Monday, December 17, 2012


The problem is not that we have too many guns. That's only a symptom of a much bigger problem; our obsession with violence. Violence permeates almost every aspect of our lives.

If you doubt this just look and listen to what goes on around you. The TV wasteland is inundated with violence,  movie theaters are packed with people getting off on violence, (let's not forget that the Dark Knight was screening on the night of the movie theater massacre), one of Americas favorite and most watched violence filled event is football, followed by soccer, hockey, cage fighting, wrestling, boxing. And let's not forget the Micheal Vicks who recruit "man's best friend" to kill each other.

Our school playgrounds are breeding grounds for violence. We suit up our kids, throw them into stadiums and train them to pummel each other, and worse yet, cheer them on. Just in case they miss out on those events we shower them with video games chock full of violence. One of the best clues we have as to why massacres like the one this week occur (the most popular genre in Xbox video games fall into the "first person shooter" category") Sales are in the billions. Could there be a "cause and effect" ?

Violence in America is celebrated, glorified and in the most extreme cases, worshiped. The bigger, the meaner and the more lethal they are, the more we celebrate them and put them on pedestals. We waste vast amounts of our resources building and maintaining a military and arsenal large enough to destroy this planet hundred times over. We continue to refine the killing machines so that now someone can sit in front of a monitor with a joystick in hand and massacre people with as much indifference as one would have playing a video game much like the one's are children are raised on. . Except now the killing is real. And there are those who say that's not enough.

It's mind boggling to think that intelligent, rational minded human beings would not  figure out (or at least suspect) that there might be some connection between what happened in Newtown or Colombine and the "culture of violence" we live in.

The NRA and gun advocates are correct in pointing out that "guns don't kill people" BUT they fail to point out that people with guns do kill people; and lot's of them. And it logicaly follows that the more guns they have access to, the more ammo they can load into them does causes more violence. One lone individual can massacre dozens of people in a matter of seconds by simply squeezing the trigger of a semi-automatic assault rifle. How does this fact get lost on all the rhetoric about "why" something like the Newtown massacre occurs.

President Obama could not have said it better when he said "things have to change." That is. if we want to save ourselves and our children from a fate that is becoming more and more common place. As the saying goes; "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Think about it.

Johann Wagener  12-17-12