Shortly after a 23-year old Virginia Tech student, Cho Seung-Hui, carried out the deadliest mass shooting in
Before we go on to debate the pros and cons of tougher gun control, we ought to acknowledge that they are different kinds of killers, each act in different manner.
They are people who kill out of “moment of insanity”, perhaps after drinking or heated quarrel. I think there is a term for this kind of homicide – impulsive killing. The criminals do not plan in advance and would use any weapons in hand.
Another group of killers are “troubled” people who think that they have been victimized by the world. Cho fell into this group. Troubled killers often plan well in advance. Cho, for example, bought his first gun on Feb 9 and the second one on Mar 16.
Finally, there are truly evil people who kill for power, wealth, or religions.
Tougher gun control is unlikely to stop the evil murderers, since they are going to obtain firearms illegally anyway. It does help in the case of impulsive killers. Things get more complicated in the case of troubled killers and I am not in a position to draw conclusion.
However, I deeply believe that easy access to guns in
In another incident, a Japanese student who was on his way to a masquerade party walked into the wrong house. The people inside the house shot him on the ground of self-defense. Given that the student was unarmed, the house-owner should probably tell him to go away rather than firing at him. Unfortunately, the jury, so used to American gun culture, acquitted the defendant.
In the two cases described above, and many others, acquittal of the gun-owners has sent a wrong message to the public – it is OK to kill. This wrong message, in turn, has created a gun culture which influence mass-murderers in one way or another.
In short, I do feel that the
It is, of course, easier said than done. Nonetheless, Americans must do something before they mourn the next mass murder.