" … It has been known for years in Hollywood that if you show a gun, sooner or later it will shoot. It seemed like America had understood this for a while but nothing changed. Except America. Columbine happened before September 11. Blacksburg happens in a world devoured by fear. … Weapons continue to circulate, in a country obsequious to a constitutional right which is jealously guarded in that part of the world. Yes. This news from Blacksburg is a story so profoundly American for once one wants to feel a shiver of satisfaction thinking of our country [Italy]; It has its problems but at least people are still only worried about whether to allow cell phones into schools … not about machine guns."
Pope Benedict XVI delivered a message of condolence to the victims, their families and the entire community via the Bishop of Richmond, His Excellency Francis Xavier DiLorenzo.
He wrote, "In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy, he asks God our father to console all those who mourn and to grant them that spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love."
Spain's most-read paper El Pais dedicates its first three pages to the massacre. It says that these killing are likely to unleash a new national debate over the possession of firearms, its dangers and its limits.
El Mundo describes Virginia Tech as "A Place More Cursed Than Columbine." The paper laments the spread of such violence in America, saying that university campuses and schools are being turned into "battle grounds." The paper also ran an editorial by a psychiatrist who tried to explain the mind of the killer.
Radio stations and television channels reported the Virginia Tech tragedy all day step by step from early morning. The three major channels being ORT, RTR NTV and Russia Today, the Kremlin English speaking channel carried it as the top story all day.
Most channels gave a history of similar incidents in America, and stated that this is likely to once again raise the issue of America's gun laws and if they should be reformed
Russia Today showed President Bush's speech responding to the tragedy.
The vast majority of newspapers carried it as front page news, expressing sympathy with the victims.
The Izvestia website carried a survey asking readers:
"Why are these mass killing in schools and colleges happening in America?" The results were:
27 percent: Guns are too readily available in America. 47 percent: Aggression is part and parcel of the American way of life. 22 percent: There are mad people everywhere. 4 percent: The authorities and police do not know how to combat this problem.
Some editorials mused on the state of humanity in today's society. One paper commented that such a disaster could have happened anywhere in the world.
The shock reached half way round the world to Israel, where an Israeli citizen, Va. Tech professor Liviu Librescu is being hailed as a hero.
Librescu, 75, had been teaching at Virginia Tech for more than two decades. He was a widely published mechanical engineer and highly popular lecturer at the school. One of his students says the shooter tried to enter the class and Librescu stayed behind to block the door and save the students. He was killed by the gunman.