Sunday, April 22, 2007

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Tech? (Part Two)

So I got totally side-tracked in Part One, because the social responsibility aspect kept wanting to be heard, so I addressed it as much as I could at that point in time.

But here's what I originally wanted to say.

If you recall, I started off with that most "excellent" of blame-shifters: "guns don't kill people, people do!"
Banning/severely restricting the sale/possession/use of guns wouldn't make much difference to someone who is intent on killing someone else. There are plenty of other weapons that can be just as deadly: Your fists. A baseball bat. A nearby rock. A 2x4. An unfortunate "accident". Arsenic. You name it. If the determination is there, the killing will happen.


It is important to take note that the [totally non-exhaustive list of] examples involve getting up close and personal with one's target. The first 4 involve putting the attacker at similar risk as the target - what if the target fights back? wrests the bat out of your hand? Grabs a larger rock? Swings that 2x4 more viciously than you ever could? Chances are, the attacker would not emerge unscathed from such an attack. The other two examples involve patience and planning: less exposure than the previous examples, but perhaps less satisfying? After all, the killer may not be able to actually witness the death of its target, or, the death may not be dramatic enough, satisfying enough...

A gun, on the other hand...

Joe and Jane Average will probably freeze in fear just at the sight of such a machine in your hand. You can get off on the power surge of the control you have over them, and on the fear you elicit.

Depending on what you want, you can achieve loads of blood and gore, or you can leave a nice neat little bullethole. You can snipe or spray from the top of a building or open window, or up close and personal.

So many options.

So much destruction.

And so easily achieved results, compared to a baseball bat, a 2x4, etc etc etc.
Wanna get into WHY people kill people? There's no one easy answer. But in this day and age, we "society" as well as we "experts" have a good idea about causes, and therefore have set up many opportunities for identification, prevention and treatment.

However, we know from sad experience that all too many people make it past all these potential stops.

And when they do, guns seem to be a particularly destructive weapon of choice.

So what I'm saying is, while it's true that it's people who kill people, if the weapon chosen is a gun, things get nasty, fast.
Guns are not to blame for Cho Seung-Hui's behaviour. But guns certainly were a factor in Cho Seung-Hui's high body count*.
Some might argue that if only other students had guns with them, they would have been able to shoot at / kill Cho Seung-Hui and minimize his damage. Yes, but, how do you know that these armed students wouldn't have added to the body count due to getting all panicked because they've never used their guns outside of a controlled environment like a shooting range??

Also, I wouldn't want to go to class wondering *who*'s gonna get pissed off at someone else and whip out a gun, threaten to shoot, etc etc... I'm all for responsible gun ownership. Unfortunately, my impression is that a lot of the noise about gun control and ownership comes not from problems with the responsible ones, but from those idiots who shouldn't have their hands on any weapon of any kind but because they can, they do,,, and then use guns to express their irritation that their neighbour's dog barks too loudly, that a passing car has too much bass, or their classmate cracked a joke they found offensive.

So yes, again, it boils down to the PEOPLE rather than the weapon.

But yet again, mixing people of certain characteristics with guns gives a particularly lethal combination.

The gun folk can't just sit there and point to everyone else.
Well, they are... but they shouldn't; they can, however, so they will.


I'm not even going to try to suggest a solution. There isn't one. There is no magic bullet. A whole variety of changes need to take place, among so many people, within so many systems, that it seems just a pipe dream.

But if we sit back and do nothing, nothing will ever change, except perhaps for the worse.

Ah, what fun times we live in....

[I realise I still have some loose ends to tie up: in Part Three!]


  1. Verrry interesting read...
    can't wait for more

  2. ..and now here we have parents killing their own children...

  3. Nope, there is no quick fix, but hey, we have to do something. I wish someone could come up with an excellent remedy, that would take away all such evil.
    Interesting post, thanks!

    Eilen/Monsoon xxx

  4. Same thoughts here... lets see part III, shall we? :-)


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