Showing posts with label James Eagan Holmes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Eagan Holmes. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our trigger happy cousins [243/365]

Cultural references are funny and incredibly predictable.
Every time I speak to an American, one of the few things they confess is how much they loved 'Slumdog Millionaire'. They quickly followup with 'So is it like that in real-life too?'
But as cultural references go, the Americans are choc-o-bloc with some colorful past-times. If cross-continental car chases were in vogue, the past decade has been one of mass shootings. 
Igniting the debate on gun control was the midnight shooting of theater goers at the latest Batman sequel in July, the Gurudwara shooting earlier this month, the suited gunman who killed his former co-worker and now, the shoot-out at Texas A&M University.
Source: Gold is Money

Interestingly, gun control proponents like to point out that there is gun related violence even in states with tough gun control laws, I think the crisis is more endemic.
It could be a coincidence that there has been a spate of gun related massacres in the last couple of months and years, and the way I look at it, it is the result of a trigger-happy government that is unwilling to rein in their weapons manufacturers. The citizens of a nation emulate their leaders. When a country allows its guilty to amass obscene amounts of money and refuses to punish them when proved guilty, then the citizens of that nation will have no moral compulsions bribing and being bribed. When a country follows a global policy of bullying while selling arms and ammunition in the name of policing, then its citizens are brought to believe that guns are as American as apple pie.

In a twisted way, we are not very different from the Yankees. Both of our politicians are weak kneed and lily-livered puppets in the hands of powerful businesses and political handlers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Batman vs Joker [205/365]

In the many years that I've interacted with westerners, one common perception is how Indians are largely backward and addicted to Bollywood. 'Primitive' is how many Americans described Indians.
While I don't agree that we are primitive, I do agree that we have a problem with Bollywood and an unfounded obsession with cricket. America, on the other hand, has her own litany of social ills. Primary among them is the worrying reality of the country that has more guns per capita than any other nation in the world.

Gun control has been America's Achilles heel. Successive presidents have failed to implement stricter gun control laws and have always buckled under the clout of weapons manufacturers.

On July 20th, James Eagan Holmes, aka The Joker, opened fire using multiple weapons, at movie goers who'd come to catch the midnight premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Holmes, dressed in tactical clothing, killed 12 and critically injured 58 others.
He was arrested shortly afterwards wandering in a park by law enforcement agents.

The suspect has confessed to the crime while displaying absolutely no remorse for killing innocent people indiscriminately. Holmes had also booby-trapped his tiny one bedroom apartment a short distance away, so that anyone who entered the apartment will be killed alongwith any of the evidence they would be looking for. Thankfully, law enforcement agents were able to neutralize much of the explosives while retaining all of the evidence.

Investigations reveal that Holmes was a honor student and a well behaved man. Smarter than most of his peers, he excelled in academics. Holmes meticulously planned and prepared his massacre by buying guns and ammunition legally over the internet and even maintaining a journal explaining his intentions and mailing it to his doctor just a couple of days before the shooting.
What is surprising is how Holmes has behaved since the massacre. His plea for 'diminished responsibility' is never going to hold water. Maybe we need to learn a lesson or two on how to treat psycho killers and mass murderers from the Americans.

While incidents like this reignite debates on gun control laws, this couldn't have come at a better time for the Americans. Tragic as it seems, the only way societies can be safe will be to have air-tight gun control and state laws.

For critics and racist Americans, who like to complain about cheap Indians who steal their jobs and can't deal with social ills, this massacre comes as a shocking reminder that they need to perhaps fix themselves first.

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