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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://media.[url]www.redandblack.com/media/ ... 2731.shtml[/url]

Going to class the day following the Virginia Tech massacre was an eerie experience. I watched the door of my classroom more than I ever have before. But I walked out of the class unharmed, unlike the 32 students at Virginia Tech who leave behind grieving family members, friends and classmates.

Some people have urged the media not to make Monday's killings a political issue by raising the topic of gun control. I think it would be one of the greatest mistakes we could make as a society to refuse to learn yet again the lessons of a tragedy.

I was shocked when I looked at the results of The Red & Black's April 17 online poll. Seventy-five percent of University students said they believed tougher gun control laws would not have prevented the killings. This was before it had even been reported how Cho Seung-Hui obtained his weapons.

Three quarters of University students automatically said nothing could have been done to save those 32 lives.

Not only was this judgment premature, it was also incorrect.

Cho shouldn't have been able to purchase a gun in the first place, The New York Times reported Saturday. In 2005, a Virginia court said Cho was a danger to his own well-being and sent him for psychiatric treatment.

According to federal law, people who meet this definition can't buy guns. But only 22 states report mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Virginia's state law on mental health disqualifications for purchasing guns is different from federal law, so Cho's mental health problems never showed up in his background check.

Also, an April 18 article in The Washington Post said Cho used high-capacity ammunition clips he would not have been able to obtain if Congress, in 2004, had renewed President Clinton's ban on assault weapons.

Instead, Congress allowed the ban to expire, and Cho was able to fire more rounds without reloading. True, he still would have taken many lives even with regular ammunition clips, but it is possible that several lives could have been saved if he had been using clips that held fewer bullets.

Even more frightening, Cho could have gotten his hands on a semi-automatic rifle and taken the lives of many more students.

Many of the semi-automatic rifles available today hold more than 60 rounds of ammunition in one magazine, said Ken Vance, director of public safety for Georgia College and State University.

Police officers usually carry around 50 rounds divided into several different clips. That means an assailant could fire 60 bullets in a row while the police must stop and reload.

Also, many of the assault weapons available today can "shoot farther and probably faster" than the weapons police carry, Vance said.

Yet three quarters of University students believe tougher gun control laws are not necessary. Psychopaths can attain weapons of mass murder more powerful than the firearms we give our police.

We fight wars to prevent psychopaths such as Saddam Hussein from attaining weapons of mass murder. Yet we are not willing to take a stand and stop killings inflicted by our own citizens.

The Second Amendment is vitally important. But the Supreme Court has found it necessary to curtail other rights to serve a compelling interest. What interest could be more compelling than saving lives?

By making just a couple of adjustments to our gun laws - such as renewing the ban on assault weapons and forcing every state to report all necessary mental health information to the background check system - we can make it much harder for troubled people to commit heinous crimes.

Of course, there will always be psychopaths willing to use any means necessary to inflict harm. But it seems terribly fatalist to say we should not try and prevent any future tragedies because we cannot stop a few.

It is easy to throw our hands in the air and say nothing can be done. But I don't believe that is the legacy those 32 students and professors would like to leave behind. I am afraid -much like the months following Columbine - there will be a lot of talk on the issue but no action.

And the next time another massacre happens, three-quarters of students will say nothing can be done.

With that attitude, it certainly can't.

- Audrey Goodson is a news staff writer for The Red & Black
let me just tell you this is not my favorite newspaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
will you help me Ramm? I know what I want to say but am not so eloquent sometimes... I am working a double today so I will work on one and let ya'll critique it.

there is also a letter to the editor quoting some pretty stupid handgun injuries stats. I will find it and give it it's own thread. basically the whole opinions page was antigun today....

I have almost had to sue this paper before over something else so i am already on their hit list
 

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I wonder what the stats would be if you asked all those in the midst of the shooting if they wished they had a weapon to defend themselves other than an ink pen or their cellphone while the ordeal was going on. I doubt you would hear any say that they were glad they were unarmed.

I would bet all those antigun posters would be posting the opposite had they been in the situation with nothing but a bull's eye on their back.
 

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The point is shock and awe. This student knows that they can get their name in big letters with a lot of people reading and remembering what they say if they say the right thing that provokes emotion. No one, including the author, cares if it is factual or true as the intent is not to give a balanced discussion. Most of the readers have no clue if what is said is correct nor do they care. I would even be willing to bet there is intentional misinformation in many of these articles in hopes that they will get attention and responses from pro-gun people.

It is more of the sticking your head in the sand philosophies. The only time they come out of the sand is when they are actually in a situation that forces them to think about the sad realities of violence in society. Until then they will live in the Utopian-society that exists only in their inexperienced minds.
 

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I submitted a comment to the blog they have on the article. There will always be people who write about this crap after the fact and never being in that position. Ask some of the kids in the rooms affected if they feel having a gun would have helped!

Until then I believe people should be silenced and allow them to speak. If they have already and I am off my rocker, please let me know. I just havent heard anything from the survivors.
 

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Would anyone be surprised if eBay stopped selling gun parts/accessories because of this? I know they would have at least one less customer. There are tons of parts, accessories, and hunting supplies on there as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well someone has already written a good comment to the article but I will try to write something too.

Fred Maidment
posted 4/23/07 @ 10:12 AM EST
Ms. Goodson, your heart is in the right place. No one wants to see people die. But your statements are wrong:

* I will agree that the NICS background check, required to be able to purchase a firearm, is flawed. People who have been adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others by a court of competent jurisdiction are not allowed to buy firearms. The Virginia Commonwealth failed in its duty to report individuals who have been so adjudicated to the FBI.

* The "Assault Weapons Ban" banned a large number of firearms based on false pretenses and failed to ban many assault rifles. For example, weapons with flash supressors were banned because a flash suppressor was considered a silencer. A flash suppressor does a lot of things, but silencing them is not one of them. If anything, it makes the gun louder.

* The "Assault Weapons Ban" banned a large number of firearms not because of their capabilities, but because they appeared menacing. Pistol grips, high-capacity magazines, flash suppressors, and other factors that have nothing to do whatever with whether a firearm is an Assault Weapon were included as part of the ban.

* An assault weapon is not easy to conceal. It would have been difficult to walk the half-mile between the gunman's dorm and the other side of campus with an assault rifle without being noticed. It would have further been difficult to keep the weapon hidden from roommates.

* Few crimes have ever actually been committed with assault rifles. With very few exceptions, almost all gun crime is committed with handguns or shotguns, the "LA Shootout" of 1994 notwithstanding. Renewing the Assault Weapons Ban will do little to curb gun violence, because almost no gun violence is committed with these weapons.

* The high-capacity magazine argument is baseless. The perpetrator in Virginia would have simply bought more magazines and had to reload more often. Undoubtedly, with the weapons he used and the number of rounds he fired, he had to reload at some point. No one makes a 60 round magazine for a 9mm pistol. Even the largest magazines are limited to about 17 rounds and available for only a few weapons.

* High-capacity magazines like the one you described in your commentary are extremely rare and are prone to malfunction. I have a rifle with 30-round magazines and I never load it higher than 25 to reduce the probability of jamming. It still jams from time to time. Very few firearms have magazines larger than 30 rounds, and most of those are pistol-caliber guns like the Thompson sub-machine gun made famous in gangster flicks.

* While it is possible that the young man could have armed himself better than the campus police, police departments around the country have assault weapons. I doubt he could have armed himself better than the Blacksburg police.

* Three quarters of university students did *not* say that nothing could have been done to save those 32 lives. Three quarters of university students who answered a non-scientific poll stated that more gun control was not the answer.

I fervently believe that gun control was the reason why so many are dead. We will never know if a student, armed with a concealed weapon, might have been able to stop Cho Seung-Hui before he killed 32 people. I do believe that such a student could have saved many lives. I do not believe that you make people safer by disarming them and making them dependent upon others for defense, however.

* The Supreme Court has found it necessary to curtail certain rights to serve a compelling interest. Which rights, and what compelling interests? Should the Red & Black be subject to restrictions what is said on its editorial page? Perhaps we should curtail that pesky Fourth Ammendment and start searching people at random? Maybe we can save money on military spending by forcing people to house soldiers? After all, no one ever worries about the Third Ammendment...

When we talk about the Supreme Court curtailing rights, we are actually talking about the definition of the boundaries of rights, not curtailing them. Words inciting a riot or attorneys conspiring with their clients are not protected because they violate the concepts they are intended to uphold. Inciting a riot leads to the violation of other's rights. An attorney who conspires to commit crimes with his client is a conspirator and cannot share priveledge.

No one is saying, Ms. Goodson, that we should not try to prevent future tragedies. What I and many like me are saying is that more gun control is not a viable answer.
 
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