Violence feeds on corporate controlled disimagination machines that celebrate it as a sport while upping the pleasure quotient for the public. Americans do not merely engage in violence, they are also entertained by it. This kind of toxic irrationality and lure of violence is mimicked in America’s aggressive foreign policy, in the sanctioning of state torture, and in the gruesome killings of civilians by drones. As my colleague David L. Clark pointed out to me in a private email correspondence, “bombing make-believe countries is not a symptom of muddled confusion but, quite to the contrary, a sign of unerring precision. It describes the desire to militarize nothing less than the imagination and to target the minutiae of our dreams.” War-like values no longer suggest a flirtation with a kind of mad irrationality or danger.
Jurors on Thursday convicted an anti-government activist on firearms charges after authorities said he sought out high-powered weaponry for a coming “second American revolution.”
William Krisstofer Wolf of Montana was arrested after buying an automatic, sawed-off shotgun for $720 from an undercover FBI agent nicknamed “Dirty” in a truck stop parking lot. He was found guilty of possession of a machine gun and failing to register a firearm.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., continued to call on her congressional colleagues this week to support measures that she said would cut down on gun violence.Warren, who joined Senate Democrats earlier this month in promoting the proposals to close so-called background check loopholes and reduce gun trafficking, directed supporters to join the “United for Gun Safety” movement.”Senate Democrats are calling on Republicans to support three sensible measures to reduce gun violence,” she said in an email to supporters. “But let’s get real: The only way the Republican leadership will act is if enough people stand up to the NRA. We need to shout loud and clear that we won’t take no for an answer.”
Why do so many Americans own guns? The main reason, according to surveys, is protection. Advocates argue that guns in the home both deter crime (criminals refrain from even trying to break in because they fear being shot by an armed citizen) and thwart it (an armed citizen can stop a crime in progress, preventing injury or theft).
The scientific evidence, however, provides little support for these arguments. Quite the opposite.
The Democratic leadership and members of Congress could have said there is a high correlation between the amount of money the NRA pays to legislators and the stranglehold on allowing responsible gun ownership laws to emerge. But they didn’t.
They could have said the NRA leadership and a minority of its members, paranoid and waving conspiracy theories as if they were confederate battle flags, have their hands firmly around the testicles of the law makers. But they didn’t.
They could have said that in Mr. Obama’s six years as president, not once did he or the government ever say the government should confiscate guns, but wanted sensible regulation at a level even less than required to get a driver’s license. But they didn’t say that, either.
It is great that the confederate flag is no longer flying over South Carolina. But the recent preoccupation with this issue is a convenient distraction by both parties away from the issue of easy access to guns. The monster who shot down 9 human beings in a church purchased the gun legally. No one from either party is addressing the fact that an evil person can easily purchase a gun in America. And the feckless press gives both parties plenty of cover.