Friday, December 14, 2012

anywhere in America

It's a truism that things hit closer to home, when they do exactly that. I've been annoyed at people saying "I can't believe it happened here," when it was Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Amish village school, and so on, and so on, and so on forever, and when will we recognize that this is a huge problem?

My sense of these past events was that of course it can happen here, everywhere, I expect it to happen somewhere near me, because effective violence facilitated by the availability of high power, high capacity, firearms is utterly unchecked in our society. So it has. Sandy Hook is right around the corner, not a twenty minute drive. In China, a violent maniac wounded 22 people today, with a knife. If he had had two 9mm automatics with high capacity magazines he could have matched our Sandy Hook Shooter for the kill count, none of that wounding stuff. The hospital in Danbury was on full orders and lockdown to receive the injured, but only three were in a condition to put in the ambulance. 9mm rounds are effective. There was almost no one who wasn't obviously dead at the scene. Most of them five year old kids.

But this isn't the time to talk about gun control. Or, maybe, finally, is it?


Martina said...

It was yesterday late evening in Germany when we heard the news.
I didn't feel like commenting or even like blogging but then settled for a subdued photo and quote.
Yes, the comparison with the incident in Chine came to mind quickly - in the end we non-Americans will never understand the attitude to guns in the US. Everytime something happens I think: Now will be the day for them to talk about gun laws!

Markus Spring said...

Carl, I am at a loss of words regarding this tragedy.

But I can't bear the thought that quite a number of unteachable people insist on maintaining such an uncivilized aspect of a society, with recurring blood sprees as sacrifices for a false idea of freedom that should be overcome since at least a century.

"Guns don't kill, people do" - this utmost stupid sentence I heard again this summer from my daughter's student exchange partner. As a 16 year old kid she was of course only repeating what her parents and peers said, 'cause if she would have thought herself, the idea that people without guns are much less effective killers should have been convincing.

Without doubt, life in European countries is much more regulated than in the U.S. But knowing that with high probability your next door neighbour does not own automatic or other weapons plus ammonition is reassuring. The numbers of victims of murder or manslaughter as well as the number of policemen killed in duty speak for themselves.

But according to the speaker of the U.S. president, in whom big parts of the world had had so much hope (the president, not the speaker), today is not the day to speak about this problem. Unfortunately I doubt he will find a suitable day.