A gun rampage in Kentucky does not make front page news. Granted, I am two hours behind the East Coast, so the 25 year old male factory worker who killed five of his colleagues, injured one, and shot himself might have been a front page story earlier in the day. It is currently on the front page of the BBC, but in the NYtimes, the story is on the front page of the US section of the online newspaper. Interestingly, the story is the third most popular news article on the BBC website, but does not crack the top ten on the NYtimes website (however, the BBC and the NYtimes use different measurements for popularity, so I am comparing most read and most emailed respectively, and the article is not in the top 5 most emailed articles for the BBC). I will stop short of making a universal declaration about whether Americans are too desensitized to gun violence, but it certainly makes you wonder. I will say, however, that I much prefer and admire UK gun laws.
Last spring, President Bush, urged Americans not to turn Virginia Tech into a debate about gun control: “Now’s not the time to do the debate until we’re absolutely certain about what happened and after we help people get over their grieving.” My personal opinion sounds a bit more like Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous civil rights speech We Shall Overcome—Now is not the time for hesitation.
Perhaps I am being alarmist and dramatic, but when a gun rampage no longer warrants front page placement on the day it happens (and for the duration of that day), then gun rampages are too common and something must be done.