Tag Archives: violence

Guns versus bombs

One thing that always occurs to me when there is a mass shooting is that they often don't seem to be fundamentally different from suicide bombings. In both types of events, the perpetuator usually ends up killing and wounding a lot of people, and the perpetuator almost always end up getting themselves killed, by getting themselves blown up, shooting themselves, or getting shot by cops. And yet, suicide bombings are invariably described as terrorist acts while mass shootings are treated as 'merely' very tragic events (well, except perhaps if the shooter is Muslim). The one fundamental difference between a mass shooting and a suicide bombing seems to be that there might be less property damage from the former, even if in practice there might be different proportions of motives.

Not terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but the different perceptions have been bugging me ...

Religion rejects violence, maybe

The pope of the Catholic Church says that "genuine religion rejects violence and totalitarianism", which makes me wonder if he is unaware of the history of his own religion. But I might have been all for the pope telling such a lie if I thought it would actually help reduce religion-based violence, and for all I know that may indeed be his intention (the other possibility being that the pope only believes what he wants to believe regardless of truth). Unfortunately, I don't think it will do any good, and in fact be harmful, because it could enable religious people to think they are advocating peace when they are most certainly not. It's the same kind of thinking that allows a religious organization to claim that they hold life sacred while trying to eliminate both birth control and abortion or condemn the use of condoms that prevent the spread of HIV.

Violence in Korean beef protests

About 130 people were injured during a violent clash during protests against the importation of American Beef into South Korea. By now, most of the moderates who participated in the protests are probably tired of them and need to go back to their own lives, so it's not a particular surprise that only the hardcore protestors would still go on. So it would have only been a matter of time before the ongoing protests resulted in violence.

The ironic thing is that for all we know, the injuries from this single protest might be more harm than what could result from the import of US beef, at least in terms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease infection. It is quite possible that no such cases might arise at all. I could be wrong, and the protestors could be right in their belief that import of US beef could result in a rash of cases, but there is no indication that this would be the case.