America has a perverse fascination with firearms. We have the highest homicide rate in the civilized world, recurring slaughter perpetrated by unhinged individuals with unobstructed access to firearms, and street violence that too often goes unchecked and unprosecuted. The perpetuation of gun violence is so out of hand that our police departments, to defend themselves from this mayhem, are now outfitted like armies and have adopted tactics more like an occupying force than citizens-on-patrol serving and protecting the people.
America has lax to nonexistent gun regulations and despite NRA propaganda, distortions, and corporate mass-media complicity, Americans still overwhelmingly support stronger, rational gun control measures. But the people’s will is continually squashed by a Congress controlled by an unchallengeable lobby with limitless resources that rejects any suggestion of reform. The only remedy offered by the NRA is selling more guns.
Generations of Americans have been spoon-fed glorified firearm violence in every form of media. Guns and the deadliness they deliver are objects of whimsy and folklore. A character from any action series may gun down more people than the murderers from Ft. Hood, Columbine, and Newtown combined. Of course these characters always return, cool, undaunted and undamaged.
Maybe it’s time we recognize that guns aren’t the solution to all problems, and should never be the first solution to any problem. Random mass murders with firearms will continue happening until changes are made to restrict access. Expecting anything different would fit the very definition of insanity.
Kevin J. Gagen, Belleville