You cannot fail to be aware of the instances in Virginia this week, something that has shocked the world. I won?t go into it too much, or even try and explain why someone should decided to massacre 32 fellow students, but the thing that got me was the ease of it all.
In reality I could quite easily decide that I wanted to go on a killing spree, and working in a University, I can see how easy it really would be given the amount of people on campus, people who wouldn?t expect anything of the sort.
The thing that really gets me is that should I go a little unstable and actually decide to do something like this, the one factor that would limit my motives would be the fact that I am unable to get hold of a firearm. I don?t know anyone that has one, I?ve never actually even seen one except on a police officer, and wouldn?t even know where to get one. This would limit me to other weapons such as knifes, which can be lethal, as we?ve seen with the recent spate of attacks in London, but certainly wouldn?t create the same amount of carnage as firearms do.
We shouldn?t forget that this is only the latest in a long line of gun-attacks that have occured in US over the past 10 years. I don?t think we can sterotype this type of attack as an American disease, when we know that things like this can happen anywhere in the world, even in the UK (see Dunblane.)
The point I?m trying to get to is that the ease and availability of guns in the US is a massive contributing factor to these attacks. I can honestly say that I don?t believe this attack, or the others preceding, would have happened in such a scale, had the US adopted the same gun laws as we have in the UK. I?m not getting on my highhorse, but as per my second paragraph, the majority of people wouldn?t be able to get their hands on such weapons.
In Virginia residents may legally purchase firearms as long as they provide proof of residency, pass an immediate automated background check, and answer a questionnaire (see here), simple as that, and it seems that this is what Cho Seung-hui did.
On the average it takes two minutes to provide a firearms dealer with an approval/disapproval decision ? Virginia Firearms Transaction Program
I?m sure that if you really want to get something hard enough then you can get them anywhere, but isn?t this a little too easy?
In other news?.nearly 200 Iraqis were killed in Baghdad bombs yesterday. Another story slipping by with less coverage and soon to be forgotten.
Header image under CC by Dystopos