College Shootings In 2013: Campus Incidents Number 13 So Far

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Last Friday, an 18-year-old student allegedly shot two women with a 12-gauge shotgun at the mall branch of New River Community College in Christiansburg, Va. The New River shooting took place just six miles from Virginia Tech, the location of the deadliest school shooting in American history on April 16, 2007. Tuesday is the sixth anniversary of that horrific day.

So far in 2013, there have been at least 13 shootings on or directly adjacent to a college campus, including an incident Monday night at Grambling State University in Louisiana.

If there is any good news in these numbers, none of these shootings resulted in the massive loss of life like those at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School. But campus lockdowns seem to take place almost every week -- at least five in the past week -- as individuals are reportedly sighted with a firearm, providing a constant reminder of what could happen.

Since Virginia Tech, there have been at least three "active shooter" scenarios at colleges. The most recent took place at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif., on April 2, 2012, when seven people were killed.

According to authorities, Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza researched the 2008 Northern Illinois University shooting, in which six people were killed and 21 injured.

Today Congress is struggling to pass gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but the Virginia Tech massacre did lead to legislative change.

It became apparent only after the Virginia Tech shooting that the killer, Seung-Hui Choi, should have failed his background check to purchase a weapon due to mental illness. Court records showed that Choi had been declared "an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness," but his name was never submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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