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Thread: Shooting at VA. Tech

  1. #1

    Shooting at VA. Tech

    I've been following discussions on the American forums about this all day. I was just wondering what you all thought about it.

    A lot of anti-gun people are using this as an excuse to claim we need stricter gun laws. My feeling is that the person who committed the atrocities didn't have any issue with breaking the law that said you shouldn't kill people, so why would he have an issue breaking the law that says you can't have a gun?

    What does this all look like from your side of the pond? If you want to know my full opinion, you can read it here:


  2. #2
    There has been a lot of chat about this on various forums (not all shooting) and the general concensus is that the US needs to tighten gun laws to some extent. The most commonly held view is that holders of permits to possess guns should have some sort of medical/psychological screening to try and get the "nutters" out of the system.

    Others feel that the US needs an equivalent to our law that requires you to demonstrate a reasonable need to possess a firearm backed up with medical and personal references.

    A smaller number feel that the US should move to the UK position where almost all handguns have been taken out of legal possession by the general public.

    Your "right to bear arms" will make the more extreme measures very difficult to implement but I think that there will inevitably be some tightening of the law to try and keep guns away from pychos however you are right to say that the gun was just the method and he could have just as easily run amok with a samurai sword had killing been the main motivation.

    Also, with so many legal handguns in the US, (unlike the UK) it will be very difficult to stop anyone who really wants to get hold of a weapon getting one. I understand that the gun laws in Washington DC are the tightest in the US and yet it has the highest murder rate in the US.

    On a recent visit to California I was staggered to see ammunition on the shelves of a sports store with no more security than candy in one of our general stores.

  3. #3
    It has always puzzled me as why when carnage on a large scale has been commited they always seem to investigate the method of killing rather than the motive.After the 9/11 nobody said don't fly planes yet now guns, tighten control?? There is no fail safe method of screening people.I speak from personal experience.When still at school visited a friend, had a good hunting outing,half an hour after i left he shot himself deliberately with the rifle we had both been using.Not a happy time with the police for me. I still think about this. Long time ago never forgotten.Could i have done anything??? He appeared his usual self to me and we arranged future outings never to be kept.

  4. #4
    I think that the opinion's that the media present in other Countries whenever or wherever these type of atrocities happen, are just that, the opinions of the media.

    Look at what happened with Dunblane, and I do not intend to get into a debate over this, but, there was an almost immediate knee jerk reaction to it which resulted in the banning of handguns. The Dangerous Dogs Act is another fine example of a knee jerk reaction, banning ownership of certain types of dogs. I would suggest that the trouble does not lie with either handguns or the dogs in questions, but with the owners of both.
    Should we also ban motor cars and alcohol? that lethal combination is responsible for quite a few deaths.

    I think that any response to any incident of this type should be considered carefully, there will be extremist's at either end of the argument, just disregard those and study the middle ground for a solution, if one is required.
    This is the sort of incident that will generate debate from all quarters, all blaming guns. In my humble opinion the blame lies with the person responsible, and if he or anybody else wants a gun bad enough then they can get one. Handguns are banned here, as are knives, with exceptions, how many shootings involving handguns and stabbings are there? far too many is the answer. So what good has banning handguns and knives done? none at all. I would suggest the answer lies elsewhere.

    Every normal decent human being in the world today is undoubtably shocked and appalled at this tragedy. They would all love this sort of thing to be something that they learned from history, but it is not history it is happening in the modern world, it is not the first time and I do feel that there is a certain inevetability of it happening again. I believe the answer goes a little deeper than banning guns etc, there is something fundamentaly wrong with modern society. I just wish I knew what it was.


  5. #5
    Obviously there has been a lot of discussion over here. What I keep coming back to are the same things that Morena and JayB said.

    First, why blame the gun that was used to do the shooting? A gun by itself can do nothing. It takes someone with the intent to harm to make it an instrument of evil. Why not focus on better treatment for the mentally ill, or better handling of individuals who have the potential for violence? Apparently the shooter had been referred for a psych evaluation. So the school obviously knew there were issues. Why weren't they dealt with more strongly?

    Second, makes guns illegal only prevents law abiding citizens from having them. This guy had no problem breaking the law that makes killing people illegal, so he most likely wouldn't have had an issue with having an illegal gun either.

    It seems to me that the only way to stop these kinds of events is to find the people who might do something like that and intervene. After nearly every case of this kind people say that there were signs. If people saw signs of this kind of potential for destruction, why didn't someone do something?

    I guess I will just never understand how someone could murder innocent people in cold blood. It's so senseless.

  6. #6
    According to a Harris poll conducted in 2001, about 39 per cent of all American households own at least one gun. BBC reported that there are an estimated 200 million guns in circulation in the US in a country with a population of 300 million.

    There are no recent statistics available but United Nations figures from 2000 showed that for every 10,000 Americans, 0.3 were killed by firearms, compared with 0.01 in the UK where handgun ownership was banned in 1997.
    30 times more likely!!!!!!
    mmmmm. even Chuck Heston should be able to work that one out!!!!!

  7. #7
    When something dreadful like this happens the old 'ban the guns' syndrome kicks in but this just proves the banning of guns would not work as I'm lead to believe all guns were already banned on the Campus concerned.
    So although guns were already banned this individual disregarded the rules anyway and as a result was able to carry out this terrible atrocity.

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