A compilation of European reaction to the Virginia Tech shooting is here, but just to give a taste.
From France’s Le Monde:
“This new tragedy presents a new opportunity for American public opinion to interrogate itself about a society which, as one of the students who survived Columbine said at the time, is very much responsible for what has happened.”
From France’s Le Figaro:
“It was all too easy easy for the elected representatives of the United States, from the White House to the Congress, to express their sadness yesterday; America’s problem with fire-arms represents a political issue for which they share responsibility. Here is a country that represents the vanguard of development and democracy while it is legal to carry a gun in 45 of 50 states, as long as the gun is not loaded. …
“Contrary to what one would imagine, this backward stance is not something left over from the Wild West. It goes back to the creation of the United States and the War of Independence against the English. …
From Italy’s Il Messaggero:
“The bloodbath on the university campus is the work of a suicide killer — an American suicide killer who, differently from Muslim killers, did not act out of religious motives but was driven instead by the unrest affecting broad layers of US society. America is a nation that has for some years been in danger of becoming more and more unloved in the world, especially in the poorest countries. During the period following World War II, America was seen as the guardian of democracy and was equated with the defense of liberty; today, America is a superpower that begins wars and lives with the constant necessity of having to defend itself against the enemy — whether this enemy be called Islam or whether it bears the face of the neighbor who has done you wrong.”
Yeah, a South Korean native shoots 32 people, and he was driven by “the unrest affecting broad layers of U.S. society” and this all has to do with America being a superpower. (See UPDATE.)
Meanwhile, Spain’s El Pais tells us how to interpret the U.S. Contstitution:
“The president of Virginia Tech called it a tragedy of monumental proportions. But similar comments could already be heard following previous tragedies of this kind. The shooting spree at the Columbine high school in Colorado, for instance, revived the debate on the necessity of better controlling access to weapons. This led to some laws being toughened and security at schools being improved. But the measures are decided by the individual states and are constantly side-stepped by means of an exaggerated interpretation of the US constitution.”
UPDATE: According to the latest report, the gunman immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 at the age of 8, so I suppose that would give him enough time to be affected by societal unrest, if that’s what you want to attribute this tragedy to.