Now, growing up dad had guns. I mean, I actually wasn’t generally aware of it growing up, but he did apparently have a rifle, yet I was completely oblivious. Though, when I was older I do remember a couple of them propped up behind the bed, like some sort of redneck hick, propped up but not loaded, before new gun laws came into play, and they had to be locked away in a case. For a few years they were stored in the basement, until some years ago he finally just sold the lot. He never used them, rarely ever saw him with any of them in his hands, he was not really a gun person, not really, really don’t know why he had them in the first place, to be honest.
I grew up in rural southwestern Ontario, just on the outskirts of a vibrant and growing little village, hardly a hotbed of violence and criminals.
Still, guns in Canada are not exactly rare, but they are not common either. Many Canadians hunt, some have gun collections, like a family friend did, and dad inherited our great uncle Jack’s antique guns.
Sure there is some gun culture, but, in Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. Basically, you can’t just stroll down to the local Walmart and buy a gun and go home that day and shoot your neighbours pesky cat – there is a process, there are laws. Course, by and large, outside of farmers in rural areas, and hunters, most Canadians just don’t own or want to own a gun.
So, growing up in Canada I really do not understand the American obsession.
But, it wasn’t always that way, and there was a time when most Americans were more like Canadians when it came to guns. The NRA throughout the late 60s, early 70s though had morphed into this ginormous gun lobby for profit entity and everything changed.
Yet, it would be incorrect to just stop cold at the NRA, even though I do blame them for killers easy access to one of the most dangerous weapons on the planet.
No, because first it is merely the tool of choice. Yet, take it out of their hands, and they wouldn’t slaughter multiple people in 30 seconds, and personally if there is going to be a mass killer in my vicinity I’d prefer he had a knife or a bow and arrow than an ak-47 or 15 or whatever other weapon that sends out a mass spray of bullets, severely downgrading one’s chances of not being hit.
You have to have a pretty particular sort of rage and anger to utilize a knife, for instance in a mass murder scenario, given the proximity one must be to one’s victims to actually kill them. You have to know where to stick the knife too I guess, you know, know where to kill someone quickly. Still, there is then of course that nasty habit humans have of trying to get away when someone appears to be hellbent on stabbing them, you know, victims that move around are rather more troublesome with a knife as your weapon of choice.
However, with an automatic weapon you can stand in the doorway and calmly watch humans drop like flies, never once stepping foot close to them, and that is incredibly terrifying.
Got a gun? Want to be a star? Want notoriety? Don’t want to have to wait? Want to get that high that fuels the psychotic serial killer, not over months, not years, but in 30 seconds? Easy in America, stop and go massacre, ya all just ramble on down to wherever you would buy your ak-47s and bobs your dead uncle.
Check out the stats here on mass murders in America since 1982 compiled by Mother Jones.
In 1982, there was one mass shooting – it happened at a welding shop in Miami, Florida, where 8 people were killed, and 3 injured. This guy had prior mental illness, his wife had just left him, he had a history of violence and assault.
In 1984, there were 2 mass shooting, none in 1985, 1 in 1986, 1 in 1987, 1 in 1988, 2 in 1989, 1990 there was 1, 1990 there were 3, and 1991 there were 2, 1992 there was 2, 1993 there were 4, 1994 there was 1 mass shooting, for a total of 161 dead and 20 mass shootings over that decade. Between 1994 and 2004 there were 16 mass shootings and a total of 106 deaths.
Between 2004 and 2014, there were a total of 36 mass shootings, 209 individuals died, on average there were at least 4 mass shootings a year, minimum.
These are all mass shootings, those were more than 2 people were shot and killed. JUST since 2015 and this last weekend, there have been 42 mass shootings, for a total of 460 individuals dead.
Out of a total of 115 mass shootings since 1982, 64 of the shooters were white, 19 were black, 10 were Latino, with the remaining 22 Native American, Asian, or other.
I mean, I’ve been watching American media, both independent and corporate, watched them debate the why’s and how’s and whose to blame, and, while I believe prevention is very important, seems that maybe you might want to, em, get the damn guns outa the equation, maybe start with that first?
Then maybe figure out what the heck is wrong with white men that they feel this need to go out and slaughter people?
Every country has mentally ill people, every country has people who have been abused, those who are marginalized. However, countries not enslaved to a white nationalist right-wing gun lobby have stopped the proliferation of guns as a stop and go solutions for complex social and mental health issues.
I mean, seriously, population density, loss of main street, and the isolation that these losses naturally lead to, economic fear, demographic changes, add in loss of jobs from technological advances and capitalist ideals taking their toll, massive government corruption and gerrymandering and white nationalist fear-mongering taking over one whole side of the equation, and in steps a xenophobic narcissist president of low emotional intelligence, poking at the flames of this firestorm that has been smouldering for decades, and surprise, surprise, more stop and go slaughters.
the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted:
Though, a dead person, however you may decide to label the killers, are just as dead.
IT. IS. THE. GUNs.
But, what surprises me even more, is that there are even some left leaning American’s that argue that it’s not the guns, that they don’t need no stinkin’ gun laws.
Oh, sure, right-wing fanatics walking round the Walmart with loaded AK-47s touting gun laws are just some Draconian fascist plot are a whole other kettle of crazy, but I suppose it just goes to show how screwed up they ALL are.
At the heart, I think, is this profound distrust that has grown exponentially over the decades towards their own government (for good reason in some cases). I think that is a fundamental reasoning underlying so much of their reluctance to make stronger federal gun laws, even though it seems so incredibly obvious to everyone else.
Well, and how exactly some believe Trump fixes the systemic rot and corruption at the core of their government, well that’s beyond my comprehension.
The way I see it, Americans, fuelled by an NRA that has become intermingled so heavily with the white nationalists has enslaved a whole nation by an obsession they have to their guns. These new right-wing politicians have grown in strength over those decades that mass shootings has risen, this core of hatred and greed feeding off of that fear, fuelling distrust in all the protective institutions that they once had faith, giving them free-reign to utilize that fear to maintain their control over the populace.
So, fairly safe to say that nothing will really change in America, no real gun laws will be passed until this fear-mongering white nationalist party of filthy rich group of politicians is voted out, once and for all.
Though, even then there will be a long road towards fixing this wedge that has been driven into the core of their country, dividing them by their own hatred and distrust, weakening them, enslaving them to their fear, and their goddamn guns.