On the 4th of July in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain—New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia— announced that they would now regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule.
It was a very brave thing to do, because there were very few guns in the colonies and they had no significant gun industry. Yet the American War of Independence (1775-1783) was won and with it the American gun industry was born. ABC RN’s Rear Vision program recently took a look at the origins of the American gun industry (transcript available) with some erudite published authors and scholars.
Elsewhere John Davidson posted a link to a remakable article by Jeanne Marie Laskas which outlines the work of the National Tracing Center in West Virginia which traces ownership of weapons. Unbelievably, a computer register is illegal, so that tracing gun ownership by name simply cannot happen. Reason? The government may be the enemy.
NRA CEO, Wayne LaPierre, regards the ATF (I gather that stands for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, of which the National Tracing Center is part) as “jackbooted government thugs,” and demands that Congress keep an eye on things.
- “Hitler and Stalin, like every dictator who perpetrated genocide during the 20th century, assiduously confiscated guns before starting the genocide,” wrote gun-rights activist Dave Kopel in a recent NRA publication.
“Registration. Confiscation. Extinction. Each step makes the next step much easier.”
So how did America get to this situation?
When the War of Independence broke out most of the guns in the colonies came from Europe. Britain tried to curtail the supply, but mostly France, plus Spain and the Netherlands, secretly armed the colonists as a way to hurt Great Britain.
Having won the war with other people’s guns the freshly minted United States of America set about stimulating a local armaments industry, which, because they did not have a large standing army, required the development of a local gun-owning culture.
Every conflict engaged in since then by the USA has had the effect of boosting gun ownership. However, other factors contributed along the way.
In the early 1800s there was the war of 1812, the Mexican-American war in 1846 to 1848, and then the constant series of conflicts with native peoples throughout the 19th century. Slavery in the south was predicated on the capacity to suppress any uprising by violent means. These factors led to an increasingly robust and sophisticated arms industry. By the 1840s and 50s Samuel Colt, Winchester and the Remington family were increasingly exporting arms to the Ottoman Empire, South American republics, Asia and also Europe.
Then American Civil War (1861-1865) supercharged the gun industry. Thereafter, reality and myths grew about the frontier society, where native populations were arguably shot like vermin.
After two world wars, the Korean war and Vietnam in the twentieth century the market became saturated. The technology was fairly stable, guns with a bit of care don’t wear out easily, so the expanding market had gone stale. Up to the 1970s guns were integrated in American life in a way that was uncontroversial. Guns were used primarily for hunting, recreational use and marksmanship, and to some extent for self-defence. However, if you needed a handgun to protect yourself, you only needed one.
Enter William Rueger, who decided to market guns like other consumer products, where you had to keep up with the latest style. Also new technology was becoming available, so after Rueger had made his contribution to American life, there were plenty of reasons for people to keep buying new guns. I’ll post here some of the novelty guns from the Laskas article:
Then from the mid-1980s two European companies entered via government contracts – Beretta and Glock. Beretta won the contract for the armed forces when the decision was made to arm them with high-capacity semiautomatic pistols. Then Glock succeeded in becoming the preferred supplier for the domestic law enforcement market, when they too decided to tool up with potent handguns. There is no doubt these developments spilled over into the domestic market with updates necessary as the capacity and power of these guns increased.
From the early years of the 21st century, people increasingly became afraid. The more fear enveloped the people, the more they bought guns. Obama’s ascendancy to the White House gave the industry a huge boost, and his re-election even more so. Somehow the end days were near, and freedom loving Americans became afraid of the government as well as each other. Magazine racks in stores carry gun aficionado magazines taking up a tenth to an eighth of the space, fetishising military style guns. I understand that America does not keep statistics of gun sales, but an American tactical response trainer said:
In 2008, ’09 and ’10 I had 25% increases, 2011 I had a 50% increase.
In this environment, people increasingly felt the need to own guns to protect their families. It’s not everyone. Older white males are the most gun-owning demographic. Only 5% of gun owners belong to the powerful NRA, but the NRA believes everyone should have the right to own a gun that could bring down a helicopter, the government being the potential enemy.
The Rear Vision piece does not mention militant Islam and the fear of ‘terrorism’, but I think there is little doubt that 9/ll and the demise of the Twin Towers played a role. It seems to me that American values of personal freedom, self-reliance and desire for government to be as small as possible, with the ‘state’ being intrinsically negative in relation to foundational values of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ and political opponents being cast as the enemy makes for fertile ground for gun ownership saturation.
Wikipedia sees the USA way out in front with 101 guns per 100 people, ahead of Serbia next with 58.2.
The Laskas article details what a frightful mess confronts law officers who find a gun at a crime scene. It seems that every time a gun passes along the commercial chain and is finally sold a federal form 4473 has to be filled out and kept in perpetuity at that point. There are around 55,000 arms dealers in the USA, but they go out of business at an amazing rate. Whenever an outlet closes the forms are transferred to the National Tracing Center in West Virginia. Around 2 million forms arrive each month so they have run out of space, fear whether the piled up boxes will break the floor and are now storing cardboard boxes in containers in the car park.
Here’s Charlie Houser, a federal agent with the ATF, with boxes:
If they have time they convert the forms to microfiche, for easier searching rather than burrowing through boxes.
When the police call the Center, for example to trace ownership of a gun found at a crime scene they have to give the make, the model and the serial number. Not as straghtforward as it sounds. Then the staff guess the gun maker and start from there. Tracing a gun can involve 70 phone calls. They get around 1000 requests each day, 65% of which end up in their own backyard – literally.
- in 2013, U.S. gun manufacturers rolled out 10,844,792 guns, and we imported an additional 5,539,539. The numbers were equally astounding the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that.
This post does not extend to coverage of the Parkland school shooting in February, or the extraordinary movement to change gun laws it has generated:
Let it be said, though, that gun makers complain now of the Trump slump.
The National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers railed against Hillary Clinton in 2016, but perhaps they should have been more concerned about Donald Trump.
Gun sales dropped in 2017 as fears that the government would “come for your guns” waned. The decline has been dubbed the “Trump slump” and led to Remington Outdoor Co. filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, a day after hundreds of thousands of people worldwide took to the streets protesting gun violence.
Trump, who has touted himself a “true friend and champion” of the NRA, has repeatedly promised that the Second Amendment was safe with him in office. Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist, told Newsweek that such trust has resulted in a classic supply-and-demand predicament for gun manufacturers: Without fear of a supply crunch, the demand drops.
Here’s the story about Remington, America’s oldest gun maker filing for bankruptcy. Gun sales are sagging.
Real change often comes in ways that are quite unpredictable. They feared a Clinton presidency and hoped for Trump. As they say, be careful what you wish for.
59 thoughts on “The rise and rise of American gun culture”
How many lives have been sacrificed on behalf of NRA paranoia?
Australia had very little problem with guns pre Howard because concealable and military guns were banned and automatic guns were rare. Some of the rules were loosely enforced (I had used a 303 when in primary school and been most impressed with an automatic one of my father’s friends owned.
Also to the point we got our independence without a war and few of us felt threatened by Aborigines.
Once we saw how much damage automatics could do in the hands of a crazy most of us were happy with Howard’s gun restrictions including people who were normally anti Howard.
America is another country with a very different history.
John, I’m not sure we want to open the issue of massacres of our own original inhabitants. My wife has a bloke called Henry Dangar among he ancestors. It was on his property that the Myall Creek massacre occurred. He wasn’t directly involved, but worked strenuously to pervert the course of justice on behalf of those who did.
I grew up not far away from the Hornet Bank massacre. When my parents first came to the district they heard second hand accounts of it. There’s more.
When I was a young bloke I went out in the bush by myself hunting for wallabies when I was 10 years old. Also shot a lot of pigeons and parrots, but not many crows. They were too smart. The legacy is impaired hearing in my right ear.
From what I heard, Howard’s Australian laws were a bit restrictive for farmers wanting to shoot feral pigs, but I’m not up to date with that.
However, you a right. America had two local wars where they fought to a standstill, and a much more systematic violent removal of native peoples from their land.
Brian: The point I was trying to make was that the invasion of Australia was fairly easy from the invaders point of view. Out history emphasizes the struggle against the harsh country rather than the largely one sided fights with Aborigines. It also emphasizes the importance of cooperation between pioneers rather than armed conflict.
Brian there were very disturbing similarities with the (now) US and our own dispersal of our first Australians. Arguably the best account is by Timothy Bottoms whose well researched book “Conspiracy of Silence” makes uncomfortable reading. See:
http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/conspiracy-silence-blood-baths-past-dr-timothy-bottoms for a bit of insight into the book plus a video.
Back to Remington here is a March 25th 2018 article by NYT. At the end, a short para : “Last month, Remington announced that its lenders had agreed to cut its $948 million debt load by $700 million in exchange for an ownership stake in the company.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/25/business/remington-bankruptcy-guns.html
So then they file Chapter 11, insulating them from remaining debt and likely damages awarded against them from the action arising from the Sandy Hook school shooting.
How on Earth could Remington be sued for Sandy Hook ?
They weren’t Adam Lanza.
They don’t make the weapons used ( Bushmaster and Glock ) they only made the ammunition.
Blaming them is like blaming Caltex for the Paris truck massacre because that was the fuel used.
Or blaming Bic lighters ( semiautomatic flame machine, military style ) for the 15 killed in the Childers arson massacre.
The stories I’ve read claim they do make the Bushmaster AR-15 which was used in the Sandy Hook massacre.
Maybe you should write and demand a correction.
Jumpy: The US is also notable for organizations being sued at the drop of a hat. A major producer and promoter of unsafe weapons and ammunition is vulnerable to being sued and losing. (Unsafe in the sense that they are responsible for killing a large number of innocent people.
Zoot, best you should write them a nasty tweet for misleading you.
They own a subsidiary that manufactures them, large difference in reality and law.
Either way it’s like suing Wiltshire Staysharp if I was stabbed with one, as I said, preposterous!
John, they are unsafe if they are faulty and hurt people.
Buy the standard you just tried on Toyota is more unsafe and should be sued.
The rise and rise of gunphobia, is making victims of it say some very irrational and illogical things on the subject, that’s for sure.
The rise and rise of gunphilia is making proponents of it say some very irrational and illogical things on the subject, that’s for sure.
Just gave up on the RN podcast when the ” erudite chap ” said US law enforcement only got interested in semiautomatic pistols when Beretta came along.
Wyatt Earps pistols in 1881 were semiautomatic FFS !
He’s obviously not heard of the Smith and Wesson model 10.
zoot, I think the word you’re after is hoplophile.
Which wouldn’t be me. I only have 1 firearm, a nail gun.
I knew a bloke that committed suicide with one, still don’t want them banned.
No, it’s not.
Permit needed for a nail gun? Kept under lock and key? Range?
I ask again, is a nail gun a firearm?
Not everything called “gun” is a firearm. Old-fashioned shops have a “pricing gun” which produces little adhesive price labels.
Try holding up a bank with one of them; better still, don’t try it.
Thanks for an excellent article, Brian.
The founders of the United States were quite right in having a defence doctrine that included having the whole populace armed. Since those days, a lot has changed: technology, society, military forces and so on, so that what was once a damned fine idea can now impede the survival of a nation in a rather hostile world.
There was mention, along the way, of the problems arms producers face when a war ends. Well, it’s more than just the end of a war that causes them to lose sleep. Look at what happened in China when Emperor Deng Xiaoping abandoned the freedom-loving oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America; when he decided that China should not be in the business of revolution but, instead, in the revolution of business. Chinese warehouses became chock-a-block full of weaponry originally destined for anti-colonialist guerrillas. Never mind, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades might be a bit hard to move but so long as mugs, like the agrarian socialist sheep graziers of Australia, kept coming along, they could do an excellent counter-trade of fine wool for Type 56 (SKS copy) semi-automatic Assault Rifles and Type 53 (Moisin-Nagant copy) bolt-action Carbines (less their very nasty folding bayonets). A great way to free up warehouse space, if ever there was one, and wonderfully profitable too.
One of the amusing aspects of this whole matter is that some firearms owners in the U.S. become hysterical over the tracking of firearms ownership by the government, because it is by the government and therefore cannot be trusted. Yet they happily divulge their own personal information to private banking, credit reporting and marketing corporations, and most recently, to social media corporations, because they are private and therefore can be trusted without question.
It was within living memory that much of Europe was dominated by appalling Fascist, Nazi and Communist regimes. Whenever any of these regimes came to power or invaded, they did confiscate locally-owned firearms, but that action was always a much lower priority than seizing records with personal information about the local populace. So far, I haven’t heard about any massed N.R.A. demonstrations outside of American Express, Moody’s, WalMart or Facebook; perhaps they feel that living in the United States makes them totally immune to the imposition of tyranny. Perhaps some very old Europeans would kindly tell these born losers a few of the hard, cruel facts of political life.
“Bill Ruger said in several public interviews; we have a little money-making machine here, we just need to make new things. We need new designs and we need to convince people that the gun you bought last year, just like the car you bought last year, we’ve changed the design so much, you need this new one.”
Well, that’s happening in Australia too. There has always been a great variety of firearms in Australia but by far and away, only seven or so calibres were widely used:
* .22″ Long Rifle. Small game; general purpose.
*.22″ Hornet. Hard-hitting small game.
*. 243″. Long-range hard-hitting small to medium game.
* .303″. Ex-military long-range hard-hitting. Capable of dropping crocodiles, the biggest wild pigs, wild water buffalo or any angry thylacoleo you happen to come across; nowadays, being superseded by the .308″ (NATO 7.62 x 51mm, rimless) with roughly similar ballistics.
* 32/20 Winchester. For several models of rapid-fire lever-action rifles. Capable of dropping cattle but only at fairly close range and in the hands of a skilled ringer.
* .410″ Shotgun. The household snake persuader.
* 12 Gauge Shotgun. Everything from various sizes of shot pellets to a single slug (do not stand in front of one!) to a distress flare.
Yes, there were a heck of a lot more: 38/40, 30-06, .270″, .22 Magnum, 155mm, 44/40, .22″ Short, 6.5mm Arisaka, .218″, etc. but most of them were compromises or were reasonably similar to the seven I listed.
Now in 2018, there is a fantastic variety on sale (to approved purchasers, of course); ones that do just about everything including your homework and making a cup of cappuccino. But – and this is a very big “but” – are they any more practical than what we have been using for over half-a-century or more? Or, more likely, are they just gimmicks and toys designed to separate the suckers from their money? Will factory-loaded ammunition and spare parts still be available for your favourite beech-forest camouflaged piece of man-pack artillery in 5 or 10 years time, or will it be, “Sorry sir/madam, our corporation no longer supports that model. May we interest you in our latest model that does your tax and cleans your car as well as giving you groups of 1.03mm in a Force 10 breeze? Sorry sir/madam, our corporation has a No Trade Ins policy”.
Same as everything Graham.
I’m not an “ approved purchaser “ yet but I’m in the long process.
Eventually I think an FX will be in my safe but I’ll start with an entry level springer to hand down.
Not smart getting a Ferrari on your Ps right ?
Is a nail gun a firearm?
I can’t see it in Graham B’s list.
Top political donors in the 2016 American election cycle.
I think the NRA were 149th.
Makes it pretty silly the suggestion, as some in the media put forth, that NRA gun money is buying the White House.
Thak you for the link Jump. I can’t find a way to see the NRA at 141st place so I’ll take your word for it.
As for the influence of gun money the summary on this page states that
Oops, should have been 149th position, but this does give me the opportunity to point out that just because the NRA spent less than (say) The American Medical Association doesn’t reduce its influence when it comes to gun control regulation. Very few, if any of those 148 are targeting the Constitutional right of Americans to injure and kill their fellow citizens.
Heh, as far as I can guess AMA members kill far more Americans than NRA members.
And zoot, a reading of the 2nd Amendment ( as ratified ) doesn’t give the rights you describe.
If the majority want it change or altered, they can, no problem.
The gun debate is controlled by Republicans atm because they have all three Houses.
What did Obama and the Democrats do when they had all 3 ?
You apparently stopped reading before “as far the money is concerned.”
Democrats got donated and spent more.
The NRA contribution is close to a rounding error.
But do keep going, please.
Why? You haven’t understood a word I’ve written.
Oh, I’ve understood alright, crystal clear.
I would ask if further chat on this would be here.
And those two simple easy to find lists please.
( from the open thread to the dedicated one )
Fine, he, or your good self could use the data points from the two lists and scatter plot them.
I’ve got no drama with that.
I’d assume some anti firearm group has already done it if it backs up their phobia and widely distributed it.
In the 50 days following the Parkland shooting 86 US teenagers have been killed by firearms.
Jump(y), please don’t read the link, you’ll only get upset.
zoot, opioids killed 8,600 Americans in the same time period.
Sometimes perspective of scale is a usefull therapeutic tool in managing phobias.
Here’s another plain as day exercise that may help.
Step 1 ) Find a graph of total firearm related deaths in America over the last 50 years.
Step 2 ) Find a graph of total amount of firearms in America over the last 50 years.
Step 3 ) Click from one to the other, over and over, till the idea that more guns equal more gun deaths is absurd. ( the duration of this step depends on the individual )
( no, I’m not going to supply the graphs, its important you do this on your own )
Jumpy fair enough to offer another bigger dreadful statistic but it is not a pissing competition. You might as well compare the number of violations in one war to another. The stats are terrible but do not go to the argument, Which as I understand, has something to do with the surplus of guns in the US, how they are distributed and how they are used and what might be done about it. The “awfulness” is not in dispute right?
Please correct me if my mind is a bit shot…
You are correct, the awfulness is not in dispute.
The argument is ” are guns good, bad or indifferent “, I say indifferent.
Look at life expectancy for example.
Top Two are Japan and Switzerland, Japan has almost no firearms, Switzerland has heaps .
Go anywhere on the life expectancy spectrum and its a mixed bag.
All I’m saying is that the energy and resources should be spent in more important and harmful areas. Firearms are only a No 1 priority because the left make it so, ignoring far more harmful things.
Au contraire. If you’re making the argument it is incumbent upon you to provide the data. For example you really should have provided a source for your assertion of 8,600 opioid deaths in the USA since Valentine’s day; it’s good manners if nothing else.
BTW, my comment at 12:58 pm 7 April was an observation, not an argument.
The flaw in your more guns argument, Jumpy, is that, yes, the number of people who are inclined to shoot people can practically use at most two guns at a time, so supplying ten times the number of guns on the surface of it will not significantly increase gun deaths other than by opportunity deaths such as a 2 year old shooting her mother through inquisitiveness. However if amongst the guns there are guns that work ten times better then gun deaths will go up, or…stay up where there is a reduction in the number of People Shootin Gun Toters. But my recollection is that PSGT’s are demonstrating a desire to maximise their Victim Body Count (VBC’s).
Having contemplated all of that, the bottom graph shoots down you argument, Jumpy.
Jumpy and Zoot: That’s 8 600 Americans killed by opiates PLUS 50 Americans killed by firearms. There were Americans killed by opiates prior to the Viet-Nam War and there were Americans killed by firearms prior to the spectacular rise of the National Rifle Association. But if there had not been a relative handful of Americans, yes, Americans, nice respectable Americans, who had gained financial, social and political fortunes out of flogging off opiates and firearms to their fellow Americans then the rate of deaths among Americans from these two causes would not have reached epidemic proportions.
Perhaps if the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Rifle Association had both been declared terrorist organizations, a lot more ordinary United States citizens would still be alive, prosperous and happy.
How true GB, how true!
If I were an f*eminist woman or a f*eminist mother talking to her daughter, I would advise against conducting “You don’t own me” actions in a country like the USA that is awash with easy guns. This is in reference to recent cases where girls who have turned down teenage boys for prom or have ended teenage relationships with boys, have been killed by those boys with their family’s guns. S*ocial justice can be good on paper but then meets dangerous reality.
Seeking your own graph is more therapeutic in that the “ your source is BULLSHIT!!! “ excuse. I’m not afraid you can’t google search, in fact you gave me lessons in it.
In the same vein, I chased the source of data for that graph as far as Daily Kos. Not saying it’s wrong but it doesn’t say where the data came from.
In any event, I’m surprised Jamaica, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, bla, bla, bla we’re left out. Considering their virtual ban on guns. Hmmm, and I think there are strict restrictions on murder in all of those Countries too.
The difference between the CIA and the NRA is one lives outside the Constitution with Government permission, nay, encouragement.
The other is a club that lives within the Constitution despite government.
Here’s some more graphs. They’re a bit old but the blogger kindly reveals his methodology and anyone so inclined could do a more up to date analysis.
(But I doubt the results would be much different)
Hey Jumpy that is way more graph than you or anyone else came up with so I win on that basis alone.
Not that I am interested in the subject. Besides when I go to Chicago I fly only with airlines that can do a steep descent into Ohare, I check Trumps tweets on Rocket Man, I am picked up in a bulletproof (I think) Hummer H3, and the (safe) house I stay in has a solid panic room and a secret closet that I know how to access. So, no, I am not interested at all.
The same source for his/her data tells a different tale.
May I suggest thinking for yourself.
Yeah Bro, you win, bask in it.
That’s the objective.
So he/she is wrong. No good telling me, take it up with him/her. Demand he/she print a retraction.
(Although I thought the name Mark Reid was pretty gender specific)
Zoots graph set validates the Daily Kos graph, Jumpy. So the update is we win, they lose, Jumpy, from publicly available information.
Good work BilB
The linked piece included a scatter plot which I had hoped existed somewhere. Quite a strong linear trend. It’s in the addendum of 2014, Mr J.
Now do you understand why two lists: a list of States, in order of X, and a list of the same States, in order of Y, does NOT have to show identical orders, for a clear positive correlation between X and Y to exist?
Yep, it’s not causation.
But it is very suggestive.
And nobody’s winking or nudging. Most are lamenting unnecessary deaths and horrible gunshot wounds.
By the way, you might be best to avoid demanding “hypothesis testing” criteria.
My null hypothesis is that a simple scatter plot can be very instructive.
Did you notice though, Ambi, that drug war extreme case Mexico with fewer guns kill more people. I think that is the proof of the basic relationship.
NRA Board member calls for people advocating gun control to be shot on sight.
Zoot that is sick and sad.
It stretches tolerance of free speech.
Agreed, but in Jumpy’s opinion (“Total free speech for everyone”) there are no boundaries.
Incitement to violence:
“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees free speech, and the degree to which incitement is protected speech is determined by the imminent lawless action test introduced by the 1969 Supreme Court decision in the case Brandenburg v. Ohio. The court ruled that incitement of events in the indefinite future was protected, but encouragement of “imminent” illegal acts was not protected. This “view reflects longstanding law and is shared by the Federalist Society, the ACLU, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the vast majority of Americans, including most staunch free-speech advocates.”
Incitement to riot is illegal under U.S. federal law.”
Hmmmm, probably should be in jail. It should come down to how soon one is likely to come across gun control advocates, and right now that would be right now. Incitement to imminent violence? I think so. Then it comes down to what state he said this in, and then if someone actually acts on his call to arms. But then it is the USA.
Can’t think of any NRA members going rampage with a gun so it’s safe to say the left can stop wetting their pants about that.
PETA members on the other hand……..
Jumpy that would only be safe to say if the words Ted Nugent could only be read by NRA members, clearly not the case as your read them.
In Islamic terms Ayatollah Nugent has just issued a fatwa to any red kneck with a gun and who thinks a gun control advocate will take it from him/them, to kill the “threat”.
Interesting you referenced Islam BilB as a violence inciteing parallel.
I actually watched 15 minutes into the interview in question ( turned it off coz Alex Jones shits me to tears ) after reading zoot comment on The Hills spin on what was said, how it was said and the context of the discussion.
You can do the same if you want. ( guessing I’m the only one to do so )
Seemed pretty innocuous and punch line me.
But hey, if a bunch of shootings happen with the perp screaming “ Ted Nugent is Greatest !! “ then I’ll have been wrong and you’re a Winner again.
You seem to be claiming Nugent did not say
Or have I misunderstood your piquant version of English yet again?
Mrs Betty Bowers on gun control.
Gee, I’m glad this discussion is on-line and not face-to-face, and in Oz and not the U.S. 🙂
Way back in September, 1894, long before Howard’s semi-successful Disarm The Workers, Re-Arm The Squatters campaign, the (then bicameral) Parliament of the Colony of Queensland had the Peace Preservation Bill to outlaw the carrying of firearms and the owning of ammunition.. (Sorry, I was too lazy to look it up).
What is alarming is the worsening of the traditional American problem-solving method, “You buy it or you kill it”. Despite all the trappings of Christianity, the established religion of America is now the worship of money. Despite the presence in their midst of so many brilliant minds in, the official and preferred way to deal with whatever doesn’t do as you want, is to kill it, to destroy it, to blow it away – whether that is a girl who gives you a knockback or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
The Americans are capable of using al sorts of other, innovative, more effective problem-solving methods – but upcoming generations of them have no chance, of employing the vast array of practical and successful methods, when they are continually hammered with the only two options of Buy It – or – Kill it
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