Predictably, the European press is blaming the lack of a state monopoly of force for the killings at Virginia Tech. With characteristic incompetence, too, many of these European editorialists blame the expiration of the (so-called) Assault Weapon Ban, which, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with events at Blacksburg.
The killer evidently used an ordinary 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol and some kind of .22 pistol. There was no authentic, or even mislabeled, assault weapon involved.
In the strongest editorialized image of the day, German cable news broadcaster NTV flashed an image of the former head of the National Rifle Association, the US gun lobby: In other words, blame rifle-wielding Charlton Heston for the 33 dead.
The German Bild offers a typical example of the journalist’s failure to acquaint himself with the actual facts.
Now we will probably begin discussing the overly lax gun laws in the United States. There, buying a machine gun is often easier than getting a driver’s license.
He must be thinking of Iraq, not the United States. Americans have needed a costly federal license, involving lots of paperwork, since passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934, to own a fully automatic weapon, and a number of states do not allow private ownership of full-auto weapons, period.
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