Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Easier to Get a Gun in Arizona than Attend Community College

It's 2011 and I'm still opening a window to make love to the world with this blog. Sometimes a man gets an itch so bad only writing a blog post will scratch it.

So it's pretty upsetting how often America faces these violent tragedies. It's also upsetting to read that the killer's college wouldn't let him attend classes until he got a clean bill of mental health from a psychiatrist, yet he was able to get a semi-automatic pistol. It's somehow easier to get a gun in Arizona than it is to attend their community colleges.

The discourse on this tragedy is predictably annoying in some places. But there are three outstanding editorials at the NY Times alone. The great thing about those columns is that they contradict each other artfully, indicating the unknown possibilities that motivate a crazy person to kill 6 people, including a 9 year old, while a congresswoman holds a political rally. Did violent political speech play a role? Or was it just that this guy was a nut job with political beliefs that can't be placed within our partisan paradigm? And does it really matter since we're a violent country and won't use this tragedy to change one bit?

That's one thing I'm not looking forward to when I return home from Germany. It's pretty ridiculous how safe Germany is in comparison. One of my few fears in Germany is running into is a group of drunk American Soldiers. (The other is not having enough groceries before the stores close on Sunday.) Part 4 of this Wiki article I'm linking has the international crime stats comparison. And it's crazy to see how really dangerous we are. Is that because it's so easy to get powerful weapons? Is that the Founders fault, because when they said "well regulated militia" they clearly meant for criminals and crazy people to have whatever guns they wanted? Or is it because we have a limited sense of community? The Germans have so many local events. The whole country is like a county fair during the summer. Maybe it's our American impulse to outdo each other economically? And this leaves those with little ability to climb the ladder, yet huge competitive appetites, little recourse but violence?

Who knows why we're so violent. But I do know that when I return home I'll get that alarm system for my house and a gun to protect me from the home invasions and the crazies. U.S.A.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

You came up on my RSS feed and I knew this had to be the subject. Or a rant about missing out on the TSA pat-downs. Enjoyed the Onion-esq caption. Oh, and the content.