Gun Massacres Are the Grotesque Pinnacle of ‘American Exceptionalism’
The U.S. has the most number of weapons, with an estimated 400 million guns in circulation—that’s more guns than people in the United States, and almost half of the civilian-owned guns on the planet.Amy Goodman, Daniel Moynahan, Commondreams.org
Now those who know me know that me and Major League Baseball and the NBA are buddies and it would take a lot for me to not continue paying attention to the standings and the games.
But professional athletes suddenly felt trivial on the same day our entire country experienced a tragedy that literally dragged an ugly skeleton out of the closet whose existence we seem to ignore.
I do agree with one thing Mr. Olbermann once had to say in a Special Comment :
“We need to put the guns down. Just as importantly we need to put the gun metaphors away and permanently.Left, right, middle – politicians and citizens – sane and insane. This morning in Arizona, this age in which this country would accept “targeting” of political opponents and putting bulls eyes over their faces and of the dangerous blurring between political rallies and gun shows, ended.”
Regardless of the politically philosophical aspect of the shooter’s reasons and self-described motivations, he did what he did because he packed a gun to a place where guns aren’t supposed to be necessary.
His personal philosophy is also beside the point.
That which has enflamed the overblown almost paranoid outrage over infringements of constitutional rights has set the mood for most of the encouragement of violence as an option in this country at this time.
It seems that the slogan driving these folks with the big iron(s) on their hips is … “If you block me from using my First Amendment Right I will exercise my Second Amendment Right and use my weapon on you!”
… or something like that.
As to who the traitorous un-American “YOU” bent on destroying our liberties is as well as the reasoning behind the extreme step of using a weapon against another citizen, well that’s up for interpretation.
Which would be an interpretation quite subject to challenge if it’s sole justification rested on generating and maintaining fear and anger through the use of inflammatory pretenses of outrage against those who disagree.
It also seems that we as a people are more inclined now to be impetuous and reactive over a much wider range of our feelings than ever before. Our entertainment choices, our consumption and our medication decisions are based on a manipulation toward impetuosity.
“Think before you speak” and “think before you act” have somehow been forgotten or suppressed – almost as if becoming quickly angered or outraged generates a drug-like emotional or physiological high that in truth looks to be quite addictive.
There are people in positions of public influence through broadcast or speaking exposure who are deliberately inflaming the American public and making their living by doing so. Senator Ted Cruz and his totally useless political commentary on the event comes to mind.
We will now hear more and more about gun control and I suspect that the inflamers will make more financial hay by screeching about guns, amendments and fear.
For some who bore weapons to public civic events like town hall meetings in our recent past it was called “carrying” and is part of making what is considered a patriotic statement. That statement in all its sincerity has to do with an exaggerated fear concerning defending our liberties whenever and wherever those freedoms appear to be under attack.
So then, what does “under attack” mean?
What is in the mind of someone who feels the need to publicly flaunt personal ownership of a weapon?
Something frightens him that is not frightening most people who are civically engaged and active?
Is there a difference?
Well, although we all have that 2nd Amendment right, our mature civic common sense dictates that one need not “carry” unless a defense of rights is under literal and immediate physical attack, war or invasion of our country.
And for most it wouldn’t be any different if the attackers were our own government agents or military troops sent to forcibly take our weapons away, put us in some kind of internment camp, force us to pay our taxes or execute us for fornication.
But that is not what is happening despite the pretensions of those earning fancy livings off vitriol.
Who buys into that vitriol?
Again this particular Texan murderer’s personal internal motivations aren’t the real issue. The issue is more around a tendency and willingness to move in the direction of knee-jerk violence.
It seems to me that would-be Second Amendment heroes won’t hesitate to manufacture (imagine) enemies to the homeland in order to sustain a macho sense that hearkens back to every Wayne or Eastwood movie where the good guy gets to shoot somebody.
It seems like many are willing to suspend judgment and critical thinking by falling for any broadcast lie hook, line and sinker, so long as the lie comes from someone trusted.
Flash your weapons guys, get out those comic books and to hell with anyone else in the crowd, their children or their grandchildren.
It won’t matter which public vitriol preacher said it would be acceptable. There will not be anything heroic about the perpetrator clothed metaphorically in plastic chaps worn to cover morally civic laziness and a stick horse to ride off in glory.
One of our most powerful national assets ought to be our on common sense.
Patrick Henry said give me liberty or give me death. He didn’t say everybody needs to bring guns to scare off paper tigers created by public speakers for profit.
2 thoughts on “If we’re the greatest nation, why is the symbol of that greatness a god damn gun?”
The most absurd visualization I can think if is the caricature of a shirtless Donald Trump dressed as a modern day Rambo brandishing a huge military weapon. How different could that be from the flabby, fat ass, loud mouth, bully coward he actually is. Yet people believe and buy into the myth. Thus we are so gravely divided.
I couldn’t agree more with all you said. But the actual problem is very deep and complex and I have no answers to how this ends. No politician can fix it. No legislation can fix it. It can only come from within ourselves and too many of us have had our souls irreparably tainted. I see no answer end. Only more blood, anguish, and tears awaits us.
Well said and I agree with you.