GUNS ARE FASCINATING TO MANY, GENERALLY WELL MADE, AND FUN TO SHOOT
YET THE EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF GUN CONTROL IS OVERWHELMING.
GUNS ARE JUST ONE MANIFESTATION OF A DEEPER CULTURAL PROBLEM IN THE U.S.
I dislike writing about gun control because not only do I like guns myself, but I feature both them and their use in my thrillers. When I say I write ‘researched action thrillers,’ I mean exactly that—and all my thrillers are about as action-packed as such a book can be. Where action is featured in my books, guns are rarely absent.
Nonetheless—though I am not entirely easy (not that I am going to stop) about writing about violence and guns for entertainment—there is a profound difference between featuring guns in fiction and the reality of having guns readily available throughout society.
The track record, if people have easy access to guns, is death and injury on a scale comparable to a war—each and every year. True, that doesn’t happen in every country—Switzerland is a notable exception—but it certainly happens in America.
Why is the situation so bad in the U.S.? Is it just easy access—or are their other factors at work?
It is my belief that easy access is the primary cause, and also ignorance and carelessness make a significant contribution, but other factors would seem to be.
- A DEEPLY TROUBLED SOCIETY. That the U.S. is a deeply troubled society at present—where the American Way of Life is proving to be more myth than substance, as far as many Americans are concerned, and increasingly unattainable because the American Business Model is rigged and deeply flawed. As a consequence, many Americans are insecure, stressed, and frightened (even if not overtly). Such social unease, linked with soaring inequality, has consequences—which are likely to be even more severe in the future.
- A CULTURAL TOLERANCE OF VIOLENCE. Because the American attitude towards violence generally is just plain wrong. There is a tolerance of it, which manifests itself in all kinds of ways (whether it be in policing, war, the prison system, or in entertainment). This cultural defect is both incredibly serious—and pervasive—especially when linked with a deeply corrupt MICC (Military Industrial Congressional Complex). The argument that the U.S. is, in itself, the greatest threat to world peace that currently exists is not to be dismissed. The U.S. is not only the most powerful nation militarily in the world, but the greatest seller of weapons to other nations. As is demonstrated daily, it is also militarily aggressive.
- HEALTHCARE COSTS CAN LEAD TO SUICIDE. Where suicide is concerned, because the healthcare system is so expensive and inadequate, that shooting yourself becomes an appealing option. Health problems are a major reason for suicide just by themselves. Guns make it easy. Bankrupting yourself and your family is something many would prefer to avoid. The figures speak for themselves. It’s a sad business.
The following story is from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog. It covers only one facet of the gun problem—but it is troubling.
The U.S. has experienced, on average, one mass shooting per day this year
Some people maintain that the proper time to discuss gun control is not right after a shooting. That may be with good reason — perhaps lawmakers would draft bad legislation in a panic to respond.
But as Wonkblog’s Chris Ingraham points out, if that is the case, we would sadly never be able to discuss gun control in America. We haven’t gone more than eight days this year without a mass shooting.
In fact, we’ve averaged at least one mass shooting per day since the beginning of the year. That’s because, on many days, there are multiple mass shootings happening in America.