Monday, April 16, 2007

using tragedies and crimes

By now you have heard about the mass murder at Virginia Tech. I don't really have much to add to the words of condolence, sadness, and anger about what happened.

But what does get my ire are op-eds (and pundits) making arguments like the Salt Lake Tribune's:
But we do know that the terrible events in Blacksburg, Va., the most deadly rampage shooting in U.S. history, will reignite the debate over the ready availability of guns in this nation and the price we pay in death for that policy.
There you have it. We said it. A nation awash in guns cannot protect itself from or prevent tragedies like the ones at Trolley Square or Virginia Tech or Columbine. That's the simple truth.
Gun-rights advocates will argue ...
That's an argument that should not be easily dismissed. But on a day like this one, it is not persuasive.
We note, too, that Virginia Tech has a policy that forbids students, faculty and staff from carrying guns on campus, even if they have a concealed-carry permit. That is similar to the policy the University of Utah and other public colleges in this state had until recently, before the Legislature struck it down.
[...] But we can be sure that the arguments from both sides will gain fresh emphasis in the days ahead.
And they should. Because this is a debate that must continue so long as horrors like the one Monday occur.

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of people using events like this as props for their arguments.

Arguments about the proper limitations to the right to bear arms has its place in the United States, but I think that such a debate should be put on hold until at least the bodies of the victims are buried. Standing knee deep in their blood and screaming into the camera to score political points is beyond tasteless.

Personally, I think now is a time to reflect on their lives and then later why this keeps on happening in the US. I don't think it is because of our gun laws or lack thereof, I think it is a cultural issue. So when the dust has settled, I recommend watching Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, to me his second best movie and most provocative. It raises lots of questions, and whether you agree with him about his conclusions or not, it is worth thinking about. Later.

1 comment:

derekstaff said...

I can certainly see your point, but I'm torn on the idea. After all, tragic events play a big role in molding our views on social and political issues. If an event like this contributed to my opinion on gun control (either way), why shouldn't I share that opinion or act on it? I'm wary of accusations about politicizing issues. After all, the Right has accused we who oppose the war out of principle of politicizing the war.

I agree with Bowling for Columbine. It is a very powerful movie, and much more nuanced than is given credit.