Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Tuesday, April 17

Among the horror and carnage, this just stood out

Like many other college students around the country, I have been reading a bit about the Virginia Tech shooting. At least I am now. When I first saw it on the news yesterday I thought "Oh, another school shooting" and read something else. How cynical is that? But back to the shooting. It is horrific and saddening. And yet, in the middle of an article filled with horrifying and saddening details, this statement about a gun purchase stood out enough for a double take:

State police conducted an instant background check that probably took about a minute, the store owner said.

Maybe it is the mathematician in me, but an "instant" background check cannot take a minute. I mean, technically, it can't even take a second, but I don't mind stretching it that far. Even 15 seconds. But a minute? My dad won't even focus for 30 seconds while I try to explain a math concept. It really shouldn't be called an "instant" background check. Maybe we should call it "background checks while-u-wait". Or "minute-checks". Or perhaps "semi-useless minute-long exercise intended to give people a false sense of safety".

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having studied at Virginia Tech, it was more shocking to me, because the names of buildings and spots on campus, mentioned in news reports, were quite familiar to me. Its sad anyway you look at it. Without more gun control, more idiots like this guy and those morons at Columbine will commit worse crimes.

Anil

Brian said...

More gun control won't accomplish anything. It's obvious the gun control we do have isn't being enforced. The guy was admitted to a hospital and declared mentally ill in 2005, yet he passed the background check. I'd say the background check system needs to be fixed before passing anymore legislation that will also be half-assedly implemented.