"America is, by far, the most violent country in the world when measured against comparable, industrialized nations. Violence is deeply rooted in our society and has become woven into the fabric of the American lifestyle. A culture of violence has emerged that invades our lives at every level, from our most intimate relationships at home to our schools and work environments. For many of us, violence has become an acceptable strategy for solving conflict, exerting power and control, obtaining possessions, and satisfying emotional desires. Moreover, violence has itself become entertainment, glamorized in the behavior of both real and fantasy heroes."
California Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren
Attorney General Lungren made that statement back in 1995. The situation has not improved. It has, in fact, become much worse. There have been 202 homicides in the city of Baltimore alone this year, (2007) The city is headed for at least 300 murders this year. Those are murders alone. It does not include the hundreds of non-fatal shootings.
On any given day in America one can turn on the television set and watch, Kick Boxing, women boxing, extreme fights (Where anything goes, biting, kicking, punching and knees to the groin) There is also a daily fair of so called wrestling (where grown men break metal chairs over the backs of their opponents and perform other insane violent acts.) Add to that the films such as the one that was on while I was writing this piece. I left it on because I was too busy to shut the set after the news and it was so apropros of what I was talking about. The film was titled "Wyatt Erp". In the movie men are shooting men in scene after scene. If you do not want to watch a movie there are many violent detective stories that include all kinds of murder and mayhem for you to enjoy.
After they watch the movie Americans can turn on the local evening news and see how many fellow Americans were shot, knifed or just plain killed by other means in their community. That of course is followed by the death count from Iraq.
It is true that violence is inbred in Americans. It is part of our tradition and culture. We revel in the stories of the Wild West and the horrendous Civil War. We play World War Two movies over and over. Actors who were never in the service glamorize over emphasized violence in "the Longest Day" a movie about the Normandy invasion. It is played along with many other War movies very often on movie channels.
Do not miss-understand me. I am not saying that violence belongs to Americans alone.
I remember one day when I was speaking to a convention of Church youth groups about the Civil Rights struggle in America. During the question period one young women said," I am afraid to go downtown because they (meaning Blacks) are so violent." I lost my composer, for which I later apologized. "You mean like that (N) (I used the forbidden N word) Hitler who was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people Or that (again the N word) Truman who dropped the atom bomb and killed 70 thousand people in one day and then a few days later did the same thing again?"
No we Americans do not have a corner on Violence. No race or ethnic group does, but we have made a religion of it. We have poisoned each generation with it and allowed the mass media to ridicule those who oppose it. We have made it into the most profitable product that we produce. Like sex, violence sells. One can not watch an American football game without seeing the joy a "Great Hit" brings to the announcers. The "Great hits" are played over and over interspersed, of course, with commercials. Violence sells.
Two subjects that American politicians dare not touch without risking burned fingers, are Gun Control and of course the plight of the Palestinians. Both of these subjects are guarded by the most powerful lobbies in Washington and a political career can be dashed on the rocks by supporting the Palestinians who are suffering from the American intercourse with the Israelis’ violence (who came by their brand of violence suckling at the breast of the American military complex) and calling for gun control to protect Americans who are also suffering from their own violence.
US Children are ten times more likely to die from gunfire than in 25 industrialized nations combined. For young black males in the US guns are the leading source of death…In 1995 one in 12 students reported carrying a firearm or some other weapon. In 2004, 81 people were shot dead every day in the US according the US center for decease control. 29,569 were killed by firearms that year.. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reveals that every day; nearly eight children or teens are killed by gun violence in America which adds up to about 235 each month.
Where did they get the guns? That is the question gun control advocates continue to ask, but it is like trying to find an acceptable answer to the so called mid east crises. Everyone knows the answer, but no one can apply it. Let’s just dream for a minute. The answer to the gun lunacy can be simple. Guns, in particular hand guns, are used to kill people so the US government should take over all gun manufacturing businesses that make huge profits from the gun murder rate and see to it that only the law enforcement people and the military have guns. Why do any others need them?
There was a time, not too long ago, in England when even the Bobbies didn’t carry guns, but since the huge influx of illegal weapons they are now forced to carry them in order to protect themselves and the general public.The gun nuts still parrot "Guns don’t kill people, People kill people." No, people with guns kill people more often. They will also quote from the second amendment to the constitution "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." June 21, 1788.
The small country of 1788 when much of the population had to hunt for food and many still worried about Indian wars was a much different place than the three hundred million divided population of present day America.
The second amendment should have been amended before the Wild West became so wild. For decades cowardly politicians have never been able to rewrite it so that it will really protect the people. After demands by law enforcement agencies who have found some of their men outgunned by outlaws (Protected by the second amendment) the best they could do is try and control military assault weapon being used by criminals. They even failed in that.
Oh my, how the neo-cons will scream. Take over an American business, that is socialism they will say. No, it is common sense to save the children and in turn save the nation. It might even inspire the United Nations members to demand weapons limitations. Of course, the merchants of death will also join the chorus and scream that is Marxism being promoted by the dangerous Peace people.