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

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

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.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Better late than never? Library book returned 78 years later

    Better late than never? Library book returned 78 years later

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:51 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:51:20 GMT
    Saturday, September 23 2017 9:18 PM EDT2017-09-24 01:18:29 GMT

    A book borrowed nearly 80 years ago during the Great Depression has been returned to a Massachusetts public library.

    More >>

    A book borrowed nearly 80 years ago during the Great Depression has been returned to a Massachusetts public library.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Patchy Dense Fog Overnight, Sun and Heat for Sunday

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Patchy Dense Fog Overnight, Sun and Heat for Sunday

    Saturday, September 23 2017 6:42 PM EDT2017-09-23 22:42:56 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • Woman hit and killed by van in Richmond

    Woman hit and killed by van in Richmond

    Saturday, September 23 2017 5:31 PM EDT2017-09-23 21:31:44 GMT
    A woman has died, after police say she was struck by a van in Richmond. Police say the woman was walking across the 1100 block of Azalea Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday, when she was struck by a van turning left off Seminary Avenue. The driver of that van stayed on the scene. Police say the woman was already dead when they got to the scene. The driver is not facing charges at this time. The investigation continues, as police work to notify the victim's family.

    More >>

    A woman has died, after police say she was struck by a van in Richmond. Police say the woman was walking across the 1100 block of Azalea Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday, when she was struck by a van turning left off Seminary Avenue. The driver of that van stayed on the scene. Police say the woman was already dead when they got to the scene. The driver is not facing charges at this time. The investigation continues, as police work to notify the victim's family.

    More >>

Powered by Frankly