FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Gun Envy

by SAUL LANDAU

My country, a unique example, is the only nation to experience periodic massacres of people by killers armed with automatic weapons. When relatives of massacre victims gather to plead with legislatures to prohibit sales of such weapons, other citizens irately rise up to defend “our second Amendment rights.” The Amendment  states:  “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.”

Second Amendment arguments about having regulated militias, which we don’t have, get used as pretexts for fear. Hunters do not get threatened by gun control laws because they don’t use assault rifles or submachine guns – or at least they should not use them if Bambi is to have any chance and hunting is really a sport.

My former neighbor, however, not a member of any militia member or hunter, boasted to me that he had 25 guns in his apartment.

“Do they make you feel safe? I asked.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

“How so? You can’t shoot more than 2 at a time.”

“Guns give you a feeling that no one will mess with you.”

“Guns make me feel stupid,” I replied. “You can’t discuss anything with them. You shoot or you bluff that you’re going to shoot. And the other guy can shoot you.”

The discussion broke off. My neighbor like millions of my fellow citizens was frightened and guns made him feel more secure, as they do for gun owners throughout the country who spend time cleaning and polishing their weapons, their manhood.

The arguments of pro gunners refer to fear of unknown intruders who would enter their home to assault and rob them, or other haunting characters who would harm them if not for their possession of lethal weapons.

In other words, judging from the public testimony of many on this issue, Americans are scared, beset with worries about those they don’t know, and assumptions that “out there” many armed people would do them serious harm if not for the protection guns offer.

If having the right to own these protective weapons also means that crazy assassins can also acquire firearms, so be it.

 

 

The police, of course, do not provide sufficient or timely enough protection against the unknown potential assailants we see on TV or read about in the news. FactCheck.org reported that we have had “130 school shootings since Columbine that resulted in at least one student or school official being killed or injured.” Police got there after the shooting ended.. http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

 

Ironically, many police chiefs want gun control because they think limiting access to weapons would reduce the possibility of more massacres like those we’ve had in various parts of the country.  Many top cops advocate serious control on gun sales. But, say some on the left and right, such government control would allow the oppressive state that commits murder around the world (in the name of freedom and democracy, of course) to possess a monopoly on arms in the United States, the very entity that tried to use gun control to disarm the Black Panthers and other left groups,  and murdered one of its leaders (Fred Hampton).

NRA heavies and old-fashioned gun lovers see gun control as bowing to the liberal-radical namby pambies. They demand unlimited access to all kinds of guns to “protect our families.” Ironically, most gun deaths occur inside gun-owning families when wives kill husbands or husbands shoot wives, or when one of the two use a gun to commit suicide, or allow a child to find and use it in the house against a parent or sibling, or on other kids.

Guns amount to a cultural cancer in US society, an almost incurable, albeit disease fostered by gun-makers, the NRA and the TV-Hollywood combine.

In one its latest sales pitches for gun violence, “The Gangster Squad,” well-known actors (Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin) team up to advocate cops using gun violence — without the police badge –as the only way to attack organized crime. Indeed, the entertainment formula uses gun violence routinely as the ideal  (if not only) method for resolving disputes.

Kids have shootouts, with toy guns, as they play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, and wait for the day when as adolescents they can own real guns.

The hunting-as-good-sport lobby concurs on the value of rifles as vital means for whacking Bambi and similar creatures who have done them no harm. I went deer-hunting as a student in the Wisconsin woods and stared in horror as a group of drunken hunters opened fire at an alleged movement in the bush. No one saw whether it was a cow, a human or a deer. They just blasted away at the place where the apparent movement had occurred. Luckily, they only hit bushes and trees.

Friends who have gone duck hunting wait for the winged creature to soar from the march and blast away at them with shotguns, hoping that the birds will fall from only one pellet and not get obliterated by or ridden with metal – makes for gritty eating. The ducks have no weapons with which they could retaliate or defend themselves. Some sport!

The President has proposed background checks on all gun sales, and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Timothy McVeigh, a Christian and army veteran, would have qualified for gun purchases, but he didn’t use guns to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building. The gun issue goes beyond US law-making capacity. It goes to reforming an old and established culture of guns and killing, one that the President helps shape every time he sends out a murderous drone on a “target” to kill  an un-indicted person in another country. Obama might honestly admit : ”I’m not one to change US culture, and truthfully guns r’us.”

Saul Landau does not own a gun, but has made over 40 films, including FIDEL and WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP, available on dvd through cinemalibrestore.com

More articles by:

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail