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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kaine Joins Attacks on Gun Shows

Anti-gun Governor Tim Kaine has now joined the former superintendent of the Virginia State Police and Chairman of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, Gerald Massengill, in calling for closing the so-called "gun show loophole." Kaine explained his support on his monthly radio call in show by saying the "loophole" leaves an opening for felons and mentally ill individuals to have access to guns. He said, "You either want felons to have guns or you don't. You want people who are mentally adjudicated to be dangerous to have guns or you don't. If you don't want them to, then you ought to close that gun show loophole." As a side note, while he said he wants the "loophole" closed, he is not ready to say if he will expend any political capital to see that the effort is a success.

All of this of course flies in the face of three federal studies that provides convincing evidence to the contrary. And, never mind the fact that Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, did not acquire his guns at a gun show, and he went through a background check.

The only possible thing that could have been done that might have prevented the shooting (and even this may have had little impact) must be done at the federal level. Laws known as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), both of which have to do with what personal medical information can be provided to a family member, tied the hands of Virginia Tech in their ability to communicate with the parents of Cho that their were potential problems based on his behavior.

Cho had been receiving medical attention while he was in high school and his parents were happy with the progress he was making and they did not want him to attend Tech for that reason, believing that on such a large campus, he would regress. Unfortunately, because of FERPA, due to the fact that Cho was and adult, the school could not inform his parents about the incidents that led him to be referred for mental health treatment.

In short, gun shows had nothing to do with the events that led up to the shootings or the terrible events of April 16. Gun shows are simply an easy target upon which the gun banners have waived their sights.

The full article about Kaine's remarks can be found here.

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