The Virginia Tech Massacre occurred on April 16th, 2007, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksberg, Virginia. It resulted in 32 deaths and 17 injuries, not including the gunman, and was the worst shooting by a single gunman in America’s history.

The Event

The shootings occurred in two buildings a little after 9am. Two people died in the first incident, and then 30 more were killed in the second.

The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the college, then killed himself.

Effect on Gun Laws

The biggest change in the law was a strengthening of who could buy handguns: Cho, who had suffered psychiatric problems for much of his life, had legally bought his weapons without a background check. New laws banned weapons to be sold to criminals and the mentally unsound, and enforced background checks on all private gun sales.

An area of controversy that arose from the shootings was the effectiveness of ‘Gun Free’ zones. Virginia Tech had declared itself as ‘gun free’, and a proposed law to allow students to bring weapons onto campus in Virginia had failed in 2006. Some pro-gun campaigners believe that if another person on campus had been armed, Cho would not have been able to kill so many. Critics say that encouraging people to bring guns on campus only encourages gun violence and the likelihood of school shootings.