By Cristian Nunez
It appears that recently gun violence has become an endemic in the U.S. Almost every other day, the news is reporting that another host of innocent victims have been slaughtered for some unapparent reason.
During the summer of 2012, a deranged gunman dressed in tactical wear opened fire on the Aurora Colorado Century movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 others.
At the close of 2013, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School, slaughtering 20 innocent children and six adults. Most recently, a D.C. Navy Base, a place synonymous with safety, was the site of the cold blooded murder of 13 civilian workers and the suicide of the shooter, Aaron Alexis.
Since Sandy Hook, sixteen other mass shootings have occurred all over the country, which for some reason failed to gain attention of the media.
At whom do we direct blame for this incessant gun violence?! Do we blame the poor state of our mental health institutions which have failed to treat the mentally ill? Lack of funding and public attention to U.S. mental health institutions has left a population of potentially dangerous, mentally ill individuals untreated.
Do we blame the faltering efforts for gun control? Since the 1990’s, the public has increasingly smarted at the thought of increased gun control efforts.
A plethora of firearms of many varieties are increasingly available to anyone who is willing to pay. Or is it the culture of desensitization and worship of violence that is manifesting itself in these terrible and horrifying ways? Whatever the answer, it is likely complex and multi-dimensional outside of the purview of the private enterprises of mass media and politicians.
Naturally, a critical look at the state of guns in America has only been prompted by the increasing number of innocent victims: men, women, and children alike. However, this debate has been a halting, disappointing waste of time. Nothing has been done in the face of these tragedies. Gun violence has become a two dimensional issue betraying its complicated nature.
On one end of the spectrum, gun control and increasing regulation of gun ownership is professed as the solution.
On the other, it is claimed gun violence is not caused by the increasing number or availability of fire arms, but by failing mental health institutions and the mentally ill.
This can be seen in the statement “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and that more responsible gun owners would actually make things safer.
What we should be really be paying attention to is WHO is profiting from all of this gun violence. The rhetoric around gun ownership is not what it always has been. The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, has not always been sacrilized by politicians and NRA members.
In the 1970’s, the NRA was revolutionized by the “Cincinnati revolt.” A group of the young leadership in the NRA criticized the “old NRA,” and created the rhetoric of uncompromising defense of the individualist interpretation of the Second Amendment that we are so familiar with today.
Coincidentally, since the 1970’s the NRA has fostered an increasing relationship with the gun industry. The NRA recently met in Houston to promote the gun industries latest and most exciting products.
Today it has become a lobbying power house, injecting millions into political campaigns and politicians who support and advocate gun ownership and foiling any efforts to take action against gun violence.
The munitions industry, which funds and supports the NRA, made record billion- dollar sales prompted by the threat of gun control legislation just after Sandy Hook.
It appears our efforts to make any meaningful steps against gun violence have been foiled by greed and the almighty dollar.