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Civil Society is Fully in a State of Gun Crisis

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Civil society requires that its citizens feel safe in public spaces; destroy that generalized sense of safety and you will radically warp public opinion to the right

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Yesterday was, by some media counts, the 309th terrorist mass shooting in America so far this year. No other developed country in the world experiences this so often or so severely.

Civil society requires that its citizens feel safe in public spaces; destroy that generalized sense of safety and you will radically warp public opinion to the right (which promises safety and "tough on crime") while producing a whole new generation of safe-space destroyers.

Our most fragile members of society are our children, which is why when shooters go after schools it disrupts society at its most fundamental level. Right behind schools are celebratory events (Vegas shooter, yesterday's Trump supporter), stores/theaters, and places of worship.

If a malignant actor "- say, Putin "- wanted to truly disrupt American society, all he'd have to do is flood the country with weapons of war. If he could help reach some critical threshold "- in most of Europe there are 15 to 20 weapons per 100 people as it was here 40 years ago; in America now, though, it's over 120 per 100 "- he could sit back, stir up a little political agitation, and watch the fireworks from afar.

Which reminds me of the September 17, 2019 article from National Public Radio (NPR):

"The National Rifle Association acted as a 'foreign asset' for Russia in the period leading up to the 2016 election, according to a new investigation..."

Or the April 11, 2018 piece in Politico that opened with:

"The National Rifle Association reported this week that it received more money from people with Russian ties than it has previously acknowledged, but announced that it was officially done cooperating with a congressional inquiry exploring whether illicit Kremlin-linked funding passed through the NRA and into Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign""

The Committee then failed to issue or enforce a subpoena.

But the NRA probably wasn't intending to disrupt American civil society, and Putin maybe just thought it would be nice to give the NRA money and support (and host Senators Ron Johnson, John Kennedy, and six other Republicans for the 4th of July).

Setting aside the conspiracy theory "- regardless of how we got over 400 million guns in this country, almost all of them since the Reagan Revolution, earning billions for the weapons industry "- we have a problem.

There are more car accidents in New York City than in Boise because there are so many more cars. That just makes sense. That's also why there are more shootings where there are more guns.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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