On shootings and politics of (dis) arms control

October 1, 2011 – 00:00

About school massacres and political (dis) arms control

by Lucas Zapparoli course

SAO PAULO - In last Thursday (22/09),a tragedy in a school in Sao Caetano do Sul has been featured in major newspapers in São Paulo and Brazil.David,a ten year old boy,shot his teacher and then fired at his head.With this,the security debate in public schools,which had already been raised with the massacre of the Royal Day 07/04,was put in further evidence.However,it is important to discern these instances of violence in public spaces also with regard to weapons used: which way they influence the outcomes of these incidents,and especially how they were obtained.Drawing a parallel with similar cases in the U.S. and China will attempt to demonstrate a relationship between the ease of acquisition and the particularities of events in each country.

The United States is a unique country when it comes to the possession of weapons by having a culture of protection of this right deeply rooted in society.The hunting of animals is one of the favorite pastimes of Americans,being seen by many as a family ritual of closer ties between parents and children.The possession of arms is expressly guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution,which makes it difficult to any unfavorable legislation,and the NRA (National Rifle Association),with its more than 4 million members,has an enviable strength in search for maintaining this right. In addition,the acquisition is greatly facilitated both in terms of distribution,whereas the country's largest producer in the world war (even with much of this being exported production) and are found to gun sections in department stores,such as Walmart,to meet the great demand of domestic consumers,as well as in terms of restriction,since it requires no specific document in the overwhelming majority of states to be authorized a sale.It's no wonder the state unidenses encabecem the list of incidents of violence in the item number of deaths.

In the Columbine massacre (Jefferson County,Colorado) 1999,the two students who murdered 13 people were municiados two shotguns,one semi-automatic rifle,a pistol and 9 kg of propane bombs.Off the explosives,which were made following instructions from the internet,all other weapons were legal origin and were bought by kids or shops or third parties.The shooting at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg,Virginia),a student,carrying two semiautomatic pistols,claimed the lives of 32 individuals.Again,both legally purchased using a credit card,one at a specialty shop and an internet.The laws of the State of Colorado and Viriginia not require the seller to ask for more than one document with photo identification to prove age over 18 years (21 for handguns),and their criminal records analyzed in the store.For purchases between individuals,it is not necessary,since the arms need not be registered. These two recent cases of greater prominence in the media are extreme examples the number of victims,but not by way of acquisition of weapons.

China has a highly contrasting case,since,as opposed to the massive arms industry,there is a very high restrictions on trade and possession for the general population.The penalty for a private citizen who is found selling guns without permission is 3 years in prison to the death penalty.Therefore,the use of weapons is virtually restricted to state forces and private security companies.A reflection of this can be seen in the wave of more than 10 incidents,which began last year and had his last case reported in 14/09,and follows a similar pattern peculiarly.Although not all the reliable information,since the control of the media by the government,the subjects are reported as mentally ill and unemployed,commit their acts of violence in schools and hospitals especially against children and their weapons are kitchen utensils (knives,scissors and cleavers),and hatchets in the most extreme cases.The use of these instruments,while leaving a trail of brutality huge influence on the number of killed and seriously injured,which is substantially lower.However,a continuous series of attacks led authorities to block news about type attacks for having seizure called Copycat effect,ie people who were taken to act the same way when they saw the news on television or newspapers.Thus,despite being reported an increase in the number of crimes "at gunpoint" in the country,the availability of firearms is still widespread in the general population,which means that individuals resort to cruder instruments when they want to commit acts of violence.

Source: petripuc.wordpress.com

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