Thursday, February 15, 2007


The horrible mass shootings on Monday. Like the Amok runners. These massacres occur from time to time, and the news covers them always the same way, with focus on the horror of the victims and the eye-witnesses and then later with a short piece on how the murderer was mentally ill for some time or how nobody could have predicted that anything like this would happen. The coverage is of a natural catastrophe.

Awkward questions crop up in my head. For instance, these massacres wouldn't exist without the easy availability of guns, but we don't talk about it because it's a pointless topic. Then there is the observation that the culprits are white men, almost always. But we don't talk about that, either, not, because it would be a forbidden topic but because it is an invisible topic, given that a white man is still viewed as the normal condition to be. And we don't talk about the fact that these kinds of mass murders are pretty rare in Europe, though the English seem to have more serial killers of women than the rest of that continent.