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Guns and Deaths: We Really Don’t Care, Do We?


#1

Guns and Deaths: We Really Don’t Care, Do We?

Peter Van Buren

More than one a day.


#2

But there is GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS today! The Pentagon has just announced that women may function in ALL combat roles! Shoot, baby shoot.


#3

A sincere expression of VOMIT goes out to you, Mr. Van Buren for taking policies that are imposed by male dominant baboons--the same ones that occupy the military, Homeland Security, and the Secret State agencies, along with their NRA gun-loving comrades--and alleging that what THEY do, inclusive of normalizing both military theaters of war and their blowback equivalents here inside The Homeland--is reflective of that uniform collective loosely defined as WE.

If MOTHERS and GRANDMOTHERS led the decision-making, there wouldn't be all those guns... or missiles, or bombs, or all the male shows of macho prowess that take shape as all the wars along with the brute use of firepower at home.


#4

Of course, it is obvious to every HONEST reader, that Van Buren's article including his use of the rhetorical "we" is DESIGNED to both inform us, and to make us disgusted, so that we might rouse ourselves and take more action on the issue.


#5

Active shooter? The United States is a country with an active shooter mentality, and this because we are the Last Great Empire on this dying planet. Widespread gun ownership is definitely a major source of violence in the United States, but perhaps an even bigger source is that the guns are in the hands of AMERICANS! The country was born in violence, grew up with violence, and has matured into a global empire by leave of violence. Now, as the Empire decays, poisoning the world with its deadly toxins, violence has become the fetid air we breathe. The chaos that American foreign policy has sown across the world, is now being felt at home. There is no end in sight to the violence in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Columbia, Honduras, etc, etc,; but neither is there any end in sight to the violence in the United States. We truly live in ONE WORLD--a disintegrating world of despair, hopelessness, barbarism.

The police are looking into the motivation of the San Bernardino murderers. They always look for the motivation of mass murderers, as if there could be any rational justification for taking up a semi automatic weapon and spraying a crowd of people with gunfire. There is no "motive" that will really will make sense of such an action. In fact, we are in the era of willful wanton, senseless viciousness. Some people are ready to do atrocity precisely because it is atrocious. Which is just another way of saying, that we are living in an era of nihilism. Some would say that we are living in "evil times," but to say this misses the point. The human capacity for evil is constant: the real question is what are the factors that bring evil into play, assuming that there aren't people who are just "born that way"?

It's obvious that social, political and economic factors have the greatest bearing on whether people, in the main, will be good or evil. When a society reaches the point where nihilism takes over--where people lose faith in structures, institutions and the law--it's clear that such a society is in deep trouble. This was Germany in the 1930's. I believe it is the United States in 2015.

The endless war, the collapse of any pretense to Democratic Republicanism, the incredible levels of social and economic inequality are dispiriting factors that have disillusioned and corrupted the American people. A good many of them are nihilists. They may call themselves "Christians," "liberals," "Conservatives" or whatever, but the fact is many of them don't believe anything with real conviction. The real value in their life is the nihilistic refrain: "I just don't give a shit!" Sometimes that feeling comes from a feeling of helplessness or a feeling of rage, but the point is, the feeling is there and, as far as I can tell, it isn't going away anytime soon. The future looks dark. Really dark.

If we want to do something about gun violence in the United States, then, yes, we ought to institute background checks and other reform measures. We should resist the madness of the NRA. We should punish gun-loving politicians at the polls. But, most fundamentally, if we want to reduce the violence then we will have to confront the logic of Empire. We will have to make education or health care the central concern of the government. I would defund the Pentagon by 99%. I would try and build a truly human community, where people would not own guns, not because gun ownership is outlawed, but because they would not want to, seeing no threat from their neighbors and no real reason for deadly arguments. It follows that to bring about such a community we would have to be in some other society than capitalism. I am not afraid to call it a society of democratic socialism. Many people will say that such a society is impossible. Perhaps so. But is it more "impossible" than the society we currently live under? Can anyone claim that our murderous state of affairs has a viable future? It feels like the world is falling apart, for the good reason that it is falling apart!!


#6

This is a superb analysis jrp1900, and SHOULD form the basis of any assessment of violence in the USA, and any effort to address it.

i wish ten million people would read what you wrote, instead of a couple hundred here today.

But we can all work to share this understanding with those around us.


#7

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#8

" Many people will say that such a society is impossible. Perhaps so."

To paraphrase John Lennon: you may be a dreamer; but you are not the only one!


#9

Yeah and our hawkish former Sec of State Hillary isn't really a woman because if she really were a woman then she wouldn't be as hawkish as those men. Right sexist Siouxrose?


#10

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#11

Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you that what is wanted today is a deeper understanding of the sources of violence than is typically offered in mainstream political discourse. Too often the debate falls into a simple dichotomy of more or less regulation of gun ownership. In my view, this angle of argument misses the point: the United States has many social and political factors that will make for a violent society, regardless of how guns are regulated. The two biggest causes of gun violence, as I see it, are American history (especially the history of race, slavery and conquest), and American Empire (which incites violent and militaristic thinking throughout the whole culture). We can't do anything to alter the past, but we can alter the influence of the past on the present and the future. Hence the dire need for social justice to American racial minorities. But we can confront the present evils of the Empire, as these are amenable to change. In fact, if we don't take on the Empire, there won't be a future worth living in...


#12

How can one expect a country that condones violence and has murdered millions of innocent people, including men,women and children in its foreign policy, and also many American soldiers. How can one expect it not be violent in its domestic population?
Not condoning guns and deaths, but a fish rots from the head down. Amerikan foreign policy has been rotten to the core. What has been the modus operandi of Amerika? What has been the Raison d' Etre of US foreign policy for at least the last 100 years? VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM! All for US hegemony and hubris designed to protect the vested and potential interests of Industrial greed, all the while supporting the MIC!

And how long before they stop this egregious canard? WE ARE BRINGING THEM FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY ( even if they don't want it! And even if millions of innocent people are murdered in the process! And this terrorism and violence is condoned by the government and the MSM because the murders and violence are wrapped in a pretty flag and are called "patriotic". Until the violence and terrorism of the US government ends....I do not see the domestic violence and terrorism ending. Yes, the US government really does not care about guns and deaths!


#13

i pride myself on working toward a complex understanding of things, but i do find myself supporting calls for "More regulation of guns!" Not that i don't support regulation of guns, which are obviously designed to make it quick easy and efficient to kill. But we need to bring the discussion to a deeper understanding of cultural, social, economic, and human ROOTS of violence. Guns are not the root and source.

Obviously i do not want to fall into the trope that "Guns don't kill people! People kill people!" which is used to silence any effort to regulate guns, but also to avoid systemic understanding, and instead focus on diseased individuals or demonized groups as "the source" of such violence. Also looking at media like video games or Hollywood movies, typically fails to address historical and political reasons why such violent media experiential imagery prevails in the USA. (Or why depression and anxiety are so prevalent, and are individualized, stigmatized, and treated with pharmaceutical drugs, rather than recognized as socially and culturally propagated illnesses that can most effectively be mitigated with systemic approaches.)

As in so many topics: There is not an "either / or", single reason that can be isolated to "solve" the problem. Instead there is a need for a "both / and", whole systems approach: Promote intelligent regulation of these tools; AND promote intelligent assessment of historical roots, and present-day structures that feed violence, which can only be addressed systemically and structurally. Which leads us, among other things, to taking on the Empire (and ITS roots in patriarchy, nationalism, racism, capitalism...).


#14

We completely agree. You express my own sentiments exactly :smile:


#15

I am very puzzled by all the emotion over guns and why political action seems impossible. I can't see why:
All guns and every part of the gun can't be serial marked, proof fired, registered
and the data recorded. The gun owner’s gun would have registration and title
like a car. Title would have to be transferred like a car and you would have to
have insurance. You would have to pass a gun owners test with both a written test and an actual use
test, rather like a driver’s test. The gun’s technology would only permit the owner to fire it. Until the gun was sold and the title transferred or reported stolen the owner would be liable for any damage done by
the gun.

Anyone
found with an unregistered or stolen gun would never be able to legally own a
gun, would be monitored for the rest of their life and pay a heavy fine and/or
jail time.


#17

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#18

Opinions on gun rights vs. gun control seem to hover around the 50% mark in the last 10 years or so. I just checked some surveys published by Pew Research Center. I see this as pretty wishy-washy, unfortunately, so the mass killings will go on until, magically, people react.

Personally, I would to the following, assuming we had a cultural shift that would saturate society with informants:

  1. I would ban guns all-together. Nobody would dare have a gun for fear of being reported. The old cliche "only outlaws will have guns" would not hold; maybe it would be true for the first year, after that all those outlaws would be behind bars for having violated the law, and their snitches would be enjoying handsome rewards. That's right: with good rewards for informing on 2nd-amendment zealots, it wouldn't be worth it trying to hold on to a gun.

  2. Any woman who desires a gun for personal protection would be allowed to have one, after passing a reasonable background check. Women need some dispensation in this regard because we men tend to be insecure assholes, and as such resort to violence all too often. I don't think a single mass-killing has been done by a woman.

  3. All guns would be built to be identified with a matching "gun detector" that anybody could have, if they wished. All police would have them. This way, no concealment of weapons would be possible. This would resolve the potential problem of insecure boyfriends stealing the gun that their girlfriends obtained legally.

In my estimation, these steps would pretty much take care of the issue, and the NRA would still get to sell lots of guns (to women).


#19

Fix the gerrymander, and Congress will start listening to the people again.


#20

As a resident of WA, that's another reason for disgust at "my" two Senators.


#21

"Fix the gerrymander, and Congress will start listening to the people again."

One of MANY fundamental electoral reforms that are necessary for something resembling a functioning representative democracy.