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Virginia Tech Shooter Was a Student, Authorities Say

At least 33 are dead, including two professors and the gunman, in the latest reports on the tragic campus shooting that took place at Virginia Tech yesterday. At least 15 are reported injured. It is being called "the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history."

Chi_seung_huiPreliminary identification of the deceased shooter has been made but not released.

University police have not yet released the name of that suspect. University president Charles Steger said told CNN he did not believe there was another gunman at large. Authorities say that the shooter was likely an Asian student living in a Virginia tech dorm.

UPDATE: Authorities have now identified the shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a student and native of South Korea (pictured). He reportedly left a note of several pages explaining his actions and reads, in part, "You caused me to do this."

The professors killed were identified as G.V. Loganathan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Liviu Librescu, a professor of engineering science and mechanics.

According to the NYT, "There was a two-hour gap between the first shootings, when two people were killed, and the second, when a gunman stalked through the halls of an engineering building across campus, shooting at professors and students in classrooms and hallways, firing dozens of rounds and killing 30. Officials said he then shot himself so badly in the face that he could not be identified."

VigilThe shooting may have begun as a lover's quarrel.

According to the University's Collegiate Times, many of the Norris Hall shootings took place in a German class.

The NYT also reports: "Virginia imposes few restrictions on the purchase of handguns and no requirement for any kind of licensing or training. The state does limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage bulk buying and resale, state officials said. Once a person had passed the required background check, state law requires that law enforcement officers issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who applies. However, no regulations and no background checks are required for purchase of weapons at a Virginia gun show. 'Virginia’s gun laws are some of the weakest state laws in the country,' said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. 'And where there have been attempts to make some changes, a backdoor always opens to get around the changes, like the easy access at gun shows.'"

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  1. How absolutely terrible for the students... those that died, were injured and those who survived to have to live with the awful memory! A real tragedy!

    Hopefully there will be lessons learned from the way that the situation was handled, should there (God forbid!) be another situation like this that might arise, that would get people out of harms way quicker!

    I really look forward to the day when we can finally rid our country of this bizarre obsession with guns. The fact that Virginia is so lax with their gun laws, should be slapped in the faces of those that allow it to be so! Virginian lawmakers need to wake the f*ck up, and the citizens of the State should force them to!

    Posted by: CK | Apr 17, 2007 8:29:22 AM

  2. All hand guns and assault rifles should be banned, period. Isn't there any nominee who will stand up to the NRA and make this happen?

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 17, 2007 8:43:34 AM

  3. Virginia has had more important issues than guns as of late - like voting to discriminate against gay and lesbian relationships.

    Posted by: Rey | Apr 17, 2007 9:06:16 AM

  4. All schools that I know of are 'Gun-free zones' so the talk about ease of purchase and gun shows is irrelevant. Someone that is willing to commit mass murder is also willing to steal a gun and ignore any law that you try to pass. We can't keep drugs out of the country so how effective would a gun ban be? They'll ship them over in the same box.

    There are almost no mass shootings in Israel anymore. Why is that? Simple, a large percentage of adults are licensed to carry a handgun and do so. These killings will stop as soon as they are no longer effective.

    Posted by: Michael Lomker | Apr 17, 2007 9:14:28 AM

  5. "There are almost no mass shootings in Israel anymore."


    Posted by: John C | Apr 17, 2007 9:27:32 AM

  6. Michael and others fail to mention that "stealing" guns is not as easy as saying "they can just steal guns"

    It isn't like walking into your local convenient store and snagging a 5 finger discount pack of bubble gum.

    Studies have shown that common sense waiting periods and back ground checks do cut the rate of gun violence. Common sense and logic dictate that a waiting period allows for the cooling down of intense emotional issues which drive some to want to grab a gun.

    on a side not covering something in the earlier thread. The gatling guns (multiple rounds per shot) guns of yesteryear required a minnimum of 2-3 people to use let alone 3-4 people + a donkey or vehicle to haul around. hell, the machine guns of the vietnam era actulay required 2 individuals to operate unlike what rambo movies portray. Nothing like the hand held by a single individual many times more mutliple rounds per shot automatic weapons of today that a common citizen is allowed to buy. Hunting does not require such a weapon , simple deffense does not require such a weapon, and no amount of such weapons could ever hault a run away federal government dictatorship that owns nukes so that argument is mute.

    "well regulated militia" straight from the constitution "well regulated militia", not well armed single individuals

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 17, 2007 9:32:12 AM

  7. Michael,
    Check your facts. The countries with the lowest murder stats are those where handguns are banned. Just by doing a google search you can find that most hand guns are shipped FROM the US, not into it. They're made here, they're sold here...

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 17, 2007 9:37:25 AM

  8. john C

    You must be joking because there are at least one mass shootings of palestinian old women and children by israeli armed forces every month. Let alone the often times bulldozing over old women and children, centuries old farms, and homes. heck there are multiple monthly stonings of palestinian children by groups of over zealous religous nut settlers. Ther last being a 12 year old palestinian boy stoned to death by a group of jewish religous wackos settlers considered wackos by the less zealous / far right israeli population. recently an israeli news show did a documentary interviewinf israeli armed forces reactions to religous nut settlers, basicaly the israeli army HATES the religous nut settlers and blame them for all of the problems normal folk israelis have to deal with.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 17, 2007 9:38:21 AM

  9. Here we go again with the "gun show loophole" fallacy. All dealer gun purchases, whether they be from gun shows or gun stores, must be accompanied by a federal background check. Period.

    Instead of focusing on the absolutely futile idea of banning guns, why not focus on what the kid did. A psycho who wants to shoot people up will find a way.

    Oh, and for the ignoramus who is selectively quoting the 2nd Amendment, it reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Nearly every federal court is now agreeing, after weighing the historical evidence, that the right to arm oneself is an individual right. Not only for hunting (which is a secondary reason), but for the express purpose of preventing tyrannical government.

    Posted by: Joe | Apr 17, 2007 9:47:54 AM

  10. Joe,

    Do you honestly believe that anyone who assumes control of our military and government can be fended off by Americans who are armed with handguns? The second amendment has lost its relevance in that aspect.

    I do however agree with your suggestion that we focus on what this individual did and why. Or more specifically, why does this sort of thing rarely happen in Canada, or Japan or the UK? What is it about America that encourages its citizens (or in this case a South Korean Nationalist) to take as many lives with them as they can before they commit suicide?

    Posted by: mark m | Apr 17, 2007 9:59:45 AM

  11. the average person is not capable of responsible gun ownership, and should not be given the benefit of doubt.
    notions of rights to bear firearms for protection, target practice, collecting, or hunting are no longer viable in this modern era.
    any state with gun laws similar to Virginia's will foster bloodthirst and similar violence.... guns don't kill people, lawmakers do.

    Posted by: A.J. | Apr 17, 2007 10:24:05 AM

  12. I advocate gun control, but I do so noting that there seems to be a cultural defect in the United States where gun violence is inexplicably greater than in other societies where gun ownership is widespread.

    For instance, in Switzerland, all men are required to have guns because Switzerland's self-defense relies on a massive reserve army of every male. (A relic of its "armed neutrality" of centuriest past, perhaps no longer necessary.) Yet, with essentially every male (and many women) in Switzerland owning a gun and with guns in every household, gun violence there is essentially null.

    Israel, as well, which is a country plagued by acts of violence all the time, is a society where guns are owned literally by every man and woman. Yet, if you set aside acts of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, gun violence there is also nearly null.

    What gives?

    Is it that criminals and the mentally ill are afraid to shoot people because they know everyone has a gun? I doubt it; what mentally ill person would have that foresight?

    Some people think that the United States has ineffective health care coverage so that people with mental health issues do not, and cannot, get treatment. Clearly, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre, like other mass murderers, are people suffering from untreated mental health issues. You can bet that the Swiss and Israelis do not hand out guns to people like that--and you can bet that they treat them.

    My heart goes out to the victims and victims' families in Virginia, and I wonder what good we can make out of this?

    Universal health care coverage including mental health parity along with rational gun control rules might do a lot to bring safety and security to America. Much moreso than the intervention of Iraq ever can or will.

    Obviously, the current arrangement is not working; we need new ideas.

    Posted by: ebsur | Apr 17, 2007 10:35:16 AM

  13. it astounds me that we still allow guns in this country- as a nation, lawmakers spend time controlling the amount of sudafed people buy so that they cannot cook up their own Crystal Meth, or crack down on any form of entertainment that may pose any type of hypothetical threat, yet guns, actual guns are allowed? there is NO WAY this whackjob would have been able to do this had he been unable to get his hands on large amounts of ammo-
    if we cannot enact gun control, what about ammo control?
    and why are none of the flapping heads on TV talking about this solution??

    Posted by: daniel | Apr 17, 2007 10:39:52 AM

  14. "why does this sort of thing rarely happen in Canada, or Japan or the UK?"

    The UK has far more stringent gun laws than Canada or Japan. We had one terrible incident here in Dunblane in 1995 when a paedophile (who was a member of a gun club with legal weapons) went crazy. Since then the laws have been made even tighter with the banning of all handguns.

    Yes there are illegal guns around, yes they get used but no one in Britain is under any illusions that arming the populace would somehow make the country a safer place. Face it: America is full of screwed-up people and the easy availability of guns doesn't help matters in the slightest.

    Posted by: John C | Apr 17, 2007 11:01:03 AM

  15. "There are almost no mass shootings in Israel anymore. Why is that? Simple, a large percentage of adults are licensed to carry a handgun and do so. These killings will stop as soon as they are no longer effective."
    So the solution to guns is more guns? Are you kidding me? Personally I don't think that aspiring to living in a society where a large percentage of adults carry guns is progress. Call me crazy...

    Posted by: Adam | Apr 17, 2007 11:08:51 AM

  16. So numbnut joe you think you with your gun can overthrow a nuke empowered run away fed government

    imbecile. The right to bear arms "well regulated militia" in no way in this modern era enables anyone wether 25 states joined in a confederacy let alone little joe schmoe idiot with their gun to protect the masses from a dictator. sorry numbnut. Nukes in the hands of the fed make that argument NULL and VOID

    Oh and numbnut, the NRA and their ilk all claim to be STRICT interpreters of the constituiton. word for word dot for dot no allowance for evolution.....thus word for word individuals must be in a militia. hello numbnut see the hypocriciy. Join a state run militia otherwise the constitution STRICTLY speaking does not quarentee the individual the right to have a gun outside of the confines of a militia.

    Also numbnut, if you actualy read my posts i in no way suggested outlawing all guns.

    I suggested waiting periods, background checks, and the outlawing of automatic machine guns.

    Automatic weapons that in no way are necessary to hunt, defend ones self, or overthrow a run away fed gov since nukes make that impossible.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 17, 2007 11:08:56 AM

  17. Channeling Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell:

    "I really believe that the NRA, and the gun nuts, and the neocons, and the GOP and the fanatics who are actively trying to misinterpret the 2nd Amendment, those who oppose the common-sense Brady bill and reasonable background checks and restrictions on gun ownership, all of them who have tried to make America friendly and vulnerable to gun violence. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

    Yes, Virginia, you helped make this happen. Lax gun laws made it easier for this disturbed person to access powerful guns and ammunition. I have no problem with people owning pistols for personal protection or with a sport hunter owning a rifle, but NO ONE ON THIS PLANET OUTSIDE OF THE MILITARY HAS ANY NEED WHATSOEVER FOR A FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPON. No one has a need to tote an AK47 or other type of machine gun. No one needs to buy armor-piercing bullets. Why we can't have reasonable restrictions on gun ownership is beyond me.

    The NRA needs to take their hits on this and hopefully re-examine their reactionary position on gun control. I can only hope that this tragedy yields some benefit and that the US wakes up to the reality of gun violence and the stark difference between us and other civilized nations.

    Hell, even the nutcase running Australia right now is wise enough to see the need for gun control. Why can't our homegrown nutcases be as wise?

    Posted by: Jonathon | Apr 17, 2007 11:14:00 AM

  18. Ebsur and mark m

    Remember the american gene pool was founded on derilicts, criminals, debtors, religous nut jobs, cultists, black sheeps of families etc.

    Maybe just maybe america is geneticaly pre disposed to crazyness, fear, and mass gun violence.

    Basicaly many of the original settlers and settlments in america were dumping grounds for last chance british criminals and nutters. They were given a simple choice, head to america or die by corporal punishment. The qwhole state of Georgia was founded as a debtors prison dumping ground. The pilgrims and puritans were branch davidians/ jones town kool aid drinking cult nutters of their day.

    Later generations of imigrants were the dregs of their societies who couldn't fit in to a more civilized society. The more educated, more sane, more stable individuals had no need to leave europe etc and come here.

    Maybe just maybe the overwhelming american crazyness as compared to other gun wielding countries is found in the foundations of the american gene pool.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 17, 2007 11:16:02 AM


    Posted by: JoeB | Apr 17, 2007 12:02:37 PM


    I wouldn't have the courage, balls, or clit to say what you just Whenever somebody wants to talk about the violence in America (especially, pointing fingers at certaom racial/ethnic groups), I've always wanted to say something like what you just did.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 17, 2007 12:13:25 PM

  21. Interesting theory Pacific. But wouldn't that make Australia a pretty violent nation too since they basically started out as a penal colony?

    Posted by: mark m | Apr 17, 2007 12:14:24 PM

  22. Pacificoceanboy, would it make you feel better if they limited their mass shooting and bulldozing to Palestinian men?

    Please drop the tired old "ole women and children" line. How about "ole PEOPLE and children" or "unarmed men, women and children" or "innocent civilians".

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 17, 2007 12:15:38 PM

  23. That is an interesting theory Pacific but it doesn't exactly apply to a South Korean national on a study visa.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 17, 2007 12:19:19 PM

  24. Make that "old".

    "Ole" Miss graduate here.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 17, 2007 12:21:08 PM

  25. Mark M: The Australians of British descent don't hide their origins, they don't pretend they are the descendents of "good" puritans seeking religious freedom. They don't make up lies about the circumstances surrounding how their ancestors ended up in Australia-- or what position they held in British society. I saw a special on PBS about Australians tracing their ancestrial roots (PBS, thank God for it, I wouldn't know nothin' without it...'cept good English).
    But this is an uncomfortable topic. No one should be looked down on because of what their family history is. No one should have such stuff thrown in his face...unless he's a self-righteous bigot who looks down on "those people"--but that's the whole Republican party, aint it? And half the damn Democrats.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 17, 2007 1:33:40 PM

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