FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Behind the Connecticut Massacre

by JERRY KROTH

Each time there is an outbreak of homicidal mania, whether Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Adam Lanza’s slaughter of twenty eight innocents in Connecticut, the media directs us to stories about gun control and the need for better policing of individuals with mental illnesses.

The larger context—that America is a society brimming over with violence—is entirely lost in the discussion.

Let’s take a look at the forest for a change, shall we:

There are 192 million firearms owned by Americans, more than any other society in the world. Our rate of death from firearms is three times that of France and Canada, fourteen times greater than Ireland, and two hundred and fifty times greater than Japan, where firearms are aggressively controlled.

The U.S. has more prisoners, per capita, than any country on earth—three times more than Cuba, seven times more than Germany—and, indeed, we house twenty-five percent of all the prisoners in the world.

As for media violence, by the time the average American child leaves elementary school, they will have witnessed 8,000 murders and over 100,000 other acts of violence, and, to rub more salt into these open wounds, the U.S. also leads the world in the sale and rental of violent video games.

That litany of statistics comes to us compliments of our gratuitous interpretations of the First and Second Amendments.

But the forest we are talking grows ever larger.

Since World War II, the United States engaged in over fifty military operations abroad killing some four million people (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, the list goes on). If you add in to that total massacres by proxies and surrogates, the number flirts with five million (Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, and elsewhere).

We are the only country in the world seemingly perpetually at war. In 2011-2012 alone, the United States was killing people in nine different countries: Iraq and Afghanistan with troops, Libya with rockets, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen with drones, Honduras with raids against drug cartels, the Philippines with air support against insurgents, and most recently in Kenya as 150 Special forces started their operations. No other country in the world can boast of so many military involvements.

To remedy the horrors we saw in Connecticut should not be limited to screening mentally ill individuals from purchasing Glocks—which is about as far as our craven mainstream media wishes to venture. Instead we need to recognize the massacres of Jonestown, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Connecticut are merely symptoms of a much more ubiquitous cancer.

To finally address this problem is to begin a long and arduous process of cultivating a culture of peace. Such collective psychotherapy begins by treating the patient on many fronts and in a multi-dimensional way: To forbid the sale of handguns, nationwide; to ration the sale of ammunition; to prohibit the sale of violent toys to children (Greece already does), to aggressively control the sale and access of violent video games to children (Australia, Venezuela, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Brazil already do), and to prohibit the broadcast of violent scenes, explicit or implicit, on network television during family viewing hours, a practice already in effect in many European countries.

And, who knows, we might even take it one step further and retreat from our aspirations of empire and global hegemony, close down our military operations, and bring our vast armies and armadas home —over 400,000 Americans at last count stationed in almost 1,000 overseas military bases.

Russia has ten overseas military bases. China none.

So much room to grow!

Imagine our progressive President, instead of limiting his compassion to the shedding of a tear at a press conference, actually proposed comprehensive and revolutionary changes and legislation that focussed not on the symptoms but, at long last, finally started to address the disease itself.

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from Santa Clara University and the author of Duped! Delusion, denial, and the end of the American Dream, 2012. He maintains a website at collectivepsych.com

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from the graduate division of psychology at Santa Clara University. He may be contacted at his website, collectivepsych.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail