1:14pm UK, Saturday May 02, 2009
An English-born teacher who has called for better gun controls in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre says a hate campaign is driving her from her home.
Seung Hui Cho, responsible for the worst shooting in modern US history
Student Seung Hui Cho killed 32 students and staff at the college before turning the gun on himself two years ago.
It remains the most deadly shooting in modern US history.
Professor Lucinda Roy took Cho for literature classes in the run-up to his murderous rampage.
She was so disturbed by the anger she saw in his poetry that she pushed for him to seek psychiatric help.
And she is convinced a similar campus mass murder is "almost inevitable" because troubled students are not offered enough support.
She told Sky News: "People were so afraid of litigation, if you infringe upon someone's civil rights, if you don't value student privacy, the student can sue you.
"So people err on the side of that privacy even when community safety could be in jeopardy."
Prof Roy believes the easy access to guns in the United States means other students who feel angry and alienated could follow Cho's example.
"As soon as you go online you find sites where young men say they are going to beat 'Cho's tally' or they want to be like the two killers at Columbine. It is very sobering," she added.
"We have to assume they are lying but that is a very dangerous assumption to make."
However, Prof Roy has found that not everyone is receptive to her warnings.
She fears she will be forced to move from her home of more than 20 years because of hate mail.
She believes anyone who speaks out about gun crime in the US is a target for fringe elements connected to the country's powerful gun lobby.
She said: "It is quite likely I will have to leave but I can't let the threats keep me silent otherwise I'm succumbing to the bullies who are sending these notes to me."
Officials at Virginia Tech were unavailable for comment but the college is known to disagree with allegations made by Prof Roy
7 years 16 weeks ago, 5:54 PM