As with all gun crime, we are going to have a lot of people telling us that you Americans should submit to a gun ban as a result of this tragedy. And it is a f****** tragedy.
Let's do some maths.
There's what, 312 million people in America? Let's round that down to 300 million.
And there's what, 30,000 gun deaths a year in America?
That works out to about 0.01% of the population dying each year as a result of gun violence. And less than 10% of that 0.01% is a result of these types of spree killings. The vast majority of gun deaths in America are gang or domestic violence related.
Meanwhile 225,000 people die in America every year from lung cancer for a whopping 0.075% of the population dying annually. The government's response? Warning labels on cigarette packs warning that cigarettes can cause death by way of lung cancer. (and if you think I'm being glib here, my own dad died from lung cancer and he didn't even smoke)
Just for a little perspective on this 'epidemic' of gun violence. Perhaps a more even-handed approach would be warning labels on guns warning that guns can cause death.
My thoughts are with the families of the victims, but 0.01% of the population dying annually simply isn't enough to warrant any kind of policy change.
If 0.01% of the population died each year from acute alcohol poisoning as result of 'butt-chugging' it would be a late night punch line. No one would be pushing for a ban on funnels.
What you really need to start doing south of the border, is educating people that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. If you suspect your son is mentally ill, ignoring the problem out of shame is not going to help anyone. And if you experience violent or suicidal thoughts, people need to be educated that going and getting help is not 'weak'. Meanwhile, laws need to be put in place preventing employers from excluding workers courageous enough to seek professional help for their mental illness (another key reason people don't seek help).
These aren't gun crimes. They're the result of a system that punishes and abandons mentally ill people. And people who see possible mental illness in family members ignore the problem because of the social stigma associated with mental illness.
Gun crime is what happens when a car jacking, home invasion or robbery goes bad. Or a gang shoots up another gangs favorite club. Or a guy gets drunk and shoots his wife over a dispute.
This is a story about a kid taking 6 guns and shooting up a school because the system failed to provide him and his family with the necessary help. There was no rhyme or reason for what he did. He was out of his mind.
Mental illness resulting in deaths is a public health issue (like drug addiction) and needs to be treated as such.
All that said, I support a FULL gun ban worldwide. But first, the police and the army have to give up their guns. Because that's why America has the second amendment in the first place. So you can defend yourself from the government.
edit: forgot to move a decimal over there
Last edited by RearNaked : 12-16-2012 at 03:40 AM.