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Missoula Shooting Makes Headline News in Major German Publication Der Spiegel

Diren Dede
Photo courtesy of NBC Montana/KECI

Hot on the heels of coverage in the New York Times, Missoula is once again the center of international attention in an article by Der Spiegel (The Mirror), one of Germany’s biggest news sources.

The article by Karin Assmann, Marc Hujer, Fidelius Schmid and Andreas Ulrich is titled “Shot in Missoula: The Tragic Death of a German Exchange Student.” It follows the events that lead up to the fatal shooting of Diren Dede by homeowner Markus Kaarma and the aftermath, but also spends more time than most articles attempting to discuss the differences between America and Germany, even going so far as to argue that Dede’s misunderstanding of American culture may have led to his death.

The tragedy sheds light on a side of America that will likely always remain foreign to many Europeans. It reveals a country where freedom is more important than anything else. And that includes the freedom to defend one’s own property — with violence if necessary. For Diren D., who grew up in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, this misunderstanding was a death sentence.

The article asks other questions as to what the social causes were behind DeDe’s death, and offers two questions to ponder for answers: “America’s loose weapons laws that promote a culture of vigilantism? Or the strict rules that make it almost impossible for young men and women to safely test the boundaries, leading them to take stupid risks?”

Undoubtedly, this story will continue to gain momentum both domestically and abroad because of the large wheelhouse of issues (freedom, gun rights, culture) that surround the shooting.

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