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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 06:22 PM

Guns are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Having lived 30 years in the US and 12 in Canada, it seems to me that while reducing the availability of firearms would reduce the body count, it would not really solve the problem.

Before I start my rant, I want to make it clear that Canada has many of the same problems. It is not as visible or pronounced here but this is not one of those "America sucks, Canada rules" posts.

First there is the love of firearms, it is a huge problem and yes it makes killing easier. But the second amendment is only part of the problem. Violence is pervasive in American culture both as a way to solve problems and as a form of entertainment. The American love affair with violence dates back to the beginning of the country - the US won its independence through violence, preserved the union (civil war) through violence and accumulated real estate through violence. I would even argue that the US is the most war like nation since, at least, Rome. A look at the timeline of US military history shows few breaks in violence and those only for a year or two.

American folk heroes were not only violent but frequently criminals - Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger etc., and American entertainment is rife with violence (at least the profitable forms of entertainment) - Football, boxing, the WWF, UFC, etc., - the highest grossing films tend to be violent and the protagonist's are frequently criminals or 'cops who don't play by the rules'.

Beyond the culture of violence there is a health issue. The brain, for all its wonders, is an organ in the body but mental health is still treated like something outside the realm of medicine - as if it were "crystal therapy' or something. No one - not health agencies, the legal system, insurance companies - no one takes mental health seriously except for a few page 5 stories when something like this happens.

Finally, and probably least important but still worth mentioning, there is the media. American journalism is dead. They have become vultures and ratings whores who do not deal seriously with important issues. A serious national discussion on a wide variety of issues is needed but the media (aside from John Stewart) is incapable of leading or even being a worthwhile participant in that discussion. To the media this is, first and foremost, a big ratings day.

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Reply Guns are Just the Tip of the Iceberg (Original post)
Justin_Beach Dec 2012 OP
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 #1
fellow_traveler Dec 2012 #2

Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 07:04 PM

1. I think it would be interesting to know how many of these young shooters are/were into violent video

Guns aren't the root problem, our fucked-up culture is the problem.

Violent television and fucked-uo-beyond-belief movies that idiot Americans stand in fucking line to view. De-humanizing porn that virtually leaps out of our screens coupled with hysterical religious extremism.

I have been wanting to post what you did all day, but there is simply too much hysteria here to post anything that makes sense.

The root problem is American culture.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:28 AM

2. Excellent Post!!

Justin_Beach thank you for your post. After the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, I was hoping to see someone open up and start admitting that these frequent acts of horrendous violence are symptomatic of a larger societal ill. No one. Not a sound. It's all reduced to a gun lobby vs. gun-ban proponents. We have a very sick society and no one in our media wants to admit it. I used to work with a guy who would spend all day surfing break dot com , UFC , WWF and all kinds of material related to violence. When I asked him why he had such a fetish with violence he simply said "it's fun". If we had journalists with courage their reports would look like your post.

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