AST WEEK, we asked you for your thoughts on the shootings at Virginia Tech. The response was strong - as was some unhappiness with our Page 1 showing the killer aiming a gun.
Did colleges not learn anything from Columbine? Student Cho was unbalanced. He was discharged from one class because of his outrageous writings. He was accused of stalking two students in 2005.
It was all there just waiting for the fuse to be lit by a very troubled and potentially psychotic person. Yet the administration decided to do nothing. Now, more than 30 innocent students and a professor are dead because the warnings were not given a second thought. Why can't we act first to avoid such horrors?
Cheryl Gilbert, Oaklyn, N.J.
I was appalled when I opened my Daily News on the morning of April 19, and I saw the young man who was responsible for the massacre at Virginia Tech pointing his gun at me.
I strongly believe that the picture (covering the entire front page) will do more harm than good. More of our young men of this city will be encouraged to secure weapons than those who would desire to turn their weapons in.
Rev. John N. Teagle, Philadelphia
Being that the laws in some states, like Virginia and Pennsylvania, make it so easy to buy firearms and resell them to felons, I feel the only way to even the playing field and protect us innocent, law-abiding citizens is to allow us (even in New Jersey, where I live) to obtain concealed-carry permits. At least that way if a crazed gunman opens fire on a crowd, someone can return fire and there will be no mass casualties.
Robert Brown Jr., Woodlynne, N.J.
Are we here to kill one another or love our fellow brothers and sisters? Tears fall as I write this, but with all the tears that have been shed, can we forgive?
Takiya Young, Philadelphia
It seems to me that this country has experienced enough of these crimes that a profile of the type of person that would commit them would be apparent. Why not create a rule that allows a student, or faculty member, to be brought in - not arrested but to sit with a psychiatrist for an evaluation?
Sebastian Galati, Philadelphia
If that young man was investigated by the state police, how could he buy two guns within such a short period?
You'd think that if he was investigated properly, they'd have caught the fact that he was buying more than one gun in such a short period.
James W. Williams, Philadelphia
How many armed security personnel would it have taken to save lives and mitigated damages at Virginia Tech?
The answer is one! History has shown that you must meet force with force. But our high school and college campuses are vulnerable to such horrible acts of violence because of corporate America, which is more concerned with the image portrayed by armed security on our campuses and the liability that goes along with having firearms. The truth is, unless corporate America wakes up and adds adequate protection against lethal-force encounters, it can and will happen again!
Michael Hall, Cherry Hill, N.J.
The topic of gun control has again surfaced after the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech. What are we going to do, ask all the carriers of illegal firearms to please turn them in to their local police station? Shall we demand that all mentally ill individuals who have guns also turn them in? The notion of gun control in the United States is purely a reactive one to a problem that carries deadly consequences to innocent victims.
David M. Levin, Vineland, N.J.
My heart and prayers go out to the families of the students and faculty. But we must also keep in mind that we have a high murder rate in this city, and if we could get just a tenth of the national publicity that Virginia Tech has, maybe more attention could be brought to our city because we lead the nation in homicides. Since most of the victims here are African-American, I guess we'll never get the press that Virginia Tech has.
Charles "Chuckie" Miller, Philadelphia
By displaying the pictures and replaying the video from the killer, the news media added to the suffering of the families, and the Tech community - and feeding future killers with delusions of grandeur.
Kevin D. Pollock, Holland
Shame on the Daily News (and all newspapers and Web sites) for placing the photos of gunman Cho Seung-Hui pointing his murder weapons in a fashion that only justifies the lunatic this person was.
Amy Davis, Burlington, N.J.
Will Rogers once said, "We don't give our criminals much punishment, but we sure give 'em plenty of publicity."
You shouldn't have posted his ugly face on the cover. Focus on the lives that were lost that day. This monster got everything he wanted, why else would he have sent pictures and videos to NBC?
Jennifer Holland, Wilmington, Del.
The school is responsible for the massacre. The student who committed this heinous act had problems, but they were ignored by the school.
The school is clearly negligent in its handling of security - and should be the subject of a separate investigation.
Secondly, gun control: Laws with stiff penalties need to be enacted to deal with illegal acquisition and sale of firearms, targeting illegal dealers, straw purchasers and buyer/perpetrators of gun-related crimes.
Thomas G. Lutek, Philadelphia
I was shocked and disappointed to see the Daily News glorify a man who caused so much pain. I can't wait for the day that I see covers of victims, survivors and heroes immediately following such tragedies.
Woolwich Township, N.J.
I have been a Daily News reader for years. I've seen my fair share of sensationalistic front pages over those years - but April 19 was your all-time low.
To plaster the face and weapon of that crazed killer on the front page of your publication was, in my opinion, deplorable.
Suzanne D. Lees, Havertown
The cover was appalling.
Robert J. Alessandrine
This tragedy wasn't enough - we also had to wake up to this lunatic pointing a gun in our faces on the front page?
Terri King, Audubon, N.J.
I'm amazed at the negative response to the TV and newspaper coverage of the perpetrator. As tragic and devastating as the event was, we must accept reality.
Everette Slusher, Philadelphia
Toward the end of my stay with some friends near Amsterdam a while ago, I was getting ready to go out to dinner, putting on some jewelry my hosts had given me, when the man of the house saw and almost bellowed, "What are you doing!"
"We are going into the city. Do you realize that in Amsterdam last year, we had three murders?" I said, "That's nothing, back in the United States, we do three . . . before breakfast!"
In the Netherlands, handguns are almost impossible to get, and the excellent results are reflected in their extremely low murder rate. To him, three murders a year were way too many.
Marc Golde, Merion Station
Am I the only person wondering why all the law-enforcement personnel were outside while the murderers was being committed inside? No attempt was made to enter the building and engage the gunman. Would some of the 32 people still be alive?
There were audible gunshots heard on the cell-phone camera footage.
Didn't the police fear for the lives of the students and faculty inside the building?
Why was this crazed lunatic given time to kill people in three or four rooms in the building? Just wondering.
It's a shame that another depressed student decides to shoot up his school and kill many innocent students.
As a result, you are going to see college campuses nation-wide thinking of policies that should have been in place a long time ago.
I've heard the argument that if everyone had a gun, this wouldn't have happened. But even if this dream did come true, you would have another depressed kid who can't manage his problems like the rest of us, despite being on medication.
The school administration should have dealt with this student earlier after his teacher gave them numerous warnings about his "heinous" plays.
Why didn't they do anything? They probably thought it would never happen, and that he was just depressed about school like every other student. It shouldn't be the school's fault this happened - blame his illness.
Joseph T. Walsh, Belmar, N.J.
I'm trying to understand why the Daily News and other papers would put Cho Seung-Hui on the front page brandishing a gun.
When the story first broke, it was reported that NBC News did the right thing and turned the video and photos over to the police.
So why was his portfolio all over the place? And did we really need to hear his words? Imagine what it was like for the families and the survivors to see this.
What the media has done is make him a posthumous celebrity. This encourages other nit-wits. There have already been at least 10 copycat threats.
It's a shame the only positive story was hidden away on Page 47. Jenice Armstrong's column about one of the victims, Ryan Clark, and the kind of person he was, belonged on the front page.
Or how about the kid from South Jersey who was in a coma or the teacher who held a door shut and was killed so his students could flee? I could go on.
We should all put ourselves in those people's place. Send our prayers to the families and please don't give valuable space to the wrong side of this terrible story.
Joseph Berry, Philadelphia