There, yes. Here, no!Is it surprising that the U.S. has increased issues with gun violence, 15 years after 9-11? Everyone voting records of Senators (click to view) who wanted to attack Iraq, despite the questionability as to Iraq's culpability. Colin Powell referred to it as "war fever" and reinforced the sweeping zeitgeist of violence in his book "American Power and Intervention from Vietnam to Iraq." We have now had 15 years of indoctrination that violence is an acceptable form of problem solving; or at least a perceived acceptable form of solving problems.
lept to arms. Even people one wouldn't think would be pro-violent, wanted to use violence in reaction to the actions of 19 people. This is evidenced by looking at the
We're teaching our young wellSomeone who was 15 years old in 2001, would be 30 years old now. That would put them in their impressionable years subjected to a saturation of pro-war (pro-violence) messages that play viscerally on fear. Consider the age ranges who have grown up in an era where using violence to procure U.S. foreign policy desires, often framed in noble terms (e.g. fighting for freedom):
- A one year old would be fifteen (pre-impressionable)
- A five year old would be twenty now (impressionable)
- A twenty year old would be thirty-five (impressionable)
- a twenty-five year old would be forty (post impressionable)
Compare current (2014), especially items two and three, with the FBI statistics for ages of gun offenders which increases dramatically (by 68%) from the next highest age group of offenders. Most gun homicides are perpetrated by people ages seventeen to thirty-four. Whereas, other ages on either side of that age band, show murders by guns in the hundreds, in this age band, murders are in the thousands. This is the age band that lived their impressionable years through media saturation that violence is okay, at least in certain circumstances
Good Violence vs Bad ViolenceMost gun violence doesn't take place in the sanitized environments of a classroom, social media, or a blog. It takes place in highly emotionally charged situations of fear and anger. Murder has always been considered a crime of passion. Is it reasonable to expect that someone, anyone can tell themselves this is not the time to be violent. Is it unreasonable to believe that even before the moment of pulling the trigger -- way before -- that a large number of people, are inoculated with the idea that at some point gun violence is not only okay; that there are mitigating circumstances where
gun violence, performed by the right person for the right reason is justified.Given the most popular visual narratives, and video games, justified violence is a constant message to the impressionable:
- Grand Theft Auto
- Game of Thrones
- Hunger Games
- Mortal Kombat
Plus we need to examine what we expect from people we have designated as being privileged to have guns and to serve our needs. We want those people to be protective of us. Is it reasonable to expect that in every incident, that every person empowered to use force will make the correct decision.