The Copycat Effect

Loren Coleman's weblog "The Copycat Effect" (which is also the name of his book) examines the copycat effect of the Virginia Tech murders. He points out that a school attack last week in Oregon (no fatalities) appeared to have been inspired by a recent National Geographic tv special on Columbine. He offers a grim warning of the high risk of more copycat attacks in the next several weeks. Pointing to school attacks in Canada and Germany in recent years, he notes that the problem is not confined to the United States.

American Spectator has an article by John Tabin on "gun free zones" which includes an interview with me.

At my website, I have a variety of articles on policies which have worked to prevent or stop school shootings, including Israel's policy of arming teachers.

The rules on the purchase of firearms by non-immigrant aliens (such as the Virginia Tech killer, who held a green card) is here. Basically, they must have been in the U.S. for at least 90 days at the same residence. They under the same criminal records background check as a U.S. citizen, plus an additional check with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Although we do not know what ammunition magazines the killer used, ABC News was plainly wrong in claiming that the 2004 sunset of the 1994 Clinton "assault weapon" law brought magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds back into the marketplace. The 1994 law banned the manufacture of new magazines, but magazines made before September 1994 were always readily-available on the marketplace.

Finally, I will be on the CTV (Canada) program "The Verdict" tonight, from about 9:19-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. I will be debating Wendy Cukier, Canada's leading gun prohibition advocate. The program should be available on the CTV website not long afterwards.