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What's the buzz on ... gun control?
Each week, takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation. This week, we focus on gun control, a topic that has generated heated discussion after 32 students and faculty of Virginia Tech were slain in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Here is a look at what bloggers are saying on the subject.

Overall opinion (April 18-24, 2007)

So what does this mean?
In the charts above, positive sentiment about gun control reflects those whose comments advocated stricter gun control laws, while comments against gun control laws were marked as negative. The majority of blog conversations about gun control were negative, many saying that Americans have a constitutional right to defend themselves and that banning guns would not have prevented the Virginia Tech shootings. Some conservative bloggers go as far as to say the massacre could have been stopped earlier had one of the victims had a gun. Liberal bloggers, on the other hand, believe that stricter gun control laws are necessary, given the number of murders in the United States.

In their own words
LawDog on The LawDog Files
I have never understood how it was possible for a thinking, rational being to support gun control.

Whole bunch of folks who ought to know better are using the excuse of the murders at Virginia Tech to call for the banning of guns. Some folks calling for only some guns to be banned, others going whole hog and wanting everything banned.

Let me ask y'all a question.

You want to ban guns. In 1919, the Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution were passed banning alcohol -- much like you want to ban guns now, they banned booze then.

Syd on Front Sight, Press
You can rest assured that this tragedy will result in calls for more gun control. If one aspirin doesn't work, take a hundred; that will surely cure the headache. The gun controllers equate the weakness of the Bush administration with support for gun control and assume that because the Republicans are weak, there will be greater support for their failed agenda. This is, of course, flawed reasoning, but that has never stopped them before. Now, they have a new Columbine to fuel emotional pleas to ban more guns and pass more laws which only restrict those who obey the law.

Marc McDonald on
Here we are, a century later, and there are less gun control laws on the books today in many areas of the U.S. than there were in many parts of the Old West. Despite what today's gun nuts would have us believe, in most of the U.S., it is still remarkably easy to buy a gun these days.

Of course, you'd never guess this was the case, if you listen to the NRA's hysterical propaganda. The NRA would have us believe that guns are already heavily regulated in America today and that the feds are on the verge of kicking in our doors and confiscating every last gun in the nation.

Stephen in a comment thread on Doug's Darkworld
The ubiquitous use of violent imagery as a pastime is surely a contributing factor. That a nation can be so sensitive to sexual images (e.g. a nanosecond's exposure to Janet Jackson's nipple will corrupt the nation's youth) yet maintain that violent imagery has no social consequences defies belief.

One small quibble: Would the pathetic immature coward who pulled this massacre off even have attempted it, had he known some of his victims might be able to fight back? I assume he planned from the outset to die in the building. It may still be true to call him a coward (suicide is a cowardly act), but I doubt the threat of death would have deterred him.
CNN works with Umbria, a company that collects and analyzes millions of online opinions and review postings every day.

More about Umbria's analysis


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