Gun control and soul searching

I was in Brisbane attending my third child (2nd daughter)’s convocation last Saturday when I heard about the news of the senseless killings in NewTown, Connecticut. Although convocation is supposed to be a  happy occasion, the joyous mood was tinged with some  sadness on the unnecessary deaths of so many.

So many people died because of a deranged man blasting his anger/dissatisfaction/whatever  at innocent people, most of them were kids who would never understand why they were shot.

This is not the first such killings and,  despite what President Obama has said, will not be the last either. It is simply too easy to have access to firearms in USA. In  some places, you can even buy guns at shopping mall.

I was in Mid West in late May this year, and I went to a shopping mall (kirkwood Mall) to buy a pair of Keen Shoes in a shop called “Scheels”. This is a shop that sells shoes, sports apparatus, and guess what, there is a big section selling guns of all description, long and short, big calibre and small, semi automatic and so on. You only need a driving license and fill out certain info to get a gun.  You can also buy a big plastic bag full of bullets at less than 10 dollars.

While it is true that firearm is only a tool, and the problem in these shooting cases goes much deeper and involves deranged psychological makeups  of certain individuals, the easy availability of firearm makes these deranged people many times more dangerous and deadly in America. In Malaysia and many other countries too, we have heard of Amoks running around killing people, but because the weapons used in these cases are  knives and parangs, the damages are much smaller and fewer lives are lost.

There is thus a case for stricter control of guns.

Besides, I think  TV and movie producers must play a role too. Recent years have seen TV serials ‘glorifying’ villain roles and  TV shows are increasing violent and bloody.  Some of the most popular TV serials like “Dexter” or “Breaking Bad” all portray their leading characters not as heroes, but as villains pursuing criminal activities. Dexter is a serial killer but at the same time works as a forensic blood pattern specialist in Miami Metro. Breaking Bad’s lead character is a chemistry teacher turned designer drug manufacturer, evolving slowly from making methamphetamine to becoming a drug kingpin, murdering and killing along the way. While we adults may not be influenced by these characters, teens growing up and watching these may be subtly influenced.

Then there are all kinds of computer games that you have to blast your way through, choosing weapons from an impressive arsenal,  shooting and killing literally tens and tens of people along the way . In my opinion, kids growing up playing these games and making virtual kills may become more trigger happy, and may have less inhibition to shoot real weapons comparing with those who do not play these games.

Most of these killers, too, have a psychological profile that was formed from unhappy childhood, with broken families and so on.

I think society must ask themselves: what has gone wrong? We hardly heard about these sort of killings in the 60s and 70s.

Indeed, as Obama has suggested, some soul searching needs to be done.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ming
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 12:08:47

    Gun control is just one preventive measure to make mass killing more difficult. At about the same time as the US incident, there is parallel case in China where a large number of children were stabbed/slashed with long knives.

    The key issue is to treat the mentally sick early and monitor their actions. Of course it is easier said than done.


  2. CYC
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 15:23:24

    It is easy to control the possession of guns but it is more difficult to contain greed. Politicians in US will kow-tow to arms manufacturers and dealers and Big Apple will continue to sacrifice lives for money sake. On the brighter side, I think Australia has started to contain the issue quite well.


  3. Li Li Fa
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 15:05:08

    It is indeed sorrowful to read of such tragic incident in the USA. Innocent lives were taken by this lone killer who also killed himself. This is not the first time, this type of incident happened in this land of once-upon-a-time the wild-wild-west.

    Their leader, President Obama was right to say that the Americans need to do some serious soul searching. Are they going to examine themselves, or just like the poster-like Mr.Sam, points finger. I really wish them well and hope they will find an amicable solution soon to prevent any such incidents happening in the coming days, months, and years.

    I believe Obama would be able to come down to the brass tags and take the bull by the horn, solving the problems affecting the American society. He , I believe will walk his talk.

    The rest of the world is watching, praying and hoping.

    May the souls of those gunned down, rest in peace, and the wounds of the hearts of their living family members be healed over time.


  4. Simple Sense
    Dec 25, 2012 @ 00:31:31

    The rights to bear arms for its citizen is in the Second Amendment of the US Constitutions. The foundation of US constitutions is built on protecting the people of the land from exploitation by its government ! Strange as it may sound, this is how USA was created and crafted.
    In many States in USA, one can wear a loaded gun in public place. And all Sport Marts sell guns and fire arms, mainly for hunting and sports, not assault weapons.
    Mass shootings tends to catch big media attention, but every day,people are killed by gun accidents. Spouse had been shot by their spouse coming back from the bathroom in the middle of the night, mistaken as an thief. I have friends who place a .45 calibre pistol under their pillow, ready to use on any intruder! Majority of Americans believe their rights to defend themselves with fire arms.
    This is the choice of a nation, they have to live with the consequences of their choice.
    We in Malaysia also made some choices on how our country is created and crafted, we too are living with its consequences!


  5. Phua Kai Lit
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 10:40:31

    Survey after survey shows that the majority of Americans are in favour
    of some form of gun control. Especially assault rifle-type guns.

    But the gun lobby (e.g. National Rifle Assoc or NRA) is very strong.


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