Originally Posted by enjolras
This is the second mass shooting THIS FREAKING WEEK. There have been three of these in the last six months.
Something is clearly and unbelievably wrong. We're shooting up elementary schools now for crying out loud. Yes it was a crazy person, but you seriously don't think external cultural influences..you know, influence people?
The problem with the Marilyn Manson connection is that it's placing the blame on a specific figure. No one person is the problem, our collective obsession with violence is.
Ultimately the gunman is responsible but that and a nickel will net you a nickel and a bunch of dead kids. Until Americans accept that we've culturally gone way off the rails, this crap will keep happening.
I've lived and travelled extensively outside of this country. These incidents are extremely rare in Europe (where I have the most experience). Yes they do happen (see Norway), but one in the last decade is a pretty good track record compared to the madness we have.
Are we as Americans just more mentally unstable? Are we worse people? Or is there a cultural difference that keeps their crazy people from killing as many people as possible on a regular basis? Is it access to guns (which in Europe is pretty much non-existent)?
My wife works in a setting well known for it's issues with these types of shooting, and there isn't a day that goes by I don't worry about one of the idiots she deals with coming in and pointing that gun at her.
As long as the 'disturbed' have easy access to guns, these horrific incidents will continue. If the mentally unstable in Europe had guns, we might be reading about similar incidents.
To put it in perspective, in 1979, when I arrived here, N Ireland's terrorist campaigns were in full swing and it was basically a war zone. Houston, which had a similar population size, had four times the murder rate.
That same year in the UK, which had a population of 52 million, there were six handgun murders. To this day, the beat cop still doesn't need to carry guns.
So yes, I believe the easy access to guns does explain many of these incidents. And why do we need to allow automatic weapons? That is unconscionable.