Monday, October 02, 2006

A Time to Speak (Again)

This terrible week of school killings in the United States illustrates again the endemic problem of gun crime at the heart of American culture.

Of course, the availability of firearms does not of itself turn peaceful people into killers. But, when an individual does start to fall apart - motivated by mental illness, inner demons or simply cold-hearted hatred - his ability to obtain weapons makes it possible for him to turn his wicked fantasies into every parent's nightmare.

The innocent lives that have been lost this week in schools in Colorado, Wisconsin and now in Pennsylvania represent yet another tragic failure of American society to rid itself of its obsession with guns.

When building a house, it is impossible to go beyond the limits of the foundations. Societies have similar limitations. Until our law makers have the courage to repeal the second amendment, which laid the foundation of this gun culture, America will never outgrow this grotesque and murderous parody of liberty that plays itself out in the ghettos, malls and schools of the United States.


Forty_Two said...

Firearms aren't to blame. Like Kimveer Gill who made his media debut in Canada recently, the nutjob who murdered little Amish girls could have killed many more with a hatchet in each hand. Possessing a firearm often leads one to believe that one is invincible, thus leading to mistakes that ironically save lives.

Read Lesson V on my weblog and let me know what your opinion is.

atlanticwriter said...

No, firearms do not cause murder. Nor do knives or petrol cans and matches.

The fact is, however, that in countries such as Britain where legal gun ownership is virtually impossible, the murder rate is significantly lower than in the United States.

Granted, that fact does not prove a direct causal link between gun ownership and murder. My view is, however, that access to the weapon (which is designed for no other purpose than to wound or kill) is one factor in explaining why some men turn their evil intentions into murder instead of not doing so.

Cary said...

While the direct murder rate may be lower in the UK than in the US, the overall crime rates are much higher.

Because I live in a country that does not restrict the legal ownership of weapons in quantity, you would think twice before attmepting to break into a place where you don't know how well armed I am...