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Thread: Virginia Tech panel suggests changes to gun laws

  1. #1
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    Gloucester Point, Virginia, USA

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    My questions are in green text (yes I know some of them are rhetorical questions ).

    Virginia Tech panel suggests changes to gun laws Sweeping reforms for the Virginia mental health system also are recommended.
    BY HUGH LESSIG | Daily Press9:12 AM EDT, August 30, 2007
    RICHMOND - The governor's review panel on the Virginia Tech shootings has recommended changes to gun laws that are sure to spur debate in the 2008 General Assembly as well as sweeping reforms for the beleagured Virginia mental health system.
    The report, which was posted online late Wednesday after The New York Times obtained a copy, paints a chilling portrait of Seung-Hui Cho, who went on a shooting rampage April 16, killing 32 people and then himself.

    It also criticizes the response from Virginia Tech, saying it missed warning signs about Cho's mental instability and erred in not issuing a campus-wide alert after Cho killed his first two victims.

    Looking forward, the panel that was handpicked by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine makes several suggestions that could impact colleges and universities on the Peninsula and around the state, as well as people who purchase firearms.

    Among its recommendations:
    • The state should not impose required levels of security at all colleges and universties. Rather, it should "let the institutions choose what they think is appropriate."
    • Virginia should require background checks for all firearms sales, including those at gun shows. Gun-rights groups have consistently opposed this measure, saying that sales from private dealers at shows are relatively insignificant compared with other sources of purchases. How does this fit into the context of what happened at VT? Did cho obtain his weapons through a private sale or a gun show?
    • The panel recommends that guns be banned on campus grounds and in buildings unless required by law. But it also says the General Assembly should pass a law in 2008 "clearly establishing the right of every institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to regulate the possession of firearms on campus if it so desires." Because Cho (or anyone else intent on committing murder) would abide by this ban?
    • In mental health, it recommends lengthening the time for temporary detention to permit a more thorough examination. Cho was detained under a temporary detention order, or TDO, and ordered into outpatient treatment.
    • The number of "secure crisis stabliization units" should be expanded where required so someone who is subject to a TDO does not have to wait for an available bed.
    • The panel recommends expanding the types of cases where someone can be committed against his or her will. It says commitment criteria should be changed "to allow involuntary treatment in a broader range of cases involving severe mental illness." Some mental health experts have called for this type of change, however it could result in more people being admitted into the system, thereby requiring more taxpayers' dollars.
    The report documents in detail how Cho's fellow students and his professors noted signs of his aberrant behavior. It also documents a lack of informatin-sharing about Cho that "contributed to the failure to see the big picture."

    However, the report concludes that "Cho himself was the biggest impediment to stabilizing his mental health."

    For example, he denied having previously received treatment when evaluated in the fall of 2005. And the report says, "he, ultimately, is the primary person responsible for April 16, 2007; to imply otherwise would be wrong."

  2. #2
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    Chester, Virginia, USA

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    A big stink about Cho was that he did actually lawfully purchase his firearms. I remeber thinking the day it happened, deep down,that he was even more of a bastard for doing so. That being said,his actions with sad firearms were not lawful, so why would a silly ban stop him? I'm sure it wouldn't have been TOO hard to him to have illegally find firearms,or weapons on the street as well.

    I am so sick of stricter laws, I really do wish more people would step up and take action against regulation our rights.

  3. #3
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    In the report they listed previous school shootings in the United States, one of which was on 1 October 1997, in Pearl, MS, "Luke Woodham, 16, brutally beats and stabs his mother, Mary Woodham to death. He then drives his mother's car to his high school. Wearing a blue denim jacket, he makes no attempt to hid his rifle. He enter Pearl High Schol and shoots nine students. Two students died, including the suspect's ex-girlfriend. He goes on to wound seven others before the assistant principal retrives a .45 pistol from the glove compartment of his truck and subdues Woodham while he was trying to drive off campus..."

    The outcome at Virginia Tech would have been a lot different had someone been armed.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Virginia, USA

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    Since the pre-existing "gun ban" at VT didn't amount to diddly in respect to Cho's rampage, where is the logic in suggesting further bans? Are the new ones supposed to be "new, special, super-improved bans"? With bigger signs? With tougher administrative penalties tacked onto a murderer's charges?

    The mind reels....

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