In the interest of full disclosure, I write this post as a responsible gun owner for self protection. I own one handgun, not TWENTY! I figure one large caliber handgun with a couple of 10 round magazines is all I will need to protect myself or others if my life or someone else’s life is threatened.
Also in the interest of being intellectually honest, I do understand it is reasonable to feel the need to own at least one semi-automatic rifle for self-defense, in the wake of a growing national terrorist threat, and an increasing number of mass shootings in American communities by individuals armed with similar semi-automatic weaponry.
Even the police are too often outgunned, as once again demonstrated by the horrible incident that just occurred in Dallas, Texas resulting in the assassination of 5 police officers ambushed by just such an angry gun “enthusiast” and prior Army reservist. So it is not unreasonable for responsible gun owners to feel they need to be personally prepared to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors and community.
Personally, I pray continually that such a situation will never present itself in my life experience, while it is becoming very apparent that many American gun owning “enthusiasts” are of a different, hateful and angry mindset, just itching for such opportunities.
That said, the increased incidents we are seeing of extreme gun violence are a reflection of something that the media has been addicted to and dependent on for some time now..It is a reflection of a very sick culture of selfishness and lack of community that has been growing worse and worse year after year in our country.
More and more, people do not treat others around them as neighbors in a community, with equal respect. Young people act the same toward each other in their school communities, and that is only because they are reflecting the behavior they see coming from American adults. And social media has ironically in many ways only made this reality worse.
This is largely due to a growing culture of selfish greed, drug use(both overly prescribed and recreational), an INSANE level of obsession with guns, and deep-seeded racial/religious bigotry.These four areas are hallmarks of the insanely sick culture in America today that if not changed, will only continue to create more and more hate and violence. Our nation is supposed to be about ETHICS, EQUALITY and COMMUNITY MORALS, yet instead we have an infatuation and growing love affair with drugs,guns, bigotry and hate(from racism and religion generally).
Our institutions of authority in America’s communities are not seen to reflect love and equality for all…They are seen to reflect the opposite more and more. One need not look any further than the two absurdly corrupt choices we have for President in 2016 to see how far we’ve fallen as a nation. Add to that our country’s obsession with guns and its love affair with recreational drug use, and you have exactly what we are seeing.
And the media engages in predictable, greed-driven hypocrisy, only pretending to be sincerely concerned…Truth be told, the worse it continues to get, the better the ratings for them. Their sick, wall-to-wall coverage, hyping the ‘grief porn’ of the victims and their families, and giving the shooters the fame they were looking for only encourages many more to do the same for such “fame” and exposure to their “cause”.
How do Americans respond to such media coverage? In large numbers, glued to the screen, craving the uncut glimpse of real violence, while CNN pretends to cautiously “warn our viewers the following is very difficult to watch”. American viewers interrupt whatever they were doing…their Facebook post of what they cooked for breakfast…to be voyeurs of the violence.
When are we going to face this reflection in the mirror?
Until we do, we should just KEEP the flag at HALF STAFF permanently…on second thought, not even at half staff…we should keep it just high enough off the ground so it isn’t touching, to represent the sick, bigoted, hateful, gun and drug loving society we are creating and embracing daily…That would at least be one shred of honesty in what has become “The United States of Hypocrisy” in too many ways.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA. Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)