The border between Canada and the United States is nearly invisible when compared to the sieve of a steel and concrete wall being built between the States and their southern neighbor Mexico. And though there are many similarities between Canada and the States, there are also just as many differences. For instance, Canadians are clearly distinctive, while Americans have to tell everyone that they are. Canadians are also very aware, thus, cautious and resistant to being assimilated by the Americans. At least that’s what we’d like to think. If others look at Canadians and Americans as being cut from the same cloth, they would be grossly mistaken.
The States seems to be filled with characters written by someone else for their own reality show. Their corporate and government leadership and oligarchy obviously psychotic, much like Canada’s as of late. All so out of whack from reality that many of them actually believe they will come out on top even after the earth’s climate is devastated. They trust that they’ll be able to withstand monster tornados, food shortages, earthquakes, oil spills, or a lack of drinking water, or the insanity of the current gun epidemic. And still make money doing it.
But no matter the shock or what the Americans do and say, we watch them like we watch for a train wreck. And though we still peek through our fingers, their ever increasing immoral societal stench those at the top have created, keeps our noses turned away, but you can still smell it. Not only does it cloak us Canadians, but also people all over the world. They have no idea how ignorant they look on the world stage, nor how much their fear and hopelessness is shining through what is a closing window, which when closed, furious anger will shatter.
Their blatantly obvious psychopathic military industrial complex’s foreign policy has made them simply bullies, creating mortal enemies worldwide, which will last generations, all to keep America safe and secure, and of course creating perpetual profits for the American arms-manufacturers.
Guns in particular, have become a plague upon the planet, especially in the States, to the point of being a flesh-eating disease. And much like some other diseases; obesity, consumerism, perpetual war, incarceration, addiction, and ever growing disaster capitalism, the gun epidemic has become a highly profitable venture to a few, while wounding or killing the rest of us, kind of like cigarettes.
With almost as many guns produced during Obama’s first four years of office than in all eight years of George W. Bush’s administration, such a love and proliferation of guns has brought only blindness to the reality that America’s gun epidemic has also become one of its biggest health crisis, something Obamacare could never cure. And even though over 70 percent of Americans want gun reform and more controls, the right-wing white guys will never let it happen. Indeed, the majority of the population in many democracies, including Canada, have no impact on public policy, economic elites like organized lobbying interest groups do.
With cracks in the fabric of present day society splaying out in all directions at a cheetah’s pace when in pursuit of their next meal, the States has become a country that one could swear is either trying to act out a national suicide attempt, or trying to pull off the largest home grown terrorism operation of all time. Like Jim Jones in Guyana, but on a much grander scale, because the kool-aid has already been greedily gulped back. Much of this has to do with the abundance of guns now available, because when unbridled capitalism, marketing, firearms manufacturers, the Republican right wing and the NRA, along with hundreds of their lawyers, got together in the seventies, the epidemic of gun violence in the States began to ever increase in frequency.
These mad organizations and economic systems which have created the current gun violence epidemic, the differences in gun laws in the States and Canada, and remedies and suggestions will be covered in the Epilogue of this essay. A brief history of Canada and the States before and after, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was enacted, will be discussed in the middle of this essay, in what I call the Background Check, because how each country was raised has a lot to do with the perceived need to be armed or not today. This Prologue will let the numbers tell more of the story.
What got me shaking my head, lighting up a candle and pulling out the quill and ink in the first place, was finding out that in the United States there now is nearly one gun for every man, woman and child with little or no regulation in how to obtain one. It was a cry and laugh moment. It is insanity.
When speaking of guns I am including handguns, rifles, shotguns and certain assault weapons, which Americans need in case one of the few remaining big-game animals or a lone rabbit bobbed and weaved fast enough that the first twenty rounds missed it. But I’d also like to add that hunting has never been the issue with guns. It’s been what other people do with them and how easily available they are that has been and is the issue.
In my article, Murder by Gun, posted in September, 2011, I cited the gun numbers at the time; 45 million Americans possessed over 200 million firearms, including 66 million handguns. Nearly three years later, with a current population of 317 million, American citizens now own well over 300 million guns, including 115 million handguns. A further half a million guns are bought by Americans every year, and shockingly, only 12 percent of all these guns are registered.
In comparison, the second most armed country in the world is India. Their current population is 1.27 billion, with over 6 million more people added each year, and yet they only possess 45 million guns. Today there is one gun for every ten people on the planet. If you include the States in the statistics, that changes the ratio to about seven guns for every ten people in the world.
Over 47 percent of households in America own at least one gun, with 20 percent of the population owning a handgun, which many can walk around with at any time, because of course, just in case. National Rifle Association vice-president, spiritual leader to some, and Mad Hatter of the club Wayne LaPierre, refers to ownership of a firearm as morally obligated vigilantism. Vigilantism I suppose against an out of control federal government, whatever the party, or against perceived enemies, which can only be themselves, and their fellow Americans.
But then LaPierre also sees the world as a place: “where there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping-mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all”, but fails to mention and include the paranoid and psychopathic, which would sum up his breed nicely, as well as his followers. And the fact that all those killers he mentioned are American. While in reality studies show that the gun the American suburban family buys to protect itself and which is kept in the home, is 43 times more likely to kill a household member than to be used in self-defense.
In Canada, with a current population of 35 million, there are about 9.9 million guns, including 1.1 million handguns (a restricted weapon in Canada). Nearly two million Canadians (5.4 percent of the population) currently hold a valid firearms license for almost 7.5 million registered firearms and 350,000 are handguns. Only 15 percent of Canadian households own a long gun, and only 3 percent possessing a handgun. Overall, it works out to about 23 guns per 100 Canadians, while in America, as already noted, there are now basically 100 guns for every 100 Americans.
The American military possesses three million guns, in addition to everything else they have acquired, including the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. They work with an annual budget of $750 billion (20 percent of their country’s federal budget), which is more than the next 16 largest military budgeted countries combined. And though they are not threatened by any nation and are a military without equal, supposedly fighting the war on terror by way of protecting American and corporate economic interests globally, yet totally ignoring the fearful commercial interests, ineffectual politicians and government officials, and the home-grown terrorist, back in the States. And though the States have the most heavily armed populace in the world, their people still live in fear and continue to be the utmost in paranoia and narcissism in one fell swoop.
China has the second highest military budget in the world, spending $119 billion a year, with Russia spending only $59 billion. Canada’s military budget is $20 billion, with the military in possession of 233,949 firearms.
American Law Enforcement who try to keep it together and protect citizens, instead, are faced with two out of every three 911 calls being concerned with addiction and mental illness. This is also the situation in Canada, but in the States the police forces are increasingly being made up of ex-military personnel with skeletons and demons rattling in their own closets as a result of their war experiences. These people possess over one million guns. And much like the country’s military, they exist in perpetual war. In Canada the police forces hold 124,270 firearms.
The States don’t just use their guns to kill each other though; they also produce enough to supply the world. They are the biggest provider of guns globally, selling 70 percent of all guns made. To feed these guns, 14 billion rounds are manufactured worldwide every year, enough bullets to shoot every human on the planet, twice. The States provides 40 percent of them (5.6 billion), or enough bullets to shoot every American 17 times.
Because the States has weak gun laws and few controls regarding access to guns, what an American can buy easily and legally is often just as easily sold illegally to a country like Canada which has more controls. In many States one could buy a handgun every week. Why one person would need perhaps fifty handguns every year is anybody’s guess. But some States have recently “come down hard” and have changed this rule to where a person can only buy one handgun a month. I know. Wow and big deal.
Of the handguns seized in the course of a crime by the Toronto Police in 2010, 70 percent originated in the States and were trafficked illegally to Canada. In Mexico, 68,000 people have died from guns since 2006. Of the guns recovered, over 90 percent were smuggled from the States.
The majority of industrialized countries have some form of gun licensing and registration of firearms, with strict controls on access to assault weapons and handguns. However, only two countries, the United States and Yemen, treat gun ownership as a basic right. The remaining countries view gun ownership as a privilege.
Therein lays America’s problem. In the States nearly every citizen living their life within a society on a planet swirling down the toilet of environmental and moral disaster can get a gun. Furthering the madness, since 1980, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside their homes for personal protection, while in eighteen States; you can walk around in public with a gun on your hip. So of course it is more often the norm that over half of homicides happen after or during an argument between two people who know each other.
There are believed to be about 30,000+ deaths by gun every year in the States, about 20,000+ by suicide / 10,000+ by homicide, with 2 percent of them being children. Guns currently kill more children than cancer does. Not included in this number are the additional 1,000+ deaths per year from unintentional firearm injuries. In Chicago in 2012 alone, 500 people were murdered by gun. This by itself is more than double Canada’s total gun homicides in any given year of about 200 people, or 0.6 people per 100,000. The States averages about six gun homicides per 100,000.
Since 1960, there have been 1.3 million gun deaths in America. Currently 282 people are shot every day; of these, 32 are murdered, with another 51 committing suicide. Examples for context, in Vietnam from 1955 – 1975, 58,000 American soldiers died. These numbers match the American civilian population that dies by gunshot every two years. In the first seven years of the Iraq debacle, 4,400 US soldiers died, the same number of civilians currently killed by gun in the US every seven weeks.
Sadly, considering the States is perhaps the most economically advanced nation in the world, there have been about two mass shootings every month over the past five years, with Americans 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of all other developed nations. As it stands today, one in three Americans knows someone who has been shot. While every year on average, roughly a hundred thousand Americans are killed or wounded by guns.
American males have a 1 in 2,317 chance of being shot at least once in their lives. While the odds of either winning a lottery or dying in a terrorist act in North America, is the same, about 1 in 20+ million. And while one person out of every 100,000 dies by bee sting, at least five people out of every 100,000 will die by gun.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are about 5.4 million violent crimes committed in the United States every year. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000 or 8 percent were committed by offenders armed with a gun. And though the US homicide rate (per 100,000), committed without guns, is less than twice the Canadian rate. The rate of homicide with guns in the US is six times higher than Canada’s, with American homicides with handguns seven times higher than Canada’s. This pattern can also be seen in robberies without firearms where the rates are comparable for the two countries, yet in the States, of the half a million robberies every year, 36 percent of them are committed with a gun, a rate of 55 per 100,000. In Canada there are about 32,200 robberies each year, with only 14 percent of them involving a firearm, a rate of only 13 per 100,000.
Though the States has higher homicide, aggravated assault and robbery rates than does Canada, Canada has higher rates of motor vehicle thefts, break and entering, and arsons, with both countries sharing the same rates for theft, about 2,300 cases for every 100,000 people.
Another big difference between these societies relates to the issue of privilege versus right. Holding a driver’s licence and owning a gun should be privileges not rights. No one should be allowed to carry or shoot off a gun or drive a car without proving to the public that he or she can safely and responsibly do so.
The States has 679 impaired drivers per 100,000. Canada’s rate is 277 per 100,000. And while drunk-driving fatalities have decreased over the last couple of decades in both countries, in the States they still represent 31 percent of the over 33,000 traffic deaths in the States each year. Today about 10,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, 30 people every day, one death every 48 minutes. This is coincidently, the same number of homicide deaths by gun each year.
Of the 1,200 traffic deaths involving children younger than 14 years, 17 percent were caused by an alcohol-impaired driver. And while 1.4 million Americans are arrested for driving drunk each year, it only represents about 1 percent of the 112 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among adults. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes, injuries and property damage in the States totals more than $51 billion.
In 2010, of the nearly 300,000 Canadians injured in motor vehicle crashes 2,541 died, and of these fatalities 1,082 were impairment-related. It’s estimated that about 63,800 injuries happen every year due to impairment related crashes in Canada – roughly 175 per day. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes, injuries and property damage in Canada, is estimated to be about $20 billion.
Much like the alcohol and drug addiction epidemic, from drunk drivers to crack heads, America’s gun epidemic is not a race problem either. Guns offer equal opportunity tragedies, no matter what the mainstream media crows. And though Afro-Americans do indeed account for the vast majority of homicides by gun, a white person is almost six times more likely to be killed by another white person than by a black person. According to FBI homicide data, in 2011 there were more cases of whites killing whites than there were of blacks killing blacks.
Within corporate-mainstream media, gang-related deaths in the States are thought of as an Afro-American problem, while in fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period of 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang homicides were committed by white offenders and the majority of gang homicide victims (56.5 percent) were in fact white. According to statistics from the Justice Department collected from 1980 to 2008, white men are more likely to kill than any other racial group. However in gun related homicides, black men outnumber whites, especially when it comes to drug-related offenses. White men top the list in most of the other categories, showing that they were more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, and their significant others, and tend to commit more sex-related crimes and gang related crimes, and are more likely to kill at their places of employment, than Afro-Americans. Most gun murders involving Afro-Americans are between men and usually over a drug deal. And despite racial biases, studies show that Afro-Americans are no more likely than whites to use or sell drugs, in fact, Afro-Americans make up only 14 percent of addicted American drug users.
Eighty-three percent of gun deaths by white people are suicides, 14 percent homicides, and two percent accidents, with a white person five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun, as opposed to being shot with a gun. For each Afro-American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns, the gist being that whites are far more likely to shoot themselves, while blacks are far more likely to shoot others.
In Canada, there are approximately 600 suicides by gun each year or 1.79 per 100,000. In the States there are 20,000 suicides by gun each year (6.03 per 100,000) and as previously mentioned, over 80 percent are white males. One can also include the twenty-two American military veterans who are currently taking their own lives with a bullet every month. Men and women who enlist to serve their country, to make a difference, be deployed to another country and culture, which in most cases are people who wish they could be simply left alone, and hope to help, lend a helping hand and give guidance. Unfortunately they try to accomplish this while holding an automatic assault weapon in their hands. After they come back heavy guilt enshrouds their lives, the nearly schizophrenic disconnect from being told you were helping and defending America, but knowing deep down you were not doing either.
Although the number of suicides by gun is double that of homicides by the same means, they tend to be subdued tragedies, very hush-hush affairs, and only whispered about between family and friends, if talked about at all, though a celebrity taking their own life is big news. Suicide is also absent from any discussion of gun policy, instead it is all about murders, especially mass killings. Yet reality dictates that the availability of guns does indeed increase the risk of suicide, because it allows for impulsive suicides that otherwise might not occur. And while 2 percent of Americans do kill themselves every year, heart disease and cancer still accounts for nearly 48 percent of all deaths in the States and in most of the industrialized countries of the world.
Then there are the non-fatal gunshot wounds. For every two firearm deaths, there are five non-fatal firearm injuries. Of the 30,000+ people who die by gun every year, an additional 65,000+ are treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal gun injuries, while over 30 percent of traumatic brain injuries and 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries in America are caused by gunshot wounds. It is estimated that another 24,000+ gun wounds were either superficial or treated privately. Direct medical costs for non-fatal gunshot wounds tops $6 million per day and are the leading source of uninsured hospital stays, of which half are paid by the taxpayer.
There has been much recently in global news, of the escalating wave of mass killings involving guns. In the States from 1982 to 2012, over one thousand people have been killed or injured in 62 mass killings and counting, with this number rising every month, and as of late, nearly every week. One in five who are killed are 12 years of age or younger.
Half of these mass killings happened in the last seven years. Yet over the same time frame, more people died from migraines and accidents than by mass murderers. In fact, three times as many people died from sunstroke. But still, fifteen of the worst mass shootings in the last 50 years among developed countries happened in the States, with Finland in second place. The States is currently three times more violent than most of the developed world, with the most violence taking place in their southern States. But then American society was built upon slavery, genocide, aggressive racism, euro centralism, and exceptionalism, so what would one expect?
According to the FBI, a mass shooting is where at least four people die and is usually at the hands of a lone shooter, who blasts away in a public space, half the time doing so in a school or workplace. Of the past 62 mass murderers, 48 were white and only one was a woman. Average age was 35 years, with the majority having problems in their lives, just like everybody else. Seventy-one of the 143 weapons used were semi-auto handguns, along with 20 assault weapons and 42 weapons which had multiple, high capacity magazines. The vast majority of weapons used in these cases were obtained legally, only twelve were not.
Yet compared to all gun related homicides, mass killings only account for less than 1 percent of all deaths by gun. But the corporate controlled media loves telling the repeated and hyped-up stories about them, as we obediently follow along, enrapt, and inching ever closer into thinking that perhaps we too should buy a gun – you know, just in case. It’s called marketing.
How we treat mass killings via mainstream group-think, is we focus on the shooters’ skin color (mostly white), or their manner of killing, such as gruesome violence, or whether children are involved, or religion, or national identity. Such events are looked at as simply being a bunch of disconnected incidents that can’t be helped and have nothing to do with each other. Besides, mass killings are always done by the lone shooter, a terrorist, or someone mentally ill, thus, the “crazy man.” But you’ve got to wonder, killings or assassinations, especially when most of the victims in mass killings are either Muslims, immigrants (illegal or not), gays, liberals, women, intellectuals, comrades in arms, students or Afro-Americans.
Many of the mass killings over the last couple of years, especially in the States and Europe, were carried out by white men who often are a member of the racist radical right, and who either immediately killed themselves afterwards or surrendered, mugging proudly for the camera – a terrorist claiming to be a patriot, with their acts not thought of as terrorizing anyone, but instead, hate crimes.
The American laws in some States are such that you can be packing while enmeshed in road rage and completely out of control, or dealing with neighbours, especially if they are a different colour, or the kids in the truck next to you whose music is too loud, or simply someone who’s pissed you off and you feel threatened, as you shout-spit in their face, as a matter of fact, I do own the fucking road and what are you going to do about it. Or as is often the case, with gun in hand, they manage their nagging spouse, because for some Americans, it seems to be in their nature that only through violence and threat of force can they communicate with people. They already entertain themselves in such a way.
The right of every individual to possess a gun in the States also allows people who might be depressed about their life or with lack of future opportunities, at least can own a gun. One can also be panicked and armed, confused and armed, dying for your next crack hit and armed, in a jealous rage, or lost in body and soul, and simply overwhelmed with life, but be packing. In reality, the vast majority of deaths by gun are committed by very sane people, who feel weak or threatened or just pissed off with their life, and have the capability and power that they lack, to even up the score by the use of a handgun that can fire off huge numbers of rounds in a heartbeat.
Such a distorted world view, especially in the southern States, is fueled by intense anger and impotence in controlling one’s own life, which leads to, it’s always somebody else’s fault: the fault of the “other.” People are unaware of having been programmed to act in such a way. Chauvinism, cruel retribution, a perverted Christianity, and the celebration of a mythical white Anglo-Saxon history through cinema, have separated these people from reality, with the next destination along their road – American fascism. They’ve become unrepentant of the past and misinterpret the expectations of a privileged society, simply because one is white. They are also scared of the future, and with their ignorance still believe that a white man’s life exists at the center of the universe.
Most of the people defined above don’t look at the gun epidemic as a problem at all; rather their concern is the right to have a gun epidemic. America has become orthodoxy, where they actually believe they are the greatest country, not only presently, but in all of human history. From the git go, American society has viewed itself superior to other classes, races, origins, habits, diets, cultures and political preferences. They are taught to believe in their own subjective superiority. They feel unique and nearly a divine race. I call it arrogance of the ignorant, simple bravado. And it has distracted them from hearing that the toilet has been flushed on their society.
This facet of American society is, unfortunately, the driver behind their country’s gun problem, because beneath it all there’s nothing but fear and helplessness, with hope and love seemingly unattainable anymore. In the countries in the world where there is an ever widening gap between those who have money and the vast majority who do not, such as in the States and Canada, research shows that more begin to suffer health and social problems, lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates, more suicides, more murders, imprisonment, teenage births, less trust, obesity, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction, than other developed countries. If you add in the fact that people have little or no influence over government policy, with most political decisions being made with no thought to the people. And an ever widening social polarization, deep racism, disintegrating family values, hunger, joblessness, and violence, it’s no wonder many Americans believe that to be disarmed means being further disempowered. But whether actually psychopathic, mentally ill, uneducated, ignorant, abused, or just having a bad day, an American can be reassured that they will survive, as long as they are armed. “Having a gun in one’s hand erases human inequality and alters human possibility.”
As mentioned, mass killings are always big news, good for the advertisers who support the media business, and a boon to the cinema and television industries, because they know such things as evil and madness contain the elements of the unintelligible, things which resist explanation. We watch, grimly fascinated, by such events, yet also feeling guilty for it for some reason, perhaps because we ourselves feel the fear and helplessness against such evil and look for an answer based on the killer’s upbringing and psychological history, desperately seeking an explanation on why they choose that victim, when in fact, an explanation may not exist. And at the same time knowing each one of us has such evil within us, and the ability to lose control or exact revenge. It’s all about how it can be controlled, and having the daily discipline to do so. It is hard work, but peace and love have always worked pretty good.
Some look at mass killers as individuals who are simply responding to the world in which they live, revolting against an injustice upon themselves, whether imagined or otherwise. Individuals confused about their identity, yet fatalistic at the same time, believing they are creating their own actions, thus their own destiny. Others believe a mass killer’s violence comes from conspiracy or influence, where the killer’s self is moulded by others, and somehow deemed more meaningful.
Someone, often adolescent, immature and white, who walks into a school or theatre and starts indiscriminately blasting away, has probably done the same thing on video games hundreds of times already. He has, no doubt, since birth seen literally thousands of images of death, killing, and guns on all sizes of screens, fiction or otherwise, and just maybe, had a typically bad childhood where he was abused, beaten and bullied, and though that person might not even have serious mental problems, we must say they do, and say they are serious ones at that.
A 2001 study done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine looked specifically at 34 adolescent mass murderers (under 19 years) between 1958 and 1999. All were male, 70 percent were described as a loner, 61.5 percent had problems with substance abuse, 48 percent had preoccupations with weapons, and 43.5 percent had been victims of bullying. Three out of four did not have a documented psychiatric history of any kind.
In the States, 6 percent of their population suffers from serious mental health illnesses. If one were to include minor mental health disorders, 26 percent of their population or 58 million people have to deal with this form of illness. In fact the leading cause of disability in the States and Canada today, is major depressive disorder. But these people are not all running around shooting people, far from it. But in the States, when they do decide to kill, they are able to kill in greater numbers because they are armed with a gun, which is usually plural.
Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, and one of the leading researchers on mental health and violence says that:
“just because someone has a mental illness and they committed a crime, the illness isn’t necessarily why they did it. Among these people with serious mental illness, the risk factors for committing a violent crime appeared to have more to do with the overall risk factors for violence: being young, male, socially disadvantaged, and involved with substance misuse. But on the face of it, a mass shooting (for example) is the product of a disordered mental process. You don’t have to be a psychiatrist: what normal person would go out and shoot a bunch of strangers?” “People with serious mental illness are 3 to 4 times more likely to be violent than those who aren’t. But the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent and never will be. Most violence in society is caused by other things. Even if we had a perfect mental health-care system, it won’t solve our gun violence problem. If we were able to magically cure schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, which would be wonderful, but overall violence, would go down by only about 4 percent. I’ve done these back-of-the envelope calculations. If you were to back out all the risk associated with mental illness that’s contributing to the 300,000 people killed by gunshot wounds in the last ten years, you could probably reduce deaths by about 100,000 people. Ninety-five percent of the reduction would be from suicide. Only 5 percent would be from reducing homicide. Mental illness is a strong risk factor for suicide. It’s not a strong risk factor for homicide.”
When we humans are evil, as many of us can be, I’m sure we tend toward being slightly psychopathic for brief moments, for some it can be ongoing, but such behaviour as murdering a group of one’s fellow citizens is not a mystery so much, because it can be socially explained; it is a reflection of our societies. Bad people in the world doing bad things to others are more often than not, simply products of today’s society, with logic dictating that when guns are prevalent there will be more killing, whether mentally ill, or as in most cases, not.
While the adage, that if everyone was armed it would be a real safe place to raise the kids, is utter bullshit. If every talking, stumbling, imperfect, smarter than we need to be human being surviving today’s quickly changing world were armed, the only thing holding our societies back from a blood bath would be for everyone to trust each other unambiguously, and actually expect everyone to act sensibly, empathic, calm, and in control of their emotions: In other words, pure fantasy.
Meanwhile we believe every mass killing is committed by a crazy person, because it makes us feel better. But if the mass murderer is a young Arab man we deem him a terrorist, while a white extremist bombing a mosque or abortion clinic is a hate crime. One of the murderers of the five hundred killed in Chicago in 2012 is a just a gangster. The distraught father killing his family, he seemed like such a good hard working man his neighbours refrain. An American who joins the military and participates in unspeakable actions overseas, returns with no support from government and is often times trying to cope with serious issues in their head, and prone to shooting themselves once returned home, a hero.
The current gun laws in the States, of course also allow the monsters and psychopaths to be armed, for they have every right to do so, though many of them don’t need to be armed, because they surround themselves with bodyguards and henchmen. In fact, many of them are those manufacturing the guns and passing them out like party favours. And though psychopaths by nature are morally insane, they are usually people who “are intellectually above average and understand the nature and practical consequences of acts that are forbidden by law and society, and although they are often highly intelligent, they are simply unable to accept the moral nature of their choices”.
When we humans were still hunters and gatherers, the ones with psychopathic natures were made to disappear and/or be banished, because often their decisions would, could and did, affect the safety and survival of the group. But ever since we began gathering in villages and towns, the psychopaths took control of the food and water and rose to the top of society. Like the gods they created to control us, we can no longer banish them, lock them all up, or make them disappear, because it would decimate Wall St, Washington D.C., offices in Ottawa, and most of the corporate elite, including many dictators, prime ministers and presidents of the world. Though not all are insane, many are undoubtedly highly psychopathic, if we abide by the definition. I am referring to the true definition and not slang. That “People who are psychopathic prey ruthlessly on others, using charm, deceit, violence or other methods that allow them to get with they want. The symptoms of psychopaths include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others.” It is also not curable, because being psychopathic is not a mental illness.
Though there is no treatment for it, eminent criminal psychology researcher, author, and Order of Canada member, from the University of British Columbia, Dr Robert Hare, stresses that most psychopaths don’t commit murder, but are all social predators, pointing out that, “Much of a psychopath’s behaviour, even the neurobiological patterns we observe, could be because they’re using different strategies to get around the world. These strategies don’t have to involve faulty wiring, just different wiring.”
I bring up the topic of psychopaths within this article on gun violence, not because they are running around shooting everybody in sight because they’re not. Most of them are simply human sharks, moving through their communities, taking what they can from usually the weak and unaware, strictly for their own gratification and egos. And yes many are also at the top of society, who feel and act similarly, with each having their own projects to work on and corporations and governments to run. They operate with greed dictating their methods, no longer worrying about a curtain to shield them from our view, or considering an iota of anyone’s feelings, and are supported by legions of drone-like underlings consisting of lawyers, managers, brokers, bankers, and middle managers.
Two of the worst psychopaths running around today, are the American weapon manufacturers and the National Rifle Association, who have combined to bastardize the Second Amendment of the American Constitution to basically achieve sales targets and ever more vast amounts of cash, which is actually being very American. This is all accomplished because those elected, rather, those who have spent the most money get elected by getting people to vote for them by promising the world. Then when in office they abide by what young bureaucratic whips, party leadership and lobbyists, who have paid the most, tell them what to say and do. What has been produced by such people has created the world’s current gun epidemic. They deal in death for the almighty dollar and nothing else.
In reality, the majority of homicides, whether by gun or not, arise from arguments, fights, drug deals and domestic disputes, while half of all murders involve a family member or intimate partner. We kill those closest to us. If guns are easily accessible, of course they will be used.
Gun violence is happening around the world, but it should not be so surprising that much of it is happening in totalitarian states disguised as democratic industrialized nations, populated by people who have simply become self-sufficient individuals, who only hang out with others who make similar personal consumer choices. Most are living paycheck to paycheck, if you got one, in a world that has become but a marketplace, which itself is based on fantasy and celebrity culture, with many brainwashed into thinking guns are cool. Many of us are living in communities where the politics are warped, and common sense, morality, and empathy have been lost or significantly undermined. Throughout the population, people are strutting around like it’s all about them, staring deeply into their phones, possessing the personalities of peacocks and attention spans of hummingbirds, maybe even thinking a camera crew is following them around, This is not the case everywhere of course, but it is spreading as fast as obesity.
All the while climate change continues to affect our only true necessities as human beings, food and water, as our urban infrastructures, social services, education and health care erodes and fall down around us. But we still put on a mask each day and go to work. We are programmed to be proud of what we do, no matter what that may entail. Meanwhile everyone is so overwhelmed with information that they are stupefied, and finding it ever harder to believe what they are told. Underlying all this is what is hidden and ignored, and what is damaging us mentally, the reality that the majority of us are nothing but slaves, with little or no passion, nor love or peace left anymore in what we do; instead many of us are left with nothing but lust and greed for all the things out of our reach. And yes, many of us are depressed in some way, and yes, many of us will experience what could be classed as breakdowns or psychotic breaks from trying to fathom the contradictions that make up our lives where nothing is black and white anymore, just a sickly grey. Into this mixture the States adds insanely vast numbers of guns, colouring the world a far deathlier shade of grey, which inevitably bleeds red.
To be continued………