Anorak News | Virgina Tech And Cho Seung-Hui – Only In America For Mark Steyn, Andrew Sullivan And Glenn Reynolds

Virgina Tech And Cho Seung-Hui – Only In America For Mark Steyn, Andrew Sullivan And Glenn Reynolds

by | 23rd, April 2007

SHOULD Cho Seung-Hui’s killing spree be reported by Europeans? Is this America’s story and all others are not welcome to watch it?

Anorak has noticed North Americans getting twitchy over how the story of 32 murders by the lone gunman is reported in the British press.

Andrew Sullivan US magazine The Atlantic says:
“But even if it is necessary and even good that we have European journalists sticking their microphones in every student’s face to record their opinion on gun control for posterity, while American journalists piously demand to know ‘What was in your heart?’–even so, it seems to me that there is one obvious step the media should take, which is not reporting anything about the killer.”

The American media is sycophantic, insincere and fawning, while the Europeans are intrusive, getting their ‘Only in America’ story.

In a post on his site, American blogger Glenn Reynold’s invites his readers to “A LOOK AT EUROPEAN SCHIZOPHRENIA over gun control”.

ramey.jpgThe link takes readers to a comment in America’s National Review.

The writer, Mark Steyn, has seen an article in Scotland On Sunday, “the umpteenth piece from the overseas press on how, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, the gun lobby’s ‘stranglehold’ on politicians is so tight even modest gun-control measures are beyond the realm of possibility.”

Scotland on Sunday’s Alex Massie writes how former Miss America Venus Ramey, 82, aimed her .38 calibre handgun and shot out the tyres of an intruder’s getaway vehicle. “The story was celebrated as an example of the unquenchable American frontier spirit and the inalienable constitutional right to defend hearth and home with firearms,” writes Massie.

He goes on to say how in light of the Virginia Tech massacre “there can be no clearer example of America’s schizophrenia towards gun control”.

Massie notes that “the silence from most of the nation’s leading politicians, presidential candidates among them, has been deafening”.

Mark Steyn says “The lingo – unquenchable American frontier spirit’ – is mocking.

Steyn, however, knows what’s what in the United Kingdom. He will not mock, just tell the truth. Says he: “In Mr Massie’s country, the likes of Miss Ramey have to accept being burgled with impunity and that, since the cops decline to investigate such crimes and merely mandate ever more expensive window locks and laser security, it’s now easiest just to ring the doorbell and and disable you rather than the alarm system. (Britain has a much higher rate of “hot burglary” – all but unknown in my part of New Hampshire.)”

What the hell hot buglary is and how it differs from cold and tepid burglary, we don’t know, it being the kind of buzz phrase perhaps only an American could think up and drop into an argument.

But the UK is no New Hampshire idyll. Americans may care to note that The European Crime and Safety Survey said the UK had the highest levels of assaults without force and of burglary. The study found the UK had high rates of burglar alarms and special locks. And gun crime has been in the news, follwing the deaths of three teenagers in two weeks.

Three deaths is viewed as time to act. Something more must be done. And we have reason to believe something will be.

dunblane_class_photo.jpgWhen Thomas Hamilton, 43, murdered 16 children and their teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, in March 1996, there were moves to stamp out gun use.

The mothers of some of the children murdered in the Dunblane massacre took part in an anti-gun protest in the United States. Kareen Turner, Alison Crozier and Karen Scott, who each lost a daughter in the 1996 shootings, were in Washington DC for the Million Mom March, a rally calling for a tightening of American gun laws.

In the UK, a campaign led to the then Conservative Government introducing legislation, the Firearms (amendment) Act of February, 1997. All handguns, apart from pistols able to fire .22 or smaller cartridges, could no longer be legally bought, sold or possessed in the UK.

In November, 1997 the private ownership of all handguns became illegal in the UK.

Gun crime is still here – criminals will always use guns. And a man with a history of mental illness could get hold of one and kill many people. But he cannot get hold of a gun legally. In America he can.

But, as Steyn notes, I am just another “reflexively hostile foreign journalist” intuding on America’s story.

Posted: 23rd, April 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink