School shooting re ignites gun control debate in Virginia - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

School shooting re ignites gun control debate in Virginia


Every time a mass shooting breaks out, the battle over guns reaches a fever pitch. We found two people who are passionate about the issue on either ends.

A father who almost lost a son in the Virginia Tech mass shooting and the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League who says - don't blame the guns, blame the triggerman.

Both sides agree, the man behind the gun wasn't right in the head.

"You can't imagine the kind of human being that would murder little children," said Philip Van Cleave the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League

Van Cleave says if the shooter wanted to kill, he would have found a way so don't blame the gun.

"Gun control is not the issue if this person and clearly had to be mentally off his rocker to have murdered little children and not felt some horror of it all," Van Cleave said. "The mental health system needs to do something and get these people, if they can identify them, get them away from the public."

Andrew Goddard almost lost a son to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Every time another mass shooting pops up, he wonders what we are waiting for. 

"We may not be able to stop of this," he said. "But I'll tell you one thing, doing nothing won't stop it either."

Goddard believes the fewer the guns, the fewer opportunities for people to kill each other with them.

"He wouldn't have done it as easily, as effectively, as atrociously if he hadn't had a gun," Goddard contends.

But Van Cleave believes it is not that simple.

"We have problems with some insane people and I don't know how you are going to catch them all," he said. "That's the problem."

And as families grieve this debate appears in the same exact place it was before.

When it comes to gun control laws, Connecticut has some of the toughest in America. That isn't stopping prominent gun control advocates like Mayor Michael Bloomberg from calling for even further restrictions.

Yvette Yeon and Chris Thomas contributed to this report.

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