However, I could not help but notice the results of the CNN Quick Vote question which asked, “Do you think gun control laws are an effective way to curb violence?,” and 56 percent of those who responded said no. I think that’s pretty sad, because it’s an admission that we’re going to walk away yet again in the face of another abominable tragedy (and indeed, with the shooter’s face plastered on the CNN site, we seem to be in the mode now where we commiserate with each other around the water coolers and coffee machines talking about this dead lunatic before we move onto the latest piece of celebrity trash, noting perhaps near the unique twist here that the shooter is of Asian descent).
Here is what John and Elizabeth Edwards had to say…
We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there. We pray that these families, these students, and the entire Virginia Tech community know that they are being embraced by a nation. There is a Methodist hymn that gave us solace in such a moment as this, and we repeat its final verse here, in hopes it will help these families, as it helped us:
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Our dearest wish is that this day could start again, with the promise of these young people alive. Knowing that cannot be, our prayer is for God’s grace and whatever measure of peace can be reached on this terrible day.Also, I’m not going to use this tragedy as an argument for one-gun-a-month as the law of the land and making “straw” purchases illegal (as you’ll see, Virginia currently has a one-gun-a-month law on handguns on the books). Those should be federal laws currently in place anyway.
John and Elizabeth Edwards
However, I did review Virginia’s gun laws based on this from Handgun Control, and I discovered the following (CNN reports that a source familiar with the investigation said that the weapons found were a 22-caliber semi-automatic and a 9 mm Glock, both with the serial numbers filed off).
According to Handgun Control, Virginia is to be commended for performing a state background check on gun buyers in addition to a federal one, and gun owners are held accountable in the event that a gun is accessible to a child under 14 years of age. However, the following are blemishes on the state’s record of gun safety…
- There is no state requirement that gun owners register their firearms.And of course (and this echoes the sad performance of the PA legislature), cities are not allowed to enact stronger gun laws than the state.
- State law authorizes that a record be kept of handguns sold by licensed gun dealers for only 12 months.
- There is no requirement that a gun purchaser receive any safety training.
- Police aren’t allowed to limit carrying concealed handguns.
- No background check is required for secondary or private sales.
I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing shortly arguments along the lines of, “oh, it looks like handguns were used and they’re already regulated in Virginia, so gun control doesn’t work.”
After the most important part of this tragedy passes, Virginia should look at the totality of its record concerning gun safety and realize that it has issues that need to be addressed that could prevent further mass killings (or maybe not, but since when did inaction ever solve anything?).