Thursday, April 19, 2007


We were all saddened this week by the shootings at Virginia Tech College. It was a terrible tragedy with the loss of so many young lives. Only last year when I was on holiday in Canada, there was a similar incident at Dawson College. Although on a smaller scale, it just goes to show what can happen when guns fall into the wrong hands. Britain suffered a similar incident a few years ago with the Dunblane massacre. Unfortunately we live in a trigger happy society, where particularly in the U.S., guns are readily available. The pro gun lobby there believes it’s every citizen’s right to carry a gun. They don’t stop to consider what happens when they fall into the hands of some crazy person.

Also violence is everywhere around us, on tv, in the movies, on the net and on computer games, helping to shape youngsters into disturbed and unbalanced individuals. Is it any wonder we live in an increasingly violent and menacing society? It has emerged that the killer responsible for the Virginia Tech shootings was seriously disturbed and unbalanced, just like the Dunblane killer. He had serious mental health problems which were not adequately addressed, resulting in the loss of all these innocent young lives. How many more incidents like both Dunblane and Virginia Tech will it take before our governments in both Britain and the U.S. put systems in place to offer better care and support to the mentally ill?


Sheila said...

Naomi, everything you say is true. You wouldn't believe the power of the National Rifle Association over our Congress. Apparently, Virginia has a very liberal registration process. And you so correctly pointed out the failure of the mental health system. It's broken and people with serious mental conditions who could benefit from therapy or treatment of some kind are often at the mercy of insurance companies who ordinarily limit care to 20 visits a year or inadequate state programs.

Do you have better care in England?

Maybe the gun lovers here don't want to admit it, but I don't see how they can't acknowledge that the lax laws at least contributed to the slaughter of these innocents.

Great post.

Naomi said...

No Sheila the care for the mentally ill isn't much better in England. Many don't get the care they need or are released from care facilities too early and end up killing or injuring someone.

We don't have guns here to the extent they do in the U.S. and the police are not armed. However there is still quite a bit of gun related crime particularly in the bigger cities here. Guns are everywhere now.