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The Gun Culture 4

P22 Walther (One of the guns used in the Virginia Massacre)

“Action, fun, sport, speed, high velocity – catchwords for modern leisure activities. Now we are bringing fun into target shooting – the P22 makes fun shooting an experience.

The compact design and style of a modern defense pistol in caliber .22 l.r. with all the advantages of a large caliber allow for very reasonable practice firing or just to enjoy shooting. Based on a modular assembly concept the P22 makes it possible to vary the equipment. The barrel can be rapidly changed or by means of the mounting base, a point sight can be fitted.”

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the culture of owning guns in the United States for either pleasure or for self defense. The Dawson College shooting that took place in Montreal on September 13th, 2006 had prompted a lot of profound internal thought about school shootings, gun control and depressed and lonely individuals. Last week’s massacre at Virginia Polytechnic Institute has prompted even further deep thought on the issue.

Two things have come out of this massacre that are particularly unsettling to me (On top of the obvious one that these inexcusable actions actually took place).

  • Why was an unstable person who was classified as “an imminent danger to self or others” by a court able to legally purchase multiple firearms?
  • What will be the effect of the NBC’s decision to show Cho’s propaganda to the entire world?
  • The first issue is a no-brainer. There is an issue with sharing information between law enforcement agencies, the courts and the mental hospital. Cho’s mental state wasn’t recognized during his background check while purchasing his guns. This is a political and technology problem that can be improved with some coordination between agencies if it is set forth as a priority to do so. The same thing happened on September 11th between the U.S. intelligence agencies prior to 9/11 and there was also poor communication between the agencies involved after the attack had begun. A multi-million dollar review was done after these events, and measures have been taken to improve the communication between these agencies. The same thing should be done with gun purchases; communication should flow freely between the institutions when acquiring information about a person purchasing a firearm.

    The second issue I have is with the media. NBC and the rest of the world’s media agencies have effectively made this individual a martyr. By posting his propaganda to the entire world, the media has made him famous. He wanted to be in the spotlight, and that is exactly what NBC has done by releasing the videos and photos.

    When a famous artist like John Lennon is assassinated, people will always remember John Lennon. Fewer people will remember the name Mark David Chapman, the man who put the bullet in John Lennon in Manhattan on December 8th, 1980. But when is comes to mass murderers, few will ever forget the names Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, and now Seung-Hui Cho. Sadly, both Kimveer Gill, the Dawson shooter and Seung-Hui Cho had both praised Harris and Klebold before committing their school shootings. The media has made these names infamous for hatred and revenge.

    Perhaps the saddest part other than the poor innocent victims and their families who died so suddenly is the fact that this individual showed many signs that he needed help, and he wasn’t able to get the help that he needed. He was injected into a society that he couldn’t cope with and he probably went numb after many years and it would seem that he didn’t get the attention he needed and unfortunately he must have felt that this was the only way for him to get attention. It’s extremely sad that so many had to suffer because of one person’s problems.

    It’s also sad to see the pro-gun activists pushing to allow students to carry concealed weapons, saying that the massacre could have been prevented if students were allowed to carry concealed weapons for self-defense. I won’t scruitinize any further than to say that I think this logic is preposterous and the pro-gun activists are missing the entire root cause of the issue. This man shouldn’t have been allowed to legally purchase a weapon. Having a school full of students carrying loaded weapons is a ridiculous solution in my mind.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17948774650181520591 Crankyputz

      The world does not need guns, and having more guns in this situation would not have been a deterent. The guy was crazy, nothing would have stopped him, except if perhaps authorities had taken him more seriously and shared information with the fella who sold him the guns.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12588854266008265213 Jon

      Nothing?

      Ted Nugent (yes, he is too extreme for me, brings up a few examples (of which there is more if you do a bit of research.. go ahead, don’t be shy!):

      “Nearly a decade ago, a Springfield, Oregon, high schooler, a hunter familiar with firearms, was able to bring an unfolding rampage to an abrupt end when he identified a gunman attempting to reload his .22-caliber rifle, made the tactical decision to make a move and tackled the shooter.

      A few years back, an assistant principal at Pearl High School in Mississippi, which was a gun-free zone, retrieved his legally owned Colt .45 from his car and stopped a Columbine wannabe from continuing his massacre at another school after he had killed two and wounded more at Pearl.

      At an eighth-grade school dance in Pennsylvania, a boy fatally shot a teacher and wounded two students before the owner of the dance hall brought the killing to a halt with his own gun.

      More recently, just a few miles up the road from Virginia Tech, two law school students ran to fetch their legally owned firearm to stop a madman from slaughtering anybody and everybody he pleased. These brave, average, armed citizens neutralized him pronto.”

      Being a US Marine and serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and several undisclosed areas of the world, I have come to the conclusion that terrorists can not be talked down with words. As allude to yourself, “The guy was crazy, nothing would have stopped him.”

      Nothing will stop them? Rest assured, you cannot talk them down. Display of might/force does not always phase them, and they will kill, maim and torture as many as they can before they’re life is ended. But don’t give up. I believe they should be stopped, forcibly (ie to the death if necessary), before the first victim if possible, and absolutely denied a second victim, or third… 10th… 30… Don’t give up on the victims so quickly by saying the terrorist couldn’t be stopped. They could have, if other persons weren’t yellow-bellied pansies.

      Our county’s citizens have forgotten their honor and courage. Stop focusing on yourselves and be late for the meeting helping the old man cross the street, clean up the local street, go for a walk and pick up trash, take out your neighbors garbage, risk your life to save a victim..

      “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

      If you’ve already mentally rolled you’re eyes, you’ve proven my point.

      “Ask what you can do for your country.

      My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

      Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04454437680686627778 Jim

      Jon, I know you’d love to think that some cowboy would have been able to pull a gun out of the trunk of his car to stop the Virginia Tech massacre, but look at the facts. The police were ALREADY ON THE CAMPUS investigating a double homicide. They responded almost immediately after hearing about gunshots at the campus and they arrived to find that the doors were chained up. Do you really think that some punk ass cowboy would have been able to walk all the way to his car, pull out a gun and walk back in (Through the chained door) and kill the MOFO?

      Anyway, I know you pro-gun hicks would love to think that if everyone in the US carried a gun the world would be a safer place, but I’d argue that it’s ridiculous to think this. Every time someone loses their temper or gets drunk, do you think having a loaded gun on your belt is going to make for a good situation?

      Get real dude.

    • Anonymous

      Good one Jim! ;p