Another Outbreak Of The ‘American Disease’

Yet another gun-nutter headline:

“Colorado Movie Massacre”

I’ve grown sick of writing about the great American disease. Everytime there’s another massacre in the United States the media gushes forth its well-rehearsed hypocritical torrent of emotional shit, and once again pretends not to know the reason why it’s happened.

There’s a very simple equation to provide the answer:

Gun obsession + violent video game/hard-core media violence obsession + disillusion with American society (usually acts as a catalyst, but not always necessary) = mental displacement from reality. Result: predictable killing of innocent people.

The gun is the most under-used piece of property owned in America. It’s bought with loving affection, set in a place of honor in the home, taken out from time to time and fondled as a cherished pet.

It may occasionally get used down the local range, though most are not. The owner has spent a great deal of money to purchase an article he’s probably longed for all his life, only to find it’s a useless piece of scrap iron – unless ‘bad guys’ attempt to attack him in his home. And, let’s be frank, what are the odds of that occurring?

For most stalwart citizens, living with the frustration of not being able to shoot something is controllable. After all, most of us wouldn’t risk a lifetime in one of America’s gulag jails just for the momentary thrill of blowing away the sweet, grey-haired, old lady who lives next door.

For many, though, particularly as the gun collection stashed in the living room grows, the itch to use them for their designed purpose becomes steadily more of an irritant. The only way to obtain a modicum of relief is a metamorphosis into the twilight world of violent videos.

To even call these games ‘violent’ is to do them a disservice. The word is way too passive. These games leave nothing to the imagination. They are hard-core, pornographic, dehumanizing, filth. A sexual element is unnecessary, as the brutal, in-your-face, violence is sufficiently orgasmic to temporarily satiate those immersed in these ghoulish, evil, video fantasies.

Take, for example, ‘Postal 2’:

This is a game in which it is not uncommon to drop-kick grenades and whip scythes at unsuspecting civilians if they refuse to participate in your everyday life story (which is, after all, the plot behind the game). Of course, this includes using cat carcasses as silencers on your gun, hitting people with anthrax-laden cow heads and playing “fetch” with dogs using the severed heads of your dismembered victims. Postal 2 is the epitome of senseless, over-the-top video game violence.”

Or, ‘Manhunt’:

As history would repeat itself every time a controversial new video game was introduced to gamers, Manhunt and its producers ran into constant battles with game classifications, angry parents and censorship laws that stirred a fury among critics upon its release (including being the first video game classified as a movie by the province of Ontario in 2004 due to its grotesque nature). Either way, the player sneaks around a 3-D environment and commits heinous acts of murder as part of a sadistic form of entertainment. Decapitation, steel-object-to-the-brain impaling and even the ability to jam a sickle up an unsuspecting victim’s ass was part of the Manhunt experience. Violence indeed.”

Or, the more well-recognized, ‘Grand Theft Auto III’:

If Mortal Kombat was the granddaddy of ultra violent gaming, then anything from the Grand Theft Auto series (particularly Grand Theft Auto III) is easily its bastardized offspring. As the title suggests, you’re out to make a name for yourself by accomplishing missions in a third-person environment, and stealing cars is the most lighthearted crime you can commit. From massive gangland-style beat downs to barbecuing prostitutes with flamethrowers, nothing is too vile or unrealistic in the face of death, blood and mayhem. Subsequent violence from later sequels (including GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV) was simply adding more fuel to the fire. Once the franchise hit the 3-D third-person perspective, all hell broke loose, and you can blame GTA III for all of it.”[1]

And these are only examples of the ‘legal’ ones.

In those days before profit was more important than decency, such creations were banned by the censors. (If you’re young enough to be unfamiliar with the word, ‘censors’ were people who protected us from ourselves).

America, not content with confining its self-inflicted disease within borders, exports its steel-encased germs all over the world. John Horgan, writing on the Scientific American blog today, explains:

…About 100,000 Americans are wounded or killed by firearms each year in the U.S.—which has the highest levels of gun ownership in the world—and more than a million Americans have been shot to death since 1968. Although gun supporters tout the benefits of self-defense, a gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide attempt; criminal assault or homicide; or unintentional shooting death or injury than for self-defense. Higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicide, suicide and unintentional shootings.

The American fetish for guns hurts non-Americans, too. The U.S. is the world’s leading source for small arms—defined as weapons that can be carried and operated by a single person—as it is for larger, more expensive weapons, such as tanks and jet fighters. Small arms, which range from pistols and rifles to rocket-launched grenades and shoulder-fired missiles, are the biggest killers in wars around the world. The International Action Network on Small Arms estimates that more than 600 million are in circulation.

The Action Network lobbies for tighter national and international controls on the manufacture and trade of small arms; urges a system of marking all firearms (perhaps with embedded computer chips, to allow easy tracking by law-enforcement officials); and promotes programs for collecting and destroying small arms. But the NRA has successfully blocked international as well as domestic gun control.”[2]

The US National Rifle Association is also adept at promoting the American macho-man image of the gun owner. John Horgan again:

The gun lobby consists of people like Robby, whom I met in 2009 while flying to Salt Lake City to attend a conference (on the evolution of aggression, of all things). Robby (not his real name) was a chatty fellow with a bad-boy chuckle: Heh heh.

I asked him what he did for a living and he replied, with a sly grin, “Recreational equipment.” His wife insisted he give strangers this answer, because she worried that liberal pansies would get upset if Robby told them that he sold firearms. Heh heh. Robby had sold all sorts of guns to all sorts of people, including Italian and Russian mobsters. In fact, in a few days he was flying to Arizona to peddle his wares at a big gun show.

Robby had a conspiratorial view of illegal aliens. Young Latino men, he claimed, were joining the U.S. armed forces in huge numbers so they could get training for gang fights and possibly race wars. War was going to break out between Latinos and whites in the U.S. Southwest; it was only a matter of time. There has always been war, Robby chortled, and there always will be. And he will be there to supply the weapons! Heh heh.

Obama had been great for Robby’s business; as soon as it looked like Obama might become president, folks started stockpiling guns, because they figured Obama would favor stricter gun controls. When I said I believed in gun control, Robby replied that he did, too: Hold onto your gun with two hands; that’s gun control. Heh heh.

Shutting down gun dealers like Robby may not have prevented the massacres in Arizona and Colorado, but it would be a step toward a saner world.”

And while we’re at it, let’s rid the world of those who peddle the filth we innocuously label, ‘violent video games’.

[1] “Top 10: Most Violent Video Games”, undated.

[2] “How Many Massacres Will It Take for Politicians to Stand Up To Gun Nuts?” Scientific American blog, July 21st 2012

2 Replies to “Another Outbreak Of The ‘American Disease’”

  1. Hear hear, RJ! Written with your usual passionate and accurate insights.

    I fear, though, that nothing will change after Friday’s event. Enough, in the USA, is simply never enough. Nobody in a place of power has the guts to address the issue head-on.

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