I feel like I need to express what I feel about what The Economist has dubbed “America’s tragedy”. For those who do not know, 4 days ago on April 16, an American college student went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), killing 33 people including himself in what is the most lethal peacetime shooting in American history. Never mind who the murderer is–he was a ruthless and immoral killer regardless (Slate also brings up a good point in how the media has portrayed the killer, by referring to him by surname first even though his family uses the Americanized order).
What this event comes to show is how unsafe America is, that someone is able to shoot 30 people without reprimands or expedient reaction from law enforcement. Gun control is terribly lax, with many who constantly misinterpret the Constitutional “right to bear arms”, especially in the state of Virginia, a center of pro-gun constituencies who want nothing short of the freedom to be armed with guns.
And the saddest part is that thirty-two people had to die in a single day and yet, nothing has been done to make gun purchase less accessible. Those victims and the countless others who have been maimed, killed, and disfigured from firearms seem not to matter. One obstacle is the American way of governance, where special interest groups hold much more influence than ordinary Americans. The gun lobby, the National Rifle Association is an immense behemoth that is able to successfully secure its interests through politicians and legislation.
America needs change. And now is the time to do so.