Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech..

The tragedy at Virginia Tech is sadly destined to repeat itself again and again. America is doomed to the repetition of gun violence until the individual right-to-defend aspect of the Constitution is erased. It will not be erased. More will die. The gun lobby will continue to reign supreme. Americans will be left stunned and shocked, again and again, with no explanation and no remedy.

For now, a prayer for the dead of today, in Iraq, in Virginia, in Nigeria, across the world..


Nilla 10:12 pm  

Amen to the prayer for the dead.

Toks- Boy 10:36 am  

Having attended high school and uni in the Us I am very familiar with the gun culture not only in the wider community but on campuses. It is very hard for anyone from outside the US to arrive on a campus to find people driving around with fully loaded gun racks in their cars. When I questioned why it was necessary to drive around with high powered rifles I was told that they were used for hunting (part of my schooling was in Tennessee). Fair enough but I still did not get why they had to drive around with the guns all day and bring them to school.

It was also interesting to note that after a while my Naija brothers also started purchasing guns in order to big up themselves and chatting up a girl innocently at a party sooon become fraught with tension.

Sadly one of these guys shot and killed my friend (his wife) and her mother not too long after we graduated.

Unfortunately I expect the National Rifle Assoc and the gun lobby to come out with their usual lame excuse "guns don't kill, people do"!

Jeremy 10:47 am  

Fred if you think I'm going to approve your predictably abusive comment you must be deluded. This is a time when you simply have nothing relevant to say. Yes of course there are gun crimes elsewhere in the world, but only in those places where guns are widely available to Jo Schmo are the gun crime rates so high. Over 30,000 people are murdered in gun crimes in the US every year. Where else in the developed world is there a statistic as bad as this?

Its the combination of easy access to high-powered guns, plus the instant gratification culture in the US that drives this sad statistic.

Worse still, the anti NRA movement in the US is weak, with even the bereaved of Columbine agreeing with the gun lobby.

As I said, there will be future mass killings in the US - its sadly inevitable.

I will approve a comment of yours if you can just manage to stick to your argument, not resort to personal abuse.

Mutanda 3:27 pm  

I think the media has a big part to play in this, in that showing these attacks only increases the copy cats. despite the gun culture in the states, these attacks were rare prior to the widespread exposure given to them these days.

Anonymous,  3:50 pm  

Jeremy. I live in the uS. I'm appalled at the gun laws...and yes it is the availability of guns that makes these kind of crimes very common in the US. But like a lot of things especially in America...National rifle association has a lot of powerful people who keep lobbying politicians so it's not going to dissapear(kinda like big tobacco and the unaffordable healthcare system).It keeps the rich getting richer and the common man on the streets keeps dying while they laugh at their fat bank accounts. Some Americans will defend these gun laws to death. I can't understand why they can't see it doesn't have to be this way.This doesn't pertain in the rest of the world...oh sorry...I them the whole world is America

Talatu-Carmen 5:31 pm  

Jeremy, thanks. Being at a university in the U.S., this is quite sobering. I imagine myself teaching a class and having a gunman trying to burst in. Would I have the presence of mind that one teacher (TA or prof?) had to turn off the lights, close the shades, lock the doors and have the students sit under their desks? I don't know. "That's a good idea," I thought, when I heard about it. But would I have thought of it at the time?

I think I agree with you on gun laws. I have relatives who hunt, and I see nothing wrong with that if the gun is taken out only when hunting. If one is to eat meat, it seems to me to be more responsible to know where that meat has come from than to just depend on sanitized grocery stores. (I say this being a nominal meat eater who has never hunted... but still...) But the willy-nilly owning and carrying of guns all over the place, no. Will tighter gun laws stop someone who is intent on going out and killing everyone he meets? probably not, but at least it will make it a bit more difficult. Did this gunman legally own a gun? Somehow, I don't think so. But maybe so. I guess the relentless nonstop news coverage will eventually inform us.

I also can't help wondering if this spate of school shooting by young students, whether in high schools or colleges, has something to do with violent video games. I don't like to be one of those conservative fogeys who want to censor things, but there must be some sort of desensitization that happens when one sits in front of a screen for hours clinically and detachedly spattering blood and guts in ever more realistic video settings. There must be.

Anonymous,  8:13 pm  

I am currently working in the US. My 7 year old daughter has regular 'sniper' practice in which the whole class responds to an alarm by switching off the lights, closing the blinds, locking the door and hiding under the desks.
She thinks it is all very funny to do this when a 'bad man' comes into school.
It sickens me that it has come to this.

wienna,  1:38 pm  

Chineeeke meee, chai...@anon 8.13pm, i'm sorry dat u've to be going thru dis o. A 7 year old been taught how to snipe already. Gosh, i can only imagine what would be going thru such a child's head at dis age.

Anonymous,  4:51 pm  

Hi jeremy,
pity you blocked out Fred's 'offensive' posting.
Anyway, may i suggest that a licensing regime be created around knife ownership/access-with all these stabbing incidents in the U.K especially involving Nigerian kids. We really should start a major lobby here!

Talatu-Carmen 5:12 am  

have been reading more about the gun laws--and how the gunman legally bought his gun even though he had a history of mental instability. You are totally right. Tougher gun laws might make a difference in slowing down these kinds of shootings.

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