BELLEVUE, WA – Alarming new details about Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui underscore the importance of a citizen’s individual right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“There were abundant warning signs that Cho posed a serious threat to the campus community,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “yet here he was running loose and committing mayhem. And all that seems to be on the minds of many in the media and at the offices of gun control extremists is figuring out how to exploit this horrible tragedy to erode and eventually destroy the right, and the means, of self-defense.

“If this case demonstrates anything,” he continued, “it is the ineptitude of a system that is damaged if not broken beyond repair. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation in December 2005 by the police, and a Montgomery County district court ruled him a danger to himself or others. But a state doctor found his ‘insight and judgment’ to be ‘normal,’ and he was only given outpatient treatment.

“How many other people like Cho are out there,” Gottlieb questioned. “Nobody knows, and it is because of that clear and present danger that Americans should not be browbeaten or bullied into surrendering their civil right to have a firearm for personal protection.

“In the past few days, I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me why Americans should have a right to buy a gun,” Gottlieb noted. “The answer is simple. It’s because there are monsters like Cho Seung-Hui among us who are willing to kill without provocation or remorse. Police can’t always be there when they are needed, and people like Cho do not commit carnage by appointment.

“Attempts by the state legislature to allow legally-licensed citizens to carry on campus were stymied, with the approval of a Virginia Tech spokesman,” Gottlieb recalled. “Nobody can say for sure whether an armed student or teacher could have intervened in time to save lives, but we do know what happens when they can’t.

“This kind of thing should never happen, but it does when people are denied the means to fight back,” Gottlieb concluded. “If we learn anything from this tragedy, it is the value of the Second Amendment and self-defense, for those who value their lives and the lives of others.”