4.12.2009

Guns and Power


It has not been lost on me that Asians have featured prominently in the recent roster of shooters, or that there is a certain fit in the public mindset between vengeful killings and the typical Asian stereotypes - sinister villain, nerdy weakling, accented outsider. This article argues that the more appropriate cultural force being tapped into is not the alleged shame-based Asian value structure but rather the allure of guns as the great equalizer and bestower of power: "Debunking the 'Ethnic Angle' to Mass Murders like Binghampton and Virginia Tech." [Link courtesy of Poplicks.]

In that sense, Jiverly Voong and Cho Sung-hui share less in common with failed Japanese or Korean businessmen who jump off tall buildings and more in common with disenfranchised inner city youth of all races and ethnicities: socially marginalized, economically distressed, and otherwise emasculated, but for the fearsome and equalizing power of the gun to gain respect and fear and control. Let us not excuse this extreme form of social deviance, but let us also understand the vacuum of self-worth and societal respect from which it is birthed, that we might determine ways, structurally and individually, to reach out and to save.
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