Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Why is there so much gun violence in the U.S.?




Nearly every week day I listen to the On Point radio program on National Public Radio (NPR) with host Tom Ashbrook.  Lately Ashbrook, to his credit, has been asking the question 'Why is there so much gun violence in the US?' - especially after the recent deplorable shootings in Las Vegas and Texas.   

Ashbrook has academics and news reporters as guests on the show to review various studies that show the escalating trends of gun violence and he wonders why the political class in Washington remains virtually silent about offering any real solutions.

But like most Americans, Ashbrook is only scratching the surface of the problem.  He never connects the dots to the US military empire that has more than 800 bases overseas in at least 100 countries.  He never looks at the militarization of life in America - the reality of violent TV and movies and our endless wars that portray our troops as 'heroes'.

I was watching a basketball game last night and one commercial that ran was a Marine recruitment video similar to the one above.  In it you'll see the evolution of a young American woman into a tough Marine firing her automatic weapon at some unseen enemy.  The video's bottom line is that she is defending those of us at home and is a hero.  See it here

Some years ago the Pentagon began touting our future in the US as one where 'security export' would be our top national job.  Under corporate globalization of the world economy every country would have a different role.  We won't make things like shoes, cars, refrigerators, clothes, or phones any more.  America will make weapons and send our kids overseas to fight in endless wars on behalf of resource extraction corporations.  But the  corporations, and the Pentagon, have to sell this new mission to an unsuspecting public - thus the massive military recruitment budget and TV commercials like these.

Unless and until we have a national discussion - particularly on media like Ashbrook's popular national radio talk show - nothing will change.  The signal and message to people across the nation is currently clear - guns and endless war are linked together in the glorification of violence and American power.

America needs a 12-step program to end our national addiction to killing.  Until we can come on the air and say, "Hello, my name is America and I am addicted to guns, war, domination and violence" - don't expect anything to really change.

Ashbrook will be doing shows about mass killings all over the land the rest of his radio career and he will never get to the real reasons for these senseless killings because America's DNA is fully loaded with hundreds of years of senseless killings that have never been accounted for in any meaningful way.  If you doubt me just ask the people in Iraq or at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

I am going to send the link of this post to Mr. Ashbrook but I doubt he will see it or that anything will come of it.  There are just some topics that are not allowed on NPR and this is surely one of them.

Bruce

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