Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Dichotomy of Gun Violence

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 well

Someone 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):

  1. A one year old would be fifteen (pre-impressionable)
  2. A five year old would be twenty now (impressionable)
  3. A twenty year old would be thirty-five (impressionable)
  4. 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 Violence

Most 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.

Culture Change vs Control

Gun control seems to be a loosing battle as gun ownership and violence is clearly rising. Gun control advocates, such as myself, can only hope that we have reached a point of urgency that something might break. However, that may be hoping against hope. Clearly though, this country needs a new over arching view of guns and gun violence. A new zeitgeist needs to start and start now. It took fifteen years to reach this state of crisis, it is going to take time to reverse the momentum of this crisis.

It takes a village... teach the impressionable the ideal of non-violence; in how to react to challenging situations with peace. This means daily engagement with each other; non combative, non argumentative engagement. We need to stem the fuel that feeds the fire. We need to get over our love of guns!

In the mean time:

Realistic Gun Control

Become an Actionist! More effective than an Activist!  Yes arguing on social media and yelling in the streets has an emotionally rewarding aspect. I know, I grew up demonstrating against US involvement in Vietnam.  However activism is self indulgent, preaching to the choir.   It's a big world. No one cares what you have to say.

Take Effective Action! Become an Actionist!

It's no secret to anyone reading this that the world is run by money. Become a money person. Make a difference! We still have the pro-gun lobby outnumbered, which we each have to ante up less to become more effective than the pro-gunners.  This link is to the most effective gun control lobby in the country: Every Town For Gun Safety