The Virginia Tech massacre may have lasting repercussions in state policy, says Stateline.org. Bills are pending in state legislatures to allow or ban concealed weapons at state colleges, and efforts are under way to bolster campus security. Changes echo what took place after the Columbine High School killings in 1999. Then, state lawmakers passed anti-bullying laws and sought to curb minors’ access to violent video games. Law enforcers changed how they respond to shootings in progress. Most states require schools to draw up crisis plans, sometimes in conjunction with local law enforcement, and some states began requiring lockdown drills.
“Right after Columbine, many states at least gave lip service to doing things,” said Sam Hoover of the Legal Community Against Violence, which favors tighter gun control. “But as always happens, even though there's a lot of media exposure, it's more talk than actual action on the part of legislatures.” The question now is what kind of lasting change will come from Virginia Tech. Colleges already have begun adding text-messaging alert systems to warn students of emergencies, and eight governors have convened college security task forces.