Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: An American Ailment ...

18 April 2007

An American Ailment ...

Today in the UK, 'The Independent' published a must-read piece written by Rupert Cornwell.

Here's a quick clip & paste from same.
On Tuesday, in what passes for a relatively quiet news day in Iraq, wire services reported the deaths of 56 people in violence across the country...
However, for today, Wednesday, the fatalities figure increased four to five fold.

But to get back to clipping and pasting.
... some of them gunned down, some killed by a suicide bomber, some discovered as decomposed or decapitated corpses. But we heard not a word of that ...
You didn't?


Well, we definitely did.

But don't worry. If you're one of the ones who haven't yet heard, read right on.
... nor of the trial in absentia in Italy of a US soldier accused of shooting dead an Italian intelligence agent, nor of the report that North Korea may be about to shut down a key nuclear reactor (which would be very big news indeed if true.)

And somebody shot dead the Mayor of Nagasaki.

But who cares?

Instead, nothing but Virginia Tech.

Yet, however exceptional the event, there is something formulaic, even routine, about the coverage.

There is no soul searching, no wondering what might be wrong with a society where such things happen so frequently. You hear no new arguments, for deep down there is nothing new to be said.

No detail of the tragedy is too tiny to recount; from where Cho went to high school to the thoughts of the postman who delivered mail, to where the family lived in the Virginia suburb of Centreville (and never met him).

Yet America is showing scant sign of addressing the far bigger issue - of whether it is finally time to get serious about gun control.

So unless you were born an ostrich - and love your lot in life - we recommend reading all of Rupert's report. We really recommend it.

Below is the link to hit. Make sure you don't miss it.

A brutal truth: Massacre is just part of everyday life in America.


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Anonymous Rosemary said...

There is an in depth (international) discussion of this tragedy in the comments attached to the simple news announcement here:
Moon of Alabama - Cho Seung-Huism

As the discussion went on more related information was added. Particularly interesting to me was the reaction to the suggestion/offer that GWB would attend the memorial service. He was told not to come (for obvious reasons).

2:09 am  
Anonymous Tom V said...

This is a well choosen article Richard, and I personally liked it. The writer matched my feelings too about MSM's saturation coverage, which to me was both boring and breathless in the same time. Also it had a somewhat surrealistic quality to me too, like in the Truman Show, waking up to watch the same reportage again, where only the victims' names have changed.
This article however, makes a serious effort to dig deeper into these recurring tragedies, than the above mentioned routine journalism.

On the issue of gun control, I haven't made up my mind: Indeed, it would've been much better, if a few students and alumni would've had guns available to defend themselves and others, in lieu to be slaughtered like lambs. One thing is sure: It is the worst combination possible, when criminals or insane people allowed to roam armed and lethal, while ordinary citizens being disarmed by fiat of the university administration, and the heavily armed and protected police shamefully too coward to enter the buildings for over two hours during the massacre, to face the killer and do their duty.

There is something very rotten with this system, to the degree that it smells gut-wrenchingly stinky a mile away.
(Just for comparison, in Canada during the Montréal college shoot-out the hastily arrived SWAT team entered the building immediatelly to confront and engage the gunman. Result: one dead only).

8:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It won't ever change in the US. From Sea To Shining Sea - Guns R US.

12:00 pm  
Anonymous Charles said...

It's an ailment alright but it's a self inflicted ailment and ay offers to cure or even treat it are steadfastly refused.

3:43 pm  
Anonymous sam said...

It beats me how ANYone can try to justify the American gun philosophy.

When will it dawn on some people that guns are their problem, not their answer.

3:55 pm  
Anonymous Tom V said...

Admittedly I have no idea, what possibly instigated Cho Seung Hu to do such a series of random murder, but there is a very interesting connection being made, between the prescription of powerful psychotropic drugs to children in an unprecedented level, and the correspondingly high level of juvenile deliquencies, including violent murderous rages.

If you have the time, I heartily recommend to watch the following video for some thought-provoking viewing experience:
The Drugging of Our Children - video by Gary Null

4:08 pm  
Anonymous Jim DeRosa said...

You are right, sir. And it comes from the top down. We reflect our leader's norms and attitutdes towards life. When we have an intelligent, energetic guy...we rise to the occassion. When we have a mean-spirited fool, we wallow in the mud.

We've had our good leaders and our moments...but not lately.

5:41 pm  
Anonymous luke said...

I saw and heard that guy. Mad? Yes. But I understood him. Too bad others didn't .... sooner .... and did what was needed .... offer him the help he so obviously needed.

Oh, wait ..... he couldn't afford to buy help could he?!

10:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

live by the sword die by the sword .......... live by the gun ....

12:18 am  
Anonymous Tom said...

Thanks for this post, Richard and thanks to Tom v for saying what I was thinking. I can not say that I would be alive after at least two separate occasions and the other person(s) in jail the rest of their lives if it were not for a gun being handy for me to halt the progression of the situation. On the other hand, I can appreciate the idea of a no gun society. That aside, it seems that one similarity that rises above all others in middle class school shootings is the prescription drugs these kids are on seem to divorce them from empathy and distort reality to allow these actions to a degree. I am not saying this is the only element to this puzzle, but I do think it may prove worthy of discussion. I did put that video up on my page, tom v, and thanks because I was looking for it.

3:52 pm  
Anonymous Tom V said...

I thank you too Tom. You are the sole reason why I modified my name here. There are just too many smart Toms around... ;-)
We do have a convergence of ideas, or more poeticaly; a meeting of minds between each other.

In an ideal world, I would support a gunfree society. Unfortunately as presently stand, America is far from ideal, with the wide availability of guns in criminal hands, exacerbated by customary reluctance of the police, to confront gunmen during their rampage. In this juncture, I can't support gun control, which would only succeed to selectively disarm regular citizens. There is also the small issue of America in the most advanced stage into a tyrannical Homeland Security State, with paramilitary jackbooted police, to sway me on the issue of gunownership by the citizenry at large, as the unlikely last guarantor, against a total dictatorship.

I know I will not going to win over sensitive hearts with this sober, politicaly unfashionable assessment, but so be it. I love controversies and debates. They are the true yeast to raise a free, intellectual mind, and we should do it more often like in the past, when it was an integrated part of a good education.
(Remember the tradition of debating societies? IMO, they were much more engaging and exciting, than watching another episode of an endless soapopera series on TV)

4:19 pm  
Anonymous denk said...

quite a number of msm based on sketchy info and jumped the gun to announce the gunman was a chinese student from china. the chinese government was quite upset about another false reporting from the us media and lodged a protest, did china overeacts?
in the 80s ,the japs were the bogeyman. japanese products were
sweeping away everything before them, especially the autos, there were lost of layoffs in detroit. one fine day this chinese student was having a drink in a pub and minding his own bussiness, next to him sat this recently laid off auto worker. he thought the young man beside him was one of those "god damned jap who take away my job", after a drink or
two, he took out a baseball bat from his bag and bludgeoned the poor teen to death. there was a happy ending though, the guy got away scott free after pleading "unsound mind" at the court.
after the japanese "threat" faded and the soviet implosion, china took over as the next bogeyman. but how do pentagon justify the "defence" budget at cold war level when chinese arsenal consisted of a mere ten to fifiteen icbms? well one way was to cook the book to make china look ten feet tall, another way was to ratch up the fear factor, make china look like the new evil empire out to destroy the usa. the cock's report basically told the yanks there's a chicom spy under your pillow, as a serious analysis it sucks big time, but as a fear mongering tool it did the job. after its publication, a poll was conducted which revealed that half of yanks
didnt want to have a chinese as neighbour. the cock's report soon
claimed its first victim, nuclear scientist lee wen ho.

barely two yrs back, the msm dropped a bombshell, "chinese terrorists caught with dirty bombs on their way to set it off in california". after almost three weeks of brauhaha the fbi finally admitted it was a hoax, but the [intended?]damage was already done, as always, the initial headlines across the frontpages caught people's attention, most didnt notice the low keyed clarification three weeks later.
similary, in this latest carnage in virginia tech, although its now clarified that the gunman wasnt from china, but from what i gathered during my daily surfing, lots of yanks are none the wiser and still clinging to the earlier disinformation.
i dont know if these disinformations are intentional or genuine error, but if pentagon or cia had set out to smear china's image, they couldnt have
done a better job than this.
after all, one pr firm hired by pentagon to sell its wars had actually boasted that you dont have to actually lie to the yanks, all you have to do is dish out some misinformation intintially, make it the frontpage news and let it run its course for weeks or even months, let it sink in peoples subconsiousness, then trot out a correction in page 30, nobody will notice it. see, you didnt actually lie, but it achieve the same results.

i dont think the chinese government is being too sensitive in lodging a protest over the initial false report. if i were a chines student or tourist in tthe usa , i will be feeling quite self conscious rigtht now.

6:21 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

It's more than a week later and I've begun to think there is something missing about this event.

It's those missing two hours and the timing itself.

Unless I have missed it, we really do not know what went on during that time. Certainly enough time to plant incriminating evidence in a backpack and a dorm room. What else happened?

It was a big enough event to capture everyone's attention for at least a 48 hour news cycle. What were we being distracted from?

btw - I support gun ownership with some limitations. I live in a rural state where families often live many miles from the nearest neighbor. They have guns and know how to keep and use them responsibly. There are no guarantees of course, but when are there ever guarantees?
I am reminded of an assassination that took place some 40 years ago. It looked like an open&shut case with many witnesses. Now, years later some different truths are coming out.

8:36 am  
Anonymous denk said...

Cho’s tormentors taunted him to go back to china.
Yanks cant figure out whether an east asian is a chink or gook or jap,
With their ingrained bigotry towards the Chinese, nurtured by five decades of msm brainwashing, they usually end up asking the target of their derision to “go back to china”, instead of japan or korea.
I have seen it so many time before.

8:19 am  

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