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The U.S.’s Culture of Violence is Killing Us All

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/07/uss-culture-violence-killing-us-all

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Maybe it’s time for the ammunition to become really , really expensive. And too, like the driver’s license, a person must show the skill to use one. A test required every year or so would help to keep skills current. . And third, as automobile drivers must carry insurance for all kinds of mishaps----gun owners should have to show financial responsibility too. If more thought was put into acquiring guns and the necessary skills to use them, then maybe more thought would be put into the actual use of them.

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What the culture of violence misses climate change will get !!

It would have the same effect as prohibition.A huge opportunity for boot leg sales.For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction !

The sheer number of guns in this country is simply incompatible with peace. Plain and simply. And let us not forget the war and military culture in this country. It is not just TV shows that depict violence as an acceptable way to solve problems and “beat” opponents but also a military and troop worshiping culture that signals to people that warfare and associated violence and invasion are not only moral imperatives but that those who commit them are heroes sacrificing themselves “for our freedoms.” Given such sentiments and such a culture is it then any surprise that some people see it fit to pick up a gun to solve whatever issues they believe is plaguing us? These mass shootings dont happen in a vacuum.

The key thing to understand is that while ultimately we cannot really control a pissed off populace or whatever someone may plan, we can reduce and eliminate peoples’ access to deadly weapons so that when they do feel inclined to act on their hatred and anger the result isnt as bloody. That is really at the heart of gun reform, or should be.

I mean really what is the easier task: trying to predict who will become a mass shooter or just removing their access to deadly weapons?

Background checks and mental health status dont do anything. In fact studies have shown that background checks have done nothing to reduce gun violence. The El Paso shooter would have passed with flying colors, so would most of the domestic terrorists of recent.

Just cause someone has a criminal records (that can be non violent for that matter) does not mean they will become killers just as not having one doesn’t mean they wont.

Same with mental health: the majority of mentally ill people aren’t violent. And in general those who seek mental health counseling do not do so for psychopathy or for being sociopaths with a murder lust, which is sort of one the key characteristic of someone who picks up a gun and mass murders people. And, more to the point, just cause someone has been diagnosed with, say, depression or anxiety doesn’t mean they will pick up a gun and become mass murderers.

Conversely, there may be “mentally ill” people out there (the dangerous, violent kind) that are simply not diagnosed with the kind of mental illness that would prompt them to become mass murderers. So to throw mentally ill people under the bus and use that as a criteria for who should get guns is superficial. I mean what does that even mean “mentally ill”? What kind of mental illness? Not all mental illness leads to violence or makes one a mass murderer.

Point being, the flimsy, half assed measures people propose as gun control measures are purely optics and deeply ineffective. They simply don’t work and they will not prevent any shootings. What they do is lull the fools that make up the US electorate into a false sense of safety making them believe that something is being when that something is mostly pointless and cosmetic. Clamoring for an objectively ineffective measure just to “do something” is profoundly ignorant. I get the action imperative but why not direct it toward something that would actually help? Like BANNING ALL GUNS, except for hand guns and for that require licensing fees, insurance, a wait period, training and annual renewal of the license, sort of like when you drive a car.

Until then I’ll be seeing you all here in a few weeks or months when we get to, once again, debate another mass shooting, calling for true reform that will fall on deaf ears by the deplorable trash running this country.

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Hi degree:

Hmm, well,they would put the NRA in charge of regulating the guns and ammo, and for every error the NRA would make====they would get fined a lot and soon—there is no NRA. : )

However, since the IRS gets all the poor people and seems to miss the rich, then if the NRA messes up, the fines get higher as someone with brains has to run the operation.Then------ when that business started to tank, robbers would begin working with stun guns, which can kill people, but not as often as guns with bullets.

OR that well regulated military becomes a reality and those members ( anyone with a gun) must practice EVERY WEEKEND and soon it became so tiring and no one cared about guns anymore. So many options , degree : ) The government comes up with all kinds of ways to shutdown the People. You should know that! I’m just letting the thoughts flow.

What Professor Eddie didn’t say; " what doesn’t protect our national innocence is our politician’s willful ignorance that large sums of $$$ don’t influence their collective political decisions ".
Let’s face it; they’d rather keep the $$$ and be wrong rather than not take and keep it and be right.
Just sayin’ Professor.

its amazing to me how much people can talk about our violent culture without even noticing the worlds biggest war machine destroying whole countries one after another,
and still trying to figure out why the citizens of this mighty war making machine act violent at home.

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Although violent incidents occur in other countries, they are not as frequent — or as deadly — as in the United States

Actually, the deadliest by a single shooter occurred in 2011 in Norway, with 77 dead. That’s followed by

  • 2017 Las Vegas shooting (58 dead)
  • 1982 South Korean shooting (56 dead)
  • 2019 New Zealand Mosque shooting (51 dead)
  • 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting (49 dead)
  • 2015 Sousse, Tunisia shooting (38 dead)
  • 1996 Port Arthur shooting (35 dead)
  • 2007 Virginia Tech shooting (32 dead)
  • 2014 Sandy Hook shooting (27 dead)
  • 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting (21 dead)

If you include multiple-shooter incidents the US drops out of the top 5.

Fully half of the massacres that you have listed above happened in the U.S…

Of those, only 1 occurred during the 10 years of the ban on assault-style weapons, which
was allowed to expire in 2004.

We lead the rest of the world in this insanity…by a huge margin. We have a gun-worship problem that is only getting worse.

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how many gun deaths has Norway had since 2011?

Conflict resolution by bullet. Natural born killers, since day one when we invaded Turtle Island. This article is nice and polite with no mention of the horror show we are, the ugly amurikan.

No disagreement there, but the author did say that incidents were not as deadly as in the United States, which is obviously not true.

Those were the top 10. According to Mother Jones there were 15 total in the US during those 10 years. And multiple studies have found that the ban had no significant effect on homicide.

The overwhelming majority of people don’t seem to have any problem. There are a few outliers who are the problem when it comes to mass shootings, but mass shootings only represent a tiny fraction of the number of homicides.

Over half of the homicides occur in a small percentage of the United States in both demographic and geographic terms. That demographic group and geographic area also have a lower-than-average legal firearms ownership rate.

Don’t really know. I was just responding to a “fact” in the article.

There is no gun crisis. There is a deep crisis of denial among the people of this great nation, and there is an inexcusable delay by the people in finding a true, genuine solution to the problem.

The denial is in our denying that we have created and nurtured a warring nation that was built on war and continues to be so, whether we like it or not. Nowhere else on this planet will you find the same programming that we have in America. War and violence is bred into us at the earliest of ages and then is positively reinforced through adolescence and adulthood. Go, and ask Germany if during their childhoods they play games with titles such as Cowboys and Indians. Go, and ask any of the Asian countries if they have early childhood programming that includes games such as, Cops and Robbers. Even Go, and ask Russia, or Iran, if during their childhoods if they are programmed with such games as little green army men. Combine this early programming with a social epidemic like the Narcissism that has spread to all ages of Americans, and then sprinkle on a healthy dose of games, movies and media that is 90% violent, war driven and focused upon the false self, and what you get are the multitude of young shooters that we just now are beginning to seek out trends upon.

And I am not even mentioning the fact that the older population has left our youth with a used up and soon to be resourceless planet. Much of our youth realize that the 90+% of the population will slave away for 70 years of their lives, working 50-60 hours a week, and yet will die poor and in debt. When you traverse down this road of reality one begins to feel a little empathy for why our youth are behaving in the way they are. I mean really, what is there left to live for?

So how do we stop the bleeding from this epidemic that seemingly just keeps growing in momentum? We MUST profile these shooters in an intelligent way in which will result in a high rate of cutting these instances off at the pass before they become the next bloody venue in your town. We should have been doing this a long time ago! We must closely analyze the commonalities of these shooters, and above al else, we must seek out the data that will lead to early warning, and interdiction. So, some of this work has already been done. Do yo know what one of the most important commonalities is in every one of these cases? That the shooter showed early warning signs. Signs that should have been acknowledged by those closest to them. Hmmm, is it denial again rearing its ugly head? Nah, my son/brother/father is just talking crazy shit, he wouldnt go and carry anything like that out. BULLSHIT! Early intervention could have stopped damn near every single one of these cases. First and foremost though, we all need to pull our heads out of this deep state of denial that seems to be plaguing us from the very onset of this issue. And finally, we must begin to make the dire changes in our lives, our societies, and in our hearts if we will ever have a chance at stopping this horrible backlash upon our lives and our beings.

Stop blaming the gun, and start blaming yourself for accepting things to getting to this point already.

Love, Light and Power,
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Old trumpy could help the situation by shutting his mouth instead of stoking up racist fear among his supporters and telling us that everyone else is the enemy. The real enemy is trumpty dumpty and it’s about time he had a great fall so that we can refuse to pick up the bits and put them back together again. It doesn’t help that he has a few right wing extremist supporters around the world, chief among whom are our (unelected) prime minister here in the UK and his crony farrago the fascist, both of whom will be getting their come-uppance pretty soon when we finally dump plans for brexit now that the tory party in GB have been shown up for what they are - a bunch of fascists, just like the trump thing and his cohorts.

Well analyzed and very hard to disagree with your solution. Free access to weapons of mass destruction is just asking for trouble.

I agree that we are living in a culture of violence and as a peace activist, I wish we could feel the grief and shock of the victims of the wars we think are so important to our security. We need to confront the problem of violence and anger on every front we can think of. Better education, less propagandizing of how great we are, reverence for diplomacy rather than killing, eliminating weapons that kill en masse, more mental health professionals, more positive media attention to non-majority cultures… More kindness practiced , fewer hate filled radio programs…

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Our 20-year-olds are embracing centuries-old hatred, as putrid as the 1920’s Klan. Self- deception appears to be baked into the foundation of this country and I don’t know if it is realistic to expect an epiphany, ever.

The son of an Immigrant actually told Ayanna Pressley to go back to where she came from, when Ms. Pressley can trace her roots in this country back several hundred years. That is mind blowing. We have added hyphens to the word American as if to distinguish between real Americans and American immigrants, but Native Americans, Mexican Americans and African Americans have resided in this country longer than most White hyphen Americans. Whether it is an ignorance of history or a denial of it, it is still baffling to hear our White children lay claim to this country as if no one lived here before their ancestors arrived.

The friction between poor White people and people of color is of political design. The rich have always controlled the poor by “convincing the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man so that he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.” The problem for this country now is that the rich have forgotten how to play that game. When 40% of your citizens earn less than $25,000 a year, pitting one group against the other becomes dangerous to the entire country. The rich allowed too many people to become poor. The death of the American dream might become the death of America.

This country identifies by race first and foremost, not by common interest. Poor people don’t stick together. Poor White people imagine that their interests are the same as billionaires. They don’t earn enough money to pay taxes, yet some of them work themselves up into a lather, arguing against welfare because it might go to someone with skin darker than theirs. The very ones who are unemployed and without health care argue against free healthcare because they imagine someone with darker skin might benefit from free. Trump is president, largely because women did not view their commonality with other women as their basic identity but viewed the need to keep this country White as more important that fighting sexism or unequal wages.

With the murder of the first Native American, this country set course on a path that brought us to this point. The justification of reservations, slavery, lynching, Jim Crow, interment, police brutality and the skewing of normal, we have lived with for centuries, has probably altered the DNA of this current generation and it might be that we are just watching the chickens coming home to roost and that there is nothing that we can do about it. What did we imagine would happen?

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Most articles on this topic, do not even mention the fact that half of our budget is a War budget…and that almost half the population makes a living in the War economy and practice …let alone mention the victims of Wars abroad…most of which are civilian. These things are tightly related.