AMERICA: LOCKED AND LOADED—GUNS, SPEECH AND MADNESS
January 17, 2011
Last week, while heading a 'Congress on your Corner' meeting in a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, House member Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) suffered a head-shot from a deranged 22 year old youth named Jared Loughner. In total, the gun-toting walking insane-asylum killed six and wounded 13 people.
A bright light of energy, intellect and personality in the House of Representatives, Ms. Giffords struggles for her life in an Arizona hospital. Loughner sits in a jail cell with the demons swirling in his head.
Media pundits scream from the tops of their lungs for gun control, more police and better social interaction.
But wait, let's examine America's current obsession with violence, killing and murder:
The majority of Americans support(ed) two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past 10 years with deaths in excess of 1 million Iraqis and Afghanistans, 2.5 million refugees, plutonium loaded bombs that create birth defects for decades and countless bodily carnage for the hundreds of thousands of wounded:
with the lower confirmed figures, by the end of 2006, an average of
5,000 Iraqis had been killed every month by US forces since the beginning
of the occupation. However, the rate of fatalities in 2006 was twice
as high as the overall average, meaning that the American average
in 2006 was well over 10,000 per month, or over 300 Iraqis every day.
With the surge that began in 2007, the current figure is likely even
higher." Sources: After Downing Street, July 6, 2007
Title: "Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More?" Author: Michael Schwartz; AlterNet, September 17, 2007. Title: "Iraq death toll rivals Rwanda genocide, Cambodian killing fields" Author: Joshua Holland.
In other words, Americans condone mass killing on an unimaginable scale. They don't question it while their tax dollars support the oxymoron of "War against Terror." Americans lack even the slightest clue as to the mayhem and suffering they caused all those families from all that death. They supported 2.2 million Vietnamese deaths in our 10 year Vietnam war while only 58,300 of their kids returned home in coffins. After 1975, another 175,000 combat troops committed suicide when they returned home to falter against their own demons. War scrambles a man's mind. Yet, this society continues to operate as if war must continue in cycles, i.e., Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. No doubt, our politicians and generals will contrive another war at some point in the future.
Thus, today in America, we condone and encourage incredible violence. If you visit any packed video arcade at any mall in America, you will see our youth shooting, stomping, murdering, slashing and killing endless numbers of human beings on the video screen. A visit to the cinema in the same malls depicts half of all movies featuring gratuitous killing.
Those same kids return home to video games on their own computers like "Doom" and "Zombies killing spree" where they see peoples' heads chopped off among other atrocities. By the time they finish with murdering and mayhem on their computers, they click on their televisions with "CSI: Miami"; "CSI: Los Angeles"; "CSI: New York"; "Detroit 187"; "Law and Order"; "Criminal Minds"; "Vampire Diaries" and many other shows featuring diabolical violence.
Any doubts that a percentage of those youth will turn into cold blooded murderers?
In the January 24, 2011 Time Magazine, Michael Grunwald wrote a piece, "Fire Away!" Every year in America, 31,224 Americans die from guns. Police intervention, assaults, murderers and suicides account for 100,000 Americans being shot annually. A mind-numbing 17,352 Americans shoot themselves to death annually. Eight children die from gun violence every day in America. A whopping 86 people die from gun violence 24/7!
Where cities grow more compact, tempers grow more irritated, people shoot each other with uncommon consistency.
If they don't shoot each other, they drink themselves into a stupor before jumping into a 4,000 pound missile and drive down the highway to kill another 26,000 people (1982 figures) annually , now down to 13,000 people in 2009, with the biggest bullet in America: a car! Millions drive drunk everyday in America!
If we can't secure a gun, we use a knife! In 2008, even as gun killings fell, the number of killings committed with knives or other "cutting instruments" rose 50 percent in New York City. Thousands of Americans kill others with knives annually.
Let's face it; as we compact ourselves more and more into cities and urban areas, we face accelerating human densities not normal for the human animal.
"Tell me what you will of the benefactions of city civilization, of the sweet security of the streets—all as part of the natural upgrowth of man towards the high destiny we hear so much of. I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found. If the death exhalations that brood the broad towns in which we so fondly compact ourselves were made visible, we should flee as from a plague. All are more or less sick; there is not a perfectly sane man in all of San Francisco." -John Muir 1874
As we allow more "parenting" by television violence, mall viciousness-video arcades, movie brutalities and aggression within homes from angry parents—a growing percentage of our citizens cannot help but express themselves as the violence template that we condone.
What can we do to obviate such U.S. atrocities as Tucson, Columbine, Texas University, University of Virginia, Oklahoma, Unabomber, ad infinitum?
1. Stop killing people in 'enemy' countries by withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. Leave their civilizations to their people to solve their problems by their cultures and choices. After 10 years, more 'war' is not the answer! This would bring a measure of peace to the world 'mind' and human race.
2. Take the $12 billion monthly war bill and inject it into America's school systems to foster education and better mental health assessments. Discover at-risk children at an early age for remediation and support to families. (As a retired math/science teacher, I know the value of student/teacher ratios.)
3. Better to build a healthy young man or woman than try to repair a broken one like Loughner or Lindsey Lohan or any of our tortured military with PTSD.
4. Normalize cities by moving toward "stabilized population policies." We cannot keep up with our youth in our overpopulated and overwhelmed city schools where violence, isolation and frustration become the norm.
5. We must question, debate and move toward emotionally healthier television. I grew up on "Father Knows Best"; "My Three Sons"; "Leave it to Beaver"; "Captain Kangaroo"; "Mr. Rogers"; "The Muppets." Offer intriguing shows that entertain by stretching the mind and imagination.
6. Provide high school students with mandatory family, relationship, child rearing, compatibility and means courses to move them toward a positive future with children.
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Finally, what have you done to stop the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Answer: nothing, right?! That's why they continue 10 years later! This Republican form of government is not a spectator sport. You provide the vital ingredient to make it work. Why does violence continue on such a horrific and prolific level in the USA? Answer: we apathetically set the paradigm and we reap the obvious results. Your convictions without action equals nothing but horrific entertainment.
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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