View Full Version : AP: Shootings draw global condemnation

04-17-2007, 9:42 AM
Shootings draw global condemnation
Foreign officials, commentators try to delve into American psyche
The Associated Press
Updated: 7:02 a.m. PT April 17, 2007

LONDON - The deadly university rampage in Virginia that killed 33 people sent shock waves around the world Tuesday with newspapers and talk shows delving into the American psyche and raising questions about lax gun controls in the United States.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the shooting underscored the problems of a U.S. “gun culture,” but the gun control debate echoed loudest across Europe, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.

Prime Minister Tony Blair offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

“I would like to express on behalf of Britain and the British people our profound sadness at what has happened and to send the American people and most especially, of course, the families of the victims, our sympathy and our prayers,” Blair said.

‘Shocked and saddened’
Most expressed shock at the shooting but few said they were surprised — criticizing the availability of guns in the United States, lax gun controls and the number of Americans who cling to the constitutional right that allows them to bear arms.

“The Queen was shocked and saddened to hear of the news of the shooting in Virginia,” Buckingham Palace said. Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, are scheduled to visit Virginia May 3-4.

British Home Office Minister, Tony McNulty, earned a masters degree in political science at Virginia Tech in 1982.

“I think if this does prompt a serious and reflective debate on gun issues and gun law in the states then some good may come from this woeful tragedy,” McNulty said.

Many families expressed relief when they heard their children were safe. Some were still waiting for news.

“He sounded OK. I think they had been very shocked all day — struggling to get in touch with their friends,” Charles Barnwell of Birmingham, England, whose son George, 20, was locked in his dormitory with eight friends during the shooting.

‘We took action,’ Australian PM says
Howard, the Australian prime minister, staked his political leadership on pushing through tough laws on gun ownership in his country after a lone gunman went on one of the world’s deadliest killing sprees 11 years ago in his country.

“We took action to limit the availability of guns and we showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country,” he said.

The Times of London ran an editorial delving into the American psyche and the weak gun laws across the country.

“Why, we ask, do Americans continue to tolerate gun laws and a culture that seems to condemn thousands of innocents to death every year, when presumably, tougher restrictions, such as those in force in European countries, could at least reduce the number?”

Gun crime is extremely rare in Britain, and handguns are completely illegal. The ban is so strictly enforced that Britain’s Olympic pistol shooting team is barred from practicing in its own country. :confused:

Britain’s 46 homicides involving firearms was the lowest total since the late 1980s. New York City, with 8 million people compared to 53 million in England and Wales, recorded at least 579 homicides last year.

“What exactly triggered the massacre in Virginia is unclear but the fundamental reason is often the perpetrator’s psychological problems in combination with access to weapons,” Swedish daily Goteborgs-Posten commented.

No private arms in China
The shooting drew intense coverage by media in China, in part because the school has a relatively large Chinese student body and because U.S. reports said the gunman may have been Chinese or Asian.

Private citizens are forbidden from owning guns in China.

“Why are there were so many shooting incidents in American schools and universities?” said a comment posted on the popular Internet portal Sohu.com. “People should think why an American-educated student would take revenge against America?”

Yuan Peng, an American studies expert, was quoted by state-run China Daily as saying the shooting illustrated America’s problems with gun control and a lack of security at American universities.

“This incident reflects the problem of gun control in America,” said Yuan, from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a Beijing-based think tank.

Only 7 percent of the more than 26,000 students at Virginia Tech are foreign, according to the school web site. But Chinese undergraduate and graduate students comprise nearly a third of that. There are about 600 or so students and teachers and their family members from China at the school, said Xue, the Chinese student union president.

‘Self-defense imprinted on its DNA’
In Italy, leading daily Corriere della Sera’s ran an opinion piece entitled “Guns at the Supermarket” — a critical view of the U.S. gun lobby and the ease with which guns can be purchased.

“The latest attack on a U.S. campus will shake up America, maybe it will provoke more vigorous reactions than in the past, but it won’t change the culture of a country that has the notion of self-defense imprinted on its DNA and which considers the right of having guns inalienable,” Corriere wrote in its front-page story.

In Italy, there are three types of licenses for gun ownership: for personal safety, target practice and skeet shooting, and hunting. Authorization is granted by the police. To obtain a gun for personal safety, the owner must be an adult and have a “valid” reason.

Several Italian graduate students at Virginia Tech recounted how they barricaded themselves inside a geology department building not far from the scene of the shooting.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18149774/?GT1=9246

04-17-2007, 9:55 AM
I wonder if the same people that quote China would want to live there.

04-17-2007, 9:56 AM
You should send this to the news paper...

Sheffield Today, 30 December 2006

A robber brandishing a silver handgun confronted a sub-postmaster as he was opening up the branch in Darnall. He demanded to be taken inside and be given the contents of the safe. He tied up the sub-postmaster and then climbed on to the roof to escape. The victim's wife called the police who sent an armed response team but the robber had fled.

BBC, 30 December 2006

A 17-year-old was shot three times in what is being described by police as a targeted attack. The teenager was cycling through a park in Stretford, Manchester, when he was shot in the back, stomach and legs. His condition is described as comfortable.

The Press (York), 29 December 2006

Two armed robbers used a handgun to demand cash from terrified shop assistants at a shop in York. The men took cash and escaped.

Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 29 December 2006

A bag of cash was stolen from two men in Huntingdon when they were approached by a man with a handgun. They were intending to deposit the bank at a nearby bank.

Hemel Today, 29 December 2006 *

A man has been bailed by police after an incident in Ealing Broadway, west London, in which he is alleged to have pointed a gun at another driver during a road rage argument. A BB gun was found inside the man's car.

BBC, 28 December 2006

A man was discovered dead in a field in Cottingham near Hull. He had been brutally beaten to death and also been shot with an air weapon. Another report described the victim's body being found peppered with wounds from an airgun (Sun, 28 December 2006). The police want to speak to people with information about air weapons being used in the area. Two teenagers, aged 18 and 17, are due to appear in court charged with murder and another, aged 15, has been released on bail pending further inquiries (Press Association, 30 December 2006).

BBC, 28 December 2006

A robber told the staff at a Leicester betting shop that he had a handgun. He threatened them with an object wrapped in a carrier bag then left with a quantity of cash.

BBC, 27 December 2006

A shop assistant in Leasowe on the Wirral was threatened by a robber armed with a stun gun who made off with the takings. The victim was left shaken but uninjured.

BBC, 26 December 2006

A man armed with a shotgun threatened an attendant at a petrol station in Doncaster. The attendant was forced to hand over cash. She was left shaken but otherwise unhurt.

This is Hertfordshire, 22 December 2006

Two masked raiders threatened staff with a handgun and a baseball bat as they stole a small amount of cash from a book shop in Hatfield.

BBC, 22 December 2006

Two robbers held a gun to the head of a security guard as he made a delivery to a supermarket in Bury. The men ran away with at least five bags containing a "significant amount" of money.

BBC, 22 December 2006

A teenage shop worker was injured when he was attacked in an off licence in Rugby by a masked man carrying a handgun. The robber fled with an unknown amount of money after kneeing the victim in the stomach.

Telegraph, 21 December 2006

Douglas Bernstein buried an illegally-held .357 Ruger revolver and 20 bullets in his garden in Dunsfold, Surrey. His wife discovered what he had done and informed the police. He pleaded guilty to having a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a certificate. He said he had bought the weapon lawfully in America and claimed he had inadvertently brought it into Britain inside the drawer of some furniture when he took up a post at Southampton University. He was given a 51 weeks' jail sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 180 hours' unpaid work.

Hemel Today, 21 December 2006

A pensioner was robbed at gunpoint at his home in Berkhamsted. Three men, one of whom was holding a black handgun, stole Christmas presents, cash and credit cards. They had rung his doorbell late in the evening and then demanded money from him.

AOL News, 21 December 2006 *

Four teenagers have been convicted of killing a woman as she cradled a baby at the child's christening party in Peckham in August 2005 (see Incidents). A 17-year-old was convicted of murder and the other three, aged 15, 16 and 17 were convicted of manslaughter. All four were members of an armed masked gang who burst into a christening party and after shooting the victim robbed other guests of valuables. Roberto Malasi, 18, was jailed for 30 years for the murder and was given a second life sentence for killing another woman two weeks later. Diamond Babamuboni, 17, and Timy Babamuboni, 15, and Jude Odigie, 16, were all given indeterminate sentences for manslaughter and robbery and will serve a minimum of 8 years in detention (Telegraph, 15 February 2007).

Times, 20 December 2006

A soldier, Danny McKee, has been jailed for three years after stealing a Browning 9mm pistol from the armoury of his barracks at Chivenor, north Devon, in June 2006 and using it to threaten a drugs dealer in a row over £20.

Diss Mercury, 20 December 2006

A man was shot in the leg at point-blank range outside a pub in Diss following an argument. About half an hour after time had been called one of the men who had been arguing returned brandishing an air rifle and shot the other man in the leg. The victim needed hospital treatment for severe bruising but was saved from more serious injuries after the pellet first hit his keys.

BBC, 20 December 2006

Two robbers dressed as postmen threatened a couple at their home in Ewell, Surrey. It is believed that were armed with a firearm in a black plastic bag. They had entered the property after telling the man they had a letter in their van. The robbers stole money.

National Newspapers, 19 and 23 December 2006

Yusuf Jama, 20, has been found guilty of the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, who was shot dead at point blank range following a bungled armed robbery at a travel agents in Bradford in November 2005 (see Incidents). Another police officer, PC Teresa Milburn, was shot and injured. Two brothers, Faisal Razzaq and Hassan, were found guilty of the manslaughter of PC Beshenivsky. Jama was also found guilty of possessing a Mac10 machine gun and a 9mm pistol with intent to endanger life and two counts of possessing firearms. Raza Ul-Haq Aslam was cleared of all charges except for robbery and be retried in February. Earlier Muzzaker Shah had admitted PC Beshenivsky's murder, but the judge had ordered the jury to clear him of PC Milburn's attempted murder. Shah and Jama have each been sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison. Faisal Razzaq was given a life sentence and will serve at least 11 years before being considered for parole. Hassan Razzaq will be sentenced in January. Two other men, Mustaf Jama and Piran Ditta Khan remain on the run from the police.

Lancashire Evening Post, 19 December 2006

Michael Richard Allen has been given a supervision order for 18 months after being seen in Preston carrying a machete and a ball-bearing gun.

Leeds Today, 18 December 2006

A man who spent hours documenting acts of vandalism, threatening and antisocial behaviour in a street in Middleton, Leeds, describes some of the things he caught on camera as outrageous. He says he recorded airgun pellets being fired and threats made to shoot a four-year-old girl.

ic Birmingham, 18 December 2006

Police are investigating the death of a man who was discovered with gunshot wounds at a farm near Broadway, Worcestershire. An inquest has been opened (Evesham Journal, 20 December 2006).

Sunday Mirror, 17 December 2006

A masked gunman robbed a woman of up to £500,000 of jewellery and cash at her home in Sandbanks, Dorset. She was alone when the man broke in through an open side door.

Three robbers burst into an off licence in Fratton and threatened a cashier with a gun. The men attempted to get into the till but were unable to open it and fled empty-handed.

BBC, 15 December 2006

Staff at a travel agents in Darlington were confronted by a gunman who stole £5,000 in sterling and other denominations. No one was hurt in the incident, although two female members of staff were left shocked and shaken. Police are investigating whether the robbery is linked to the one on another travel agents in Hartlepool (see below).

BBC, 15 December 2006

A murder inquiry has begun after a man was shot at his home in Handsworth, Birmingham. Police say they were called to reports of an incident at the house. The victim died in hospital.

Daily Echo, 14 December 2006 *

Thomas Blackburn, 20, pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful wounding and possession of a firearm, following the shooting of a seven-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle outside his home in Poole in August 2006 (see Incidents). An air rifle, silencer and ammunition were found in his room at home after the attack. The victim spent three nights in hospital where surgeons attempted to remove an airgun pellet from his leg and clean the wound. Blackburn was sent to a young offenders' institution for 10 months (Daily Echo, 13 January 2007).

There are MANY more incidents obviously. It looks like they have it all figured out over there, because banning firearms obviously stops the crime!
Source (http://www.gun-control-network.org/IN1206.htm):rolleyes:

04-17-2007, 11:02 AM
Gotta love how our culture and freedoms are continually judged as dangerous by other governments, yet their citizens are constantly migrating here.

Remember people, we (as a people) left these places for a reason.

04-17-2007, 11:48 AM
Britainís 46 homicides involving firearms was the lowest total since the late 1980s. New York City, with 8 million people compared to 53 million in England and Wales, recorded at least 579 homicides last year.

Maybe I've misunderstood, but according to this http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20060428_HOMICIDE_MAP.html
I count 289 GUN homicides for New York city as compared to the stated 579 homicides, though it didn't say 'gun homicide'.

And as far as China goes, there is complete government control of virtually everything. Its not a place you'd want to be a Christian. We've seen the video's of persecutions and executions of the populace attempting a strike or practice religion.


04-17-2007, 12:16 PM
LOL China giving us advise on how to run a country. They don't need guns in China because why waste a bullet when you can just run people over in a tank. Besides, I think Chairman Mao would have disapproved of Chinese people defending themselves as he slaughtered close to 30 million of his own people.

04-17-2007, 12:30 PM
I could care less about what any foreigner says about our country, laws, traditions, and culture, period! If they say (or do) anything negative about America while on our soil, that's different, and we are going to have a big problem.

Bottom line is, how many more years will Americans continue down the path of total feminization? Are we going to be meat eaters, or sheep?

04-17-2007, 12:36 PM
I could care less about what any foreigner says about our country, laws and culture, period!

You got it, bro.

Those people over there are speaking & writing about this because we saved their arses in WWII.

Frankly, we should charge European countries a tax on their exports to recover our WWII and Cold War costs.

I think, in 20 - 50 years, we're gonna have to regard much of Europe as a enemy power simply because of birthrates of radical Islamists there relative to the native stock.

In fact, we may then well have better relations with Arab Islamic countries, compared the 'grass is greener' radicalized Islam of Europe.

04-17-2007, 12:38 PM
I will never care what other countires think of our right to bear arms.
Screw them; we have come to the aid of almost every critic of our nation.
What would England, France, China and all the others say today if we had not bailed their butts out in WWII.
I lived in England as a kid for a few years and I have fond memories but as a nation they are a bunch of pussies so who cares what they say.

04-17-2007, 12:58 PM
If you look at the writing of the folks across the pond on this issue you will clearly see a lack of understanding on their part. They are given a distorted, often patently false, view on what the 2nd Amendment stands for. No context or historical perspective...simply that the 2nd Amendmend is a throwback to centuries past before we had a standing army.....and now that we do....why would we need ordinary citizens to be armed?

After reading many of the european reports I am ready to puke.

04-17-2007, 1:05 PM
Ah, who gives a flip what other countries (espcecially euro-peein ones) think or say about us?

04-17-2007, 1:41 PM
The ChiComs can FOAD.

Their citizens can't own guns, and so that's why they're communist slaves.

F***ing hypocritical a**holes.

Private citizens are forbidden from owning guns in China.

04-17-2007, 2:46 PM
If you look at the writing of the folks across the pond on this issue you will clearly see a lack of understanding on their part. They are given a distorted, often patently false, view on what the 2nd Amendment stands for. No context or historical perspective...simply that the 2nd Amendmend is a throwback to centuries past before we had a standing army.....and now that we do....why would we need ordinary citizens to be armed?

How is this any different than what gets written and taught to our children over here? :mad:

It all comes down to this: There can be no liberty in a country where only the government can use force to exert control over others. A disarmed man is nothing more than a subject of his government.