The World Reacts to Virginia Tech Massacre and Asks Why

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said, "Can I first say how appalled everyone is by the terrible news from Virginia. Our deepest sympathy and our condolences of course go to that community and to all of those whose families are directly affected."

British Home Office Minister Tony McNulty studied at Virginia Tech during the early 1980s, and returned to the university two weeks ago. In an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, he said, "I think if this does prompt a serious and reflective debate on gun issues and gun law in the states then some good may come from this woeful tragedy."

France: Responsibility Lies With Congress and the White House

The midday newscast of France 2 opened with the news of the shooting, which took up the first 10 minutes of the broadcast. They had an on-location correspondent, and interviewed American journalist Ted Stanger about the easy access to guns in the United States, and discussed whether this tragedy would bring about any changes to the existing gun laws.

Le Parisien dedicated its front page (and parts of pages two and three) to the shooting. The paper's headline read "Massacre at the University" and the following pages included a recap of the day's events, an interview with a criminologist as well as the testimony of 23-year-old French student Valerie Grand, who was on campus during the shooting, and hid for hours in a lab awaiting clearance.

The Liberation newspaper showed a picture of cops carrying an injured student from the campus, with the headline "33 Dead at the University of Virginia." The paper also devoted pages 6 and 7 to reporting the day's events and publishing witness testimony from the campus.

The newspaper, Le Figaro, published a small picture with the headline, "Massacre in an American university" on its front page. They devoted page 3 to the day's events with two articles: a report titled "Carnage at the American University of Virginia Tech", and an editorial headlined, "This Violent America, in the name of its Rights," which read as follows:

"The NRA, powerful firearm's lobby, is making every effort to neutralize any thought of prohibiting the carrying of firearms. … 29,000 people are killed every year by a firearm in the U.S. … There were 410 murders in 2006 in Philly, almost as many as in France. The most tangible explanation comes from the number of weapons in circulation: 65 million guns and rifles are legally owned by 40 percent of American households. … The problem with America with firearms constitutes a political stake which is bound to the responsibility of the elected members of Congress and the White House."

French President, Jacques Chirac, issued a communiqué saying he was horrified and distressed to learn of the shootings at Virginia Tech. He offered President Bush, the families of the victims and the American people his most heartfelt condolences and his total solidarity, both personally and on behalf of the French people.

Germany: A Good Enough Reason to Reconsider Gun Ownership?

It's leading the news here -- not a single German newscast has gone by without informing the audience about the terrible massacre in Blacksburg, Va. Newspaper headlines and front pages expressed shock and horror over the terrible news.

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