Therefore, other factors aside from the United States’ supposedly lax gun control laws should be considered in determining the root cause of gun related violence. As it turns out, it’s just as easy to obtain a firearm in Canada as it is in the United States, so why is it that Americans have a higher propensity to shoot each other with bullets bought from K-mart than Canadians? If it was not the ready availability of guns that causes gun violence, does it mean that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold may not have carried out their murderous spree at Columbine had they not been American kids in an American school?
If Virginia Tech was a German academic institution, would Cho had still been driven to commit the crimes that he did? In Michael Moore’s documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, it exposes that the central reason of the Columbine massacre is not merely because of the easy, hardly hindered availability of guns in the United States, but more primarily it is because a climate of fear that is brought about by a violence hungry American media and society. This is illustrated by the prominence given by media to news clips about violence and crime.
Media has found that ratings are a lot better to earn when the expectant American viewing public is given what they want, and what they want is to see the many crimes that are happening in their cities every day. Contrasted with the mindset prevailing in Canada, where as we have proven gun ownership is at similar levels to America, neighborhoods in Canada, even those near the Canada-US border, has people who prefer watching sports or business news rather than shootings and murder.
The difference between Americans and Canadians when it comes to their attitude towards guns is that Canadians primarily see their firearms as a hunting tool, much like their fishing pole, Americans see their firearm as a weapon, a weapon that they should use when and if they feel threatened at anyone who they feel threatens them.
Thus when later reports showed that Cho was actually very much a loner in Virginia Tech and was often ridiculed by his peers because of his weird practices including having an imaginary girlfriend who he supposedly broke up with before committing the massacre, we see that perhaps it was Cho’s perception of American values integrated in him since he was 8 years old (which was when he migrated to the states) that is reinforced by media and by the people around him, that when something bad gets done to you, you fight back, when people hurt you, you hurt them back, which led him to the conclusion that when society shuns you away, you blow them all to bits. America has a problem. Its children as well as its adults are fixated on media induced hypes that tell them that guns are primarily used to kill people.
It is this perception that contributes greatly to the nearly six thousand deaths from guns that occur in the United States every year. It is this culture of fear, and retribution that holds the American public hostage to gun violence. Lax gun laws are not a significant factor in America’s gun violence problem. Procuring even with stricter laws may actually be just as easy considering the rampant black market. In fact, although there are no accounts of how many of the guns confiscated in American public high schools were actually bought by students from legitimate shops, the fact that these kids are minors means that no gun shop would sell them a piece in the first place because the law prohibits that already.
Therefore, America should open its eyes and see the real enemy and stop fear and anger from using guns in tearing their society apart.
Morrie, R. Jameson, Eddard Lannister, and Donald B. Edwards. International Statistics on Guns and Gun Violence. London: London Press, 2006. Grover, H. Guns in the Classroom: How America’s guns are finding their way to American schools. New York: Greensdale; 2004 Statistics: Gun Violence in Our Communities. 14 April 2005. NEA HIN. 19 April 2007. <http://www. neahin. org/programs/schoolsafety/gunsafety/statistics. htm> Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms. 21 May 1997. National Institute of Justice Research. 19 April 2007. <http://www. ncjrs. gov/txtfiles/165476. txt>