Statement by Campaign on 3rd Anniversary of VA Tech Shootings
(April 15, 2010, New York) – Three years ago on April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, armed with two semiautomatic handguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition, shot and killed 32 people and wounded many more on the campus of Virginia Tech before killing himself.
The gun lobby’s immediate reaction was to call for permitting the carrying of loaded handguns on college campuses. In the three years since the Virginia Tech shooting, legislation has been introduced in at least 20 states that would allow anyone with a concealed handgun permit, including students, to carry and possess loaded handguns on college campuses – in classrooms, student centers, sporting events, student dormitories and fraternity houses. Even in pro-gun state capitols, those radical bills continue to be consistently voted down. Utah is currently the only state that allows students to carry concealed weapons on its nine state supported colleges and universities.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, a project of GunFreeKids.org, is urging colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and more than 130 individual colleges and universities in 31 states have joined the Campaign. View list at www.keepgunsoffcampus.org.
Andy Pelosi, Director of the Campaign issued the following statement:
“American’s colleges and universities cannot afford to sit on the sidelines on this issue or they will have their right to maintain gun-free campuses trampled on by the gun lobby. Strong opposition from students, professors, and university presidents will continue to defeat the gun lobby’s radical agenda to push guns onto the nation’s colleges and universities.
“The gun lobby is not interested in the safety of students, faculty, and staff. They are using the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech as cover for their real agenda to push guns into every nook and cranny of society.”
The gun lobby argues that college campuses would be safer if students and others were allowed to carry concealed weapons. However, an ongoing study by the Violence Policy Center documents that since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 9 law enforcement officers and 142 private citizens, including 15 shooters who killed themselves after the attack. In addition, conceal carry licensees have committed at least 13 mass shootings (three or more victims). The vast majority of victims were spouses and other family members, intimate partners, friends, and acquaintances of the shooter who were shot during an argument or dispute, altercation, or relationship problem. The study is updated monthly at www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm.
“As we remember the third anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, let’s honor the victims and families by striving to keep our campuses gun free,” said Pelosi.
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