On Friday, an 18-year-old student allegedly shot two women with a 12-gauge shotgun at the mall branch of New River Community College in Christiansburg, Va. The New River shooting took place just six miles from Virginia Tech, the location of the deadliest school shooting in American history on April 16, 2007. Tuesday is the sixth anniversary of that horrific day.
So far in 2013, there have been at least 13 shootings on or directly adjacent to a college campus, including an incident Monday night at Grambling State University in Louisiana.
If there is any good news in these numbers, none of these shootings resulted in the massive loss of life like those at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School. But campus lockdowns seem to take place almost every week -- at least five in the past week -- as individuals are reportedly sighted with a firearm, providing a constant reminder of what could happen.
Since Virginia Tech, there have been at least three "active shooter" scenarios at colleges. The most recent took place at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif., on April 2, 2012, when seven people were killed.
Today Congress is struggling to pass gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but the Virginia Tech massacre did lead to legislative change.
It became apparent only after the Virginia Tech shooting that the killer, Seung-Hui Choi, should have failed his background check to purchase a weapon due to mental illness. Court records showed that Choi had been declared "an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness," but his name was never submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Later that year, Congress passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in January 2008. The law authorized up to $1.3 billion in federal grants to help states make records available to the FBI.
But according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a pro-gun control group, Congress only supplied 5.3 percent of the authorized amount from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal year 2011. Moreover, 23 states and the District of Columbia have each submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the NCIS, according to a report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.