Such attacks

As anybody reading this has almost certainly already heard, yesterday saw the largest act of gun violence in modern U.S. history.

Also called the “deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history” (modern or otherwise), Virginia Tech has now joined the ranks of many other America college, high school, and grade school campuses ravaged by mass murder.

There’s nothing really to say about it, surely not on a blog posted for fun by a crowd of non-journalists, but I’m going to briefly go against my better judgment.

The Twin Cities’ Star Tribune ran an online poll, asking readers how attacks like the one at Virginia Tech yesterday could be prevented in the future.

As of 2:30 p.m., the winner, with 45% of the votes, is “Such attacks can’t be prevented.”

But the big surprise for me, however, was that the answer “Adopt stricter gun control laws” was not the winner.

With 573 votes, gun control just barely beat out “Allow trained school staff members to carry guns.”

(That one’s not the best plan in my opinion, although 510 Strib readers disagree–would that be an armed guard outside every classroom? Or just hand out the pistols to the professors and TAs?).

Over 1300 people polled think there’s nothing we can do. Violence, it’s true, probably can’t be prevented. But you’ve got a better chance at stopping gun violence. And yesterday was gun violence.

The American school shooting has become an institution. The most famous arguably, before yesterday, took place in Colombine, CO, but it’s been repeated several times since–get some guns and lots of ammo, suit up, and shoot as many people as you can before blowing yourself away.

It’s a murderous form of suicide, but you can’t do it without a gun. Or a couple of guns, usually. And specifically, handguns. Forgive me for a blunt bit of logic, but how many people can you knife to death before you yourself are overpowered?

For the 45% of Star Tribune poll-ees who voted “Such attacks can’t be prevented,” you’ve got all the more reason to vote for stricter gun control laws. Maybe you can’t stop murderous intent, violent acts, or psychotic behavior. But we are dangerously negligent if we don’t try to make it hard to get your hands on the tools that turn violence into shooting, rampage, and massacre.

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