Virginia State Police stand guard exterior Norris Hall someday after a mass shooting on the campus the Virginia Tech, April 17, 2007 in Blacksburg.

You are watching: Guns used in virginia tech shooting


Ten years have actually passed due to the fact that a Virginia Tech an elderly opened fire top top campus, death 32 students and also professors before transforming the gun on himself. In ~ the buzzpatterson.com, it to be the single deadliest shooting in U.S. History, and the toll fee shocked the country, eliciting an outpouring of grief, anger and prayers.

The massacre also collection off a political fight over an problem that has actually now end up being a familiar coda to mass shootings: total control. In Virginia’s Republican-controlled legislature, the shooting energized both sides of the gun debate, pitting those who thought guns were the problem against those who thought they were the solution. A te after what is tho the most dangerous shooting on a college campus, the winner the that fight is clear: It’s easier than ever before to buy and also carry a firearm in the state.


In the previous 10 years, Virginia has reversed numerous of its total regulations, making it easier for residents to lug concealed guns in bars, acquiring rid the the state’s one-handgun-per-month purchase law, and also making the legal to keep firearms in automobile glove boxes. End the same period, the state has actually shrugged turn off pushes for increased background checks and calls come toughen laws to stop gun trafficking.

Will Pelfrey, a Virginia commonwealth University criminologist, says following the Virginia technology shooting, pistol rights teams were much far better funded and also organized and able to succinctly connect their message.

“Gun rights advocates have done a clever job of connecting any kind of individual pistol restriction come a much broader theme of, ‘They’re taking our firearms away and repealing the second Amendment,’” Pelfrey says.

Virginia is no alone. The very same pattern has actually played out in various other states across the country following massive shootings, v lawmakers vote to ease gun constraints rather than toughen them, a current study from the Harvard company School found. That’s in component because a bulk of states are regulated by Republican governors and statehouses. Among the couple of states to happen stricter gun laws was Democrat-controlled Connecticut complying with the Sandy Hook elementary institution shooting that left 26 students and teachers dead.

In Virginia, among the few victories for gun manage advocates was a invoice designed to ensure that mentally unstable civilization are not permitted to buy a gun. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia tech shooter, had actually been understood a peril to himself by a referee in 2005 however still cleared background checks two years later on when he purchased the 2 semiautomatic pistols he offered to assault his other students. State agencies now must share information regarding people who are compelled to undergo mental health treatment through state and federal pistol databases.

But the other proposals come tighten gun access in the state went i do not have anything — partly since the measures, including those connected to increased background checks — would not have actually stopped Cho from getting the firearms he offered in the massacre.

“The background examine system doesn’t do much of anything,” states Philip valve Cleave, chairman of the Virginia citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights organization. “ went with one and also while the was waiting he plotted and also planned what he was going to do.”


One the the many vocal advocates for total regulation in Virginia is Andy Goddard, the legislative director of the Virginia facility for windy Safety and the dad of Colin Goddard, who was hurt in the shooting. Goddard says he’s checked out some progress simply due to the fact that the subject of gun limitations isn’t going away, and he cites polls mirroring a majority of americans wanting legislations that mandate global background checks the he believes could aid prevent future shootings.

“The only team that is stand in the means is a tiny variety of very according to extremists,” the says, introduce to expanded background check legislation. Goddard’s group also helped avoid a bill that would have made college campuses like Virginia tech no much longer gun-free zones.

See more: The 20 Happiest Country In The World 2021 List, The Happiest Countries In The World 2021

Pelfrey, however, sees a legislature impasse on guns in Virginia generally and also believes it will take something unseen in the state come truly change the debate.

“It would certainly take something on the level the a 9/11 attack to adjust Virginia’s legislation of guns,” he says. “It would take miscellaneous on an stimulate of magnitude greater than Virginia Tech.”