I still managed to be shocked at the virus of the school massacres with which the US seems to be infected. Shocked, horrified, and yet, not surprised. Representatives of the gun lobby blame 'evil people'. For them, it has nothing to do with how easy it is to acquire guns in the US.
Of course it's people who kill, but if you know that there are people in our midst willing to kill, why do you allow them to get guns so easily?
The imbecility of the 'logic' of the gun lobby is stupefying. I struggle to believe that they themselves believe this nonsense. Somebody from one of the numerous gun associations, interviewed on Newsnight, kept saying that the students at Virginia Tech should have been armed so to protect themselves!!! Guns do not protect, they kill. In Virginia you can buy a gun a month, yes, one for each month of the year. Presumably they go out of fashion.
It seems to me that for these kids who kill other kids, guns are toys. For once in their lives, they can be an action movie star shooting at people. To affirm their individuality they end up conforming to the senseless images they are fed by the media. There is an underlying conception of freedom that is totally separate from responsibility. Tocqueville was right, the preoccupation to conform has led to radical individualism. Big business carries on undisturbed, the media are transformed in business and government is silent.
We live at a time where individual autonomy is sovereign, where relationships are amorphous and often of secondary importance. It is an autonomy borne out of conformism that rejects the community. Commentators often identify the killer in these all too often school massacres, as an outsider. Instead of recognising the need for communities to foster co-operation, they blame the individual. But that individual reacted to a society, one that was perhaps too atomistic and where freedom is detached from the ethics of responsibility.
While the families of the students killed grieve, the gun lobby profits and the US government abdicates responsibility.