Continued from page 1

“I don’t think it will make a big difference one way or another,” Mr. Howell said.

Maybe, Ms. Haas says, what matters isn’t the number of people slain by those who never should have access to guns, but who those people are — particularly whether they’re close to state policymakers.

“Are we going to wait to react when it’s one of their colleagues, their loved ones, their family members?” she said. “Frankly, ‘how many have to be killed to get their attention’ hasn’t worked.”

“It’s just shocking to me how legislators just pander to the leadership to the gun lobby,” she said.

Andrew Goddard, whose son Colin was wounded during Cho’s 2007 rampage, said it’s time lawmakers paid at least as much attention to those who wear badges and face the risk of gun violence every day as they do to pro-gun lobbyists. Perhaps Officer Crouse’s slaying gives that message more currency.

“When our police officers go to the General Assembly and say something about public safety, they should listen to them,” Mr. Goddard said.

Dena Potter in Richmond contributed to this report.