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On the VT Tech shootings

April 18, 2007

I held of two days to comment on the whole insanity that happened at Virginia Tech.

First of all it isn’t really too surprise, the US, as a society, seems to fall apart, there are myriad of examples on how this is happening every day.

But as expected, the bodies not even cold yet, the pro and con gun control lobbies where in full swing, only to be upstaged by some right wing commentators who “blamed the victims” for 33 dead.

It obviously is a tragedy for 33 families who have to buried the ones they cared deeply about, the Internet, in return, has fallen into the usual condolences overload that seems to grip the nation by storm…. Why people feel the need to cry for people they don’t know, I don’t understand. But I do understand that this is not a good sign.

There is some sanity from Greg Palast, but of course the fight over the gun control issue is raging…..

So here’s my take on it:

Gun control will not save the United States. I know there is the thought by some people on the left if the guns wouldn’t be there, all these deaths wouldn’t happen, and chances are they are right, it is hard to kill 32 people with a knife, a sword, a crossbow or a bow & arrow. It is hard to do that with a long rifle too.

But the reality is there are too many firearms already in circulation in the United States. An estimated 200 million firearms are in private hands in the US, and that only includes the legal ones, this doesn’t count the illegal guns that are being sold and shipped to other states.

Even if Congress would enact a law tomorrow that would outlaw all handguns they would still be around.

The idea behind the second amendment was laudable, the need for it was clear back in the day. But 200 years have passed, gun technology has advanced, and a rifle won’t guarantee your safety against the government anymore, they have more guns, tanks, airplanes……

One of the arguments that is constantly given is the fact that if all the students would have been armed they could have taken down the guy and saved lives. But the reality is that most people would probably have dropped to the ground and hid, gun or not. If they would have chosen to actually fire their guns, chances are they would have also hid other “good guys”. If you’re high on adrenaline and in fear of your life you shoot at anything that you consider a threat….. But “gun nuts” don’t see it that way. They want more guns out there, do away with “Gun Free” zones and arm everybody to their teeth.

I am doubtful that more guns would have changed a thing. I have travelled in several countries and had contact with a lot of law officers, but never outside the US did I see cops go for their guns right from the start. One cop, in Washington D. C. told me that essentially they always expect anybody to be armed and pulling a gun. If a the cops are scared of the populace, no wonder everybody else is scared too.

The answer for the US won’t be easy, the fact that they are grieving for 33 people is tragic, but at the same time it seems 150 people died in Baghdad the same day, it didn’t even get close the amount of airtime as the shootings did….

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