The recent student massacres at the University of Virginia Tech is a huge story here in the US; understandably so.
My cousin happens to attend that university, and I'm happy to hear she's safe.
While on my lunch break today, I thought I'd catch some talk radio in my car about the school shootings. As is my custom, I listened to both Minnesota's AM 950 Air America, a left-wing liberal radio station, and Minnesota's AM 1280 The Patriot, a right-wing conservative radio station.
The left-wing liberal station was filled with talk of gun control. "If only we had gun control, this wouldn't have happened." "Bush loves stealing our civil liberties, yet he's too afraid to take away the guns."
The right-wing conservative station was filled with talk of gun problems as well. "We ought to train these teachers to use guns in self-defense."
In short, the left says the problem is too many guns. The right says the problem is not enough guns, or not enough training to use guns.
Somehow, I think they've both got it wrong. Seems to me that's treating the symptom, rather than the illness.
If guns aren't the problem, what is?
It seems to me the problem is society. It is evident modern American society is putting forth an unusually large number of people bent on killing other people, especially in public schools.
Why is that?
If I were to guess, it's partially due to society's exclusive focus on the successful, all the while deriding the less fortunate. That's where it starts: inequalities, perceived or real, creates anger and unrest. Ethics and religion also play a role: a modern society bent on secularizing us worsens the situation by causing the downtrodden to abandon hope altogether.
Perhaps society is generally too focused on success -- financial, societal, educational -- when we ought to be more focused on happiness. More happy people = fewer pointless murders.