America’s Gun-Virus – Thank God It’s Not Contagious (#53)
Americans are deeply infected with a particularly virulent strain of the gun-virus. It is a form of disease that makes otherwise normal American human beings love and value their guns over the lives of their fellow American human beings. This is made possible by America’s unique gun ownership laws (there aren’t many, to speak of) which are unique amongst developed countries, making it the gun murder capital amongst its peer nations. The steady almost clockwork rising toll of deaths, of children, young adults, adults, and the old, is meaningless (from the almost uniform action-less response after each shooting), and seemingly is a required sacrifice to the almost national spiritual requirement of owning lethal guns to be a true 2nd Amendment loving American, in spite of the daily random murders of fellow American citizens by killer gun owners.
The cold-blooded killing of fellow Americans by gun toting American males has become legend. The reasons for the killings are blue-sky - as are the excuses why no changes are required to stop this self-inflicted murderous mayhem. Every argument for the unfettered ownership of guns is endlessly recycled as a Constitutional Right, and the Right to self-defence. The glaring fact that the inordinate number of guns in the hands of its citizens makes gun violence ubiquitous, the continuously mounting death toll shameful, and Americans the LEAST safe people in the developed World, is dismissed as an un-American argument.
Americans are so psychologically dependent on their guns, for their false sense of security, they are willing to go to war with anyone including their own government, and even themselves, to protect their right to own and use guns, in spite of the daily death, murder and mayhem caused by the regular use of them. Guns are so ingrained in the American psyche that it is impossible for them to look at other developed countries and actually acknowledge that people are, factually, safer without them. Those of us who live in advanced countries can personally attest to the greater sense of security we feel in our countries, when we observe the almost daily shootings that are a now normal part of American life.
Outside of America, no one can understand the irrationality that drives Americans. To quell their fear they over-dose on guns, and the toll it takes on them is staggering and unacceptable to every other civilized people. Yet, their gun-virus infected psyche refuses to accept any provable statistic or reality except the one they imagine, that somehow in spite of daily proof to the contrary, they are safer with more guns.
Additionally, and unfortunately, this paranoia extends to the American perception of the outside World, where everyone is out to get them, resulting in their state of perpetual warring, overlaid with humanitarian ideology of peace and democracy, exported at the point of a gun.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, no other country has attacked or invaded the U.S. militarily; or seriously threatened them with invasion, in spite of the constant propaganda which makes every American feel the Country is under imminent threat at all times. The government then uses that propaganda to justify the need for bigger and more lethal armed forces, and the necessity to preemptively strike and destroy others before they can attack America. This penchant for constantly attacking and threatening others has resulted in countries like North Korea to arm themselves, with nuclear weapons - to deter America from attacking them. That of course results in a sense of heightened threat for the Americans, which results in them issuing greater threats, which then further heightens the fear of their perceived enemy, who race faster to arm, etc. (eg. the current North Korean, Kim Jong-Un and Trump song and dance of threat and counter threat).
This cycle of threat and counter-threat has certainly kept America busy attacking other countries on an almost perpetual basis since WWII, for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, these wars have, over the years, killed millions of innocent civilians, as collateral damage of course - North Koreans and Chinese in the Korean War; Vietnamese during the Vietnam War; covert and not-so-covert operations in Latin & South America, Africa, Pakistan/Afghanistan; full 'war on terror & WMDs' in Iraq, Afghanistan; Yemen, Syria - mostly to safe guard America's interests.
Over the decades, these wars have created blow-backs, particularly in the form of Islamic terrorism, because of the mounting civilian casualties in other countries, especially in the Middle East. But that has only given America the justification to expand its Defense Budget (currently $700 Billion per year), to it being larger than the next 5 largest defense budgets of other countries COMBINED! This expansion of defense spending resulted in the greatest and most technologically advanced armed forces in the World. Even that has not brought any sense of peace or security to America, in fact quite the opposite. Today, ironically, America of all the western countries in the World feels the most threatened and the most vulnerable, in spite of having the most powerful, richest, warlike, active, globe spanning armed forces in the World.
This polarity, in purpose versus results, also applies at home to America's citizens. Americans are the most heavily armed people in the western World, yet they are the most unsafe and insecure. It is estimated that there are more guns in the United States than there are people (not all the weaponry is accounted for), and after each horrific shooting, Americans race to buy more guns. All that additional gun-buying seems to have accomplished only one thing, precipitate more mass shootings, more frequently.
To the outside World this bizarre behaviour is unique to the Americans, as no other western people behave in this manner. Yet, most citizens of Western countries are far safer, and feel more secure than their armed-to-the-teeth American counter parts, internally and abroad. Yet, in spite of this daily verification of failure, unsafe at home and unsafe abroad, Americans persist in pursuing their self defeating policies of more guns internally, and more wars and covert operations abroad.
The other Western Countries have nowhere near the animosity directed at them than America does at any given time, and therefore do not feel compelled to spend extraordinary amounts of money on their defence. And though America and Americans will argue that western democracies are safer because of American power, and to a degree it is true, yet, it can be equally argued that America's constant state-of-war heightens the overall threat to itself, and the World, certainly where the current vengeful Islamic terrorism, or insecure North Korea's nuclear ambitions are concerned.
In America, guns are even more sacred than the dominant Christian religion, as they are weapons of choice in the carrying out of cold blooded murders of Christian church-goers, who obviously were in the act of practising a less powerful form of normal religion than gun-worship, when they were gunned down by the fervent and almost evangelical believers in/and owners of - guns.
On June 17, 2015, 21 year old Dylann Roof, a ‘self-radicalized’ white supremacist who found his ‘white awareness’, in contrast to ‘Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and East Asians’ , on the internet (just like a lot of young Muslims self-radicalised jihadists find their radical Islam on the internet). To express his supreme whiteness, Mr. Roof shot and killed 9 devout, peaceful Black American members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. (the oldest African American Church), including the Senior Pastor, a Lady State Senator, and wounded two others. Roof's belief – that the 'White' race was made superior by the same God that the members of the Church were worshipping, at a prayer meeting, at the time he decided to shoot them, and that it was proper for him to take his gun and kill these people in cold blood, to get to his second goal - to start a ‘race war’. Thoughts and Prayers.
After 400 years, White & Black America are still not reconciled in the 'Land of the Free'.
On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelly, 26 year old (white male), dishonorably discharged U.S. Air Force serviceman (for assaulting his wife and child), took his Ruger AR-556 assault rifle and went to the Southerland Springs Church, Texas, U.S.A., and shot and killed 26 church goers in cold blood, ranging in age from 5 years old - to a 72 years old, and wounded another 20, before being chased away, and killing himself by his own gun. The unfortunate souls that were brutally murdered by this ex-serviceman were just nice ordinary white folks who never saw it coming.
His motivation - apparently, he wanted to kill his in-laws who went to church there, but luckily weren’t there that Sunday. What is confirmed though is that he wiped out about 4% of the small town’s population, in his gun (assault rifle) enabled rage against his wife and in-laws(?) A domestic violence incident gone way beyond beating a spouse and cursing the in-laws, to a senseless small town massacre - guns enabled.The kind of guns that are only, and easily, available to ordinary Americans, even mentally disturbed ones, not to any other western civilians. Thoughts and Prayers.
By the way, the AR-556 (also known as the AR-15 type of assault rifle) was apparently also the gun of choice of Stephen Paddock, who chose the big bright lights of Las Vegas to shoot himself to fame. Paddock shot and killed 58 people and wounded over 500 (almost a small war) last month, making him the biggest mass murderer in U.S. history.
His motivation is unknown as he had everything, seemingly. He was a millionaire, a professional accountant (CPA), and had no discernible motive to go on a coldly calculated murderous rampage. But he did, aided by the ability to haul an impossibly large collection of guns and ammunition up to his hotel room without inciting any suspicion (it is America after all). Paddock chose a music concert below his hotel window as the venue to blow away other Americans. As to why? Perhaps he just felt like it - or perhaps because he could - with his 23 guns (some modified semi-automatic rifles) and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Nobody could uncover the reason why he should have gone on a killing spree. He was a quiet living, crime-free millionaire accountant, who happened to own over 43 guns of various kinds - it is said. Only in America. Thoughts and Prayers.
And last year, the AR-15 was the gun of choice, apparently, of the gunman who killed 49 people at a night club in Orlando, Florida. His motivation, feelings of alienation; and to express his frustrations through the easily acquired guns and ammo, he made a real statement. Thoughts and Prayers.
The AR-15, and different versions of the assault rifles (by now obviously recognised as the most beloved guns of American mass shooters) was also used by 20 year old Adam Lanza, who cold bloodedly murdered 20 little children between the ages of 5-6 years old, and 6 teachers, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
Prior to going to school to fulfill his self appointed murderous assignment, he had put four bullets in his mother’s head while she slept. Thoughts and Prayers.
And on and on it goes... Never ending tales of gun-infected common white American males (usually), killing for any number of random reasons, loading and picking up their guns, and in a gun induced state of killing bliss, cold-bloodedly murdering their fellow citizens, into perpetuity, while everyone reverently tut-tuts after each killing, but dare not even discuss it as it is 'disrespectful'. The only 'respectful' expression allowed after each shooting is - "Our 'Thoughts and Prayers' go out to the victims and the families of this horrible tragedy". Nothing much else is allowed to be said or done. This is 'respectful' according to all those that oppose any meaningful discussion, or action, on the ownership of guns in America.
We suppose, American people - babies, children, young, middle aged, old, being regularly shot and killed by gun toting Americans is 'respectful', as it is allowed to happen at anytime, anywhere, without restriction, over and over, for decades.
The rules of the NRA/Republican dominated game is to not allow any meaningful debate or discussion after each killing (it’s always too soon, too political, too disrespectful and...and...). Also, and by the way, it’s never the guns doing the killing, it’s always crazed mentally sick American ‘people’ doing the killings; the guns are always innocent, according to the Republicans, the National Rifle Association, political gun supporters, and gun lovers, and according to them, the only way to stop the killings is – wait for it - - Get More Guns!!!
The immutable FACT that other countries, comparable in social, cultural, and economic values to the United States, but without the insane rational for unrestricted gun ownership for its citizenry, have a fraction of gun related violence and insure greater levels of security, seem to repel the American public, who point, right away, to the 2nd Amendment as an undiscussable, unchangeable, law of American nature. The fact that the 2nd Amendment was written at a time when 'self regulated militias' were Baby-America's only defence against foreign governments and their armies, particularly the British, seems to be ignored as irrelevant, entirely.
The problem with the simple minded solution of ever more guns, as the gun-virus rages and the numbers of guns proliferate, the killings are becoming more frequent, more lethal in body count, and nobody can stop them, as America becomes ever more unsafe. The idiotic idea that more armed people can stop the next shooter, or the next, when they cannot possibly know who, when, where or why, is too imbecilic a suggestion to consider, let alone debate. It is certain, the next shooter, or the next, won't be stopped by the all the over-armed people in America.
And just like America’s dysfunctional healthcare system, the fact that other western developed countries have far better healthcare at half the price, just like that, the record in public and national safety with far less guns, is a fact in other developed countries. But, it is a verifiable solution that is just not acceptable to a gun loving America, because they got to give up their beloved guns. And that is simply not happening, they'ed rather die, or kill, than give up guns. At the end of it...
Thank God this unique American gun-virus is confined to America, is not contagious, and does not infect the other major developed countries, whose gun related deaths are a fraction of America’s and whose people are verifiably far safer at home, and abroad. As we await the next shootings in America, we wait with a certain hopeless sense of inevitability, because this disease is definitely ‘Made in America’, has no shortages, and comes with an iron clad American backed Guarantee. Thoughts and Prayers.