Too easy to get tooled up in the US?

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

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9 Responses to Too easy to get tooled up in the US?

  1. Stef says:

    Guns in themselves really aren?t evil. I?m all for people being able to go and shoot them at ranges or go hunting ? I?m a libertarian ? but really, they shouldn?t be available in grocers.

    I have an American wife and by extension American friends, many of which own guns. That dones?t bother me much but the fact that someone with a chip on their shoulder, an ID card and a few hundred dollars can go and buy a semi-automatic is just fucking scary.

    Rights and freedoms are one thing but idiocy is? The same apparently.

  2. Adem says:

    I agree. Guns aren?t necessarily bad, but are by necessity lethal. They really shouldn?t be that easy to get a hold of.

  3. J says:

    Hmmm?I am not quite sure where to begin on this one.

    Yes, it is too easy. But it is something that is never going to change in the U.S. (or at least not in the foreseeable future).

    In fact, the gun lobby began pointing out on the day of the VT shooting that had all of the students been armed, perhaps this tragedy wouldn?t have happened.

    Guns don?t kill people, people kill people, they say. Overlooking, of course, that it would be much harder for people to kill people if people didn?t have guns. Surely it would be more difficult to kill 30+ people with a kitchen knife?

  4. jonny says:

    My interesting fact learnt from all this:

    In Switzerland every man of military age is required to keep a gun at home as part of the country?s civil defence policy

    I?m also enjoying the logic of the ?if everyone has a gun there would be no problem? theory:

    ?All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last 10 years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen ? a potential victim ? had a gun,? said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. ?The latest school shooting at Virginia Tech demands an immediate end to the gun-free zone law which leaves the nation?s schools at the mercy of madmen.?

    Bring back the Wild West? Genius!

  5. Adem says:

    So everyone gets a gun then? Problem solved!

    I can?t help thinking that it?s not a straight-forward as that.

  6. Aravis says:

    I agree that the ?if everyone had a gun there wouldn?t be a problem? argument is pretty ridiculous. And it?s too easy to buy guns here.

    However a friend of mine in Australia was telling me that their gov?t recalled guns. It?s been awhile but I think he said that not even the police had them, but there I could be mistaken. Anyway, the problem with that is that honest, law-abiding citizens may (or may not) turn in their guns, but criminals certainly won?t! Which makes it more dangerous for both citizens and police. He said that violent crimes actually increased once they put this law into effect.

    I don?t know what the answer is, as the genie is already out of the bottle as they say.

  7. nick says:

    I know I?m a little late to this topic but I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in the ring. I don?t believe that is too easy in general to get a gun, I believe the ones selling the guns get careless. You are right some gun laws should be changed? for the ones selling the guns. If we make it illegal to own guns, then only criminals will have the guns. Making them illegal does not prevent criminals from getting them, it prohibits upstanding citizens from protecting them selves from the criminals. Washington DC has the strongest gun control laws out of just about all the states yet it has the very highest crime rate. In 2004 violent crimes in DC totaled at 1,371.2. Gun laws did not kill all those people at columbine or at VA tech Sick individuals did. There are EVIL people out there, people that will kill whatever the laws may be. Drugs are illegal but look at how many people use drugs. Driving drunk is illegal but look at how many people drive drunk and kill people while doing so. There are evil people out there.

    Sorry again for bringing up an old topic, I just found your blog and this interested me.

  8. Adem says:

    Cheers for popping by Nick.

    I was thinking that maybe people who wish to own a gun must undergo some sort of training that they must pass in order to be able to own a gun instad of just providing credentials such as a place of residence and ID.

    Would it not be better if they had to book up time with a licenced firearms expert and learn not just how to correctly use a gun but also the possible implications.

    I suppose you could compare it to a driving test, but even this comparison is flawed as many people drive without a licence, or simply steal cars.

    In the ends, as long as there are people who want to kill other people then there will always be problems no matter what laws are introduced.

  9. nick says:

    I was thinking that maybe people who wish to own a gun must undergo some sort of training that they must pass in order to be able to own a gun instead of just providing credentials such as a place of residence and ID.

    I have been saying this for a long time now, But yes it is exactly like a drivers license. Like a car if you practice and have someone teach you safety, a gun can be a tool, but in the wrong hands both can be a deadly weapon. I guess we agree more than I originally thought :)


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