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More Guns: Symptom of Illness in Society

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/77480727@N07/12659525273/: Girl with gun YU YANK
Girl with gun YU YANK
(image by Paulo r Careka)

I've written several essays on the pathology in our society. But none have been as complete and diagnostic as the descriptions to be found in this book, Sociopathic Society, A People's Sociology of the United States, by author and Sociology professor, Charles Derber.

In it he writes, " A sociopathic society, paradoxically creates social norms that are antisocial -- that is, norms that assault the well-being and survival of much of the population and undermine the social bonds and sustainable environmental conditions essential to any form of social order."

And as counter-intuitive as it may sound, that the social norms are the reason for the pathology, the evidence is undeniable. We are living in a society that is tearing itself apart, ostensibly to save itself.

Derber goes on to quote Karl Marx, "Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat."

In our time, the two camps are 1) the owners of capital, who also own the government, the vast majority of the wealth and the propaganda machinery and 2) the rest of us, the 99 percent, as we have come to call ourselves.

So the battle lines are drawn, not on substantive issues like the collapse of the economic system and how the present form of capitalism is diverting all the wealth upwards. The issues show up in at least four categories in the skirmishes sent our way by those who own the propaganda machinery: The four G's: Guns, God, Gays and the role of Government.

Let's take guns as an example. The undeniable fact is that our violence is more lethal than that of any other civilized modern nation because we have far more guns per capita than any of them. More profits for the gun and ammunition manufacturers who are major contributors to the propaganda machinery.  

So now this camp is promoting a retrogressive and anti-social, social norm; a need to carry a concealed weapon for protection against other Americans.

Social norms are not written down anywhere. So how do I know it's a social norm? They are only discovered by breaking them. And when you break them, all hell rains down on you for reminding the true believers that there just might be a reason not to believe.

In this case, it happened when I rejected the gun lobby's argument for carrying a concealed weapon. More guns in public life can only end in more gun violence.

Regarding God and Gays, I don't know which would be more fearsome, coming out as an atheist or homosexual. Fortunately, I don't have to face either of those tasks. Although I sometimes think I'm hiding my atheist suspicions behind my agnosticism.

Our mistake is our inability to differentiate causal variables from the symptoms they cause. Instead, we declare war on our own symptoms, inevitably created by our own sociopathic society. Got schizophrenia?

Because we are crisis problem solvers, looking into long term solutions gives us an emotional hernia. It just seems easier to strap on a concealed weapon to protect ourselves from the people who threaten us than it is to fix the circumstances that create the people who threaten us.

If we are to ever solve our problems permanently, we will need to at least consider that it just might be easier to provide education, healthcare, decent housing and job opportunities to the marginalized and potential criminal elements in society, rather than   have shoot-outs in the streets.  

Which brings me to the fourth G, government. I paraphrase, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s comments here:

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Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman (more...)
 

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We need more guns?... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 8:27:39 AM
Strong piece, though batten down the hatches. If ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:17:09 AM
And how about the Fact that recently it is dangero... by Nevin Buess on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:50:48 AM
I concede the anecdotal evidence is full of horro... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 12:37:40 PM
The biggest issue - we are Not Problem solvers...w... by Nevin Buess on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:51:20 AM
You can't talk about the gun issue without its so... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 12:00:14 PM
Yes, why should guns or gun control or gun purchas... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 12:41:15 PM
Most crime  between strangers is economicall... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:57:23 PM
Do you think this is typical of folks with lots o... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 2:48:31 PM
Nobody wants to get shot.   It hurts,&n... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:20:38 PM
There is SO MUCH fail in this article, it's hard t... by Stuart Chisholm on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:03:33 PM
First, if you intention's to influence someone's t... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:18:01 PM
What do you mean "We"?  Funny,  you don... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:28:14 PM
We, in the statistics I used refer to Americans. ... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:34:56 PM
Again,  the statistics hide the fact that mo... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 6:49:31 PM
Part 2: Statistics show that guns are only margina... by Stuart Chisholm on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:17:25 PM
Once again, a reminder: there are lies, damned lie... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:20:58 PM
"Us from each other"?  Straw...I doubt I need... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 6:53:52 PM
Part 3: "More guns in public life can only end in ... by Stuart Chisholm on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:26:59 PM
As you wrote above there is a difference between c... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:24:00 PM
Part 4 (final): There is much evidence to show tha... by Stuart Chisholm on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:35:38 PM
I'd read your words if they weren't bold yellow on... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 2:36:01 PM
I have no irrational fear of firearms. It is ratio... by Robert De Filippis on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:32:56 PM
In traditional societies,  essentially all m... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 7:04:30 PM
Robert: We're haunted. Did you notice the pro-gu... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 6:41:17 PM
Nothing like an antigun thread to draw the lock-an... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:20:48 PM
Whilst I typically disagree with the anti gun opin... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 11:40:43 PM
Thanks for your comments. I'm amazed that you had ... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:08:23 AM
I never needed a gun either. ... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 1:02:51 PM
What it all boils down to though is that we all ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:40:58 PM
I grew up in a household with guns.  I was ta... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 7:04:33 PM
I agree and believe if all private guns are licen... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:17:59 PM
I don't necessarily go along with the insurance co... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 1:58:59 AM
Society is becoming more violent with each passin... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 11:24:34 AM
Sadly I think this article is a complete failure.... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:26:15 AM
Obviously you have a right to your opinion and thi... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 9:25:40 AM
Well, Carl Marx is a communist poster child and la... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 11:17:46 AM
Mr. Franklin: Gun ownership aside, your sense o... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:26:12 PM
When was the last time the US military with all i... by sesquiculus on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:47:25 PM
1) Afghanistan against Taliban-held territories t... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 1:25:24 PM
We are still in Afghanistan and marginally in Yem... by sesquiculus on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 9:31:49 AM
Mr. Becker,  Perhaps you need to learn what... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:49:21 PM
If you make no difference between what kind of go... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 1:32:50 PM
Mr. Becker,Now you mistakenly believe that some g... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:57:08 PM
Right now it is only your beloved government comm... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 1:40:31 PM
I'm sorry Mr. Becker, but as someone who has a job... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 3:03:04 PM
I will question everything they do, right or wron... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 3:29:23 PM
Mr. Becker, I could write for a while and respon... by Bill Franklin on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 4:13:39 PM
I request no reply but the States don't have effe... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:13:03 PM
Swiss is most militarized country on the world. It... by Ethan Hollow on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 5:16:51 PM
Can we get down to real life as so many of us know... by Mary B Newkirk on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 7:49:40 PM
"The rifle and handgun are 'equalizers' -- the wea... by sesquiculus on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 8:13:33 PM
Couldn't you give many indications of a sick socie... by BravoBull on Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 9:17:46 PM
My argument only dealt with two variables in socie... by Robert De Filippis on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 at 4:49:24 PM
"I hate and fear violence myself, have always avoi... by sesquiculus on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 12:43:45 PM