Details are emerging, and this post will be updated as they become available.
UPDATE ONE: One person was killed in the dorm. The classroom attack took place about two hours later, and a single classroom appears to have been targeted. A high-capacity weapon was used.
UPDATE TWO: 1:12 p.m. NPR reports that the death toll is 29, and could go higher. This is the most deadly campus shooting in United States History. Before today, the most deadly campus rampage took place in 1966 at the University of Texas. Charles Whitman climbed to the 28th-floor observation deck of a clock tower and opened fire, killing 16 people before he was gunned down by police. The massacre at Columbine killed 12 students, a teacher and the two shooters themselves.
UPDATE THREE: 1:28 p.m. Thirty Dead. Will President Bush and the Republican Party finally reject the NRA and stop denouncing the assault weapons ban? I'm a gun-toting liberal my damned self.
Update Four: 2:18 p.m. It turns out the shooter was armed with two nine millimeter handguns, but no other specifice. I struckthrough the M-16 remark in the previous update because the initial report that the gunman had an M-16 were a rumor. (If it turns out one of the 9 ml.'s was a TEC 9, it gets unstruck.)
I am interested in the capacity of the magazines and the type of ammunition used. I am also curious about how the weapons were acquired. Virginia has notoriously loose laws, which is why so many street weapons that kill police and crime victims originate there.
At least 31 dead, twenty more injured, eight quite seriously. Does it matter what the gun looked like? There is a social ill that needs to be addressed, and there is an unwillingness to do so in this country.
It is time to have a serious debate about firearms in this country. I am a gun owner and I see the need for this debate. Hell, I am willing to initiate it and stake out the middle ground.
UPDATE FIVE: - 4:50 p.m. 33 dead. Time for a serious discussion about firearms in this society. I don't want to take anyones guns away - and am certainly not giving mine up especially with this crew running things and trampling liberty - but if this does not highlight the need for the discussion, we are quite possibly doomed as a society.