VIOLENCE IN AMERICA – By Hubert Williams

VIOLENCE IN AMERICA

By  Hubert Williams

  Boston, Massachusetts, Oct 1, 2015 – – Every time some idiot (and it is always male) takes a weapon(s), which the US Constitution gives him the legal right to have, and murders people he has never met, this nation rises up in remorse, then settles back nicely to await the next mind-numbing mass shooting…. from Columbine to Virginia Technical College, to Newtown in Connecticut where 20 small children and 6 adults were slaughtered at a school, to Umpqua Community College in Oregan today where 9 people, mostly students, were shot dead, the bloody count continues. In the Virginia Tech campus tragedy, 37 people were killed and 17 wounded.

The possession of guns is a prerogative many Americans treasure. Under the 1791 provision of the Bill of Rights (the Second Amendment) each man (woman, and it appears some teenagers, too) has the right to keep and bear arms; and the right-wing ‘gun lobby’ is such an influential force in American politics that the killing frenzy will not cease in my lifetime, however much politicians like President Barack Obama plead for change. There are more guns than people in the United States.  

Indeed, not too long ago a court in a south-eastern section of this vast and complex country determined that a citizen has the right to use deadly force (almost always through the gun) if he/she has a belief, or even just a feeling, or a fear, that someone else was likely to do him/her harm.

As was said so long ago by H. Rap Brown, one-time chairman of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party, “violence is as American as cherry pie”.

Nothing seems to have changed since the glory days of this convicted murderer who is now serving a life sentence as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.

Violence is ingrained in America and every so often some idiot hugely acts it out in Columbine/Aurora/Newtown fashion, with deadly consequences for so many families. In Newtown alone, 20 children were slaughtered in their classrooms and 6 adults, including teachers.

What is most worrying is not just the mind that would conceive such heinous acts, but the continuing easy acquisition of the means to execute them.

Today the shooter was killed, but after every such very tragic event in which the ‘shooter’ survives, there comes the pantomime, a charade during which many, many millions of dollars are consumed and numerous players wanting to command the public stage become involved – to determine whether the ‘shooter’ is in fact guilty of the act which, mind you, he had said from the outset that he committed.  As well, Hollywood-produced ‘entertainment’ shows scant regard for human life.

Yes, violence remains as American as cherry pie, and it is not sufficiently widely appreciated by many of the power-brokers that the citizens of this country are not being fashioned only to fight in wars.

America’s greatness is unquestioned. It is big…huge.  It is vibrant… It is the world’s sole super power (though the Chinese dragon is in silent advance).

No one now has to argue a case as to what this country has contributed to human civilization – great achievements on earth and in space, and beyond the depths of the ocean.

As the youngsters would say, ‘humungous’ land-based accomplishments, while matching the birds in flight with huge metal machines… (That is why we can now ‘fly’ in comfort from Georgetown to New York in no time at all).

Verily, human society’s prodigious leap from the industrial revolution to the technological age is overwhelmingly an American achievement… although the lust of capitalism is helping to generate a flood in the trash-heap of discarded machines as increasingly newer/updated versions make even fairly recent product lines nearly obsolete.

This unquenchable market thirst for the latest cellphone launched is draining scarce personal finances worldwide, but is adding not a great deal of new capacity to the productivity of essential material goods. Talk has always been cheap, but talk alone brings nothing – neither will empty tweeting.

The United States boasts, without challenge, some of the foremost institutions of higher learning in the world, and in many other areas of worthy endeavour this country is in the vanguard.

Nevertheless, the United States (referred to by some snobbish British as having merely an aristocracy of dollars) retains a measure of crudity that too often mirrors its early days of cowboy towns and men bearing guns at their hips.

In today’s modern America, violence and cherry pie are too frequently synonymous.

Far too many of its children, it seems, are bred on violence… and far too many parents exact control through violence.

Industry is reaping billions of dollars on games that feed children on violence. Killing the on-screen representation of a human being has become great fun for the ‘kids’ pulling the triggers at the numerous amusement arcades throughout the country primed with many of technology’s products.

The latest craze which I have encountered has been excited by the “Angry Bird” product line.

I have never myself had a ‘run in’ with an angry bird, except it was the case of a hen fearing some threat to her chicks – and that’s a great reason for any parent becoming angry. Birds are beautiful and harmless creatures of nature – a delight to the human eyes and ears.

But I have looked in awe at small children at birthday parties gleefully pummeling away with a baseball bat at a large representation of an “angry bird” until it bursts asunder, spilling out gifts, the quest of which had excited their assault.

This, I learnt, is called “The Piñata”, which I presume transmits the message to the children that if you want something that somebody else has, then beat the hell out of them and get it.

Sad to say “The Piñata” has become a very popular feature at children’s parties across the United States; and the ‘brand name’ is in such great demand that the angry bird is the early bird who now gets the worm across a vast line of children’s products – a multi-billion-dollar production giant.

It is therefore not difficult to see why someone, deranged or delusional for whatever reason, would consider the destruction of human lives as a first option… whether in a cinema, a high school, a community college, or wherever.

  1. Rap Brown can well sit comfortably in his jail cell, for violence remains as American as cherry pie; though, admittedly, it is not alone an American phenomenon.

The appearance of Scotsman Andy Murray representing the United Kingdom at this year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open lawn tennis tournaments brought back memories of the massacre of 16 children at his Dunblane School, Scotland, in 1996 ….. And Norwegians will forever remember that awful day in July 2011 when 92, mostly youths, were slaughtered for no reason than that Anders Behring Breivik had the desire and the means to execute his horrible deed.

Strange that these wanton acts against innocent people – almost always children and youths – take place always in “developed” countries.

=====  ENDIT =====

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Comments

  • De castro  On 10/09/2015 at 4:50 am

    USA is ripe for revolution….civil war.
    Plusses population halved…..
    Minuses next generation wiped out…..

    Obama s legacy.
    Will broomrider or KFC change gun laws…..doubt it !🗽

    At my cynical best.
    Sorry GOL !😈

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 10/09/2015 at 1:34 pm

    Selling guns and waging endless wars are Big Business.

  • De castro  On 10/09/2015 at 3:46 pm

    Depends who is buying also…..guns like tobacco can easily be taxed heavily to reduce consumption.Alcohol another heavily taxed.Drugs being legalised and taxed.I
    Tax is the WMR(weapon of mass reduction) of consumption…reducing mass
    direct taxation increasing spending power of consumers…..feeds growth.

    Eco/politico suggestion.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 10/10/2015 at 2:15 pm

    “Tax is the WMR (weapon of mass reduction) of consumption…”
    What a slogan for bumper sticker or T-shirt!

  • De castro  On 10/10/2015 at 3:55 pm

    In aid of “jobless or homeless” OK !

  • ndtewarie  On 10/14/2015 at 4:02 pm

     Learn to write your hurts in the sand where the wind of forgiveness will erase them and carve your benefits in the stone where nothing will erase them.  A SMILE HAS NO OPINION

    Whether you be regal or a minion Your smile really has no opinion But it eases the other person’s mind Its something you don’t easily find It says “Hello its ok relax man, Life is too short I understan’” A returned smile answers “Thanks bro, You put me too at ease with your glow”

    For a smile takes about 17 muscles only A frown takes over 43 and its very ugly No wonder a laugh a day Can keep the doctor away Believe me we would all go insane For laughter carries away the pain In hospitals they encourage laughter For it makes the patients heal faster

    A real smile has no opinion a sign of honesty It faces anyone or anything a sign of bravery Unlike sneers and frowns Looking like faked clowns And they are filled with malice and with anger That is why some can smile in the face of danger They’re brave and are right into your face Where the others hide under the surface

    We can take a page from our kids as grown ups Who smile all the time playing with their pups Look at our kids at play both girls and boys Smiling and laughing with imaginative toys Or seeing babies as pure blank slates Smiling not yet oblivious of their fates For they haven’t been yet corrupted By adults’ opinions not yet adapted

    THANKS NORMAN DATT

  • De castro  On 10/14/2015 at 9:29 pm

    Song comes to mind….

    When you are smiling
    The whole world smiles with you
    When you are laughing the whole world laughs with you
    When you are crying the whole world cries too

    We are all but mortals
    It is appointed onto men once to die “but when” ?
    Two things are certain in life
    Taxes and death.
    Enjoy both.

    Kamtan

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