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Hey, Europe, get back to me when you have suicide bombing and car burning and Muslim gang rape under control. No more D-Days for you!

OT

You might want to have a look at the front page of welt.de, the website of a major German (supposedly conservative) newspaper. In the upper right corner you will find a link named "USA: Die mächtigsten Lügner der Welt" ("USA: The mightiest liars in the world"). To sum up the article: Virtually all US presidents are liars. That's the kind of reporting the German audience likes.

@jwatc

"another point: if you look broadly at the german media right now (and i love nothing more than calling out the german media) most of it is decidedly not concentrating on gun laws, at least any more than US media."

I don't know in which world you are living in but in my world the german media is absolutely concentrating on the gun law issue and in my opinion its no f***ing business of the german media to discuss the wrong or right of american laws at all.

I didn't feel like discussing the gun issue just yet, but since it has already begun I'll join the circus.

I personally like shooting guns, and without any false modesty I was one of the best shooters in my battalion in my army years (quite a while ago). I don't feel at all uncomfortable around guns and I don't see how imposing EU-like gun laws in America would work.

In spite of this, it's undeniable that the number of gun related deaths in the US is higher than in EU. This alone is very worrying. It's true that any mad criminal, like the one at VT, would get around any gun law in order to fulfill his criminal fantasies, but I believe that the availability of guns in America is a huge problem. I can fully understand the historical reasons for the relationship Americans have with guns and I respect them; that's why I wouldn't support changing the 2nd Amendment. In fact, if I were to vote on that I would abstain from voting. Still, in my personal opinion, the current situation is an aberration. Sorry... (And, believe me, I am saying this just when I was contemplating getting maybe a rifle to start having fun again in the wilderness).

Having said all that, my personal theory is that imposing strict gun laws, like in the EU, would be a disaster. I also believe that all Europeans who like to preach the Americans on this subject are deeply dishonest, or, best case, not giving it too much thought. IMO it's too late for strict gun laws. Right now, in America you have the legal gun market, and the black market. Both are flooded with guns. If guns were outlawed and let's assume that 90% of Americans would be fine with that, we would still have the black market. One effect would be that guns would get more expensive on the black market, the other would be that honest citizens would be defenseless when facing criminals.

When Europeans preach, they forget one vital thing. In the last two, three centuries, the European population never had firearms in their possession to the extent that Americans had. Therefore, it was easy to impose strict gun laws in Europe, since not many had guns to begin with. Guns were rare both on the legal and illegal market in Europe. OTOH, in America every one and his dog had a gun. That's already a totally different starting point than in Europe.

Outlawing guns today in America would most certainly not lead to EU-Verhältnisse (situation) in America. The cat is out of the bag. The guns are already everywhere, and saying "why can't we do it like the Europeans?" is simply comparing apples and oranges. You can outlaw guns today and in fifty years I bet you could still get a gun easily on the black market. Flushing out the guns from the black market would be a decades long endeavor with an unknown outcome, and meanwhile law abiding citizens would be defenseless.

I personally don' t see a solution. I like shooting guns, but I would have absolutely no problem giving up that little pleasure. However, most likely nothing will change, 99.9% of the gun owners will handle guns responsibly and once in a while a looser will get a gun legally and go on another rampage. I know that it sometimes happens in other countries as well, but this will probably remain an American "specialty" and it will offer America haters plenty of ammunition.

@Helian
you're pretty rude.

I'm a good boy. I just have a bad environment.

@WhatDoIKnow

Very interesting and insightful comment, as usual.

"The guns are already everywhere, and saying "why can't we do it like the Europeans?" is simply comparing apples and oranges."

This is the big fallacy in about 99.9% of the typically self-righteous criticism of American "gun nuts" by the European know it alls. They almost always tacitly assume that the two societies and cultures are identical, and that the result of a law in the US will necessarily have the same result as an identical law in Europe.

They almost always tacitly assume that the two societies and cultures are identical, and that the result of a law in the US will necessarily have the same result as an identical law in Europe.

Helian

Exactly. I have yet to see a moralizing European admitting that the results of EU-styled laws in America could be very different, and most likely would make a bad situation worse. The Europeans would like to see the European solution applied in America, but totally disregard the fact that America operated for a long time on a totally different set of parameters than Europe, thus making a similar outcome very unlikely.

It's unfortunate and perhaps foolish for the predominate attention being directed towards gun control rather than lunatic control. The VT killer had a long history of threatening behavior prior to his rampage. He stalked women and made countless threatening gestures. He even set his dorm room on fire! Nikki Giovanni said she knew who the gunman was when the word "Asian" first appeared. Why was he allowed to remain at that university? The VT administration has a great deal to answer for with their politically correct, leftist inspired refusal to act against a mentally diseased monster who also happens to have been a member of a minority group. The gun issue is secondary.

If guns were outlawed and let's assume that 90% of Americans would be fine with that, we would still have the black market. One effect would be that guns would get more expensive on the black market, the other would be that honest citizens would be defenseless when facing criminals.

WDIK, I believe your personal theory has statistical support. As was already pointed out, states with stricter gun laws seem to have higher rates of violent crime. Furthermore, while handgun ownership has doubled in the late 20th century...murder rates have decreased.

Hmm? Robberies increased by 81% over the last several years in England and Wales...while, in the US, they decreased by 28%.

WDIK, you may be definitely on to something. Check this out.

Writing in the May/June 2000 issue of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Dr. Michael S. Brown writes that while the British laws have disarmed law-abiding citizens, "a black market has flourished, as usual with prohibitions, to supply criminal elements. Up to 3 million illegal guns are in circulation in Britain, leading to a rise in drive-by shootings and gangland-style executions."

http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/7/10/203335

@Jeff

"It's unfortunate and perhaps foolish for the predominate attention being directed towards gun control rather than lunatic control."

When I see the men in white suits with big butterfly nets outside my door, I'll just assume the government decided to take your advice.

Did you hear the speeches of the president of the university?
I think it is disgusting

"Reaffirm our basic belief in the goodness of the people" !?
What are they talking about?
Was this maybe about a guy who died saving someone else from fire? Or about murdering people in cold blood?

This is the same as in Munich 1972, when the athletes were murdered.
The IOC president of the time didn't make any reference to the athletes, but praised the "olympic spirit".

They will never call this "evil".
You get the impression that it was an earthquake, some natural catastrophe.

And then, looks like all of them stress family, community...
And of "healing"

I bet if one of the professors used the word "evil" or "murderer", he would be an outlaw starting that very moment.

Dennis Prager said that to consider oneself victim is like a license to hurt others.
So many evil things were done because of the "victim status".
Well, this guy had his reasons, didn't he?

David, thanks for giving us all an opportunity to address these issues, even if the German press and general population will never bother to read them. I'm a law-abiding American who owns and carries guns, with a concealed carry permit, as are my wife and children (grown adults).

Can these leftist "journalists" not read or remember their own history? Does "Warsaw Ghetto" or "concentration camps" not ring any bells in their minds? In the 20th century literally scores of millions of Germans, Russians, Jews of several nations, Chinese, and Cambodians, Vietnamese, Africans of various tribes, Iraqis, Kurds, Armenians, and others were disarmed and slaughtered by their own governments. Prevention of that kind of huge mass murder by tyrannical government is the reason for the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms in America. The cost of preventing such huge mass murder is having an armed populace where, occasionally, an evil individual or two will do something evil...and if the armed population is not prevented from defending themselves by local laws, policies or regulations, they frequently deter or stop these kinds of incidents. Gun control laws in America were often used to prevent minorities from defending themselves against organizations like the Ku Klux Klan (whose name supposedly comes from the sound of cocking and firing a gun, by the way.)

There will always be persons of evil intent in the world, and they will always find weapons or make them...it's not that hard to make explosives or even a gun...it's a known technology any mechanically inclined person can duplicate, or for explosives it's no harder than following a cake recipe. If the citizenry is disarmed by law, policy, or regulation, as at Virginia Tech, these persons of evil intent have free reign...and the police can not be everywhere at all times, obviously. I own and carry a gun...it's not necessary for everyone to do so, but if you are free to do so at all times and in all places, one of two good things is likely to happen:
Either the budding perpetrator will realize that it is likely several of his intended victims will be armed and ready to defend themselves, so he will be unable to complete the great statement that murdering a large number of unarmed innocents execution-style would make, or, if he's too far gone in his delusions to realize this, he goes ahead, and indeed is killed or wounded by one or more of his intended victims, hopefully with fewer victims dying at his hands. Either case is better than having 32 people die like sheep.

Those who say we need to pick up on the signs and signals these evil persons give out before they become mass murderers, and intervene to prevent these killing sprees...that's patently absurd, and any effort to do so would be hideously intrusive against the rights of private individuals who have done nothing...intent can not be proven, and guilt cannot be presumed.

It is utterly foolish to presume that banning guns from a campus, a business, a post office or a shopping mall will make it safe...persons intent on making a "lethal statement" don't give a rodent's posterior for such laws and regulations and policies...if he doesn't care about felony laws against murder and mayhem, why should he care about misdemeanor laws regarding ownership and concealed carry of weapons?...All you have done is disarm the law abiding victims. It's not necessary for everyone to carry a gun...it's merely necessary that the evil person not know whether or not a significant chance exists that those around him are armed and capable of stopping him before he can break the record for mass murder, or whatever he has in mind. Take away or minimize that uncertainty, and you get Virginia Tech and Columbine High.

Typically such people are failures in one or more key aspects of their private life...they don't want a high risk of failure in their attempt to make a " final statement" of murder or revenge on society, so they are more likely drawn to so-called "gun-free" zones. That is the sad reality of these situations.

I am a passionate supporter of the United States and its system of government, so I am not prepared to reflexibly criticize them. Nevertheless, the U.S. gun culture is a sick manifestation of racism in which fearful whites arm themselves against marauding Blacks and vice versa. The NRA and gun manufacturers are the greatest danger to the health and security of Americans because they have influenced sucessive governments to allow assault weapons and automatic and semi-automatic rifles and revolvers. The NRA has also opposed the introduction of proper data bases and individualized bullets in which each bullet has its own chemical signature. All this based on the specious argument that gun ownership is allowed in the Constitution. There are agencies regulating food and drugs. Surely the safety of Americans mandates an overhaul of gun laws and a strengthening of weak regulations that enables so many murders.If slavery was repealed, then America's is more than capable of moderating its destructive gun culture.

"Nevertheless, the U.S. gun culture is a sick manifestation of racism in which fearful whites arm themselves against marauding Blacks and vice versa."

What!?

My family in Colorado own many guns--And, it's not because they are fearfully arming themselves against "marauding blacks".

@Lorenzo

"Nevertheless, the U.S. gun culture is a sick manifestation of racism in which fearful whites arm themselves against marauding Blacks and vice versa."

My next door neighbor is black. I haven't noticed him doing any marauding lately, though. Do you think I should start watching him more carefully for any latent marauding behavior?

My next door neighbor is black. I haven't noticed him doing any marauding lately, though.

Of course he didn't, he's afraid of your guns, just as Lorenzo said.

Hmm...I'm trying to figure out who should be insulted more. Myself, being white and stated that I am Racist because I support gun ownership, or my black girlfreind, becuase this 'sophisiticated' Euro just called her a savage.

Lorenzo = Brainless prat

@WhatDoIKnow

"Of course he didn't, he's afraid of your guns, just as Lorenzo said."

No doubt. He probably starts marauding every day as soon as I leave for work.

Tell me, Lorenzo, have you ever had a black boss? I have, and in a high tech job, too. Have you ever had an Asian boss? I have. How many black bosses have you seen in positions of authority in Germany lately? If your poor little heart is aching about the evils of racism, you might want to check your own backyard. Levels of racism in Germany are grotesque compared to what they are in the US. Germans don't like to pay their media to run stories about their own racism though, so they obsess about racism in the US. Last time I was in Germany I noticed housing ads in the newspaper that said "For Germans Only." Try running an ad "For Whites Only" in the US, and see how long it takes you to get your ass sued. Germans use euphemisms like "asylum seekers" for people who happen to be in the wrong ethnic group, and steer them to ghettos or their "own" apartment complexes. Then they wring their hands about racism in the US.

The chickens are coming home to roost, though. Minorities in Germany are getting bigger, and they are showing less inclination to allow themselves to be swept under the rug every day. What goes around comes around.

Posted by: mark | April 18, 2007 at 03:56 PM

"You can't get a gun in the UK without a very good reason. 12,000 people a year die from firearms homicides in the US; in the UK it's 50. Is that a price worth paying?"

Its a simple logic error, but your confusing gun murders... for murders.

The UK has always had a lower murder rate than the US... even when private ownership of them was hardly regulated.

The UK gun ban didn't lower murder rates... it just lowered murders that had a gun involved.

Other advocates of their system make the same error. If we took every gun out of the US, yes, murders involving guns would drop to 0. But murder rates might not...


Posted by: Lorenzo | April 18, 2007 at 08:32 PM

"Nevertheless, the U.S. gun culture is a sick manifestation of racism in which fearful whites arm themselves against marauding Blacks and vice versa."

Standard Mike Moore / socialist conspiracy prattle.

"The NRA and gun manufacturers... allow assault weapons and automatic and semi-automatic rifles and revolvers."

There is not such thing as an assault weapon and automatic weapons are not available for the average purchaser (you have to be a collector and jump through many hoops... enough that for all practical purposes, they're not de facto legal).

"The NRA has also opposed the introduction of proper data bases and individualized bullets in which each bullet has its own chemical signature."

Yeah, because they don't work. Its just an attempt to make owning guns too expensive (by passing the database costs off to the purchaser). Canada has such a system. Cost over a billion dollars... and its totally useless. Just run a wire brush down the barrel and you've changed your ballistic fingerprint. Duh.

"All this based on the specious argument that gun ownership is allowed in the Constitution. There are agencies regulating food and drugs. Surely the safety of Americans mandates an overhaul of gun laws and a strengthening of weak regulations that enables so many murders."

FDR had to ram through major changes to the legal system and pass laws to accomate that. Things that weren't even constitually protected in the bill of rights. It can be done and actually has been done at the state level. Which is fine and appropriate. But the Federal government has specific restraints on its ability to do that. Why the fetish for having the federal government do it when states (that so choose) can?

"If slavery was repealed, then America's is more than capable of moderating its destructive gun culture."

Yeah, by constitutional amendments and why assume we want to change the 'gun culture' (which is just another socialist false concept and just basically a pejorative when you cut to it)?


"Nevertheless, the U.S. gun culture is a sick manifestation of racism in which fearful whites arm themselves against marauding Blacks and vice versa."

You mean these marauding Blacks?

"You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African-Americans are getting out and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways ...

Or do you mean my brother in law, Joe, who spent the last 30 years of his life marauding around the little corner grocery store he owned in Cinncinnati?

"If slavery was repealed

Repealed? REPEALED??!! As if it was an article in the Constitution that got voted on by referendum?

Do you have any idea what a fool you are?

Obviously, he doesn't. That's quite common here these days, I might add.

I am astonished how vigorous many Americans defend their right to bear arms. Guns are basically designed to hurt/kill people, nothing else. To me it seems just natural to ban them. After all, nobody is complaining that they can't have their own mortars or tanks either.

rE Gabi's comment:

"(single case) - it does not count."

How many cased of media failure to cover incidents where a gun prevented a murder would be sufficient for you? Do you want me to post 30 right now? Is that enough? Some how I feel that no number would be sufficient for you.

Mark

A truckload of fertilizer killed 300 and destroyed a building. A backpack of fertilizer can kill 33 people – no gun needed. A well aimed car on a public street in LA killed 20. You fixate on the mechanism that delivers death and fail to recognize what is truly the cause – the perpetrator.

How many home invasion robberies in the UK compared to the US, Mark – you know – perps entering homes where they KNOW no one is armed.

Guns are basically designed to hurt/kill people, nothing else.

I agree.

To me it seems just natural to ban them.

I for one would have no problems with that, except that it wouldn't work. What would go down would be the number of accidental deaths caused by guns. That's definitely true. Other that that, if you ban guns, have you ever thought what will happen to the enormous amount of guns available on the black market? Who do you think will get them and use them? Do you think that criminals will obey the laws and stop using them? Have you heard of the expression "sitting ducks"?

Your attitude is exactly what we were talking about earlier here. Applying EU laws in America and hoping for the same results sounds great, but if you think it over you might come to the conclusion that it defies logic.

After all, nobody is complaining that they can't have their own mortars or tanks either

That's a good point. (I would also like a flame-thrower, if they are on sale). However, this is beyond the point. Banning guns would make it impossible for law abiding citizens to get one, but criminals would have no remorse ignoring the law and getting a gun on an already overflooded black market.

If you think that wouldn't be the case, it should be interesting to hear your arguments. Just "saying NO to guns" doesn't cut it. Think over the consequences of this otherwise noble aim (banning killing devices) and then explain yourself. I don't claim I have the answer; but I sure know that the answer is not to be found in bumper sticker slogans.

Don't have a lot of time, so I'll keep it short and snarky.

jwtac: We tried Prohibition already. Doesn't work.

mark: Cho did not buy either of the guns "the same day" or close to it. He bought one of the guns six weeks ago. He bought the other one in early February. There is some evidence that he had been planning this for over a year.

lorenzo: I love how your posting starts out with the stereotypical "I'm a big fan and I listen to your show every day BUT..." I knew what was coming before I read the next sentence. Tell me something: The Second Amendment says, and I quote: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Do you have problems with sentence comprehension?

@Suzanne,
Just a single case, is what the German media says, not me. I fully support David and Ray but haven't posted for a long time.

@Bartolo,
You should not be surprised - Americans vigorously defend all of their rights.

@Cousin Dave

"lorenzo: I love how your posting starts out with the stereotypical "I'm a big fan and I listen to your show every day BUT..." I knew what was coming before I read the next sentence."

I know, it's getting a little weird, isn't it? What's the deal? Did Miss Manners just release a new book of etiquette in Europe for America bashers?

@Suzanne: I have no idea. How about you find a credible source instead of just making facts up (like the UK having more 'home invasions' than the US). And anyway I would far prefer my house to be burgled than a bunch of kids to be killed in my local school.

Regarding your other point - I just read this post at the HuffPo:
"Yes, weird dudes kill people. But you know what really helps - guns and bullets. It's hard to limit weird dudes. It's a little easier to have reasonable limits on the guns they might buy and use against us."

Also If a guy was walking around with a load of fertiliser in his backpack, you'd probably be able to smell it.

@Cousin Dave: by the words "same day" I meant he went and bought it, and walked out of the shop on that same day, not the same day that he did this.

Let's outlaw automobiles because some people drive drunk.

These are just childish control freaks who MUST have their way with others. They can't control themselves, but they think they have to control everybody else. They are obnoxious with noise they make at every excuse to make a racket.

As for transatlantic relations, I say it's time to drop the charade. Europe never has, and never will be, anything but trouble. Europeans still have a terminal case of that my-nationality-is-better-than-your-nationality disease. That's what their anti-Americanism is. It's just a negative expression of European nationalism.

Guess what? The SU fell. So we don't have to put up with Eurocrap anymore. When people hate you and are so bigoted they characterize your nationality in exactly the same dehumanizing and demonizing terms that bigots always use, you should stiff-arm them to set them at arm's length. Only a fool lets people who hate you and think you're evil too close.

What puzzels me is why Euros seem to think that berating and denigrating us constantly was going to bring some other result.

Maybe on some other planet, but this is Earth, my Euro "friends." Americans don't trust Europe at all anymore.

So, what did all you pious and self-righteous Euro-holes do about all the evil guns in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzgovinia and Kosovo? That's right, not a damned thing. You whined and wheezed until Uncle Sam did the dirty work once again. Next time, let Europe burn.

This blog has turned into a paranoid and irrational Euro-Hate-Machine where every mad and angry tough guy/girl now can post their daily "let-Europe-burn" rants. Yes, there is some Schadenfreude in the German media, and that's fucked up. Yes, maybe Europe screwed up the Serbia situation, and so on... What does that have to do with gun controls? What does that have to do with the fact that the US has a severe problem with guns? What makes you think that people who try to change this, be them Americans or Europeans, just do this because they hate you?

Yes, cars kill people, but killing or inflicting wounds is not the primary goal/usage of a car. Yes, the Swiss possess quite a few weapons but mostly for hunting purposes and since Schengen the gun law became far more restrictive (adapted to the rest of Europe). Education and training can make one a well-trained gunman, but it sure often enough doesn't prevent one's mind from overreacting in a situation that might have started as a simple argument/fight and could have been solved without bullets. Yes, real criminals might get their guns anyways, but no average student Joe without criminal background who is currently pissed at his friends at the campus should be able to just walk into a store and buy an automatic rifle to get even. Fine, keep the right to carry a gun, but at least make it illegal for under-aged people and people without proper education and training to get rid of the countless accidents. Those are possibly very beneficial restrictions that have little to do with prohibition (a total out-law).

This blog has almost lost all the people who have a different opinion than its hardcore followers, be them Europeans or Americans. Stop grouping people into American-hating Europeans or leftist/liberal loonies and try to listen without hate and anger. Also, there is so much good political team-work between Germany/Europe and the US going on that there is no need to create an arbitrary rift of hate between the two continents - it ain't the reality.

jwtkac, I'm sorry for your sister's friend's loss and appreciate your effort to show an American side that seems much closer to my American relatives and everyday friends and colleagues - but that's probably just because I live in a liberal/leftist state ;)

Mark:

First off, I was very civil and polite to you. Your snarky reply is so typical of liberal anti-gun types.

You say:

I have no idea. How about you find a credible source instead of just making facts up (like the UK having more 'home invasions' than the US).

Here is a thought - about about you practice what you preach? Novel thought, I know, but worth a try. Lets start here: "12,000 people a year die from firearms homicides in the US." Credible source please. Please be sure to include the number of inter-gang killings so we can distinguish them from innocent "civilians".

You say: "And anyway I would far prefer my house to be burgled than a bunch of kids to be killed in my local school." And when those kids have knives or baseball bats and surprise you in your bed - what then, Mark?

Them you seem to think this posting at Huff n Puff is a real winner:

"Yes, weird dudes kill people. But you know what really helps - guns and bullets. It's hard to limit weird dudes. It's a little easier to have reasonable limits on the guns they might buy and use against us."

One more time - 300 people were killed with fertilizer and 20 with an auto. I know, lets ban fertilizer and cars because someone used them to kill someone.

Lastly:

"Also If a guy was walking around with a load of fertiliser in his backpack, you'd probably be able to smell it."

Credible source for this assertion, Mark?

Gabi:

If you were not commenting on the one case I posted about deterrance of a "mass murder", then I have no idea to what you are referring to in your post ("Erfurt? Einzelfall (single case) - it does not count.) I didn't reference the article in question in my post. Can you explain what you mean or are referring to?

Suzanne, Gabi is a German english speaker. She was bolstering your point with, what I saw from past correspondence as, sarcastic support. She is an avid supporter of Davids blog and America. A good person who is married to a very opinionated get up and go guy. Obviously he's a former Jarhead. ;)

@Suzanne,

I referred to your question with the try to be sarcastic:

"As to the pathetic German media - what explains that mass murder shooting they had a few years ago? Not enough gun control? Bush's fault there too?

Posted by: Suzanne | April 18, 2007 at 09:06 AM"

Thank you for your support, Mark H.! My husband ist N. Hale with the weblog "divided we fall" (very very lazy there). We come here every day even when we don't comment very often. We just moved and were very busy. And the German media is so frustrating that I stopped reading it. I used to read DIE WELT but stopped that, because this media has changed much.

Marc Pitzke surprised me with his statement:

"Der Außenseiter, der zum Rächer mutiert - ob wegen Missbrauch, aus sozialen Gründen oder aufgrund einer unbehandelten Geistesstörung: Es ist ein altes Motiv und kaum US-spezifisch."

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/0,1518,478154,00.html


Was sagt Peter von Becker (Tagesspigel) wohl nun, wo er doch schon am nächsten Tag die Ursachen parat hatte: Der Colt als Leitkultur? Revidieren derartige Leute ihre Meinungen, wenn mehr Fakten bekannt sind? Nie.

@Mike.H
My husband was not in the U.S. Marines, he was in the Air Force for 8 years.

"Lets start here: "12,000 people a year die from firearms homicides in the US." Credible source please. Please be sure to include the number of inter-gang killings so we can distinguish them from innocent "civilians"."
Source. And I think it's unreasonable for you to ask me to produce statistics for the percentage of inter-gang killings vs. civilian killings because gangs don't wear uniforms: how are you to know which is which?

Regarding fertiliser... I would argue that it's much more difficult to create a fertiliser bomb than to shoot a gun. I don't know about you but I certainly don't know how to make explosives out of fertiliser. I've never used a gun in my life, but I'm pretty sure I would be able to if I picked one up.

I don't know about the US in this regard, but in the UK the supply of materials to make such fertiliser bombs is tightly regulated; a private individual buying large amounts of such materials will set off plenty of alarm bells.

Also, fertiliser and cars have other uses beside killing people; guns (almost always) do not.

Es geschehen noch Wunder! Der Tagesspiegel hat sich informiert und korrigiert!

"BUSHS WAFFENPOLITIK

Wie das Zitat seiner Sprecherin zustande kam


Kurz, nachdem am Montag das Ausmaß des Massakers bekannt wurde, meldete die Nachrichtenagentur AP, Bushs Sprecherin Dana Perino habe nach dem Amoklauf gegenüber der Presse folgenden Satz gesagt: „Der Präsident ist der Ansicht, dass Menschen ein Recht haben, Waffen zu tragen, aber dass alle Gesetze befolgt werden müssen.“

Hat Bush nichts Besseres zu tun, als ausgerechnet kurz nach einem Massaker das Recht auf Waffen zu bekräftigen? Das wörtliche Protokoll der Pressekonferenz kann auf der Webseite des Weißen Hauses nachgelesen werden. Das Zitat ist präzise wiedergegeben. Für das Verständnis des Zitats ist es aber wichtig, dass Bushs Sprecherin diesen Satz erst sehr viel später auf die Nachfrage einer Reporterin sagte. ...."

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/weltspiegel/archiv/19.04.2007/3212411.asp

Herr von Becker, bitte lesen Sie das!


*Also, fertiliser and cars have other uses beside killing people; guns (almost always) do not.*

Well... I for one am pretty sure that many more shots are fired for sport than for any other purpose, perhaps with the exception of military training (Europeans have a military too by the way). I for one have shot thousands of rounds in my life, and not one single time have I even had cause to think about shooting at another human being. As for the ridiculously high homicide rate in the US, it's a point that could actually be conceded without really impacting this debate, if all involved understand the background.

I, for example live in a border town in Texas. The (reported) crime rate is high, but (reported) violent crimes only average for the US. The reality is a little different. One need not look farther than two houses down, even in good neighborhoods, for cocaine and marijuana, heroin is a little less visible, but easily available. The dealers are often heavily connected with mexican cartels or with US organized crime (Bloods, Texas Syndicate, etc). Logic tells me with enough money, I could find a smuggled, likely untraceable, fully automatic weapon (not legal in the US btw) inside of a few days. It would be easier for many to buy a black market weapon.

Exceptional cases like the VT shootings also need to be taken in context. "it happens here too, but it happens there more often" is not necessarily valid. If we look at the situation per capita, the population in canada is roughly 30 million. That of the US is now 10 times as high. Multiply the number of school gun incidents in canada by 10 for a more realistic comparison.

Oddly enough, by the way, and while risking arguing against myself, gun ownership in canada, especially rural canada, is much higher than most americans and europeans seem to think, the crime rate doesn't seem to be much higher due to that fact. Also, I would suspect that for those of you in Germany, there are a hell of a lot more registered weapons in your neighborhood than you think. People have a tendency, despite walking by gun shops every day in Germany to think that it is insanely difficult to get a Waffenschein. It's not, it's just more money and hassle than most people think it's worth.

The more we learn about the Virginia Tech incident, the more it becomes clear that the real problem America confronts is not firearms, but rather a combination of bureaucracy, political correctness, and wishful thinking - in other words, Institutionalized Stupidity.

But the left wants the government to play an even larger role in our lives. Now that's irrational.

@Maulwurf

"This blog has turned into a paranoid and irrational Euro-Hate-Machine where every mad and angry tough guy/girl now can post their daily "let-Europe-burn" rants."

Europa erntet was es sät.

@ Maulwurf

"This blog has almost lost all the people who have a different opinion than its hardcore followers, be them Europeans or Americans."

The vigorous debate you see gun control in this comments section doesn't seem to back up your assertion - nor do our visitor numbers, which have actually steadily grown over the past few months. It could be that you and a few others would rather bash or boycott this small blog and its message rather than truly address the massive problem of German media bias. That certainly won't make the problem go away.

"The vigorous debate you see gun control in this comments section doesn't seem to back up your assertion - nor do our visitor numbers, which have actually steadily grown over the past few months."

Maulwurf is a microcosm of the German media in general. They just make up their reality as they go along, and are completely shameless about it. After all, anyone who has bothered to read the comments in this thread alone can see they're more thoughtful by a long shot than anything you'll find on, say, one of SPON's forums. Just read Maulwurf's post:

"This blog has turned into a paranoid and irrational Euro-Hate-Machine where every mad and angry tough guy/girl now can post their daily "let-Europe-burn" rants."

Do you notice a certain nuance of paranoia, irrationality, madness and ranting in Maulwurf's screed? I certainly do. He is, in fact, exactly what he's complaining about. In spite of that, he tries the hackneyed gambit of equating this blog with the over-the-top comments that turn up on any blog that has a readership above single digits. It's an admission of intellectual bankruptcy by one incapable of "debating" other than by delivering pious lectures.

Of course, that certainly doesn't mean that Maulwurf and the rest of the professionally virtuous have given up on it. The most notorious recent example was an attack on LGF by the "media critic" of the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz. No problem. All Charles Johnson of LGF had to do was check out the WaPo's own website. It didn't take him long to turn up gems like this one:

"It is too bad the shooter at VT spent all of his mojo on students and faculty."

It seems that, if we apply Maulwurf's standard to the WaPo, it's time for them to close up shop. They're no better than "Der Stürmer."

You can cherry pick over-the-top comments as much as you like Maulwurf. After all, an obsessive search for the negative is the usual MO of the German media. However, the general level of comments on this thread fly in the face of your pathetic, self-righteous rant. Either climb down off you soapbox, lose your attitude, and debate the topic of this thread on its merits, or scurry back to SPON where you belong.

There's a breaking story that the chief influence on Cho Seung-Hui was "Old Boy" a critically acclaimed film that won a prestigious European award. I quote:

"Oldboy," directed by Park Chan-wook, won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It received praise from the president of the jury, director Quentin Tarantino, who tried to persuade members to give it the coveted Palme d'Or over Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film also received critical acclaim in the U.S.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55284

In fact, some of the poses the killer takes in the media he sent to NBC seem to be taken directly from the movie.

So, far from being an illustration of the American "cowboy culture," this mass killer got his ideas from an prestigious Asian film much acclaimed by the Bush-bashing European and American entertainment elite.

Will Bush have enough gumption to tell the Euro-weenies that they have a sick Brave New World culture, decadent and weak but obessed with violence much like Huxley's classic? Not much chance of that. Bush has brought these attacks on himself by walking about with a "Kick me, I'm too nice to kick back" sign pinned to his back. Who would the cowardly European press rather attack, a Bush who won't even criticize them in public, or Islamists who'll blow up their offices for the fun of it? Naturally the former.

"It didn't take long before bloggers began attacking and Matt Drudge's faithful army of right-wing, Red State readers began spamming our In-Boxes and conservative political blogs resumed their attacks on the "European left." -Spiegel

Bavaria is not a Red State, Spiegel, it is Weiß-Blau, and I wasn't aware of being member of any Army whose CINC I've never even heard of.

With indoctrinational media and political messages like these, I sure do understand the reasoning behind having the citizenship armed. Oh do I. And I understand why Spiegel would not favor that.

A few years ago I would have thought that someone like Maulwurf is just a lunatic whose best and only friend in the whole wide world was a computer keyboard.

Today, I wouldn't raise my eyebrows one single millimeter if I found out that someone as incoherent and obtuse as Maulwurf is a respectable journalist in some German "Redaktionsstube". The last few years have revealed some very ugly traits of human nature, and for some weird reason a lot of those humans gather in the MSM.

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