Considerations and Complications on Guns, Gun Control and Violence in America

I usually stay away from the gun debate as the argument is typically a no win ban guns-gun rights. And then some mention about mental illness that may or may not be the case.

Gun violence and guns, which will never get banned may be but one instrument of expressing the systemic maladies that so affect American society. There are the easy solutions, discipline the kids better, ban guns, ban bullets, limit magazines, run background checks. Played off of second amendment rights, and the pervasive crime and the expansion of gangs and violence. We won’t even get into preserving the country against the government, as that for me is a tough one to buy into to.

Guns are definitely part of the greater equation. But there are other significant considerations. What we never bother to ask, after 30 odd years of impressing on kids how special each one is, we never stop to wonder what effect it has when they discover that they are just another regular kid, at best one of many, at worst the freak, the outcast subjected to bullying and ridicule, reaching a point where they are ready to die to achieve their objectives as long as they can take a lot of their antagonists with them.

Then there is the fact that every third movie shows the best resolution is to go to the gun to resolve your problems within the allotted hour and 30 minute time frame. And then in grand cinematic fashion they shoot the shit out of the movie, or TV screen, massive gun play, to embellish the point. Add to that Violent video games. I realize certain people insist this is fantasy and kids make the distinction between real violence and fantasy. If that was the case then how do you explain say, with fashion in films and other behavior patterns that kids and adults readily emulate?

And then there is this other fact that is frequently overlooked. It seems that most mass shooters, especially young ones come from middle to affluent neighborhoods. Kids from poorer districts may get into gang violence, but you almost never see them shooting up a school or movie theater. They are too close to violence and seemingly are less inclined to live out the fantasy. So what is that about?

So in short this is a messed up society in far too many ways to think there is a single solution. Theoretically, banning all guns may eliminate mass shootings, but all reality dictates that is never going to happen. And then we have to ask the question that we had both gun ownership and schools since the creation of the country. And we seldom if ever heard of gun violence in schools or movie theaters or wherever until the past 50 years or so. And even that was sporadic. Charles Whitman, shooting from the University of Texas Tower was the first one that comes to mind, in 1966. But following that such events were rare, if anything. And even then Whitman had used knives to kill his wife and mother, before climbing the tower. He liked to mix it up a bit. The next major mass school shooting was Columbine in 1994. And then it kicked in from there.

There are other considerations, but I’m sure by now you get the point.

So besides the gun issue, the killings are most horrific, we should be asking ourselves what are we doing to this society over the past several decades to bring this shit about.