In the wake of this horrible massacre today, I know everyone is thinking about what we can do to stop these tragedies from happening. How do we save and protect people better? Is this a gun control issue, a mental health issue, mix of both or something else? What is the solution? ~ Amanda Jaegar, THV11 Little Rock, AR
“I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.” ~ President John F Kennedy (American University, June 10, 1963 (source)
We have a problem America. Our problem is we believe gun violence is a solution to certain problems.
What problems? you ask? It doesn’t matter what problems. And that itself is a problem.
Our “gun violence as solution” problem is the problem. Once we believe some problems can only be solved by gun violence it doesn’t matter what those problems are.
As a society, we make a distinction between the use of gun violence for self defense and the offensive use of gun violence. We allow the use of gun violence in self defense, for both corporate and individual self defense.
Our problem, in America, is that we have confused offensive and defensive. Our nation’s military travels the world attacking people for no good reason and we call it “self defense” when it’s not: it’s offensive.
NATO used to be defensive. Since the 1990s, and the collapse of the USSR, NATO has gone on the offensive, attacking countless millions of peoples across the globe. We call this “self defense” when it’s not: it’s offensive. We’re attacking people for no good reason.
As a society we venerate our military. They are heroes! And, because our military is actively engaged in the offensive use of gun violence against countless innocent peoples around the globe, this is a problem.
When I was in the infantry I learned we had two purposes: 1) kill people; 2) break things.
This is what the military does. This is why we should use the military only in self defense. America has been on the offensive, globally, since the Spanish-American War, which was over 100 years ago. That’s a long time. The Spanish-American War was ginned up by yellow journalism, or: propagandistic, sensationalistic, tabloid style, fake news.
A guy recently murdered 26 people in a church in Texas, during a Sunday morning service. Everyone wants to know why, but the how tells us about our problem.
There are countless reasons why someone would murder someone else. A murderer could be delusional, not being able to tell reality from fantasy. A murderer could be sane and kill for logical, but illegal, reasons.
There are countless ways of murdering someone. Our particular interest here is the use of gun violence as a solution. A solution too many people, mostly men, use to solve what they perceive to be a problem (e.g., an imaginary enemy, a cheating lover, an entire nation (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria…).
Speaking of Texas, do you remember when Chris Kyle, the so-called American Sniper, was honored at a memorial service at Texas Stadium? His casket was placed on the fifty yard line.
The American Sniper at Rest on the 50 yard line at Texas Stadium
What message does this send to the men, young men, and boys of the USA?
I’ll tell you what message: Gun violence solves problems. And, like I said, it doesn’t matter what the particular problem is. Fill in the blank ________ with whatever problem you have (e.g., my wife left me, people at work hate me, I’m a loser and I’m mad at the world, whatever…)
An even worse message is: You can become a hero and a role model for others by killing people
Chris Kyle is held up as a hero and a role model. The mercenary corporation Kyle founded has the motto: “Despite what your momma told you… violence does solve problems.”
What did Chris Kyle do to become so famous? He solved the perceived problems of our nation’s government by killing people with a high powered rife, from long distances.
In other contexts, a sniper, like Kyle, would be considered a coward. The guy who killed two Pennsylvania state troopers a couple of years ago was called a coward by police, because he had killed the troopers with a rifle from a long distance, which was considered a cowardly act. How does Kyle’s killing go from cowardly to heroic? By reversing the meanings of what he is doing. According to what we are told by government/media Kyle is protecting Americans. But in reality Kyle is 10,000 miles away from American killing people who were never a threat to us…
As I said above, our problem, in America, is that we have confused offensive and defensive. Our nation’s military travels the world attacking people for no good reason and we call that “self defense” but it’s not: it’s offensive. Our military is used to promote the interests of our government and the interests of transnational corporations.
Until we, as a nation, begin dealing with our “gun violence as solution” problem we will never solve our gun violence problem. People follow our government/media example. Our government sends its military around the globe to murder people with guns, bombs, and rockets, and our media glorifies the use of violence in television, film, and music.
We hear a lot about racism today, but what about militarism? America is militaristic. And our militarism breeds our “gun violence as solution” problem.
Militarism: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.
MLK foretold our predicament fifty years ago. We have failed to deal with our militarism; therefore we have come to the end of the dead end road of national disaster…
“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, ‘What about Vietnam?’ They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” (Martin Luther King Jr., 1967)
“I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. We are presently moving down a dead-end road that can lead to national disaster.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967)
Source: Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet/riversidetranscript.html
Relevant links to more articles and videos…
Patmos, The Emperor Worship Cultus, and The American Sniper https://mark1marti2.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/patmos-the-emperor-worship-cultus-and-the-american-sniper/
The Cult of the American Sniper https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/the-cult-of-the-american-sniper/
Yes, we have a gun and violence problem. But ultimately, we have a heart problem http://via.wtvr.com/U8efc via @HolmbergCBS6
Police Chief Calls Teen Gun Violence an “Epidemic” https://youtu.be/d1aHIhIfXG8
13-year-old accidentally kills himself on Instagram live https://youtu.be/qvGy4cP_R30
BB guns looking like real guns https://youtu.be/S_xt85iITFs
RAW: Video shows suspected gang members waving guns and cash https://youtu.be/npLJFmYNNNM
Former Delta employees charged in gun smuggling case https://youtu.be/nNnyXhf5-9c
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams reacts to the murder of a 5 month old girl… https://youtu.be/XkCcC6U-CiI via @YouTube
Aavielle Wakefield | 5-month-old girl dies in shooting on Cleveland’s east side https://shar.es/17QFQT via @wews
Plan to fight Milwaukee’s gun violence announced https://youtu.be/MIEEMNH4Hg4
Police say two men fired shots at a group of kids just hanging out outside a rec center http://wkrg.com/2017/10/19/police-answering-shots-fired-call-at-george-hall-elementary-witness-shooting-at-nearby-rec-center/
“Guns. Media. Mental Illness. Lax Security. All these and more have been offered as explanations for the tragic mass shooting…” Read more: A Militaristic Culture https://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/26/a-militaristic-culture/
The root of gun violence? Our militaristic culture. http://wapo.st/1X0BzxS?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.2540fdb13c2c
“Using violence and aggression to impose its will on others is the fundamental purpose of the military…” Read more: The Bullying of US Militarism Pervades the Entire Society http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/37975-the-bullying-of-us-militarism-pervades-the-entire-society
Shoot To Kill: http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/shoot-to-kill/