Wednesday, March 23, 2005

All the time when foreigners like us come to the US, they try to contrast American culture with their own. However, a lot of common threads run through many cultures, and it is always hazy to try to pick out one that is absolutely unique to a particular culture. Most of the times, one can only contrast magnitudes, and not existence of cultural elements themselves.

On March 22, a 16 year old boy in a remote part of Minnesota killed his two grandparents with a shotgun and a handgun, then walked into his school and killed nine others. (link)

I think I can safely say that these incidents of school children killing students, and especially members of their own family, are pretty much a unique hallmark of modern day America. I will let the experts decide if they are also a hallmark of present American 'culture'...I am at a complete loss to understand why the Government should be so lackadaisical in enforcing gun laws. And I also can never understand what possession of a military or police style gun by absolutely any citizen has anything to do with 'constitutional rights'...

5 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

Actually killing relatives is far more common in India. See:

http://southasia.oneworld.net/article/view/76542/1/

Also see under "dowry deaths."

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Sumedha said...

This is not just about killing 'relatives'. It's about murdering total strangers, sans any rhyme or reason.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

From Ashutosh's original post (italics mine):

I think I can safely say that these incidents of school children killing students, and especially members of their own family, are pretty much a unique hallmark of modern day America.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Nikhil K said...

Will this latest killing spree make Americans finally take 'Bowling For Columbine' seriously?
I still remember a scene therein where Moore recaps the annual murder statistics in different countries. It goe UK:200, Japan:500, Germany:400, Australia:200:, Canada:90, and USA:11,000. The facts speak for themselves.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Chris: You are right. Actually, I overlooked this fact, but at the same time wasn't really thinking about honour killing or dowry deaths. These I believe constitute a slightly different problem, that of women's subjugation.

Sumedha: Murdering strangers, as crazy as it is, would probably be a bit easier in a fit of dementia I think. But I would think that close relationships should possibly stop such a murderer in his tracks. The point is, in this culture, frankly, I don't think relationships ARE close, which makes it easier.

Nikhil: True! These facts do speak for themselves

2:30 AM  

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