White House and guns: Stay the course

In the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, Dana Perino says Bush believes in the right to bear arms.

Published April 16, 2007 6:30PM (EDT)

At least 21 people were killed today at Virginia Tech University by a gunman who is also now believed to be dead.

Asked today whether the incident might cause the president to rethink his views on gun control, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino expressed horror over the shootings but then said: "As far as policy, the president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed. And certainly, bringing a gun into a school dormitory and shooting numbers -- I don't want to say numbers, because I know that they're still trying to figure out how many people were wounded and possibly killed. But obviously, that would be against the law and something that someone should be held accountable for. "

A reporter tried to follow up: "Columbine, [the] Amish school shooting, now this, and a whole host of other gun issues brought into schools. That's not including guns on the streets in many urban areas and rural areas. Does there need to be some more restrictions? Does there need to be gun control in this country now?"

Perino's response: "The president -- as I said, if there are changes to the president's policy, then we will let you know."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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