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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/2/15

Watching as the Fabric That Holds This Society Together Unravels

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   7 comments
Message Michael Payne

Leave for work, go for a walk or to the mall, attend church, go to your grade school, high school or college, or to a movie and you can be a victim of catastrophic violence in an instant. No longer can one go anywhere in this country and feel completely safe. Those days are long gone in today's America, an epicenter of violence. And that's a national tragedy of monumental proportions.

That shocking degree of violence described above illustrates what happens when the fabric of a society unravels; when the major foundations of this country begin to crumble, the violence escalates.

We've all heard the term, "You've lost it." That sounds like this society that seems to have lost its sense of purpose and direction. This is not the country it once was, and that's very troubling. It has changed radically to the point that America seems to be at war against itself. A sense of fear and deep mistrust of others are among the major motivating factors of the rampant, pervasive violence.

What constitutes a society, how does it function? Ideally, it's a community of individuals who are united and bond together for the common good; those who share the same traditions, institutions, a common culture, and who interact with trust and respect. Now does that definition even begin to resemble the America in which we live? This society has become one in which the words common good and bonding together are no longer of great relevance.

Are the people of America strongly united? We have a society which is very divided with many different opposing factions, from political to social to racial, that agree on almost nothing. Bonding together, working for the common good? That's true of those exemplary organizations that help people in need and distress. But where else do we see it?

Americans see millions of their jobs outsourced by corporations with the blessing of this Congress. They are forced to work long hours, to endure massive commutes; they see their wages stagnate while those at the top of the income spectrum receive some 90% of all new income generated. The middle class is slowly being dismantled and the people are afraid for their futures.

It's imperative that his government and the business sector begin to work together to create millions of new jobs for American so that every American who is physically able to work is given that opportunity. When millions of people are out of work they can easily become angry and frustrated, and that desperation often leads them into a life of violence. This job creation can be done, it must be done.

We are living in a society in which the pressures upon people have become so intense that a rapidly increasing number of them can no longer cope and they are reacting in ways that adversely affect both themselves and their fellow Americans. This society is beginning to resemble a volcano that could erupt at any moment.

While there are many different aspects to the violence within this society let's concentrate on that which involves gun violence, the increasing instances of the mass shootings taking place, and what might be done to bring this situation under control.

Americans own something like 300 million firearms, mostly guns. The United States has 5% of the world's population but owns 50% of the world's guns. Based on these statistics we might rightly conclude that this society has an addiction and obsession with guns. Some might even go so far as to say that America is gun crazy.

America stands out from the rest of the 32 developed nations of the world because of its obsession with powerful weaponry; from the 9MM Glock semi-automatic pistol with ammo magazines holding up to 33 rounds to the AR15 assault rifle which can quickly fire up to 100 rounds; just what you need to hunt deer and foxes, or so I've heard.

Combine readily available firearms with a fearful, paranoid society, add in anger, frustration and some mentally challenged individuals, and you have a recipe for societal disasters, i.e., those that far too often take the form of mass shootings of innocents. Mass shootings, becoming almost commonplace in America, have become a plague on this society; and neither this government nor the people in this society are doing anything of real substance to find the ways to end them.

Our nation's capital is inhabited by a large group of craven politicians who have been witnessing these horrific tragedies take place. They have seen the children of America being gunned down in school; and while they have the power to bring this situation under control they take no action.

They have no intention of enacting stronger laws to deal with this situation. They no longer even attempt to hide the fact that they are attending to the interests of the gun industry and the NRA rather than those of the American people. So the next question is: what kind of political cowards are these who watch this carnage continue to take place in their country and refuse to try to put an end to it?

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