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  1. #1
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    U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    [size=12pt]U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre [/size]
    By PAISLEY DODDS

    LONDON - The Virginia Tech shootings sparked criticism of U.S. gun control laws around the world Tuesday. Editorials lashed out at the availability of weapons, and the leader of Australia — one of America's closest allies — declared that America's gun culture was costing lives.

    South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the government hoped Monday's shootings, allegedly carried out by a 23-year-old South Korean native, would not "stir up racial prejudice or confrontation."

    While some focused blame only on the gunman, world opinion over U.S. gun laws was almost unanimous: Access to weapons increases the probability of shootings. There was no sympathy for the view that more guns would have saved lives by enabling students to shoot the assailant.

    "We took action to limit the availability of guns and we showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country," said Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who staked his political career on promoting tough gun laws after a gunman went on one of the world's deadliest killing sprees 11 years ago.

    The tragedy in a Tasmanian tourist resort left 35 people dead. Afterward, Australia's gun laws were changed to prohibit automatic weapons and handguns and toughen licensing and storage restrictions.

    Handguns are also banned in Britain — a prohibition that forces even the country's Olympic pistol shooting team from practicing on its own soil. In Sweden, civilians can acquire firearm permits only if they have a hunting license or are members of a shooting club and have no criminal record. In Italy, people must have a valid reason for wanting one. Firearms are forbidden for private Chinese citizens.

    Still, leaders from Britain, Germany, Mexico, China,



    Afghanistan and France stopped short of criticizing



    President Bush or U.S. gun laws when they offered sympathies to the families of Monday's victims.

    Editorials were less diplomatic.

    "Only the names change — And the numbers," read a headline in the Times of London. "Why, we ask, do Americans continue to tolerate gun laws and a culture that seems to condemn thousands of innocents to death every year, when presumably, tougher restrictions, such as those in force in European countries, could at least reduce the number?"

    The French daily Le Monde said the regularity of mass shootings across the Atlantic was a blotch on America's image.

    "It would be unjust and especially false to reduce the United States to the image created, in a recurrent way, from the bursts of murderous fury that some isolated individuals succumb to. But acts like this are rare elsewhere, and tend to often disfigure the 'American dream.'"

    Police started identifying the victims Tuesday. One was a Peruvian student identified as Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, according to his mother Betty Cuevas, who said her son was studying international relations.

    Professors from India, Israel and Canada also were killed.

    Liviu Librescu, 76, an engineering science and mathematics lecturer, tried to stop the gunman from entering his classroom by blocking the door before he was fatally shot, his son said Tuesday from Tel Aviv.

    "My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said. His father, a Holocaust survivor, immigrated to Israel from Romania, and was on sabbatical in Virginia.

    Indian-born G.V. Loganathan, 51, a lecturer at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was also among the dead, his brother G.V. Palanivel told Indian media.

    "We all feel like we have had an electric shock. We do not know what to do," Palanivel said.

    Canadian Jocelyn Couture-Nowak, a French instructor, also died in the shootings, said her husband Jerzy Nowak, head of the university's horticulture department. "We're mourning," Nowak said.

    The killings also hit a nerve for Virginia Tech alumni abroad.

    "I think if this does prompt a serious and reflective debate on gun issues and gun law in the States, then some good may come from this woeful tragedy," said British Home Office Minister Tony McNulty, who graduated in 1982.

    Britain's 46 homicides involving firearms last year was the lowest since the late 1980s. New York City, with 8 million people compared to 53 million in England and Wales, recorded 590 homicides last year.

    "If the guns are harder to get a hold of, fewer people will do it," said Michael Dent, a 65-year-old construction worker in London. "You can't walk up to a supermarket or shop and buy a gun like in the States."

    But even in Germany, where gun-control laws are strict, a teenager in 2002 shot and killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer at a high school. The shooter was a gun club member licensed to own weapons. The attack led Germany to raise the age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21.

    "The instant I saw the pictures and heard the commentary, it immediately brought back our own experience," Gutenberg high school director Christiane Alt said of the Virginia Tech killings.

    The Swedish daily Goteborgs-Posten said without access to weapons, the killings at Virginia Tech may have been prevented.

    "What exactly triggered the massacre in Virginia is unclear, but the fundamental reason is often the perpetrator's psychological problems in combination with access to weapons," it wrote.

    The shootings drew intense media coverage in China, in part because the school has a large Chinese student body.

    "This incident reflects the problem of gun control in America," Yuan Peng, an American studies expert in China, was quoted as saying by state-run China Daily.

    Only 7 percent of the more than 26,000 students at Virginia Tech are foreign, according to the school Web site. But Chinese make up nearly a third of that.

    In Italy, there are three types of licenses for gun ownership: for personal safety, target practice and skeet shooting, and hunting. Authorization is granted by the police. To obtain a gun for personal safety, the owner must be an adult and have a "valid" reason.

    Italy's leading daily Corriere della Sera's main story on the shootings was an opinion piece entitled "Guns at the Supermarket" — a critical view of the U.S. gun lobby and the ease with which guns can be purchased. State-run RAI radio also discussed at length what it said were lax standards for gun ownership in the United States.

    "The latest attack on a U.S. campus will shake up America, maybe it will provoke more vigorous reactions than in the past, but it won't change the culture of a country that has the notion of self-defense imprinted on its DNA and which considers the right of having guns inalienable," Corriere wrote in its front-page story.

    Several Italian graduate students at Virginia Tech recounted how they barricaded themselves inside a geology department building not far from the scene of the shooting.

    In Mexico, radio commentators criticized the availability of firearms in the U.S. Others renewed Mexico's complaint that most guns in Mexico are smuggled in from the United States.

    The killings led newspapers' front pages, with Mexico City's Dario Monitor reporting: "Terror returns to the U.S.: 32 assassinated on university campus." The tabloid Metro compared Mexico's death toll Monday from drug violence to the number of people killed at Virginia Tech, in a front-page headline that read: "U.S. 33, Mexico 20."

    ___

    Associated Press Writers Charles Hutzler, Alexandru Alexe, Raphael Satter, Robert Barr, Karl Ritter, Nicole Winfield, Gavin Rabinowitz, Alex Braun, Courtney French and Traci Carl contributed to this report.

  2. #2
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    I thought about adding this topic to this thread, http://www.purplepride.org/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=88888914&topic=332 75.0 , but felt that is deserved it's own.

    Happy debating!

  3. #3
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    We do have to reanalyze our attitude towards how gun licensing laws are constructed...I believe in the right to bear arms...but there should be SOME restrictions (e.g., no automatic weapons should be allowed among the general citizenry).
    There is NO logical reason why these types of weapons are necessary in civil society.
    Granted, Monday's tragedy was accomplished by the use of semi-automatic handguns and laws addressing the issue above wouldn't have prevented what happened at Virginia Tech, but I feel that it is a valid compromise between gun rights activists and gun control activists.
    Also, more stringent licensing requirements should be considered on a nationwide basis in order to prevent the easy acquisition of firearms by those who might use them illegally.
    Again, there is never a guarantee that all the regulations in the world will prevent tragedies like the one at VT, but the current system is broken and needs some fixing.
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  4. #4
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    Morons like the guy at VT ruin things those of us who respect firearms and are avid hunters.


    Take away weapons, law abiding citezens are screwed.
    I live in a remote area, and if some one breaks into my house, I will be dead before the cops show up if I run and hide in the closet.
    A kitchen knife won't help me against a ciminals gun.

    I may have this wrong, but in this country if you have been convicted of a felony you aren't suppose to have any weapon.


    I don't know how it is in other states, but in ND if you shoot an animal without a license you lose you firearm, vehicle, and you get fined or even go to jail.

    Guns in some places might be easy to get, but I've bought hunting rifles in Cabellas and Scheels, and the paperwork
    and checks you have to go through are very strict.


    I'm sure some kind of gun control could be put into action, but if they take away people right to bear arms in the U.S. there will be few people who will be willing to die to keep their firearm.

    No matter what you do, poeple will still be jerks and kill other people.

  5. #5
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    "BadlandsViking" wrote:
    Morons like the guy at VT ruin things those of us who respect firearms and are avid hunters.


    Take away weapons, law abiding citezens are screwed.
    I live in a remote area, and if some one breaks into my house, I will be dead before the cops show up if I run and hide in the closet.
    A kitchen knife won't help me against a ciminals gun.

    I may have this wrong, but in this country if you have been convicted of a felony you aren't suppose to have any weapon.


    I don't know how it is in other states, but in ND if you shoot an animal without a license you lose you firearm, vehicle, and you get fined or even go to jail.

    Guns in some places might be easy to get, but I've bought hunting rifles in Cabellas and Scheels, and the paperwork
    and checks you have to go through are very strict.


    I'm sure some kind of gun control could be put into action, but if they take away people right to bear arms in the U.S. there will be few people who will be willing to die to keep their firearm.

    No matter what you do, poeple will still be jerks and kill other people.
    You don't need automatic weapons for the uses that you are describing though.
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  6. #6
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    "BadlandsViking" wrote:
    Morons like the guy at VT ruin things those of us who respect firearms and are avid hunters.


    Take away weapons, law abiding citezens are screwed.
    I live in a remote area, and if some one breaks into my house, I will be dead before the cops show up if I run and hide in the closet.
    A kitchen knife won't help me against a ciminals gun.

    I may have this wrong, but in this country if you have been convicted of a felony you aren't suppose to have any weapon.


    I don't know how it is in other states, but in ND if you shoot an animal without a license you lose you firearm, vehicle, and you get fined or even go to jail.

    Guns in some places might be easy to get, but I've bought hunting rifles in Cabellas and Scheels, and the paperwork
    and checks you have to go through are very strict.


    I'm sure some kind of gun control could be put into action, but if they take away people right to bear arms in the U.S. there will be few people who will be willing to die to keep their firearm.

    No matter what you do, poeple will still be jerks and kill other people.
    You don't need automatic weapons for the uses that you are describing though.
    True, but once those are gone someone will work on getting rid of the rest of them.

  7. #7
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    "BadlandsViking" wrote:
    "cajunvike" wrote:
    "BadlandsViking" wrote:
    Morons like the guy at VT ruin things those of us who respect firearms and are avid hunters.


    Take away weapons, law abiding citezens are screwed.
    I live in a remote area, and if some one breaks into my house, I will be dead before the cops show up if I run and hide in the closet.
    A kitchen knife won't help me against a ciminals gun.

    I may have this wrong, but in this country if you have been convicted of a felony you aren't suppose to have any weapon.


    I don't know how it is in other states, but in ND if you shoot an animal without a license you lose you firearm, vehicle, and you get fined or even go to jail.

    Guns in some places might be easy to get, but I've bought hunting rifles in Cabellas and Scheels, and the paperwork
    and checks you have to go through are very strict.


    I'm sure some kind of gun control could be put into action, but if they take away people right to bear arms in the U.S. there will be few people who will be willing to die to keep their firearm.

    No matter what you do, poeple will still be jerks and kill other people.
    You don't need automatic weapons for the uses that you are describing though.
    True, but once those are gone someone will work on getting rid of the rest of them.
    But I won't let them!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    Just how many of those victims would have been shot had they all been armed with firearms & were able to protect themselves?

    Taking guns away from those who have the right & wish to protect themselves is wrong IMO.

    It just gives those criminals with guns more assurance that they will be able to easily prey on their victims without the chance of themselves being shot or killed.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I own firearms, but I don't keep a loaded hand-gun around the house, because the hand gun might not be within reach when I need it. Instead, I plan on planting several of these around the house........

    [img width=270 height=417]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/gernade.jpg[/img]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #9
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    "singersp" wrote:
    Just how many of those victims would have been shot had they all been armed with firearms & were able to protect themseves?

    Taking guns away from those who have the right & wish to protect themselves is wrong.

    It just gives those criminals with guns more assurance that they will be able to easily prey on their victims without the chance of themselves being shot or killed.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I own firearms, but I don't keep a loaded hand-gun around the house, because the hand gun might not be within reach when I need it. Instead, I plan on planting several of these around the house........

    [img width=270 height=417]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/gernade.jpg[/img]


    Absofrickinlutely!


  10. #10
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: U.S. gun laws draw heat after massacre

    "singersp" wrote:
    Just how many of those victims would have been shot had they all been armed with firearms & were able to protect themseves?

    [b]Taking guns away from those who have the right & wish to protect themselves is wrong.[b]

    It just gives those criminals with guns more assurance that they will be able to easily prey on their victims without the chance of themselves being shot or killed.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I own firearms, but I don't keep a loaded hand-gun around the house, because the hand gun might not be within reach when I need it. Instead, I plan on planting several of these around the house........

    [img width=270 height=417]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/gernade.jpg[/img]
    AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!



    If every body had a sidearm on there hip like they did in the old west, Cho Seung-Hui
    wouldn't have killed so many people.

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