The big Empörung (outrage) about last week’s shooting in Virginia, followed by the obligatory lecturing on the antiquated American Wild West back wood’s attitude concerning gun control there hardly had a chance to die down before somebody else gets blown away by a heavily-armed criminal here, in Germany, again.

This happens all the time over here by the way, it’s just that the Empörung part is usually missing. A policewoman was murdered by some creep in Heilbronn while she was routinely checking papers within the framework of that city’s “Secure City” initiative. Her partner was also shot and may not make it, either. Nothing like this ever happens in small cities over here, you see. But then it does doch (after all) and nobody really seems to get hot and bothered about it. If, however, the same thing happens in an American city, that incident has a good chance of making German front page news.

The logic is quite simple really: Because we are German, everything is Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen (law and orderly) and criminal acts are just that. In America though, the fact that practically anyone can arm his or herself is, in and of itself, criminal. In America you are guilty without charge, before anything even happens. And if nothing happens, that’s the exception.

But that criminals do pretty much what they want to do regardless of the law is what makes them criminals, you see. And it doesn’t really matter which country they find themselves in, either. And a little more Empörung about that might be in order. Before the next shooting, I mean. No simple solutions there, oder (or are there)?

Think prison sentences, for instance. Your short, vacation-style ones don’t seem to work, either. It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?

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