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World's press shocked by shooting

By Ravi Agrawal, CNN
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(CNN) -- Newspapers from America to India, South Korea and the UK have expressed shock at the killing of 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech University.

South Korea's Korea Herald has published an editorial expressing its deep condolences. It expressed shock and dismay that the killer was of South Korean origin.

"The slayings were a crime committed by a member of the Korean community, one rotten apple. But the savage act was not sponsored by the Korean community or the Korean state. Nonetheless, there is no denying that the shocking incident will taint the good image that the Korean community and the Korean nation have strived to build among Americans."

The paper goes on to suggest moves the Korean government should take to minimize the political fallout from the tragedy.

"It would be a good idea to send a delegation to Virginia Tech to express the condolences of the nation. It will also do well to consult closely with the Korean community in the United States on what they can do together to improve relations with the host country and avert another outbreak of racial conflict like the L.A. riots back in 1992." (Watch how the Virginia Tech massacre has dominated South Korean headlines Video)

The Economist points out that this will re-ignite a debate over gun control laws in a country filled with 200 million guns.

"Gun advocates are daring to say that if Virginia Tech allowed concealed weapons, someone might have stopped the rampaging killer. To gun-control advocates, this is self-evident madness... Though gun laws may be tweaked after the Virginia massacre, there will be little significant change to come. The Columbine killings of 1999 failed to provoke any shift in Americans' attitudes to guns. There is no reason to believe that this massacre, or the next one, will do so either."

The International Herald Tribune says the killings are a reminder of how some of the greatest dangers Americans face come from killers at home.

"Our hearts and the hearts of all Americans go out to the victims and their families. Sympathy was not enough at the time of Columbine, and eight years later it is not enough. What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss."

In the UK, The Times newspaper says the power of lobbies like the National Rifle Association has prevented a systematic examination of gun control laws in the U.S. It adds that that mood may be about to change.

"As America simply becomes more crowded, it is one thing to defend gun rights when the sentimental image of the pioneer still has some truth, if only in the north woods of the Appalachians. It is another when the pioneers have carved up the country into small suburban lots and cannot escape the neighbors."

In India -- which sends hundreds of students to U.S. colleges such as Virginia Tech -- the interest in the killings hit home further when it emerged one of those killed was an Indian professor. Calcutta's Telegraph has cautioned against profiling the killer as an example of a minority community.

"Profiling of school or campus killers does not really work. All kinds of typical backgrounds -- from Healthy All-American to Dysfunctional Gothic -- seem to fit.

"So, wondering what it is about America that fosters such acts of violence is the other way of trying to make sense of Blacksburg or Columbine... The schoolboy with a gun inhabits the same kind of space as, say, his 'peacekeeping' father does in Iraq, who, in turn, is doing something essentially similar to a computer-generated character in a brutal video game.

"Classrooms, armed forces, occupied territories, cyberspace, cinema and human fantasy all become interlocking and intersecting spaces in which to kill is simply to kill." (Watch how the massacre has touched India Video)


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