Guns Don’t Kill People, WE Do

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I am not going to enter into a debate on US gun laws because as far as I can tell, there is no room for debate. The US has a problem with guns. We are not a responsible enough people to be allowed to use them. We have shown that time and again. We are not responsible enough to own and operate the gun, and we are not responsible enough to our own citizens to protect them from the fucktards who are allowed to use them. It is our own fault. If we want to be angry at someone about the most recent tragedy, all we need do is look in the mirror.

I don’t want to hear about how “regular” gun owners don’t do these things, or it is just a crazy person with a gun. If that is true, then we have even bigger problems. First, we make it easy for anyone to get a weapon. Second, we don’t take care of our mentally ill, allowing them to easily get a gun. Then we send them to jail (for a time), put them on meds and walk away. It was obvious to me a few months ago when that man went on a shooting spree in a movie theatre, that we had a problem. This young man (who is so obviously not well) was easily able to get guns. Plural. He was able to kill more than a few people. And It happened again yesterday. We sensationalize shootings like these and wonder, “Why does this keep happening?”

I think Roger Ebert explains it best:
“Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.” – Roger Ebert’s review of “Elephant” in 2003

As long as it is easy to get a gun and the media will make you famous, I think we can expect more mass murders. If we want anything to change, we have to take action. Write letters to your congressman. Write letters to the President. Sign a petition. Look at your state and local gun laws and see what groups are doing to get more regulations. Guns are not the problem, WE are the problem.
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11 thoughts on “Guns Don’t Kill People, WE Do

  1. Congrats America, you have sunk to a new all time low! Its the American culture that is to blame, and their are no easy fixes for that one, no legislation will change how people think, and behave towards each other, especially when the problem is systemic from the government on down.

  2. I totally disagree with you about gun policy, but I do agree with Roger Ebert, it’s the media’s fault for sensationalizing crime. People can’t easily become as famous any other way. If you want to fix anything, you need to take away freedom of speech BEFORE you take away the right to bear arms!

      • It’s just as equally ridiculous to take away the right to bear arms… the only feasible solution to meet somewhere in the middle. I don’t know what that is, but our media is completely out of control and they are the root cause for so many disgusting behavioral issues within US society. I’m not saying that all TV shows need to be like Leave it to Beaver with the perfect family, but all we see today is nothing by dysfunctional behavior as our source for entertainment and that is what we are “trained” to learn as what is acceptable, so many killings that people are desensitized to know how to be a decent US citizen. I say we start with cleaning up what is broadcasted on any network whether over the air digital and cable channels alike, then we can begin to discuss gun control.

  3. Agression, and force is recreational, just watch tv, a movie, the 6 oclock news, read a book, play a video game. It also happens to be the cornerstone of american political and corporate will, that simple human decency is vanishing from decision making. In fact you talk in these terms to these people, talking decency is stupid, they think you are stupid! It is hardly suprising that the top down culture is reflected in the bottom up culture, and this is the trend, and the result.

      • The entire society is based upon force, whether it be political, economic, or physical, if you happen to be overwhelmed like these young children were, there is truly not much compassion for you in any real sense in the system of American culture. The way the government behaves, the way corporations behave, and the reflections of how the citisens behave, attitudes. The gunman was a coherent product of american society, and not an exception to it!

      • I think we need to start with professional athletes and actors. They are the primary role models kids look up to. There needs to be a governing body similar to NCAA that enforces the same level of stringent guidelines for athletes both on and off the field. Any athlete (or actor) should be banned from their respective industry for life should they publicly commit any illegal act, similar to the same codes of conduct enforced by the military judicial system. Once people understand that they will be held accountable for their actions, then society will start to clean up their act. As far as gun control goes, I feel that we are on the right track with current permit restrictions, however it should also be tied to some sort of credit score check. I would like to know what the credit scores are for all those who have committed acts of violence while legally obtaining their firearm?

  4. You are right, even sports have no ethic or ideals, cheating, doping, drugs, greed…far from the original Greek ideals. The infection is at every level in the society then isnt it?
    I doubt legislation can change morals, and gun control will not change the real problem when it is what is between the ears is the problem. You cant legislate ethics.

    • When people are smart enough to choose not to support the rot in society, maybe things will change. The ideas you accept in life, is what you adsorb, what you become, even if it is only by ignoring them! Not openly opposing them is acceptance in the soul, and then its more difficult to change.

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