Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All laws must be followed [it's ok! i'm not going to take them away from you!]

Virginia Tech. Holy Mary Mother of Insanity. What a tragedy. It doesn't seem clear what the motives were, but regardless, what a tragic loss of life. The question now is, of course, how could this happen, and how do we make sure that it doesn't happen again?

I'm sure the media will be milking the details for weeks to come, and we'll have all the info soon enough, but I just wanted to say how pleased I was that Dubya took the time to address the American people and allayed my fears in his very first response to the horrible chain of events:
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," [Presidential] spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Man, does this guy know how to spend his political capital. And the warmth he exudes! As an owner of a .50 cal sniper rifle I brought back from Operation Faceshoot, as well as several other handguns I stash around the house in the event that I have to smoke some fool who's trying to rob me of my old school, pre-component video/HDMI television set, I was thrilled to hear Dubya tell me that my guns are safe.

I thought it was totally appropriate that in light of a massacre on a college campus, with hundreds, if not thousands of students and their parents worried about their safety, he went ahead to address his NRA-abiding constituents that he wasn't about to pursue any kind of restrictions on their firearms.

Stunned I was. I was stunned. First from the horror after imagining what it must've been like on that campus yesterday, then to hear the President of the United States tell me that he wasn't going to take my guns away in his initial press release to the American people.


So, Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old legal South Korean immigrant acquired the weapons illegally? No. He bought them at a store. Still had the receipts in his backpack. He followed all the laws, and from outwards appearances, all looks to be nice, neat, and tidy. Just like the viewing room at funeral homes, which will probably be seeing some increased traffic in the Virgina state area.

Am I lobbying for more gun control? No, I'm not soapboxing that here. I think what troubles me the most, other than the fact that we also have our boys and girls getting shot or blown up every day in Iraq in a war that Americans don't support, and that the President messages Congress' passing of recent spending bills as "undermining the troops", are these 2 issues:

1. that Dubya framed the massacre within a Second Amendment context in a way that panders to the NRA bloc of voters.
2. that the campus officials didn't take more preventative actions after the first shooting, which allowed the shooter free access on campus for TWO HOURS, thereby allowing him to kill what sounds to be a classroom full of people.

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