Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Map of the Carnage

Three more "mass" gun deaths today...yet another man taking his disappointments out on the world. Yesterday it was 15 dead.

I've been thinking about making a memorial list of these kinds of deaths and I did it this afternoon on Google Maps. It's here. Because I'm especially interested in churches, I added the incidents from churches, even though "only" one or two persons died. Yellow Flags are incidents that happened in schools, red flags, religious institutions (there was one synagogue murder a few years took place on Rosh Hashana)

It doesn't add up to many people; more died in traffic accidents every day than have died in these kinds of multiple, innocent death gun incidents. Many more died in war. And many, many, many more people have died in the routine, one-at-a time shootings which are the background noise of our lives. A jealous man, a robbery, an anger, an accident, and somebody is dead.

There is so much sadness and violence in our world. Widely available guns make it worse. How many markers on the map will it take, I wonder, before we decide to do something about it?


Robin Edgar said...

"How many markers on the map will it take, I wonder, before we decide to do something about it?"

I guess that depends on what the meaning of the word "do" is Rev. Robinson. Or at least what specifically should be "done" about it. I think that I can reasonably presume that you are suggesting stricter gun here but I can't help but notice that a good number of these shootings were perpetrated by people who felt that they had been wronged in one way or another. Perhaps if people tried harder to deal responsibly with complaints about bullying and other forms of harassment there would be somewhat fewer of these types of shootings. Not everyone who is bullied and harassed or otherwise mistreated decides to go out and shoot a bunch of people, indeed the vast majority of people do not, but quite evidently *some* people seek vengeance in this manner. Perhaps if the proverbial "root causes" of these attacks were better dealt with by society that there would be fewer of them. As it is however they really are quite few and far between as you have suggested by saying -

"It doesn't add up to many people."

Indeed one of the reasons that it doesn't add up to many people is because very few people engage in these kinds of murderous rampages.

Robin Edgar said...

Needless to say I meant to say "stricter gun control". Another reason to deal with the "root causes" of these attacks is that all too often the guns used in them are registered weapons that were acquired quite legally. Stricter gun control is not likely to prevent anyone who sets their mind to undertaking such an attack from following through with it, it may make it a bit more difficult to obtain their weapons but anyone who is seriously intent on committing such an act will find a way to do it. As they say, "Where there's a will, there's a way." So it is the potential perpetrator's will that needs to be dealt with before the act is carried out. I agree that this is easier said than done, but making it harder to legally obtain weapons will do little to prevent such attacks and it may even provoke some. What happened in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania should serve as an example of that possibility.

David said...

Your propensity to call for stricter gun control concerns me a lot since I see it as simply making the rest of us more defenceless.

I am Canadian by birth, and we have very strict hand gun conrol there, but the bad element of humanity still has no problem getting a gun. The only people who have trouble getting a gun are the ones who might use it to defend us if they had it, but they are unlikely to carry an illegal weapon so Canadians remain largely defenceless.

I am so glad that here in the South wherever I go I am surrounded by gun carrying law abiding citizens of good faith who will help me defend myself and you all if need be.

All of the really MASS murders seem to happen in schools, churches, government offices - places that people are defenceless as they have no ability to carry weapons there.

Your efforts to get stricter gun control would only make us similarly defenceless all over the place instead of just in church and school.

Criminals and crackpots planning a big mass killing don't care if they are ALLOWED to have a gun or not, and guns will be widely available to them with or without gun control for honest citizens.