America’s Gun Culture: The Freedom to Live in Fear

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Once again we are witnesses to yet another mass shooting by an individual whose twisted mind compelled him to take innocent lives through the use of a gun.  And once again our ability to address the elephant in the room that helped lead to this will be overshadowed by fear and ignorance.

No other developed country in this world with a stable government experiences the rate of gun violence that the U.S. does and the primary reason for this is the easy access people have to purchasing these deadly weapons.

The gun industry and their mouthpiece, the NRA, has promoted the baseless claim that the near uninhibited access to guns is our constitutional right.  Even the conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who gave credence to part of this notion stated in  District of Columbia vs. Heller  that   “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Owning a gun does NOT make you safer.   In fact it puts you and your family at greater risk.  At least one study showed that merely handling a gun has the propensity to make people more aggressive than normal.  Think how this is amplified with people who are already abnormally aggressive.

A recent study found that “nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm”.   That number may seem small until you realize that with a population of over 321 million people, over 28 million are capable of carrying out mass shootings that are becoming commonplace in this country, with an on-average rate of one or more a week this year alone.

Limiting access to guns has proven to be a deterrent in homicides as Australia has demonstrated.   Yet 2nd amendment zealots keep trotting out often meaningless data to suggest otherwise.  Some often reach a level of absurdity and make claims that are clearly not fact based.  After this recent shooting in Roseburg, Oregon one Facebook commentator stated that there were more deaths by stabbing and hammers than with guns.

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This really isn’t an argument to ban all guns.  It never has been.  Our conservative Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the right to gun ownership is inherent in our Constitution.  A view that many dispute because of how the court read the wording in the 2nd amendment.  What is at issue here however is the easy access to guns.  We can’t stop all homicides but we can reduce the number by lowering the easy access to a murder weapon that is more destructive than any other.  One whose sole purpose is to kill or maim.

Those who oppose any and all legislation to limit the sell of guns are fearful that only criminals will then have guns or that jack-booted feds will be knocking on their door to suppress their freedom.  Arguments not grounded in reality.

But when such freedom is bathed in fear and ignorance one has to question the sanity of such views.  Wrapped in patriotic fervor, the belief that we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave” becomes a joke when  people become obsessed to arm themselves.

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RELATED READING:

10 pro-gun myths, shot down

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16 responses to “America’s Gun Culture: The Freedom to Live in Fear

    • Yes, We are all just “stunned” by this repeated scenario and feel helpless along with the fact that no one in a role to effect change seems unable to get past the fear mongering of a vocal minority and their mouthpiece, the NRA

  1. <iA recent study found that “nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm”.

    Nine percent? Are you kidding me? That number doesn’t even cover the number of guests that have been on the Jerry Springer show. The only way I can believe those numbers are accurate is if the study said another 90% would commit violent acts, if only they could put their stupid-phone down long enough. So they engaged in the digital equivalent instead. (Hacking, Twit Zone dung throwing, etc)

    I’m an intelligent, peace loving, Canadian…but if you put an assault weapon in my hand and give me a few 500 round ammo clips…there’s gonna be a whole lot of worthless fuckers dying today!!!
    Getting this rage out of our system is what Canadians invented hockey for. Give us a stick & a puck and watch us vent our rage. When the final whistle sounds, we shake hands and go back to frying our back bacon and asking people “How’s it goin -eh?”…. Oh, and the wounded are given free healthcare!

    To be truthful, given the abysmal future in store for most of America, how completely insane so many of you seem to be, and how shockingly easy it is to stockpile personal arsenals that rival the armies of some smaller nations….I’m actually amazed this doesn’t happen far more often than it actually does.

    But if you think it’s bad now, just wait for The Collapse to start.

    • “Nine percent? Are you kidding me? “

      I’m sure it seems like more to most people SM simply because that 9% gets way more attention than the other 91%. 😉

      • Yeah, that was our designated crazy shooter for 2014.

        Unlike your mass shootings, which tend to be guys walking into public places & shooting whoever walks by, our shootings tend to be more targeted. Most of our multiple shootings are criminals aiming at rivals, but miss their target and hit others. (Sloppy bastards!) Like the crackpot you linked to, most of our nut-jobbers aim at cops/authorities rather than random civilians.

        Not so coincidentally, an increasing number of our shooters are from Alberta, which is basically Canada’s Texas. (Oil, God, Guns) Actually, there tends to be an American connection to a lot of our gun crime.

        1) A majority of Canadian criminals use guns bought “semi-legally” in the US and smuggled in because it’s so damn easy.
        http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2013/04/12/star_investigation_star_reporters_buy_cheap_us_gun_no_id_required.html

        2) Our PM for life, Stephen Herpes, represents a much more American-style of conservative politics. He’s made much hay of “gun rights”, even as he sodomizes all other rights. He is always talking about “getting tough on crime”, although it’s never been lower. He also LOVES him some Military-Industrial-Spy-Complex. There isn’t a single war he doesn’t want to fight in. Last year, he even snuck us into the Iraq War that we managed to avoid for 10+ years.

        Unlike Trickle Down Economics, violence at the top does have a trickle down effect. I think this is part of the reason you historically have far more shootings than us. You’re always at war and we usually aren’t. (Our wars take place in hockey arenas.)

        3) Our nation is increasingly awash in American “culture” where murder & violence has a virtual monopoly on storytelling. Every young male’s “role model” is packing heat and “making cheddar” selling weed and pimp-slapping ho’s.

        Until the 90’s, THIS was about the closest to “criminal activity” & “gun play” a Canadian role model/hero would get.

        For those without 20 minutes to spare for a rare glimpse of Canadian Culture at it’s absolute finest, Hobo witnesses a hit & run and “hounds” the driver until his guilt drives him over the edge.

        Damn nearly every Canadian, myself included, loved this friggin’ show. (I watched both the 60’s & 80’s versions in syndication) Hell, even teenagers watched the 80’s version, although they’d never admit to it.

        Bonus 80’s episode: Hobo fights terrorists without firing a single shot, or spying on ordinary citizens!

        Sorry, Woodgate, I just couldn’t resist the warm, nostalgic, embrace of The Little Hobo. He helps me cope when I’m out of “anti-stress” brownies.

      • “He helps me cope when I’m out of “anti-stress” brownies.”

        I’d say get a dog for yourself SM but I’m afraid what might happen to him if you are off your meds. 🙂

  2. I must admit, Larry, I don’t understand the attitude that many of your fellow Americans seem to have about guns. And from the conversations I’ve seen on Facebook, they might begin on gun control but they very quickly move on to abortion, free healthcare, religion and home-schooling. From my perspective, it seems that many Americans have a deep mistrust of their own government. Which is odd, considering you live in a democracy. And…what is wrong with keeping your guns in a locked cupboard?

    • Gun issues are kept at emotional pitch by the gun industry and their lobbyist, the National Rifle Association. Religion encompasses abortion and home schooling and the over-the-top reactions on these are generated by fundamentalist evangelicals. Opposition to health care is driven by insurance companies and Climate Change denial is driven by the fossil fuel industry. In an age of information, fact-based knowledge often gets pushed aside.

      All groups cherry pick information to excite their adherents accusing the opposition of being out to remove 1st and 2nd amendment rights along with increasing energy and health costs. Most followers do very little to educate themselves so they are easily motivated by their extremist leaders who perpetrate these frauds.

      Critical thinking skills are often missing with such people.

      • Yeah, utterly moronic. If you don’t want people seeing your video…don’t post it on-line in the 1st place!

        America TV was also really bad for this, so I had to get a geo-location-blocker blocker to stop it. Unfortunately, I can’t get it working today.

  3. Of course, it has to be pointed out that even a “well regulated militia” of citizens as large as today’s British Army and just as dedicated, would be very lucky if it lasted a month against the US Empire’s stormtroopers.

    In our 1984-ish world, everything you say & do is monitored 24/7 by The Powers That Be. As such, any serious citizen militia intent upon overthrowing an authoritarian government that’s overstepped its boundaries & curtailed the rights of its citizenry (aka the entire fucking purpose of the 2nd Amendment!!!)…well, it would be lucky if half of its potential members would even make it to the group’s founding meeting. Their communications would monitored, they’d be located and either taken to Gitmo, or drone-striked.

    Half the folks who did make it to the meeting would be FBI operatives and the other half would be Newburg Stinged to the thunderous applause of the scared-even-stupider public.

    The irony of all this is practically enough to make me laugh.

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