Friday, 14 December 2012

Opinion: Connecticut Shootings

Obviously everyone's heard about the shootings in Connecticut by now. Words can't really do justice to the crime that was committed or the lives that have been devastated by one psychopath's actions. Offering my condolences is just a drop amongst tens of millions doing the same though, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm anything special for doing so.

Moments after this shooting happened, I think pretty much everyone knew that this shooting would be the catalyst for gun control debates. Hell, pretty much every public shooting for years has instantly renewed gun control debates (which, of course, went nowhere as we have seen). As a Canadian, the end result of this debate doesn't really affect me, but every time I see this sort of crap in the news it makes me smack my head at American politics.

Simply put: why the hell do Americans need guns so badly!? Yes, "guns don't kill people" and all that bullshit, but access to guns makes it a hell of a lot easier. I'm all for people being allowed to have guns, but there needs to be a freaking limit: no automatics, no handguns, no weapons in public, etc. I think these are pretty damn reasonable in a civilized society. And for those who say "if everyone had a gun we'd all be safe!!!"... you're a tool. If there's a shooter and someone else pulls out a gun to shoot them, then no one's going to differentiate between the "savior" and the "shooter", and there's a good chance you're going to cause collateral damage. Bottom line: less access to guns = less public shootings.

Also, it's totally low-hanging fruit, but I'd like to address Conservapedia's response to the shootings. In their news ticker, they wrote that:

"Liberal claptrap for gun control begins within hours of today's tragic murders, which would not have happened if laws banning guns for self defense in public school were repealed."

Well no shit Sherlock. For one thing, you're disparaging them for politicizing an event by politicizing it in your favour (bias by Conservapedia? NEVER). For another, guns in schools are a terrible idea. Period. Maybe for teachers, but even then I somehow doubt that the tragic murders "would not have happened" if they had weapons. There's also escalation to take into account - if they go on a school shooting and know there will be guns to worry about, I get the feeling they'll start packing body armour (another relatively easy thing to get ahold of in the States)... I'm surprised they didn't bitch about how Connecticut is a "liberal" state...

Also posted on Conservapedia's front page:

"Will authorities admit whether this young mass murderer was addicted to violent video games?
Earlier this week, the Oregon shooting by video game player mimicked Grand Theft Auto game
That game features 'mall rampages' whereby a player shoots randomly inside a mall."

Again, politicizing the event (but God forbid that the liberals do the same!), but in a rather hypocritical way. They will defend their guns to the death, but it's video games that need to have laws set against them. Not to mention that video games haven't been linked to actual acts of violence (they may cause aggression in some, but that does not constitute violence itself... in any case, the studies have been inconclusive). Video games are so common in society now that it's pretty unlikely that someone who went on a school shooting would not play them. That said, I think some parents should stop being morons and keep inappropriate games out of their kids' hands until their old enough, but I don't think they're going to turn into psychopaths if they don't... if they're psychotic, then they would be whether they played Call of DutyGrand Theft Auto, etc or not. Blaming video games is really old now. Start blaming... I dunno... Smart Phones, they're the new media now. Radio waves are frying our childrens' brains! Burn Steve Jobs' corpse for witchcraft!

In conclusion, the Connecticut shootings are a huge tragedy, but I can't honestly say anything consoling about them. I hope it doesn't happen again? Haha, yeah right, with the current gun laws and the number of weapons spread across the country, it's not a matter of "if", but "when" the next shooting occurs. Even if you're a gun nut, you have to admit this. America, if you want this sort of thing to ever stop, or at least slow down, then you have to cut back on your gun fetish. Make some small concessions and in the long-term you'll all be a lot safer.

Sigh... as much as I love Charlton Heston, he was totally crazy when it came to gun control...

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