American Culture, Or Just Gun Culture?

There was a time when the term ‘sniper’ was synonymous with cowardice. Today, there’s no such thing as honor on the battlefield, and an American who can kill hundreds of fellow human beings, one by one at great distance, is awarded a medal.

One has to query whether the killer of “American Sniper” subject, Chris Kyle, will receive a fair trial, given the case is being heard in Texas, where Kyle is considered a great hero and the gun is probably more sacred than the Ten Commandments – less the one that states, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, of course.

Having viewed some of the media coverage of this case, I’m struck by an obvious fact that appears to have been totally missed by the media generally. It seems Kyle, and his friend Chad Littlefield, took Eddie Ray Routh, a former US marine, to a shooting range to help him overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder contracted during Routh’s time serving as a weapons technician in Iraq, and in Haiti during the 2010 earthquake.

Isn’t a shooting range a strange place to take an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD? Surely all the noise and explosions would only intensify the effects of this insidious disease on a mind already troubled and psychotic?

I love these words from the prosecutor:

The evidence will show that mental illnesses, even the ones this defendant may or may not have, don’t deprive people from being good citizens, to know right from wrong.”

I can’t wait to hear how he intends to prove that one!

Still, on the bright side, at least Kyle’s death mirrored the way he lived – shooting people in the back.

Hats off to NBC News for finally highlighting the shooting to death of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s a pity it took them three days to report it, and only then because of an uproar on the internet.

A hate crime against Muslims? Probably not.

It seems the killer, Craig Hicks, was no more than a George Zimmerman on steroids, patrolling the parking lot and intimidating anyone who parked their car in the wrong place. He was studying to become a paralegal (Zimmerman was desperate to join the police force) and obviously bestowed on himself the authority to patrol the local area, though not without his trusty firearm.

Hopefully, he’ll be put away, far from the weapon he used to commit his foul deed. But don’t worry, egos with firearms are like buses – you can rest assured there’ll be another one come by before too long.

Which leads me rather nicely to Mister Marcus Kaarma of Missoula, Montana whom, I’m happy to say, is just beginning a seventy year prison term.

Last April, after his garage was burgled, Kaarma set a trap to catch intruders by leaving his garage door ajar. His girlfriend even left her purse inside the garage as bait. Alerted by motion alarms, Kaarma went out and fired four shots from a 12-gauge shotgun into the garage, killing a 17-year-old German exchange student who was inside.

It’s not known why the boy was there, but he was unarmed.

There’ll be a some Americans who’ll support Kaarma’s actions. The law in Montana allows the use of ‘deadly force’, in some situations, to protect home and family. But, according to the judge, Kaarma was hunting when he killed his victim, not safeguarding his home.

I unreservedly agree. The arguments against gun control in this country are, frankly, pathetic. Here we have three separate incidents where six people might be alive today if guns had been subject to right and proper laws and controls.

The argument that the right to ‘bear arms’ is enshrined in the Constitution makes a mockery of the Second Amendment. That bit of old parchment is so obviously outdated it should be struck from the record once and for all.

There’s a lot of fear in American hearts. Fear of government, fear of loss of freedoms, fear of neighbors, fear of “the bad guys” (whoever they may be!). It’s all because of the gun culture. Americans may believe it’s in their nature to own firearms, but the truth is it’s the firearms that have molded the American character. Americans need firearms like an addict needs to mainline heroin, to fix the instilled fear those same weapons have imposed on them.

And if you don’t believe me, you should spend time living in a country that doesn’t allow firearms, and you’ll soon come to realize the citizens there live their lives free from all those fears endured by the good people of the United States, who can’t even trust their own police forces not to shoot them.

Aha, but that’s a whole lot more gun stories.

[1] “‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle said ex-Marine was ‘nuts'” BBC, February 11th 2015

[2] “Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Shootings: Parking Dispute Eyed in Killings?” NBC, Undated (probably February 11th 2015)

[3] “Man Sentenced To 70 Years In German Exchange Student’s Death” Yahoo News, February 12th 2015

One Reply to “American Culture, Or Just Gun Culture?”

  1. Canadians are completely baffled as to why this gun rampage continues, victims so often being children and in many cases the baby finding mama’s gun in her purse and laying waste to a few unwanted relatives.

    And recently a woman tried to conceal her gun in her bra and shot her own head off.

    A total wild west (well south and west from here) of a place. Ruled by the NRA and their patsies in government.


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