Easy to jump to conclusions in Binghamton-like incidents; I still cling to gun ownership rights, though…

April 3, 2009

It’s so easy to jump to conclusions in these mass killings as the one today in upstate New York. I thought maybe it was a disgruntled white man going after immigrant targets and then I heard the suspect (presumed dead now) was perhaps a Vietnamese immigrant himself.

Also I read that he was carrying false I.D. and that he was recently let go from a job at IBM, implying that he kind of went postal.

There’s been so many mass shootings here in the United States recently, and one in Germany — not counting the usual terrorist acts overseas — that one almost becomes numb to the news — almost.

It’s still a developing story in Binghamton, N.Y., but apparently at least 13 people were killed or 14 including the gunman. It took place at a facility where immigrants were taking citizenship tests and English classes, it was reported.

And while I am a supporter of Second Amendment gun owner rights (although I find the wording of that provision highly ambiguous), I always wonder why we seem as a society helpless to keep obviously demented folks from obtaining weapons and going on shooting rampages. And the problem is even worse when you consider how easily criminals can get hold of weapons, often with a firepower that outmatches the police. But I cling to gun ownership rights, primarily due to the historical aspect of Americans being free to protect themselves from bad guys and bad government if need be (read the Declaration of Independence). I know full well, though, that most folks don’t have guns and don’t plan to get any.

The only societies that seem to be relatively free of gun violence, among the populace at least, are dictatorships who run police states.

Even Israel where the authorities and the citizenry have had to be ever vigilent against terrorism for more than half a century because its neighbors have often vowed to do way with that country cannot stop terrorist violence.

We’ll find out more later today or tomorrow about the facts and possible motives in the  case, hopefully.

Meanwhile, we have to ask ourselves is all this gun violence on a radical increase — it can’t be all due to more reporting via the internet — and if so, why and what can we do about it?

Do we just have to accept it all as the hazards of everyday life?

(Catch my contribution to the German-American experience and call up http://vonwalther.wordpress.com )