Friday, February 15, 2008

Readin', Writin', and Shootin'

After last night's news of 5 murders and a suicide in a classroom on a college campus, I searched the internet thinking, "hasn't this happened before?" I got lots of links to VA tech and to the Amish killings. It took a surprisingly long time to verify what I was looking for; This was the fifth school/gun incident IN A WEEK.

Six dead at NIU

A week ago, a much more ordinary sort of tragedy: a female teacher shot and stabbed by her husband. She survived. He killed himself.

On February 8, in Louisiana, a rare female gunner killed two classmates and committed suicide.

On the 11th, a 17 year old shot a classmate in Memphis Both survived.

On the 12, a kid in California was shot in the head by a classmate. The victim died a couple of days later.

Everywhere the traumatized witnesses, the blood-spattered floors, the sirens and helicopters and broken hearts.

But nowhere even a counting, much less an effective response. Nobody dare say the only thing worth saying...There are too many guns around, they are too easy to get a hold of, this epidemic of gun violence is a threat far beyond what any terrorist has accomplished and we need to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Just imagine the response if in five communities in our nation last week, "terrorists" had walked into schools and shot people in them. If past experience suggests anything, we'd be at war in three more places by the end of the week. Imagine what would have happened if five different people put poison dust in letters and sent them through the mail? Did you know that more people have died of gun violence than Aids in the last decade in this nation? Did you know that the world just shakes its head at America-the-gun-happy and enjoys a free society without feeling terrorized by guns? (Yes, gun violence happens almost everywhere...but it happens here way, way more often.)

When will they ever learn?


Lizard Eater said...

And when you put it into the context of all the hoops we have to go through at the airport ... because of 9/11, we can't carry large bottles of shampoo or a soda, have to have government issued ID, have to be willing to empty our bags, take off our belts, remove our shoes ...

But no, don't let anyone hint that maybe we should have limits on gun availability.


Steve Caldwell said...

Christine -- the Oxnard CA middle school shooting is being considered an anti-gay hate crime under California law.

Here's a link to the LA Times coverage:

Oxnard school shooting called a hate crime,0,7663055.story

Anonymous said...

Much too easy access to guns is part of the problem, but I can't help but feel that there's something deeper at work here. Why do people feel suicidal and homicidal in the first place? Why so much rage and despair?

Anonymous said...

Do something? what if doing something mandated getting rid of most violence in TV and movies? What if it included disbanding our military? What if it included all young teens having to have a stint of observing in an emergency room?
what if it meant getting rid of TV? Of sports? Of testosterone? What if it meant a ban on all advertising?
What if it meant making a commitment to teaching maturity in schools and homes and churches? What if we had to openly confront the majority religion called Consumer Hedonism?
What could we make a commitment to?