Stating the Obvious
My heart goes out to those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
My condemnation goes out to President Bush who took this opportunity to reaffirm his belief in a citizen's right to bear arms amidst such a horrible time in the US' history.
The shooting at Virginia Tech was the lead story on every Australian news program and in every newspaper yesterday. Guns are illegal here (except for a few registered gun collectors and hunters), so the fact that such an event is even possible in this day and age is shocking to most Australians.
Australian journalists recalled other gruesome shootings while discussing Virginia Tech; recalling last year's massacre at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, and of course, Columbine in 1999. The most recent shooting in Australia was the Port Arthur mass killing in 1996, which triggered the country to reform most of its gun laws.
I don't imagine the death of 33 people at Virginia Tech will prompt any major gun reform in the US, as both the President and the powerful gun lobby released statements backing the Second Amendment shortly following the news of the shootings.
Cho Seung-Hui was able to purchase his 9mm Glock 19 Pistol without so much as a background check, registration, or waiting period. Virginia has some of the most liberal gun laws in the States, and we have now borne witness to the consequence of such carelessness.
Let Virginia Tech and its community grieve and recover, but as days become weeks and weeks become months, please don't remain silent on this issue. We have a Congress at our disposal that should, in theory, back gun reform. Those who stand behind the Second Amendment when a tragedy like this strikes are the same people who have the victims' blood on their hands when all is said and done.