How many times do we have to witness the senseless killings of fanatics with guns to realize this issue goes much deeper than gun control, deeper than a women’s right to control her own body, and deeper than a mental health problem? We have no right to be surprised when it happens.
Until we address the deeper systemic level of this problem, gun violence will continue to massacre innocent lives and make everyday life increasingly dangerous.
For starters, every time there is a killing, it dominates the news for hours or even days– iterating every gory detail, showing bloodied victims on stretchers, police cars lined up like a grade B movie, TV journalists invasively interviewing grief stricken family members, and newspaper headlines making the killers globally famous, if not infamous. he news—for
As horrific as these killings are, the 12,234 deaths and 24, 751 injuries by gun violence so far this year are a small number compared to, say, iatrogenic deaths from medical mistakes, which number close to a million a year by some estimates.
But bad news makes good news. The networks know that fascination with horror garners attention like no other subject.
Then there’s the issue of glorified fictional violence in movies and television shows, again mostly with guns. Even a carefully chosen movie is preceded by 20 minutes of shoot-em-up previews, featuring every kind of weapon imaginable, wielded by men trying to look manly as they shoot and dodge bullets, while their femme fatale runs for her life in high heels.
And let’s not forget the factions that are literally making a killing on weapons sales, perhaps the biggest culprit of all. The United States is the highest exporter of weapons worldwide, almost doubling Russia in 2014. The combined arms sales of just the top 100 weapon manufacturers worldwide was $395 billion in 2012 according to Stockholm International Peace Research Center. The Small Arms Survey research center estimates there are 875 million small weapons in circulation worldwide, 4.5 million sold annually in the US alone. Do we expect these guns not to be used?
Gun control is vitally necessary, but it’s merely a stop-gap measure to limit the bleeding while the deeper slaughter continues. Until we remove violence from the center of our news, our entertainment, and the economy, these senseless killings will continue their bloody rampage on innocent life and our common good sense.
Love and light.