A lot of handwringing; Zero action

Addendum: When I first heard this, I was assuming, from the wording of the article, that this guy was an international student.  I have since heard that he has lived here for quite awhile and probably didn’t need a student visa after all.  Just his…what? driver’s license? I have no idea what kind of ID is required to purchase a firearm… 

Q: How does a 23 year old South Korean English major buy a Glock 9mm and take down dozens of people, including a 75-year old professor?

A: Why, just get a student visa and come to U.S. of A. 

From what I could see in a brief skimming of the U.S. news headlines, there was a lot shock (why is everyone shocked?  For real. It’s not like this kind of thing is going to just magically end if we just pretend to live in happy la-la land full of rainbows and unicorns) and handwringing but, interestingly enough, no one willing to step up and say, uh, something needs to change here, folkses.

Here’s what the rest of the apparently more civilized world is saying:

Most (international papers) expressed shock at the shooting but few said they were surprised — criticizing the availability of guns in the U.S., lax gun controls and the number of Americans who cling to the constitutional right that allows them to bear arms.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the shooting underscored the problems of a U.S. “gun culture.”

We took action to limit the availability of guns and we showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country,” he said.

The Times of London ran an editorial delving into the American psyche and the weak gun laws across the country.

“Why, we ask, do Americans continue to tolerate gun laws and a culture that seems to condemn thousands of innocents to death every year, when presumably, tougher restrictions, such as those in force in European countries, could at least reduce the number?”

Britain’s 46 homicides involving firearms was the lowest total since the late 1980s. New York City, with 8 million people compared to 53 million in England and Wales, recorded at least 579 homicides last year. (emphasis mine)

“What exactly triggered the massacre in Virginia is unclear but the fundamental reason is often the perpetrator’s psychological problems in combination with access to weapons,” Swedish daily Goteborgs-Posten commented.

Yuan Peng, an American studies expert, was quoted by state-run China Daily as saying the shooting illustrated America’s problems with gun control and a lack of security at American universities.

“This incident reflects the problem of gun control in America,” said Yuan, from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a Beijing-based think tank.

In Italy, leading daily Corriere della Sera’s ran an opinion piece entitled “Guns at the Supermarket” — a critical view of the U.S. gun lobby and the ease with which guns can be purchased.

“The latest attack on a U.S. campus will shake up America, maybe it will provoke more vigorous reactions than in the past, but it won’t change the culture of a country that has the notion of self-defense imprinted on its DNA and which considers the right of having guns inalienable,” Corriere wrote in its front-page story.

Eh, but what do they know?  This is AMERICA, dammit!  And besides, fact that the shooter was one of them damn fer-i-ners makes it all his fault and not the fault of a broken system of ‘gun control’ (insert heavy irony here).  Probably he was one a them terr-or-ists.

The problem is that no one wants to admit there’s any problem.  And also that Americans lack the kind of empathy that actually produces change.  Everyone will feel sorry for awhile but most people remain unaffected.  Until they or someone that they know (and care for) gets blown away.  Then suddenly it will be real. And then they will wonder ‘how it could have happened’.  But still, all the other millions who are unaffected will remain apathetic.

Apparently, only deaths that number in the thousands and that are brought about by external (ie, foreign) sources have much of an impact on the American pysche. But if it isn’t an ‘act of terror’, well, then it is a pity. Those poor students. Oh, well, I wonder what time Grindhouse is playing this weekend.

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