And Here We Are Again

Last Friday, a man entered a school armed with a knife and injured 22 young children and one adult. It happened in Henan province in China. Nobody lost their lives (including the attacker). Now, imagine if instead of a knife, he had a gun.

It was only a few months ago I indicated my outrage that in the US, nobody is willing to do anything about the ease with which people can get hold of guns, quoting the same old reasons. It’s okay for the US to intervene in other countries when they feel something needs to be done, and yet they just shrug their shoulders and say “well, nothing to be done” when such a serious issue is causing thousands to die every year.

I’ve made my views known. They are the views shared by almost everyone outside of the US and many Americans too. But not enough of them unfortunately. So events like the one that coincidentally happened in the US on the exact same day as the Henan school knife attack will continue to happen for the foreseeable future.

The facts are that this 20 year old “kid” took 3 guns kept by his mother for “self defense” purposes, killed her and then drove to the nearby school where he killed 20 six and seven year old kids, a few adults and himself, in the course of about 10 minutes. Can anyone argue that if he did not have a semi-automatic assault rifle with him, some of those people would still be alive?

My understanding is that assault rifles were banned by Clinton but that ban expired in 2004 and nobody has managed (or wanted) to get it re-instated since. My question – I can see how it would be convenient if you were about to embark on an offensive in Helmand province in Afghanistan, but how on earth could anyone justify needed a semi-automatic assault rifle to defend themselves at home?

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16 Responses to And Here We Are Again

  1. Anthony says:

    yawn … lol

  2. WoAi says:

    @Anthony – Don’t worry, normal service will be restored soon!

  3. IC says:

    Full auto (or assult weapons for storm troopers or submachine guns) are always illegal since it can do mass killing in just few seconds with machine gun spay. But semi auto gun like most hand guns or hunting rifles are legal since each shot needs each trigger pull. Clinton assult weapon ban is really simbolic in term of control since it only ban machine gun look alike guns with semi auto function. All other hand guns or rifle which do not look like machine guns are still legal (like a joke to most gun owners).

    Indeed, gun can cause a lot of damage. But determined killer can use a car doing more killings than gun.

  4. Animan says:

    “Indeed, gun can cause a lot of damage. But determined killer can use a car doing more killings than gun!”

    All I can say to the above comment is OMFG!!

    First of all, been a long time stalker on the site (which has been entertaining, even though the material update frequency has definitely been slowing down ;D ) and just after reading this comment, I seriously had to reply. After taking a breath to calm down!

    I think you missed the whole point of the issue. In both cases it was indeed a person who committed the atrocities but in the case of US, the damages were much worse because of the tools used in committing this heinous act. If there were stricter gun control laws, the assailant would not have had so easy access to a semi-automatic rifle. It does not matter if the rifle used was an automatic or semi-auto, the gun itself was exact copy of the automatic Bushmaster AR-15, which has exact same 5.56 caliber ammo and holds 30 round magazine.

    THIS means that the bastard could shoot 30 times without reloading and using the same ammo that you use to KILL people in war, not to disable or wound like the smaller calibers are intended for.

    Indeed a determined person COULD cause a lot more damage with a car, but in this case, how long would it have taken him to run down 26 people? Drive the walls down, hunt each running, screaming child with the car?

    I am sorry, but if this was your excuse for not seeing the need for stricter gun control laws then all I can say is GET HELP!

  5. IC says:

    @Animan

    Actually I am for total gun ban. Symbolic clinton ban is useless. I wil go further. Restriction of driver lisence also.

  6. IC says:

    Just think about it. Driving a car into a public gathering or crowed 22nd street, or michigan ave. Anywhere with over 100 people gathering is perfect spot for mass car killing. Even rent a truck and do a suicidal collision with school bus.

    Animan mistaken.

  7. Animan says:

    Ok, just for this once, I get into yes-no argument.

    Driving a motor vehicle at high speed against a human, or a group of humans does tend to slow down the vehicle quite a lot. Not to mention that in most cases the body tends to hit the windshield or in places that might “disturb” the driver quite a lot. After the initial impact, which does often kill the victim, the vehicles speed and possible sverwing often causes serious injuries but gives a higher rate of survival. Driving a truck against a school bus, which structurally is quite solid, might kill people, but a lot less than 30 bullets aimed at close range. Rate of survival is also quite higher.

    As morbid as it sounds, there ARE comparisons posted in wikipedia (if you trust it, that is… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers) about rampage killings & methods. If you compare the casualty rate between vehicular manslaughter and for example, school slaughters, the ratio of death vs. injured is a lot lower. Example a case where an idiot drove between 60 km/h – 100km/h into a crowded Santa Monica market killing 10 people and injuring 63 people.

    I would also like to point out that most of the people who do these things usually have a personal vendetta or need to lash out at specific target group. With a car, you usually can not. Another thing in these cases is that the perpetrator chooses to die either by their own hands or “helped” by the law enforcement. With a car, it is a bit trickier, not impossible. I think there is some kind of need for these sick people to feel satisfaction at exacting whatever imagined revenge personally so they can feel big and mighty when they are holding a gun in their hand. Another tragic is that they tend to choose specific places & groups where they can cause maximum of damage without a chance of being stopped fast.

  8. WoAi says:

    @Animan – Firstly congratulations and thanks for your virgin comment. Believe it or not, comments will motivate me to write more frequently and to not give up on the blog, so KEEP THEM COMING!

    This topic does seem to leave people falling categorically in to one camp or the other – I’m just waiting for”T” to chime in like he did last time and explain that the genie is already out of the bottle.

    Fortunately (and surprisingly), the headlines today say that Obama IS determined to take on the NRA morons and introduce some meaningful measures. Let’s see how far he gets. I’m not sure what is different this time or why the change of heart, but it can only be positive even if it just gets people debating the topic in the US rather than just outside of the country.

  9. WoAi says:

    @IC – The difference is that cars serve a different purpose. The purpose of guns only has one purpose which is to end people’s lives.

  10. Stimpy says:

    I have to say, I agree with Animan here. To say that the shooter could have used a car to kill those people is irrelevent, because if someone was really determined then they could use just about anything to kill (a rock, a knife, a heavy printer etc). Animan’s point regarding to the satisfaction these people get from using a gun compared to a car adds up in my mind. And WoAi’s point regarding the single use of a gun also stacks up.

    The unfortunate thing in my mind is I still don’t believe that anything meaninful will happen. The US is just too full of morons for this to change. Obviously Obama has said that he will try to swiftly control gun laws, but as time moves on, and the story slowly gets replaced by other news, so will the tough reteric disappear. Obama knows that it is too difficult a fight, and he cannot afford to alienate any potential voters that the Democrats may need in the next election (even though he is not running). And there are a lot of gun-nuts on both sides of the political spectrum in the US.

    I also predict that we will see more and more people speaking up for gun ownership and the “whatever-number ammendment-it-is” in the next few weeks. There has been very little pro-gun lobby talk in the last few days as the subject is still very raw; even the pro-gun lobby know that it might be considered bad taste to speak up now. As time goes on you will see more and more pro-gun comments, like the one a Republican senator made on Sunday- he claimed that the best way to control gun crime was for people to have access to more guns. More powerful ones at that.

    Finally, there was a depressing thought put out by a reporter on one of the network news channels over the weekend. Even if the sale of guns was outlawed in the US today, there are still something like 200 million guns in circulation. I really can’t see how those numbers can be returned, especially from a group of people who will be extremely reluctant to return them.

    “From my cold, dead hands” is the phrase that comes to mind.

    No, with this issue the US is fucked.

  11. N says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/louie-gohmert-guns_n_2311379.html

    and this moron says to protect the kids the school principle should have had a machine gun herself. yeah now the kids are safe because the teachers will kill the bad guys. and its fun to have classroom crossfire. hurray!

    ‘The difference is that cars serve a different purpose. The purpose of guns only has one purpose which is to end people‚Äôs lives.’ good point Woai!

  12. Animan says:

    Thanks Woai. Now that I have popped my cherry, I try to keep you blog alive by contributing a comment now and then :D

    I wonder how much influence the gun lobbyist had on this stupid morons campaing funding. It is sad to read that after the massacre, the gun sales figures did indeed go up. One thing is that stupid people are buying them to fight fire with fire, but also the sales of the AR-15 model used in the shooting has increased! What is the explanation of that!

    Actually there has been a story circulating on Facebook today. Maybe you Woai as british can confirm if the following is true:

    “In 1996, there was a shooting at a primary school in Scotland. 16 children ages 5-6 were killed, along with one teacher. The following year, The UK banned the private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns, regardless of caliber. There have been no school shootings since.”

  13. Bittermelon says:

    Here are some random thoughts. They do not form a coherent point of view.

    1. Any discussion of guns and America must be based on the role of guns in American history and culture. It’s pointless to call people or policies stupid without understanding that. The closest equivalent, I think, is the role of knives in Japanese society. It’s too simple to say that the only purpose guns have is to kill.

    2. If you think that a total gun ban, or even just some form of gun control, would have prevented this tragedy, be aware that two recent massacres in the US involved no guns (9/11 and Oklahoma City). And a recent massacre in Norway, a gun control country, did involve guns. In Switzerland, where many adult males are in the militia and required to keep guns at home, there has been no massacre that I know of.

    So there is no simple relationship between gun control, gun ownership, and gun related massacre.

    I wish there is a simple solution, but there isn’t.

  14. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – The good news is, it does seem that some hard line pro-gun politicians are coming around, but let’s see how far this gets. I was out with your brother last Friday!

    @N – Yes, I am SHOCKED by that argument : more guns means less mass killings. It’s the most retarded reasoning I have seen.

    @Animan – Yes, you’re referring to the gun attack at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland in March 1996. 16 children were killed and their teacher. The following year, a law was passed banning the ownership of hand guns by private individuals.

    @Bittermelon – Thanks for giving your own thoughts. I think that 911 shows that you have to be pretty damned creative to kill that many people without guns and the fact that the terrorists have not been as successful since proves how hard it is. I think the point is that having so many guns doesn’t mean there will be massacres, but it does make it easier.

    Yes, there’s no simple solution, so let’s think of a complicated one. Nobody said it’s going to be easy but I think it’s worth looking at the problem and finding a way to reduce (not eliminate) the number of gun deaths. Even if one less person dies, that’s surely worth it.

  15. IC says:

    Bittermelon made valid point. USA 2nd amenddment about right to own weapons never mean for self-defense. People going around calling other idiots are often idiots themself. Idiots think and judge in a very simple way.

  16. suey says:

    If they just make it mandatory that all bullet sales over 10 or whatever and within a certain time frame should be monitored and that person should be checked on immediately for psychiatric evaluation. If government monitor monetary transaction, why can’t they monitor bullet sales? Just a random thought to eliminate the crazy. A ban on assault weapons plus high power magazines or whatever you call them shit and a psychiatric evaluation for all gun owners including their immediate family…… maybe then these crazy people will have no chance on causing havoc! So far, all these mass shootings are done by males……hmmmm…… maybe they should mandate all males to freaking take a happy pill!

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