A Culture of Violence

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by Paul Balles

 

American gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have been called “gun nuts” (a variation on “crazies”).

Discussions of guns and who owns them or lobbies for them arise every time there’s a mass murder, like that of the children in Connecticut recently.

Leading the discussions on the major American news networks are reports of the terrible losses naturally felt by the families of the victims, followed by recalling the tragic histories of family suffering after previous mass shootings.

After the required dedication to survivors is paid, the media moves on to necessary talks about what needs to be done about “gun control” for the future.

Depending on the latest type weapon, the discussions revolve around ways to limit the sales and use of especially unnecessary assault weapons or excessive cartridges.

Recognizing that there must be an element of insanity involved in a mass murder, we question what tests or standards need to be applied through background checks.

While all of this is going on, gun owners stock up on more guns for their personal collections; and rabid anti-government voices utter threats they fear from the government.





Meanwhile, the NRA babbles on with slogans like “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people”. They hoot and howl that more people should own guns to protect themselves.

This week, a Gallup poll reported that “U.S. gun ownership varies most strongly by gender — 45% of men versus 15% of women personally own guns. Being married and from the South are also major predictors of gun ownership — 64% of Southern married men own guns.

According to author and film director Frank Schaeffer “The battle over gun control has exposed a truth the mainstream media is apparently too shy to mention: A bunch of far-right, white, mostly Southern, paranoid extremists are preparing for armed revolution and apocalypse.”

Journalist Steven Hsieh reveals NRA’s “massive list of enemies posted on the organization’s site takes crazy to another level.”

They include Doctors, Poets, Women, 90s Boy Bands, Greeting Card Companies, Churches, Pro Football Teams, Actors, CEOs and Interior Designers.

Google the NRAs Ten Top Enemies to view the names of the vast legion of people who have–at one time or another–taken issue with the NRA.

The scenarios usually boil down to arguments about whether the NRA’s critics are trying to take away the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment rights.

The NRA has been making this argument for so long that most Americans–ignorant of the amendment’s history–tread very lightly on this issue.

The NRA has a lot of money to spend on lobbying and propaganda for the $12 billion firearms industry.

They’re a threat to anyone suggesting regulation. Thom Hartmann reported that two GOP Congressmen wanted to impeach Obama over gun reforms.

Not only has the Second Amendment been touted as an important public right, making many believe that they’re safer owning guns; Henry A. Giroux has observed that “Violence is deeply rooted in American culture.

Thom Hartmann reveals that the Second Amendment’s ratification was to preserve slave patrol militia: “…every Southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.”

Few Americans have bothered to learn the history of the Second Amendment and they have been brainwashed by gun nuts.

It’s unlikely that much useful legislation about gun use will ever get passed; and it’s likely that reactions to mass murders will subside.

It’s a sad day when a country is ruled by a belief that “packin’ a pistol”–or worse an assault weapon– is some kind of macho protection.

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