Thursday, April 19, 2007

Yes it is

In the New Republic, Sasha Zimmerman wonders about "Generation Columbine," those who were teens at the time of the Columbine shootings: "What does the world look like to a generation who has grown up with the frightful knowledge that killers can lurk in classrooms? I doubt their first concern is gun control."

Speaking as a 23-year-old, one who well remembers the jokes about "warning signs" and "trench coat mafias" (rendered absurd at a high school where trench-coat types were the rule), I'd have to say my first concern is gun control. This and other exhortations to give a "proper" pause before thinking about the Virginia Tech massacre in terms of gun control are horrible manipulations of the notion of grief. Everyone acknowledges that this was an incomprehensibly tragic event, but aside from those directly involved, few should be so overcome by personal grief that they cannot calmly think of what could be done to prevent such things from happening. It is disingenuous--not to mention unfair to those who are actually, personally, grieving--to suggest that those far from Virginia Tech, whose near-immediate response to hearing about the shootings is that guns need to go, are insensitive people preoccupied by political agendas, while those who refuse to denounce guns refuse to do so because they really care. I am advocating gun control now because this event is extremely upsetting; as neither I nor anyone I know is a victim, I do not see a reason to "let blood dry" before worrying about prevention--in that time, another such event might occur.


Anonymous said...

This LA Times article by prominent criminologist James Q. Wilson convincingly argues that "Gun Control isn't the Answer."

After he rehearses a balanced discussion of guns, he gets to the nut of the issue: identifying and controlling dangerous personalities is the order of the day.

Rachel said...

I hate to agree with my gun-loving boyfriend but you'll never get the guns out of the hands of the bad guys, never, they are already there, the only way to fight it is to arm the good guys (policeman) and yourself. I know it sounds insane, and I would never carry a gun, but having one in the house means that my worst fears, that someone will come into my home and do terrible things and I would be powerless to stop them won't happen, I can stop them, I have a gun.
Maybe everyone should carry guns, doubtlessly less people would have died that day if everyone was armed.