Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What lesson from Virginia Tech?

A little more than two weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre, it seems that no lesson is being drawn from what happened. you might think that gun control would be a hot issue again, but no, politicians and most of the media would rather focus on campus security. What a joke!
The worst part is that now even the Democrats seem to have caved in to the all-powerful gun lobby (the NRA, or National Rifle Association).

Now let's have a quick look at the reasoning of those people:
  • They claim that it is a question of “freedom of the individual”.
Very few Americans are in favor of a complete gun ban but the ban on assault-weapons should be at least renewed. Then, there is the need to tighten the rules for buying guns and enforce them. That a man like Cho Seung-hui - with his background of major psychotic breadowns - should be able to buy a gun legally is a shame.
    • They also claim that if you ban guns, then only criminals will have access to them easily.
    With that sort of reasoning, why not make illegal drugs legal? In interestingly, the pro-gun people are usually in favor of stricter legislation on drugs. It should also be noticed (with some optimism) that "only a third of [American] households now have guns, down from 54% in 1977" (The Economist)
    • But of course one of most successful argument used by the pro-gun lobby (particularly in courts) is that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right.
    Indeed it is the point of the second amendment, but what blows my mind is that it is so constantly misinterpreted that it is a perversion of the what the revered Founding Fathers intended. You just need to read the text
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
    Clearly the intentions of the drafters was the "security of a free State", so it is the security of the community not the security of individuals and even less their right to defend their property against criminals. How is today's so-called right to bear arms connected to forming a well-regulated Militia? (and one should insist on the adjective "well-regulated")
    I would suggest a system in which every American would have a sealed weapon at home which could be used to form "a well regulated Militia" to defend the "free State" - a bit like the defense system in Switzerland.

    But of course, no one should expect this to be much discussed under this administration, and apparently the Democrats are busy enough with the showdown with the president over the war in Iraq to even address this issue which could prove to damage their financing for the next elections.
    So no one should be surprised when the next Cho Seung-hui, Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris kill more students, and is my opinion that the so-called 'debate'it about campus security is almost indecent.


    At 22:03, Blogger govstudent said...

    What do youo think that we need to do?

    At 18:12, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

    Well, make the background check more systematic with a 'cooling off' period - those seem to be the easiest changes.
    Then, a ban on assault weapons (although it would have not changed anything in the Virginia Tech case).
    Finally, (but this is purely wishful thinking) teaching more systematically the historical context of the 2nd Amendment in schools.


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