Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Shooting at Virgina Tech

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The most recent major crime event in the media is undoubtedly the shootings at Virginia Tech. I have two points to make on this.

Firstly, I am completely with the people who arguing for stricter gun laws in America. But I feel that is necesary to go further. It is not the fact that guns are so easy to get hold of (the NRA’s claim that it’s not guns that kill people, its the people that hold the guns is frankly absurd). What I would argue is that it is the gun culture that kills people. Guns are such a major aspect of daily life in the US that guns have become acceptable. Beacuse of this the fact that 30 people get shot anyway in America never makes it into the American news, never mind news elsewhere in the World. At a recent lecture given by Elliott Currie he highlighted the fact that when someone is shot in Britain, it makes the news in America but not the other way round. This is because gun crime is so prevelant in the US. The gun culture will not decline unless guns are more difficult to get hold of. It will take a long time admittedly and I am sure that, if it were to happen, in 40 years the NRA would raise its ugly head again and say, ‘look guns are banned but there is still a gun culture, give us our guns back’ but this is so entrenched in American society that it will take a generation and more to change.

Secondly, I do not want to undermine the grief that people must be feeling in America but I want to ask a question: what about the other 30 people who got shot yesterday and get shot everyday in America? Surely they deserve some mention at least in the media? Or does it not matter because they are not white, middle class at an above average university in a sleepy middle class town?


Written by criminologyandstuff

April 17, 2007 at 4:41 pm

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