Monday, 16 April 2007


And so it goes on. 32 dead, blasted to death in a chained up classroom.
Everyone knows my position guns. Their only function is to kill, that is their one and only purpose and this senseless slaughter is bound to re-open the US gun debate which will pit gun nuts trying to justify their stance on guns despite yet another shooting spree, against the anti-gun lobby just as rabid in their stance.
What seems to be over looked is the reasons behind why these shooting seem to occur which such frequency. It was not that long ago we were debating the Amish shooting so what drives a person to pick up a weapon and go shoot others? Are all these shooters just crazies who just happen to live in America or is their something in society that creates them?
Is it the increasingly violent films available or maybe the moody music being listened to?Could it be the breakup of the family or is society creating such a lack of empathy for others that another persons life is of such little consequence?
Could it be the gun culture that sees guns in the home of many Americans which breeds familiarity and contempt for the weapons?
Whatever the reason, the debate will be about gun control but what should be addressed is just what drives these people to pick up a gun and kill other people in such a cold blooded manner and with such terrifying frequency.


Paula said...

No clue here. It's just numbingly horrible. Why don't these assh*les just kill themselves first?

Falling on a bruise said...

It would be so much better for everyone if they did. I am listening to it on TV behind me, numbingly horrible is a good choice of words.

Kos said...

Interesting complexity to the issue: The shooter, just identified this morning, was a Korean student in the U.S. on a Visa. He was an English major at Virginia Tech. That's all the info they've given so far. So here's someone who didn't grow up in American's pro-gun culture, yet embraced what has become the disturbingly American tradition of getting a gun, going to a school and taking out as many people as you can before you off yourself.

The Fez Monkey said...

I think this incident, along with the countless others in Paducah, KY, Santee, CA, Conyers, GA, Columbine, CO, etc etc etc have much more to do with a culture of gun fetishism than anything else.

It's not that Americans are more violent or insane than others ... but we are lucky enough to have easy access to things that take our insanity from the creepy to the tragic.

Trust me, if weapons were as intimately integrated into British (or Swedish, or Canadian, or French, or ...) culture as they are here, your level of bloodbaths would be equal to ours.

Ook ook

Kos said...

Scratch a little of what I said. He'd been in this country since he was eight years old. Don tells more.

Falling on a bruise said...

Was a very good point though Jeff to start with and i agree with you fez, i think the whole gun culture is scary.
There was some guy on the TV this morning defending the right for americans to have weapons despite the shootings, the bodies are not even cold and he was getting worked up about gun laws being tightened.

Daniel said...

I believe there are around 30,000 gun deaths per year in America, the highest rate in the Western world.

Seems to me like a good case for taking guns away from the people!

Anonymous said...

There was some guy on the TV this morning defending the right for americans to have weapons despite the shootings, the bodies are not even cold and he was getting worked up about gun laws being tightened.

Well, on Newsnight on the same evening, they had this old American dude saying that if the college students had been properly armed themselves, then the whole tragedy could have been prevented... (!!)

The interviewer responded with, "Can you not see how Europeans have a very hard time understanding this kind of attitude?"

Europeans? I think he meant to say "Sane individuals" (which in my mind is not interchangeable with "Europeans").

I think the old guy thinks he's living in a Spaghetti Western.

Anonymous said...

"There was some guy on the TV this morning defending the right for americans to have weapons despite the shootings, the bodies are not even cold and he was getting worked up about gun laws being tightened."

I've seen several folks, including bloggers, jumping on their soapboxes in the same timeframe, blaming the guns as if there were no other factors involved, and calling for gun legislation. I fail to see how it's different, and somehow less callous, for them to be pushing their agendas so soon. "Sane individuals" know that it isn't just society, and it isn't just guns, but a combination of factors. Either way, getting on any soapbox "before the bodies are cold" is rather self-serving.

iMuslim - the idea that an armed society is a polite society is not a new one, nor is it specifically "American."

Anonymous said...

Joe, i wasn't trying to imply that all Americans think this way... in fact, the interview was with two different Americans, one pro-legislation, and other against it (the old guy).

I just thought it was very odd thing to say more guns = safety, i.e., kill or be killed?!

Anonymous said...

"I just thought it was very odd thing to say more guns = safety, i.e., kill or be killed?! "

No, but consider this. Is someone going to be as likely to commit a crime with a gun when they know that ANYBODY around them may be able to shoot back? If you are a criminal with an illegal gun, which situation will embolden you more, the knowledge that no one in that building has a gun to defend themselves/others with, or the knowledge that ANYONE in that building may be able to shoot at you? I'm not saying that arming everyone is necessarily correct, but I am saying that the notion isn't as ridiculous as you may have thought at first.

Anonymous said...

I see what you're saying... but the approach is just as reactionary as saying "take away all the guns". It's not a solution, really.

Surely to arm everyone in such an environment of mistrust and paranoia will just lead to more senseless deaths? I certainly wouldn't feel safe as a "visible" Muslim (i.e., headscarf, etc), knowing how many people may wish to pop a cap in my ass, if i behaved in a suspicious manner.

The problem in this case was that a mentally unstable person had access to a highly efficient weapon. It could only have been prevented by:

1) identifying his problem, and treating the illness before he became homicidal.
2) restricting his access to weapons.

It is obviously easier to restrict weapons access, then it is to successfully identify and treat mental illness - especially when the person is a loner. And crimes of passion would be impossible to prevent in advance.

Anyway, there's already been one very long debate about gun legislation on this blog...

I'll end my contribution here by saying my thoughts and prayers are with those that have lost loved ones. This tragedy has devastated many communities, including the Muslims.

Joe the Troll said...

"It's not a solution, really."

Hence the beginning of my final sentance, above.

No reasonable person has a problem with background checks and waiting periods, but there are few reasonable people on either side of this debate!

Anonymous said...

but there are few reasonable people on either side of this debate

It's difficult to detach oneself from the emotion, when it comes to debating the legislation of firearms.

We all want solutions now... Whether one is for or against further restrictions, none of us wants history to keep repeating itself in this disturbing manner, that's for sure.

Falling on a bruise said...

I have to agree with imuslim and say that the theory that it is safer if everyone has guns is just madness to me.
I have read a few pro-gun people make that argument today in the newspapers and it just strikes me as crazy talk. How can it possibly make things safer to have everyone armed with a deadly weapon?
There really is a gulf of difference between European and American gun logic.

Stephen K said...

As I've said before in another thread but you misunderstood, Joe, it's not about jumping on guns because there are no other factors involved, it's about acknowledging that guns are a factor along with the other factors.

And Lucy, you're right, arming everyone is crazy, because the reality is that everyone, including the shooter, is a law-abiding citizen right up to the point of using it. If everyone was armed, the shooter would have gone off the deep end anyway because his own life meant nothing to him at that point, and I've got to think there would have been way more than 33 dead.

Paula said...

Well, let's think about it. If everyone at VT had been armed, it probably WOULD have prevented this. Even if only the professors were armed, it might have. However, if everyone were armed, there'd probably be "little" shootings every day at colleges, offices, malls, etc. So, no 32-person massacre, just 2 or 3 peeps killed daily (over what we have now). Maybe it's illogical, but I'd rather deal with the horrible possibility of one of these extremely rare events than the knowledge that everyone around me is packing heat.

Cheezy said...

I agree with most of what Paula says here... although I would say that while everyone at VT being armed would have probably prevented the tragedy from happening there, it may not have stopped it happening elsewhere... Let's say I'm a psycho-loser, right? (insert punchline here)... and I want to kill a big bunch of people before dying myself... Now, if there was a good chance of a large number of people at VT being armed (and therefore able to take me out before I got a good head-count), then I wouldn't change my mind about the whole project... what I'd do is I'd choose somewhere else... somewhere with no chance of the my targets being arms... somewhere like (shudder) a junior school.