On Wednesday October 17, a seventeen year old boy went into his school with a shot gun opening fire on his fellow students killing nineteen and wounding about forty before turning the gun on himself. Sources at the school say that the gunman was self contained, didn’t speak very much, left social media and hated the school he went to as well as vowing revenge on his teachers.
The shooting had all the hallmarks of Columbine which has fathered many more copy cat shootings in the United States over the past two decades. Here’s the funny thing: This recent gun tragedy didn’t take place in the United States, not even close! It occurred in Crimea which is part of the territory being disputed by Russia and the Ukraine. One would have thought that the fact that this shooting took place outside of America, the media frenzy would have been all over it. Sadly, it was not the case.
Whenever a school shooting happens in the USA, the British media, especially the BBC, is all over it. Ten to fifteen minutes of a half hour newscast will be spent talking about the most recent American tragedy. Additionally, there is widespread condemnation of the American gun culture. However, there was none of this when the Crimea shooting was reported on the BBC news. (I first heard about it listening to BBC Radio 2 whilst driving.) What I heard was a brief two minute report on the shooting and the facts. No hyped up lamentations about Russia and it’s gun culture or how a teenage boy got access to a shot gun, nothing of that sort at all.
It beggars belief that the BBC didn’t report more on this recent shooting. The similarities to this shooting and all the ones which have happened in America are just too frighteningly similar. We have a loner, disassociated with his peers and teachers, who feels the world doesn’t understand him and his only option is mass violence. Most important and again not highlighted by the BBC, was the fact that this boy had access to a shot gun and enough ammunition to carry out his deed. Yet, there has been no talk of any gun culture in Russia. No one saying that Russia needs to ban guns, nothing.
We need to face facts, what happens in the US eventually makes its way around the rest of the world. I firmly believe that this is only the first of many school shootings to come outside of the US, though I really hope I’m wrong about this. Every shooting needs to be treated as the tragedy it is no matter where it happens. The people of the world should get together and call not just for banning guns in America but everywhere else too. Here’s my final thought: If the US would ban guns, maybe the rest of the world would want to get rid of theirs too.
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