May 3, 2013 - admin

Volume 39, Issue 3: The Health of Societies and Bodies

Two recent events have helped define our current situation in high relief. Many of us were in shock when, on 14 December 2012, a young man, using weapons obtained from his mother, (after killing her) went on a rampage at an elementary school brutally killing 20 children and six adults before turning the guns on himself. The carnage was unbelievable, the response immediate and determined. And yet, as I write on the 17th anniversary of the 13 March 1996 shooting at the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland where 16 children and one adult were cut down, no legislative effort has emerged in this country either to control the sale of high-powered assault rifles and high capacity ammo clips, or to increase our awareness of who is buying these weapons through a registry of owners or background checks to be sure mentally unstable individuals do not get access to them. The Newtown shooting, as horrible as it was, is only one among 16 such events in 2012 (Zornick, 2012) and resonates with Columbine at the core of our consciousness. In almost all cases, the shooter was deemed to be emotionally and/or mentally unstable, and yet we do not take action. By contrast, the response in Scotland and the UK was immediate, and the Conservative government in power at the time banned all cartridge ammunition handguns (those accepting clips) other than single shot weapons…

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