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Normalizing Violence

Normalizing Violence

Robert C. Koehler

Addressing the Parkland shootings last month, and the apparent emergence of a movement for tougher, saner gun laws that has followed, aUSA Today article asked: “What has been so different from all the other mass shootings over the years?”


“In one sense, this is a reasonable question. Why now? Why didn’t it happen after, you know . . . Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Orlando, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora? And the list goes on.”

Because the Parkland survivors stood up and called “BS” on the “this is not the right time to discuss gun control” narrative and others of its kind. They were assaulted and have appropriately rejected the Marquess-of-Queensbury-rules styled gimmicks of the NRA and its hostages. I shall be on the street to cheer them on this Saturday. I hope you will join us.


Where is MMinLamesa when we need him to tell us all how wrong and stupid we are?

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Normalizing violence, we have normalized hate and hate speech. I have been working this out a bit on my site and I’m wondering if, externalized hate is rooted in self-hate? If so, is externalized violence not the same? Both are a breech from what is rational and not in our self interest or preservation of the host. When the host is under threat then violence or use of force may come into play to preserve the host. Are we under threat to the degree that we externalize self hate and violence? Is this nationalized violence being due to a threat not the result of inequality? Probably so, our existence and the longevity of our standard of living is a constant question.

Just thinking out-loud, babbling as it were.

Polishing his Gun collection. They require work you know. Freedom is not free!

The USA has been at war with other peoples, or nation states for some 90 percent of its history. Violence was normalized a LONG time ago. What is needed is to give a peace a chance and a chance for something more then a half dozen years which is about the longest span of years I could find where the US Military was not out there killing someone.


thanks, bob for your dedication to peace and sanity in this world gone mad! love that quote from mlk! we are not alone.

Public Safety Is None of Your Business

"World peace is none of your business
You must not tamper with arrangements
Work hard and simply pay your taxes
Never asking what for
Oh, you poor little fool
Oh, you fool

World peace is none of your business
Police will stun you with their stun guns
Or they’ll disable you with tasers
That’s what government’s for
Oh, you poor little fool
Oh, you fool

World peace is none of your business
So would you kindly keep your nose out
The rich must profit and get richer
And the poor must stay poor
Oh, you poor little fool
Oh, you fool

Each time you vote you support the process.–British rocker Morrissey

and some sage advise from long, ago. gee, when will we ever learn?!

“One who would guide a leader of men in uses of life
will warn him against the use of arms for conquest.
Weapons often turn upon the wielder.
                            Where armies settle,
           Nature offers nothing but briars and thorns.
                       After a great battle has been fought,
                          the land is cursed, the crops fail,
            the earth lies stripped of its Motherhood.

              After you have attained your purpose,
                 you must not parade your success,
                 you must not boast your ability,
                             you must not feel proud;
             you must rather regret that you have not been
                                   able to prevent the war.

You must never think of conquering others by force.
Whatever strains with force
will soon decay.
It will not be attuned to the Way.
Not being attuned to the way,
its end comes all too soon."–Lao-tzu


Excellent stuff and I wish I could give it more than one thumbs up.


Why now? Why didn’t it happen after, you know . . . Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Orlando, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora? And the list goes on.

right! why now?

seems to me both political parties–especially the democrats–want to get rid of trump. he’s an embarrassment and a blotch on america’s “pristine good guy” image. i wonder who’s organizing the students march? don’t look for a political solution-----the answer must come from us.

ignore the man behind the curtain!

thank you!

This is an “increasingly violent” country, Mr. Koehler.

And why is that?

Perhaps because of how this country glorifies our Military who are in over 130 countries doing God knows what, or how weapons are sold in the $100’s of Billions to countries who use those weapons to suppress their neighbors, or just how we sell weapons of mass murder capability right here in the Good Ole USA to 18 year Olds who are barely able to shave.

Yes, we live in a Sick Fucking country that values violence over our people.

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A beautifully written, clear-eyed look at what we are as a society, as well as why we are what we are. And what we are is most definitely not normal, nor should it be accepted as such.

Our society is sick, sick, sick. The everlasting illegal wars of choice have infected our whole
national psyche. We must demand a better way. Hopefully this student uprising will grow to the point at which the deluded previous generations will finally come to their senses.

April 4th will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s murder. It is finally time to start taking seriously the words of the speech that he made exactly a year before he was taken away from us by the very same dark and violent forces that we struggle with today. I appreciate Mr. Koehler’s inclusion of part of that speech in his essay. It is arguably the most important speech in our history. Anyone who has not read the full text of it, should do so. CD normally
republishes it every April 4.

It is time to begin to make the change that we want. The Parkland students, and their peers across the country, are bravely leading the way. The rest of us need to join them in support, in every way that we can.

Violence particularly gun violence got “normlized” in the USA a long time ago. The real accukturalization began in 1903 with the first western movie “The Great Train Robbery,” “shoot-‘em-up” movies that established the cowboy gunman as both the first manhood defining characters as both the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” By the time my ‘50s childhood happened, cap guns that made a “bang” were standard kid gear.

All that led us inexorably to where we now find ourselves. Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Red Ryder with his Indian boy sidekick Little Beaver (!) and all such televised characters led us into armed temptation and delivered us TO evil.

Did you ever collect the powder from those caps in order to produce a more impressive explosion? If so, then you and I are terrorists. Otherwise, it’s just me. Tweety Bird tattled on me: “I tought I taw a tewwowist”… In the 60s Mattel came out with a toy M16 to condition unfortunate XYs to spread democracy with an impressive muzzle velocity.