COMMENTS: Campus Neighbors

NBC assigned Lisa Myers to look into the larger question of campus security. She listed various schools and colleges where shooting sprees had taken place--University of Texas clocktower in 1966, Columbine High School in 1999, Appalachian Law School in 2002, University of Arizona Nursing College in 2002--and tried to find a common thread in the shooters. "Experts say they did have one thing in common: an inability to deal with their rage." NBC's in-house criminologist Clint van Sandt told Myers that even the best security cannot deter a suicidal killer: "If they have made up their mind and are prepared to both kill and die, there is little we can do--except perhaps kill them before they are able to act out." And ABC's in-house security consultant Jerry Hauer generalized for Pierre Thomas: "Most university police departments are not prepared to deal with hostage situations, mass casualty incidents, mass shootings."

ABC had Jake Tapper look at the possible impact of the shooting on firearms control laws. He quoted President George Bush's favorite gun control law, the one he cited in a Campaign 2000 debate: "There is a larger law. Love your neighbor like you would like to be loved yourself." Tapper observed that the legislative reaction could go either way. After the Luby's cafeteria shooting in Killeen in 1991, Texas reacted by making it easier for gunowners to carry concealed weapons in order to protect themselves. After Columbine in 1999, then-President Bill Clinton lobbied to have loopholes closed to make it more difficult to buy weapons at gunshows. NBC's Williams observed that an expired automatic weapons law would have limited this gunman's ammunition clip to ten rounds; the new law permitted the 19 bullets he used.


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.