18 Dead In First European High School Shooting - What About The Gun Control Argument?

Some nutcase kid just went on a shooting spree in a high school outside Munich, Bavaria, Germany and killed 17 before shooting himself. This unfortunately marks the first case of so called high school shootings in Europe. In the US a pretty strong case has been made for the proliferation of firearms and the lack of strong regulation being at the core of this dreadful phenomena. Bavaria being somewhat of the Texas of Germany and a hunting state, gives that firearms are a little easier to get by than in most other parts of Europe, but there is still no comparing the situation to the one in the States.

Even if I agree with heavy control of firearms I think it is evident that Europe’s somewhat holier than thou attitude on this topic suffers a severe blow from this tragedy.

More importantly does this punch a hole in the anti-gun movement’s argument or is it a copycat case that has to be seen in a different light?

[slight nitpick to get things straight]

Erfurt is the capitol of Thüringen, which is in the old DDR.

[/slight nitpick to get things straight]

As a firm proponent of gun control meaning to be “hit what you aim at”, I really didn’t have any thoughts on the matter other than, “Geez, I guess Germany’s got its share of whackjobs too”. I could care less if it does/doesn’t punch a hole in anti-gun arguements, because I see it as a tragedy, plain and simple, that 17 people were killed, regardless of how they died. (The 18th “victim”, being the gunman, well, it saved the cost of a trial)

“Geez, I guess Germany’s got its share of whackjobs too”
Hmmm. Who woulda thunk it?
I don’t think I know enough about the situation to make an intelligent observation. Could it be that Germany’s children have settled into the infamous middle class cosmic boredom, where psychotic fantasies can be nurtured instead of traded off for strategies for survival amidst war, hunger, etc.?

Germany has very strict gun laws, but there has been an influx of illegal weapons from Eastern Europe. It’s the old “if you outlaw guns, then only the outlaws will have guns” argument, come to life. The NRA will be in their glory.

It’s possible that it’s because of their gun control laws that they’ve only just had their 1st school shooting, and the US has had… well I don’t how many, but I’m pretty sure more than Germany has.

I don’t see what this has to do with anti-gun laws in the US.

Different countries.
Different laws.
Different cutures.

How so? People get killed by guns in Europe all the time. Some people may have a silly notion of European superiority but that shouldn’t taint the rest of us.

I’m glad that Ireland has a very low level of gun ownership but realize that criminals are increasingly arming themselves.

Also if a nut wants to kill a lot of people they’ll do it. Gun control or not. I reckon if I wanted to I could get a illegal gun. If somebody wants to do they’ll find a way. We should be trying to look at the reasons why these kids are doing what they’re doing and not trying to score cheap political points on the back of tragedies.

Sorry about the error in location. I was listening to the news with half an ear and heard Erding instead of Erfurt. But right you are it’s the old GDR. But that way I at least got to call Bavaria The Texas of Germany! (It’s a pet hobby of mine). :smiley:

::Blushing and thinking ‘cheezus…and I actualy live in Bavaria’::

Not true. Ther was a similar event in England in 1996 where a former teacher killed over 10 children.
There have bee similar chases in the 70’s

yojimbo wrote:

Exactly!! Thank you yojimbo for expressing more succinctly the sentiments I tried to convey in my earlier post. (Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on)

Hell, they could build bombs, trigger poison attacks, etc.

Yeesh. I don’t see what gun control has to do with this.

I would like to know where you get the idea that this is the first school shooting in Europe. I don’t even think it’s the first one in Germany!

Unless I’m reading every news report incorrectly.

J

Nitpick:

It’s their second shooting within the past year.

Power_station the OP wrote high school. The school in Dunblane was an elementary school (what’s grades K-6 in the UK?).

But you see IMHO it is relevant. Up until today the phenomena has been restricted to the US and some Europeans have sometimes brushed the issue aside and said that this typically American and is very improbable in Europe. In fact this is not the first time neither in Germany, nor in Europe that someone goes on a shooting spree, its not even the first time this month. Still it is often erroneously viewed as an American phenomena.

My point was exactly that. I agree with you and I wasn’t claiming anyone should score any cheap points on this tragedy. Although I fear that for instance the NRA will. And, yes there is obviously deeper and more significant reasons for these horrible events. Therefore I think that the whole gun control issue sometimes skews the debate in the wrong direction. Instead of asking ourselves ‘how can we keep the guns from the whackos?’ we should be asking ‘How can we make sure that we discover early or even prevent altogether that someone looses it in this way?’.

Thereby not saying that I think it’s a good idea to decrease gun control, to the contrary.

Maybe I’m a little strange but I differentiate between a ‘shooting in a high school’ and a ‘high school shooting’. By the later I understand what happened today. i.e. that someone takes a gun and goes rampant shooting randomly or with some kind deranged choice of mass targets. As such, as far as I know this is a first in Germany and Europe. In any case; in general the number of shooting sprees in Europe is unfortunately increasing.

The United States has had at least a dozen of these shootings in the past 20 years alone. CNN usually posts a list of them whenever another one happens.

Charleton Heston: “If only those 17 other people had been packing heat that day…”
And I think this is just a “sign of the times” type of event. 30 years ago the guy would probably have joined the Bader-Meinhof gang.

Sparculees wrote:

An earlier post also alleges that the NRA will be to paraphrase “rejoicing”. Have I been left out of the ordinary NRA member loop? This wouldn’t be a case of “say the lie often enough and it becomes truth”, would it?

…four,…five…, oh, mind me, I was just doing a bit of counting there.

Hadn’t thought it’d take that long for someone to post this “argument”.

But anyway, a couple of points: it wasn’t the second “high school shooting” in the past year, but actually the first event of the sort. There’ve been other gun incidents, though, even some in which children and/or schools were involved; but nothing of the sort that happened at Erfurt. I confess that I was almost crying when I read that there were 18 people killed.

Then, I don’t think this touches at all on gun control legislation, one way or the other: those weren’t controlled guns, but illegal guns. He got them; so does that mean that he should have been allowed to get one legally? I really don’t think so.

I think the fact is still that it IS very unlikely that something like this happens in Europe, at least in countries where there is strict gun control, this tragedy notwithstanding. Someone post hard figures, though I suppose it has been done already.

Certainly, this event shows that there is a need not only for gun control legislation (such as was passed, ironically, in the Bundestag today), but for elementary psychological support, societal care, and probably some sort of peer supervision, on the part of the teachers and parents. There hasn’t been anything said yet about the social backgound of the shooter, but I shouldn’t be much surprised if he lacked careful attention – that not necessarily meant in the sense of “loving care”, but in the sense of keeping an eye on him. I don’t think he suddenly became a murderer, so somewhere along his way, there would likely have been an opportunity to prevent it.