FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Yes to Gun Control…Especially in the US Military

by PATRICK BARR

I’m in favor of gun control … especially in the US armed forces.

The question of gun control gets on the front pages each time — too often — a citizen goes beserk and kills lots of innocents.  Again, we find ourselves in mourning after another tragic school shooting, this time in Newton, Connecticut, where 20 young children and 6 adults were killed by a deranged 20-year-old male.  He started his rampage by killing his mother as she lay in bed that morning.

Why is it that Americans, year after year. tend to go postal, (yes, there’s even a word for it)  killing innocents in massacres that are usually inexplicable.

And why is it that in a country, Switzerland, whose government arms its people, gun violence is quite rare?

That difference supports the meme: “Guns don’t kill people.  People kill people.”

To get closer to an answer, one has to trace the history of both countries.  And it will become quite evident that while both constitutions provide the right to own guns, their approach to using them are quite different.  While the Swiss used guns to secure their independence, proclaimed neutrality and steered clear of wars, the US grew from thirteen States, to the most powerful nation on the planet through the barrels of millions of guns, two atomic bombs, drones, blockades, embargoes, sanctions and subversion of legitimate governments.

In the US, it was the use of guns that drove the Indians off their lands; that made the armed West the Wild West; that enabled gangs to wage bloody territorial battles during Prohibition.

In the US, it is the gun that speaks louder than politicians, who speak loudest to take the country to war, who concentrate more on being re-elected and getting out far richer than when they entered.

Now America mourns 26 innocent people.  When America mourned victims of 9/11, the Iranians went into the streets with candles to show solidarity with this grief-stricken country.  However, at this moment, the US-imposed financial and gold sanctions against Iran is crippling that country, and I wonder who will now dare take candles into the streets of Teheran!

When did Americans mourn for the millions of nameless innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia killed by the US government?  For those in Panama’s several mass graves following President George H. W. Bush’s excursion there to extract their leader and former collaborator-turned-enemy President Manuel Noriega.  We never mourned for either Nagasaki or Hiroshima, I’m certain; nor for any of the five million Vietnamese.

Once upon a time, the US had a Department of War, until a wise mind, leapfrogging a Department of Peace, thought a Department of Defense would be so much more apt.  And so, the country defends itself massively, even though no country has ever dared, or maybe desired to attack it.  (Do I hear the sound of readers rushing to your computers to refute that statement?  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, with the knowledge of President Roosevelt, by the way, at 7:55 AM, 7 December 1941; Hawaii became a State on 21 August 1959.)

If this senseless carnage has any chance of stopping, I would think that the U.S. government should not pass up this opportunity to be a better example of pursuing peaceful ways of resolving differences.  Turn the clock back and set up a Department of Peace.

Mr. President, yes we can.  And you can begin by tearing up your kill list on national television!

Patrick B. Barr, formerly a reporter for Jamaica’s The Daily Gleaner, can be reached at barrybar@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism:  Transcending the Masters tools
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Chuck Collins
Wall Street Hopes You’ve Forgotten the Crash Already
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Robert Koehler
Costa Rica’s Peace Journey
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
Binoy Kampmark
From Rights to Repentance: Norma McCorvey and Roe v Wade
Thomas Knapp
The Target of the “Border Adjustment Tax” is You
Chris Zinda
Open Letter to Neoliberal Environmentalists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail