Damn The Word, Hail The Gun

19 04 2007

Well, it’s started. In the aftermath of this week’s Virginia Tech shootings, I’ve had this nagging feeling that this is going to lead to some extreme reactions, blowing things out proportion. Please do understand I am in no way diminishing or making light of what happened at VT. What happened was sickening, and my condolences go out to all those who were affected by this horrible event. When I talk about blowing things out of proportion, I’m referring to the reactionary measures that are bound to follow that do not logically have much relevance to this event. I’m being a little cryptic I know, but bear with me. I don’t want people to think that I’m actually condoning this sort of behavior.

I just read an article titled Student Arrested over Va. Tech Remarks, which mentions that a 22-year old university student has been arrested for, I quote, “… making comments that classmates deemed sympathetic toward the gunman blamed for killing 32 students and himself at Virginia Tech.”. It goes on to say that he was “angry about all kinds of things from the fluorescent light bulbs to the unpainted walls, and it made him angry enough to kill people.”

Does this strike anyone else as a tad too extreme? Yes, this kid may need some serious mental help, but arresting him for just saying something??? That’s just going too damn far and being too damn paranoid. How many times have you used the phrase, “I’ll kill you!” or something similar, at someone? According to the police in Colorado, making such a statement is a crime that can get you arrested. Just where do you draw the line between a plain statement and criminal intent? How do you do this? You can’t just go out and arrest everyone who says “I want to hurt someone!” If that was the case, the jails would be overflowing with people who said stuff like, “Put out the trash now, or I’ll beat the crap out of you…”

What I expect to happen now is that any person who makes a statement, verbal or written, that in someway makes someone nervous, especially in some sort of academic environment, will be presumed guilty of criminal intent. So, anyone who writes a dark story, or play, is suspect. Just imagine if this had happened sometime in the past. Do you think Stephen King or even Edgar Allen Poe would have been let off the hook? Nope, they would have been branded as insane, and locked away. And in those days, human rights was just a funny word, not a public sentiment.

But beyond all this, there is a much larger issue. Gun Control. Cue the NRA [National Rifle Association] and its propaganda circus. Consider the dichotomy that exists in the US. Its the right of every citizen to own a gun [so says the NRA]. But a person does not have the right to say or write, “I want to hurt some people”! I can own a weapon which I can use to shoot you, but I can’t say “I’ll beat the shit out of you!”??? Huh??? Which is more lethal??? Never mind the whole Freedom of Speech issue at hand as well…

Anyone above the age of 18 can go out and legally buy a gun in the US. And you can very easily get a gun illegally if you don’t want to endure the mandatory waiting period of a few days or don’t want to reveal your identity. Even assault weapons can be legally purchased. Why the heck would you need a Uzi or Kalashnikov in every home?

The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the mantra politicians should be following if they’re sane. Words are just words. Yes, they may imply some sort of mental imbalance and cause others some mental anguish, but they can’t physically affect a person. But if you make it possible to translate words in action by making weapons accessible to the wackos out there, then you’re only asking for trouble. Make it difficult to get a hold of weapons. Then you make it easier to deal with these lunatics.

At times, I feel we’re on the borderline of insanity. We take offense too easily and make a huge hue and cry when someone says something we don’t like, and we start imposing all sorts of controls and regulations to limit what people can and can’t say. For example, pPeople get monumentally upset when you refer to a person as a “dwarf”, not “a vertically challenged person.” But at the same time we don’t do a damn thing to make it illegal for people to buy guns and other weapons, and make all sorts of stupid statements like “Its a constitutional right” or “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

What a load of utter horse shit! Make it illegal to own a gun. Severely punish those who break the law and obtain guns illegally. It’s time for the politicians to start acting like sane human beings and say, “Enough is Enough! Guns kill people! We don’t want guns in our homes, near our families, and on our streets!” Charlton Heston [he’s the President of the NRA] can say what ever he wants, but there are no wild frontiers anymore to tame, so there are no more wild animals and “wild savages” to protect against here. You don’t need guns to survive these days.

People. Use your bloody brains.

Hail The Word, Damn The Gun. That’s what your mantra should be.

P.S While this is a US-centric post, this message is for whole damn world. Wake up and smell the coffee people. Help get rid of guns in your country. You’ll be far better off for it.




One response

19 04 2007

The panic reaction has of late been a frequent occurance. From Sept 2001 every time there has been a catastrophe in the US, the reaction had been irrational. Compare the general reaction to the aftermath of MAdrid train bombing or the London Boombing of JUly 2005 – the reaction of the authorities and the populace was more measured. Is it something to do with the extreme exhibition of so called American values instead of the classical British Stiff upper lip.

If you ever come across a movie called Irma la Duce, there is a dialogue:` You can stand at the street corner and shout angrily and threaten some one ; people will not mind it. But if some one makes love at street corner – you will be arrested for indecency..

Thats middle class morality for you

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