Reaction

Virginia Tech Shootings

April 18, 2007|By Joe Burris

A compilation of comments from media and others overseas in reaction to the U.S. college shooting:

From the Melbourne, Australia, Herald Sun's commentary section:

"Sadly, Australians are no strangers to the shock being felt in America today. It echoes the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, in which Martin Bryant shot dead 35 people. After that tragedy, newly elected Prime Minister John Howard courageously took on the local gun lobby to introduce tough new gun laws. Yesterday, Mr. Howard reaffirmed his determination to discourage an American-style gun culture arising here. But U.S. President George Bush, while expressing shock and sympathy yesterday, gave no hint he was prepared to act to limit America's lethal and legally sanctioned love affair with guns."

From the home page of Korea.net, a news service run by the Korean Overseas Information Service of the Government Information Agency:

South Korean "President Roh Moo-hyun delivered his condolences to the families of more than 30 victims of a shooting spree at Virginia Tech, Roh's spokesman said. Roh was quoted as saying that `an unbelievable incident took place.' "

From the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Web site feedback section, entitled Have Your Say:

"I was appalled to see a representative of the NRA on Newsnight last night claiming that the students should have been allowed to own guns to protect themselves. Virginia already has pretty lax gun laws, I didn't see that save anybody. It's not the Wild West any more, people. Step away from your country's mythology and stop listening to the dogma about gun ownership. You don't need individual gun ownership to keep The King of England away anymore. You have an army for that."

- [grudgeboy], Manchester, United Kingdom

From the French newspaper Le Monde's Web site:

"The slaughter at Virginia Polytechnic University has imposed on American society a new self-examination about its violence, the gun fetishism that defines part of its population, and the disordered state of young people subjected to the double tyranny of abundance and competition. It would be unjust and false to reduce the United States to an image that, again and again, epitomizes the fatal fury to which isolated individuals succumb. But the incidents at issue are exceptional elsewhere, whereas they have frequently come to disfigure the `American dream.' "

From a South African news Web site, News24.com:

"South Africa was shocked by the shooting rampage at the United States' Virginia Tech University, Foreign Affairs deputy minister Aziz Pahad said on Tuesday. `This is a shocking event that highlights serious malfunction in many societies,' he said during a weekly briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. `We hope the necessary lessons will be learned in such tragedies that are now becoming a common occurrence in the Western world.' "

From the Web feedback page of the Russian newspaper Pravda:

"We don't see the UK and Japan awash in guns, but we do see tens of thousands of shooting victims in the USA. My bet is the Virginia shooter had no criminal record, so the `only criminals will have guns' argument doesn't wash."

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