As more details emerge from the massacre at Virginia Tech, it has become tragically clear that the least remarkable aspect of the crime was the purchase of the weapons that killed 33 people. An investigation has found that Cho Seung-Hui bought two pistols quickly, affordably and, for the most part, legally.
On Feb. 9, Cho Seung Hui walked into a pawnshop on Main Street in Blacksburg, directly across the street from the Virginia Tech campus, and picked up one of the guns he would use in his deadly rampage Monday: a Walther .22-caliber pistol, a relatively inexpensive firearm most commonly used for target shooting or plinking cans.
One month later, on March 16, Cho stepped into Roanoke Firearms, a 3,000-square-foot, full-service gun dealer where more than 350 guns are on display. Cho offered his driver’s license, a checkbook that showed a matching address and an immigration card.
Once an instant background check confirmed his clean criminal record, Cho had little else to do, other than pay $571, to become the legal owner of a Glock 19 and a box of 50 cartridges.