Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Looking mean doesn't really help.

News saturation about the Virgina Tech shootings.

Notice how in every report there appear to be dozens and dozens of cops lounging about in the background, supposedly 'securing the area' ? Just about every law enforcement agency is represented. Chewing gum, and wearing mirror shades they look well hard. But hasn't anyone pointed out to the SWAT teams that they are over 24hours too late ?

Sadly a small percentage of the cops now assembled could have been more fruitfully deployed on the day of the shootings, after the first wave and before the second two hours later. (As opposed to issuing an email warning to the students at 7:30 am to be cautious).

Trouble is this kind of misplaced machismo is at the root of the whole gun culture problem. (And dare I say militaristic foreign policy as well). Not that anyone is going to make themselves popular by raising any questions about this. In fact to date no US politician has even mentioned the words 'gun control'.

And lest we in the UK get too smug, we're not immune from such posturing here - remember the tanks patrolling the perimeter at Heathrow after 9/11 ? Presumably they were poised to pursue any terrorists boarding a plane with a box-cutter.

The trouble with posturing is that it leads you into situations that you can't back away from and that spiral out of control. And I speak from personal experience here; if we had the ready access here to guns that they have in the US, road rage could well have landed me dead or serving time.

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