Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In Gun Debate Which Side REALLY Has the Moral High Ground?

-->

America's Gun Culture
Personally, I'm a gun control advocate.  But my position on the issue does not stop me from seeing the underlying hypocrisy on all sides of this nation's current debate about guns and America's gun culture.  The reason is this.

America did not suddenly become a violent country this year when young people began killing their parents, elementary school children and movie goers with assault rifles.   The Second Amendment is merely a reminder of who and what we've always been.  As Americans we are either too polite or otherwise too lacking in introspection to use the word "genocide" in describing the disappearance of ten million native Americans.  However, most scholars agree that this was the size of the Native American population, who inhabited the territorial United States during the time of the early American colonies.  Yes, some proportion of this population succumbed to the diseases brought by the Europeans to which they had no immunity.  In fact, even if ninety percent of Native Americans died of disease, that leaves one million, who were slaughtered by the colonists and the U.S. Cavalry.

So what's my point?  Everyone living in this country today, apart from the indigenous Indians, are living off the spoils of gun violence.  This is true whether they came to these shores as free people or even as slaves. This may be an especially uncomfortable truth for African-Americans. But the fact of the matter is that the descendants of everybody who landed on these shores are more financially secure than those left behind in the motherland.  America has the highest standard of living in the world. But what would those statistics be, if our nation had not violently expropriated this resource-rich land from the Indians, and we were forced to live in a society walled in by the narrow boundaries of the thirteen colonies?

America's wealth and superpower status is not merely a function of "cultural dynamism."   It is also a function of violence, of having ancestors who realized with brutal certainty that the quickest way to raise a population's standard of living was to expropriate the land and other resources of those who possessed in. 

I fear that some NRA members may indeed be lunatics.  But their "gun culture" is not as false as those of us who'd like to see all weapons gotten rid of, would like to think.  Anyone and everyone in this country (apart from the Indians) who lives a better life than the present inhabitants of wherever their ancestors came from (voluntarily or in chains), is living off the spoils of gun violence.

RELATED POSTS:

 The NRA Has Become Bunker for Lunatics

Newtown, Connecticut's Feigned Innocence