cho Seung-Hui's mental health should have barred him from purchasing the handguns he used in the Virginia Tech massacre, according to federal regulations. But it was unclear whether anybody had an obligation to inform federal authorities because of loopholes in the law that governs background checks. Cho purchased two handguns in February and March, and was subject to federal and state background checks both times. The checks... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

20 April 2007

Washington Post, Editorial

It now appears that Cho Seung Hui was able to buy the handguns he used in his murderous rampage Monday because Virginia failed to comply with its own procedures. The state has a policy of submitting mental health information to the federal background checks system, which should have flagged Mr. Cho as ineligible to purchase firearms based on a state magistrate's finding in December 2005 that he posed a threat to himself. But for reasons that remain obscure, the state... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

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Australia

20 April 2007

Newcastle Herald (NSW)

A gun retailer with a fully loaded Glock pistol down his pants made a 30-kilometre trip in the back of a police car and was in custody for at least an hour before the weapon was found during a body search at a Central Coast police station. Police did not find the gun, which held 18 live rounds, during an earlier body search at a random breath test site, Wyong Local Court magistrate Alan Railton was told yesterday. Benjamin Geoffrey Tyrrell, 25, of Ourimbah, had the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Newcastle Herald (NSW)

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United States

20 April 2007

Time (USA)

The revelation that Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui's brief stay in a Virginia psychiatric facility did not prevent him from legally buying handguns has prompted outrage from gun control advocates. But at a time when any real gun control legislation is close to a political impossibility, even some Second Amendment activists agree that the criteria used to deem someone mentally unfit to purchase a firearm may need to be reformed. The first significant federal gun... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Time (USA)

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United States

20 April 2007

Chronicle of Philanthropy (USA), Opinion

Watching the events at Virginia Tech this week has been heartbreaking. So many young lives, along with decent and honorable people who taught them, obliterated on an otherwise ordinary Monday; a university community in shock; families devastated. Watching the response has also been heartbreaking, but for different reasons. We see the grief counselors. We see the memorial services. We see plans to step up communications and lock down buildings when a shooter is on the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Chronicle of Philanthropy (USA)

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United States

20 April 2007

CNN, Opinion

WACO, Texas — Zero tolerance, huh? Gun-free zones, huh? Try this on for size: Columbine gun-free zone, New York City pizza shop gun-free zone, Luby's Cafeteria gun-free zone, Amish school in Pennsylvania gun-free zone and now Virginia Tech gun-free zone. Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CNN

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Japan

20 April 2007

Associated Press

When Nagasaki's mayor was gunned down, it was not much of a surprise that a gangster was arrested. In a country where regular citizens face strict gun laws, the mob does most of the shooting. Itcho Ito, 61, died early Wednesday after being shot twice in the back Tuesday evening. Tetsuya Shiroo, a senior member of the top underworld syndicate, Yamaguchi-gumi, was captured at the scene and owned up to the assassination, police said. "This murder, which took place in the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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