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April 17, 2007

Bad Day, America? Let Us Make It Worse

Boy, am I steamed. I've been getting worked up all day about this, and I'm ready to let loose. (Politely, of course.)

Tragedy hits America once again, this time with the heartbreaking shootings at Virginia Tech by a disturbed young man who obviously had lots of problems. And our international friends just can't wait to pile on. Here are some samples of Euroweenie reaction:

Times of London:

"Doubtless there will be a call to review the availability of firearms. The National Rifle Association's (NRA) response is predictable too. They will point out that events such as this are not carried out by a rifle-wielding member of a weekend militia. There is no doubt that access to rapid-action shotguns makes these events even more destructive but as we have seen with suicide bombers, who are closer to spree killers than is often realized, if a person really wants to take their own life and kill others in doing so it is exceptionally difficult to prevent it."

Le Figaro (France):

"Contrary to what one would imagine, this backward stance is not something left over from the Wild West. It goes back to the creation of the United States and the War of Independence against the English. ... While most states have issued laws designed to control the sale of arms, the NRA ensures they remain inefficient or are not applied. Strongly linked to the conservative fringe of the Republican Party, the NRA spent $400,000 a day to prevent the election of the Democratic candidate John Kerry during the 2004 presidential elections ..."

Il Messaggero (Italy):

"The bloodbath on the university campus is the work of a suicide killer -- an American suicide killer who, differently from Muslim killers, did not act out of religious motives but was driven instead by the unrest affecting broad layers of US society. America is a nation that has for some years been in danger of becoming more and more unloved in the world, especially in the poorest countries. During the period following World War II, America was seen as the guardian of democracy and was equated with the defense of liberty; today, America is a superpower that begins wars and lives with the constant necessity of having to defend itself against the enemy -- whether this enemy be called Islam or whether it bears the face of the neighbor who has done you wrong."

(Guess they didn't read that this young man is thought to have been taking antidepressants at some point in his life, which would point to a chemical imbalance...)

Bild (Germany):

"Now we will probably begin discussing the overly lax gun laws in the United States. There, buying a machine gun is often easier than getting a driver's license. [It is? I have to check that out -- ed.] And a new ban on violent games and killer videos will also be put back on the agenda. But in the end, nothing is likely to happen. And the next killer already lives somewhere among us. But we have little reason to point an accusing finger at the Americans. Despite strict gun legislation, we (in Germany) have experienced the school shootings in Erfurt and Emsdetten. We have to consider the problems in our society. And we have to take care of our fellow humans."

This last one seemed to be the most reasonable of the bunch.

I myself received an e-mail from an English gent who was very upset about the shootings. After some back and forth, he told me, "America has a problem. You have a problem." Yes, and when America has a problem, do we receive any kind of sympathy? After 9/11, we did...for about a week. Everything else seems to be fair game.

When bombers attacked the London tube and bus system two years ago, the last thing on my mind would have been to write to an English blogger and start lambasting him for the ills in his country that could have led to such an atrocious act. (My first thought was for my dear friends Louis and Paula, as well as their friends Gavin and Susan, and was relieved when I knew they were not involved.) When bombs blew up commuters in Madrid, I was appalled. My fellow Americans and I rooted for the capture of these villains, and prayed for the families of the victims. But gosh, when tragedies happen in America, international fingers start pointing and tongues start wagging about our backward, violent culture, our horrendous legislation system, and how simply awful we are overall. Never could we match the bastions of culture that are Germany, France, Spain, Italy, etc.

With all the congratulatory self-back patting that must be going on over there, chiropractors must be super busy. But they aren't making any extra money, because making money is a bad thing that only those cretinous Americans would dare think of.

Over at Geosciblog, my friend Joe has been covering the shootings like much of the blogosphere. Check out this comment by a Norwegian:

I don't wanna go into a big gun discussion, but what do you suggest? Why does this keep happening? Why is this predominately a U.S problem?

Sincerly,
Vidar, Norway

Here's an anonymous reply (but I happen to know the commenter):

Vidar,

Predominantly a U.S. problem? Examine your premise.

A comment from a Norwegian source:

"Weve seen an explosive growth in violent street crimes and rapes in this country over the last decades. One could be tempted to use the word epidemic to best describe the situation."

"Why does this keep happening?" good question. Why is the murder rate in South Africa ten times the U.S. for example. I don't know.

I wouldn't approach this with any kind of assumed moral superiority. It has become tiresome and certainly not appreciated.

This was a tragic event that now has caught the monstrous eye of the American media - it will be magnified and distorted to all the world beyond all recognition to fit whatever assumption and agenda they wish to push.

Murder is a vile waste. People with guns kill people everywhere. It has nothing to do with the U.S.

Frankly, I've had it. Britain's gun crime rate has been steadily climbing since private ownership of handguns was banned in 1997. Muslim "youths" run riot in France, injuring people and destroying property. And in 2002, a gunman in Germany killed 17 people at a school. But these things "only happen" in America.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Until the rest of the world suddenly becomes a crime-free utopia, I'd appreciate a little less America bashing. Leave us to tend to our dead without your pithy, self-righteous, self-important moralizing. Oh, and the next time you need sympathy? Ask your immediate neighbors. I'm fresh out.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam M. at 07:35 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary
Comments

I notice they didn't talk about all bloodbaths during WWII and that it was American's with guns that freed their sorry asses.

What about all that youth rioting in Paris and those people that were killed?

They fear Americans because they know that as long as we have our guns, we will never surrender.

Posted by: aaron at April 17, 2007 07:55 PM

When self-respect rots away, all that's left is snobbery. We'll know we've degenerated as far as Europeans have when we start putting on their superior airs.

Posted by: Van Helsing at April 17, 2007 07:56 PM

Ummmm......... that one article says the shooter was an American... ummmmm...... he was a native of South Korea.....

Posted by: David at April 17, 2007 08:14 PM

Good point, David. He was here legally, but wasn't a citizen. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

Posted by: Pam at April 17, 2007 08:26 PM

Hiya Pam.....being married to a legal English immigrant gives me some perspective. His opinion of the Euro's is that they are all a bunch of pansy assed sissy boys. Just quoting there.

One more reason to tell the rest of the world to stick it up their collective....arses. No more Tsunami aid, no more aid of any kind, no more Americans saving the day, no more. Then see what they think of us in a couple of years when they are crying in their less than stellar beers. Over run by hoodlums and scum sucking bottom feeders.

And I was going to say the same thing as David, the guy wasn't even a frickin' American.

Posted by: Jenn at April 17, 2007 10:16 PM

well stated PAM...

there is some deep seated insecurity coming from these Nations, in regards to the USA...

really quite sad.

don't they realize guns were banned at the VT University?

the Nation who suggests it can no longer teach the truth of the Holocaust, has no right to judge anyone.

in fact Germany, France, etc., seem to be busy enabling the various threats around the globe.

their corrupt efforts in the UN OIL For Food Scandal was disgusting.

there seems to be little class amongst those who exhibit such jealousy for their old friend.

but the modern liberal mindset offers little decency, and all the smug 'all knowing' snobbery one can stomach.

Democrats have a similar problem.

Posted by: hnav at April 18, 2007 01:37 AM

I'm confused why you're so invested in what people an ocean away think about domestic politics. Expecting them to view this through any lens but their own experience is a bit naive. After all, they don't have the type of violence and crime that we have, largely because they don't have multicultural, multiclass societys.

Of course they're a bit at a loss.

Posted by: paul at April 18, 2007 04:06 AM

don't they realize guns were banned at the VT University?

hnav has an excellent point. In fact, had guns been allowed, maybe there wouldn't be 32 dead people.

As Rush pointed out, "the two biggest acts of terrorism in this country occurred with box cutters, pocketknives, gasoline, and fertilizer -- 9/11 and Oklahoma City -- not guns."

...

Posted by: Kitty at April 18, 2007 05:54 AM

I suppose I'm so invested in what these other countries think because they always expect us to come running to their aid every time they have a problem. "Please send money, America!" "Please send troops to causes we deem worthy, America!" Meanwhile, they are constantly carping about and criticizing every little thing we do. I'm sick of it.

Posted by: Pam at April 18, 2007 07:41 AM

You mean they actually ask? I thought it was expected that we'd fork over our money.

We have a long tradition of immediately stepping up and offering all we can to help out in all disasters. But that's just US.

...

Posted by: Kitty at April 18, 2007 08:44 AM

paul;

The reason why we even "worry" about what the Europeans think is because we know that certain aspects of our Leftist/Academic/Media community will look to Europe as our cultural mentors and saviors.

Posted by: joe-6-pack at April 18, 2007 12:02 PM

Paul, Europe doesn't have multicultural, multiclass societys?!?!! WTF planet are you living on?!!

Posted by: D-Hoggs at April 18, 2007 01:20 PM

Pull everything from Germany and "redeploy" to Poland.

Message to the EU and Putin: "SCREW YOU."

Posted by: TC@LeatherPenguin at April 18, 2007 02:25 PM

Huh. Everything I wanted to say everyone else already said.

Guess all I can say is "Dittos!"

Posted by: Charles at April 18, 2007 05:26 PM

America is a nation of proud immigrants who left behind... well... the EUroweenies.

It's called evolution. We are the flower... EUrope is the refuse pile.

Posted by: DANEgerus at April 18, 2007 05:43 PM

"But these things "only happen" in America." -- Pam M.

Nah, let's just say they happen a lot more often in America than in other wealthy countries. Say like Britain, where the murder rate is one-third of what it is here. So the Europeans are just offering advice as to how we might reduce the yearly carnage (say, get it down to European levels). Got a problem with that?

Posted by: Herman at April 18, 2007 07:35 PM

Yes, Herman, I do. Europe isn't "offering advice," it's showing its usual condescension for us. A bunch of countries that have been at war with each other for most of their histories, as well as being responsible for mass genocide (see: Holocaust) in recent history is not really in the position to lecture us. Besides, the European experience and the American experience are completely different. They do not understand us, nor do they try. They simply take advantage of the opportunity, whenever possible, to run us down, while patting themselves on the back for their own superiority.

If I thought they truly cared, I wouldn't be so angry. But they don't care. All they care about is whether or not America will come through with financial aid when it's needed. The rest of the time we can go hang.

Posted by: Pam at April 18, 2007 08:45 PM

Europeans in general-I can speak from real experience-love to hate Americans, but deep inside, they want only to be Americans. The loathing comes from a jealousy to live like Americans, act like Americans, be like Americans, yet they somehow cannot let themselves go-only occasionally when they decide to go a little crazy and watch a Hollywood movie with a bowl of popcorn on the side. The fact is that all Americans have roots from Europe (Mayflower etc.).
The VT massacre speaks volumes about our general human condition-no need to point any fingers here or make a political issue out of someone else's sorrow. After-all what's the difference between a muslum suicide bomber on a plane and a crazed Korean (without official citizenship)running mad with a gun on campus? It's high time the whole world community witness these events as world events. Why not offer up your hearts and leave the sharp words for the confines of pub talk. That's where it belongs.

Posted by: Robbin at April 19, 2007 03:28 PM

I suppose we could have pointed to Harold Shipman, the British doctor who murdered somewhere between 215 and 500 of his patients (opinions vary) as an indication that something is wrong with their society or system of socialized medicine. It seems to be something particularly European (which, unfortunately, liberals in the US are quick to mimic) to assess the acts of obviously deranged and aberrant individuals as somehow representative of the whole, and thereby to craft laws as "solutions" to their society's perceived flaws. But hard cases make for bad laws, and I can't think of any law that would have prevented this incident whose passage wouldn't cost even more lives as an unintended consequence. But if your politics are such that all you have for a policy benchmark are your good intentions, I guess that's OK.

Posted by: Socratease at April 19, 2007 03:28 PM

We are sooooo far behind the Euros on kills: WWII
26,000,000; Stalin/Mao 50-70,000,000;2-10,000,000 Southeast Asia...why do they keep breeding these despotic evil men? What is in the European water that produces Hitler/Stalins to name just two of the worst. Until the Euros can stop breeding these types throughout their home countries, leave the USA alone!!!!!

Posted by: Sue at April 19, 2007 06:21 PM

D-Hoggs: you right, my bad.

Posted by: paul at April 20, 2007 05:24 AM

These comments are truly ridiculous! Look at yourselves, people! The US did not free Europe from nazism alone, the Russians equally contributed to the end of Hitler. So before talking nonsense, please, read a book, preferably a history book, ok? Next, if guns were banned in Virginia, and in the other states, Cho Seung Hui would have never been able to BUY legally guns, and wouldn't have killed 32 people. Next, France and Germany are proud of themselves, yes indeed, for they don't have 80 deaths/ day by bullets. Those approximatively 80 deaths/ day happen in the US, and Europe doesn't need those deaths, so why would she be jealous?
Next, France's riots actually DID NOT cause ONE single DEATH. But I guess American people, or at least, the ones similar to aaron and the rest of you, value more their cars than the lives of their own people. We, Europeans, are not afflicted with paranoia like you guys are, we don't keep guns in our houses for the sake of the people around us and our children, and guess what? We live in a far lesser violent society, where crime rate is amusingly low compared to yours. So yeah, you can blame as much as you want the Europeams, you (the authors of the responses above) still remain brainless, xenophobic, violent and narrow-minded.

Posted by: Nina at May 26, 2007 09:22 AM

Interfaccia comoda, colori piacevoli, buoni!

Posted by: transex at June 10, 2007 04:59 AM
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