Never Again?

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Never Again?

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<p>Lessons learned on the 8th anniversary of Columbine.

<i>-- Diane Edbril and Daniel Loeb</i>

Yet another American gun massacre, and though the scale is more horrific, it is not surprising. The Virginia Tech massacre is not unlike the Amish schoolhouse shooting in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, late last year. Both of these, while unbearably sad, are hardly unexpected in this country. Our weak gun laws make it a certainty that the United States will continue to suffer recurrences of such preventable tragedies. There is a crying need for Americans to understand - It&#39;s about the guns!

Phil Goldsmith, President of CeaseFire PA, said "Since the Columbine shooting tragedy it has become even easier to obtain guns, as well as high capacity ammunition magazines. Many states, including Pennsylvania, have passed pre-emption laws that have undermined the ability of local governments to enact stricter gun laws. (Pennsylvania has preempted local regulation of firearms for over a decade.) Concealed carry laws have multiplied. In addition, for the last six years, the US Department of Justice has required the destruction of gun purchase background check records after just 24 hours, a measure that has prevented a comprehensive review of those who may have acquired guns despite falling into a prohibited category."

Currently:</p>
<p><ul id="obj"><li>Most of our states do not require gun owners to be licensed and for guns to be registered.</li><li>Most of our states have not closed the gun show loophole, so thousands of guns are purchased without background checks.</li><li>Most states impose no limits on the number of firearms one individual can acquire, making it easy for illegal gun traffickers to supply the criminal element.</li><li>Many of our states do not update criminal history databases in a timely manner, making it easy for criminals to obtain firearms.</li></ul></p><p>Imagine how much worse this tragedy could have been if Cho Seung-hui had been in possession of a military assault weapon as is his "right" now that Congress has allowed the Assault Weapons Ban to expire.

Cho Seung-hui was able to obtain firearms despite his psychological record since the burden of proof is on the government to prove that he was a danger to himself and those around him. However, when I get a driver&#39;s license, the burden of proof is on me to prove that my eyesight is adequate and that I understand the rules of the road. When I send my children to school or to summer camp, the burden of proof is on me to show that my children have been immunized and are not carrying any communicable diseases. Why not shift the burden of proof and require a recent attestation of sanity from a psychiatrist or psychologist before anyone can handle a firearm?

Will the American people stand up to the gun lobby and demand change, or will the administration simply blame the media for not concentrating their coverage on the majority of universities which do not have gun violence at any given moment?

As Phil Goldsmith observed: "Congress called for a Moment of Silence in response to this massacre. Indeed, a moment of silence is appropriate for such a devastating tragedy with such pain for families and students. But we also need loud, uncompromising noise, particularly in Pennsylvania, where too many of our citizens are being shot and killed in urban areas. The majority of Pennsylvanians favor sensible handgun laws, including Governor Ed Rendell. It is time for the majority&#39;s voices to be heard loud and clear."

<i>For information about the Stop Gun Violence Through Peace, Action & Education - A Community-Based Interfaith&#39;s Conference on May 20 and the weekly vigils. See last month&#39;s article on <a href="http://www.pjvoice.com/v22/22007guns.aspx">Interfaith Initiative Against Guns</a>.</i>

<b>Liviu Librescu Links:</b></p>
<p><ul id="obj"><li><a href="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/virginiatech.shootings/victims/profiles/liviu.librescu.html">CNN Tribute Page</a></li><li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liviu_Librescu">Wikipedia</a></li><li><a href="http://www.esm.vt.edu/~llibresc/RESUME%20L.%20Librescu.pdf">61 page resume</a></li><li><a href="http://www.chabad.edu/templates/articlecco.html?AID=504498">Family Condolence Page</a></li></ul></p><p>--

© 2007. Permission is hereby granted to redistribute this issue of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice or (unless specified otherwise) any of the articles therein in their full original form provided these same rights are conveyed to the reader and subscription information to The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is provided. Subscribers should be directed to <a href="http://www.pjvoice.com/Subscribe.htm">http://www.pjvoice.com/Subscribe.htm</a>.

Original Source: <a href="http://www.pjvoice.com/v23/23001vatech.aspx">http://www.pjvoice.com/v23/23001vatech.aspx</a></p>

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Diane Edbril and Daniel Loeb / The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

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2007-07-01

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Adriana Seagle

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Daniel Loeb (daniel.loeb@verizon.net)

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eng

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Diane Edbril and Daniel Loeb / The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, "Never Again?," in The April 16 Archive, Item #640, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/640 (accessed April 23, 2014).