In which our intrepid hero takes potshots at reportage of the Blacksburg shootings.

Perhaps this is a sign that I’ve been a gamer for far too long, but when I heard about the shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Macho Women with Guns sprang instantly to mind. The only thing I knew about Blacksburg was that MWwG was made there.

As with 9/11, chances are that no one I knew died in Blacksburg, nor anyone they knew, but still, my heart goes out to you guys in the States who’ve lost loved ones.

It’s just a pity you suck so much at spree killings.

I don’t mean that, of course—it’s just what the media tells me. Almost every single news report I’ve seen on the Blacksburg shootings has compared them to Australia’s Port Arthur Massacre, noting that we still hold the record for the most deaths in a spree killing, by a single fatality. Sometimes proudly, and at other times with a “suck it up—we’ve had it worse” attitude.

In a semi-gloating tone, they also note that Cho Seung-Hui turned the gun on himself—no doubt in a vain attempt to push the body count over Martin Bryant’s. As if it were some sort of game, and not the actions of some desperately screwed-up individual.

Of course, even that is a cop-out. If Cho, like the Columbine shooters, hated the “haves”, then he must be deranged, right? Today’s front-page headlines label Cho as “evil”, so it must be his fault entirely, huh?

It couldn’t be that American (and by extension, Western) society creates the preconditions for spree shootings, alienating kids from “have-not” backgrounds and putting guns in their hands, could it?

No, because that would make it our fault, and we can’t bear that thought. It’s much easier to label the killers “evil” or “mentally ill” and pass the buck. After all, we’re such wonderful people, aren’t we?

Think about that, next time you decide to dump on someone who’s obviously having a bad day. Remember that they might be thinking about popping a cap in your arse, on the way to the top spot in the Shooting Murder Hall of Fame. And think how many people they might take down with you.

Courtesy and a little compassion, people—it’s not rocket science.