Tuesday, 17 April 2007

VirginiaTech Shooting

Its a sad and senseless thing, and obviously while no one victim's death is sadder than another, there's something rather macabre about surviving the Holocaust only to be gunned down in a university classroom. At least professor Librescu had a long and eventful life. Most of those who were killed were barely into their twenties.

Why do these things happen? Its probably too simplistic to only blame loose gun laws, but surely that's more pertinent to the issue than blaming computer games, as some are doing. A general cultural acceptance and promotion of the perpetuation of violence as important, laudable and heroic may certainly seem to be part of the problem. But to what degree can these values be drained out of our societies? And how?

If people who commit acts like this are desperately seeking solace in nihilistic violence in order to satisfy the desire for meaning and significance, does the answer lie in imbuing alternative forms of expression and actions with greater significance? If societies placed more value and socially glorified writing poetry, or painting, or... I dunno, birdwatching, enough so that they might become attractive alternatives to the taking of life, would things be different?

I don't see that happening any time soon. In the short run tighter gun laws might be the best course of action.


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