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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The insane acts of Cho Sueng-Hui at Virginia Tech would have been hard to prevent. There is a rush to blame the police, or the university officials, but the only guilty party is the shooter. If an individual has the motivation and the means, it is pretty easy to kill a bunch of people in our open society. Cho Sueng-Hui had slipped through the cracks - he was aparently very quiet, his sickness didn't show, he had no criminal record. He was a terrorist with a cause rooted in mental illness.

It was impossible to detect the shooter's motivation; no one can feel guilty about missing this guy's sick mind. But the ease with which he obtained the means of mass murder is something that should make us feel guilty. We have too many dysfunctional people around. We shouldn't be selling guns to anyone who walks into a store and passes a background check. Why do we need all these guns? The mayhem that passes for daily life in this great country is fueled by gunplay. And gun violence is glorified in the popular culture. We get back what we pump out.

If Cho Sueng-Hui had been unable to buy the 9mm Glock and the 22mm Walther, he may still have killed. But the firepower allowed him to kill more efficiently and impulsively. We have to eliminate guns as a legitimate consumer product, place extreme restriction on the sale and posession of these weapons. Eliminating guns won't reduce the number of folks with motivation, but it will make it tougher for those folks to obtain the means.

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