Violence in America – By Hubert Williams

Violence  in  America

By Hubert  Williams

Pulse-nightclub-killings-MAIN

Omar Mateen and Pulse nightclub killings

             Boston, Massachusetts, July 27, 2012 – – Every time some idiot takes a weapon(s), which the United States Constitution gives him the legal right to have, and murders people he has never met, this nation rises up in remorse, but then settles back comfortably to await the next appalling repetition.

From the way the public speaks, the possession of deadly weapons is a prerogative many Americans treasure.

Under the 1791 provision of the Bill of Rights (the Second Amendment) each man (woman, and it appears some teenagers, too) has the right to keep and bear arms; and the right-wing ‘gun lobby’ is such an influential force in American politics that there will be no significant change to the law, nor will the killing frenzy cease in my lifetime.

This very easy access for just about everyone to instruments of death is yet to surface as a matter of grave concern in both the Republican and the Democratic campaigns for the November presidential elections. Everybody seems to be just sitting and wondering “who is to bell the cat?… and at what cost?”

Obviously, with the stakes so very high, it is ‘prudent’ to seek shelter in the Constitution.

Indeed, not too long ago a court in a south-eastern section of this vast and complex country determined that a citizen has the right to use deadly force if he has a belief, or even just a feeling, or a fear, that someone else was likely to do him harm.

As was said so long ago by H. Rap Brown, one time chairman of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party, “violence is as American as cherry pie”.

Nothing seems to have changed since the glory days of this convicted murderer who is now serving a life sentence as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.

Violence is ingrained in America and every so often some idiot hugely acts it out in Columbine/Aurora fashion, with deadly consequences for so many families.

What is most worrying is not the mind that would conceive such heinous acts, but the continuing easy acquisition of the means to execute them.

And after every such very tragic event in which the ‘shooter’ survives, there comes the pantomime, a charade during which many, many millions of dollars are consumed and numerous players wanting to command the public stage become involved – to determine whether the ‘shooter’ is in fact guilty of the act which, mind you, he had said from the outset that he committed, or if something mental caused the shooter to act out of character.

As well, there are so many, many Hollywood-produced ‘entertainment’ shows which project scant regard for human life.

Killing – and just violence – is a popular means of exacting vengeance in this country, and if with all the modern security apparatus in the American penal system, just a fraudster like Allen Stanford could have been so brutalized when only on remand (which means that guilt was yet to be proven), it is not unreasonable to expect that the Aurora shooter will survive only a short while in prison.

Yes, violence remains as American as cherry pie, and it is not sufficiently widely appreciated by many of the power brokers that the citizens of this country are not being fashioned only to fight in wars.

America’s greatness is unquestioned. It is big…huge.  It is vibrant… It is the world’s sole super power (though the Chinese dragon is in silent advance).

No one now has to argue a case as to what this country has contributed to human civilization – great achievements on earth and in space, and beyond the depths of the ocean.

As the youngsters would say, ‘humungous’ land-based accomplishments, while matching the birds in flight with huge metal machines… (That is why we can now ‘fly’ in comfort from Barbados to Boston in no time at all).

Verily, human society’s prodigious leap from the industrial revolution to the technological age is overwhelmingly an American achievement… although the lust of capitalism is helping to generate a flood in the ‘user’ world of discarded machines as increasingly newer/updated versions make even fairly recent product lines nearly obsolete.

This unquenchable market thirst for the latest product launched is draining scarce personal finances worldwide, but it is adding no capacity to the productivity of material goods.

Talk has always been cheap, but talk alone brings nothing – neither will empty tweeting.

The United States boasts, without challenge, some of the foremost institutions of higher learning in the world, and in many other areas of worthy endeavor this country is in the vanguard.

Nevertheless, the United States (referred to by some snobbish British as having merely an aristocracy of dollars) retains a measure of crudity that too often mirrors its early days of cowboy towns and men bearing guns at their hips.

In today’s modern America, violence and cherry pie are too frequently synonymous.

Far too many children, it seems, are bred on violence… and far too many parents exact control through violence.

Industry is reaping billions of dollars on games that feed children on violence.

Killing the onscreen representation of a human being has become great fun for the ‘kids’ pulling the triggers at the numerous amusement arcades primed with many of technology’s products.

The latest craze which I have encountered has been excited by the “Angry Bird” product line.

I have never myself had a ‘run in’ with an angry bird, except it was the case of a hen fearing some threat to her chicks – and that’s a great reason for any parent becoming angry.

Birds are beautiful and harmless creatures of nature – a delight to the human eyes and ears (though it is true that the majority of birds throughout the modern world are reared only to delight the human palate).

But I have looked in awe at small children gleefully pummeling away with a baseball bat at a large representation of an “angry bird” until it bursts asunder, spilling out gifts, the quest of which had excited their assault.

This, I learnt, is called “The Piñata”, which I presume transmits the message to the children that if you want something that somebody else has, then beat the hell out of them and get it.

Sad to say “The Piñata” has become a very popular feature at children’s parties across the United States; and the ‘brand name’ is in such great demand that the angry bird is the early bird who now gets the worm across a vast line of preferred children’s products – a multi-billion-dollar production giant.

It is therefore not difficult to see why someone, deranged or delusional for whatever reason, would consider the destruction of human lives as a first option… whether in a cinema, a political rally, a high school, kindergarten, or wherever.

  1. Rap Brown can well sit comfortably in his jail cell, for violence remains as American as cherry pie; though, admittedly, it is not alone an American phenomenon.

The appearance of Scotsman Andy Murray at the 2012 Wimbledon Men’s Final in the British capital brought back memories of the massacre of 16 children at his Dunblane School in 1996….. and Norwegians will forever remember that horrible day in July 2011 when 92, mostly youths, were slaughtered for no reason other than that Anders Behring Breivik, the man who did it all, had the desire and the means to do it.

====  ENDIT  ====

Read more:

Pulse-nightclub-killings-MAINOrlando shooting: Recap as vigils held across the world to remember 49 victims of gay nightclub shooting 

 

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On June 16, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Survivor describes being held hostage during Orlando shooting – video

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/jun/15/pulse-nightclub-shooting-survivor-hostage-video

    Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Patience Carter, 20, spoke from Florida hospital in Orlando about being held hostage in the bathroom with two of her friends who eventually died: ‘It was a shock. We went from having the time of our lives to the worst night of our lives all within a matter of minutes.’

  • guyaneseonline  On June 16, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Here are two articles submitted by Hubert Williams:

    Democrat stages 15-hour Senate filibuster for gun control

    Democratic senators are trying to force a vote on gun control legislation after the Orlando nightclub massacre which left 50 people dead. Chris Murphy, 42, spent almost 15 hours on the Senate floor last night, pledging to keep talking “until we get some signal … that we can come together” to tighten America’s controversial gun laws.
    The Connecticut senator spoke until 2 a.m. local time, evoking the memory of the Sandy Hook school massacre, which left 20 children and six adults dead in his state in 2012. He said: “For those of us that represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything, anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn’t just painful to us, it’s unconscionable. There hasn’t been a debate scheduled on the floor of the Senate … There hasn’t been a debate scheduled in the committees …. There are 30,000 people dying.” The father of two said he could not look into the eyes of the dead children’s relatives and tell them their government had done nothing to change things.
    For more than 12 hours, senator after senator took to the chamber’s floor to argue for tighter gun controls. Filibustering in this way allows senators to delay proceedings and block legislation. Mr Murphy began speaking at 11.21 a.m. and was still standing more than ten hours later, showing little sign of fatigue. When asked how he was feeling just before 7.30 p.m., the senator said rehabilitation from a back injury had helped him build up endurance. ……

    ********

    Massacre prompts gun lobby to back curbs on terrorist suspects

    America’s gun lobby bowed to intense pressure last night and conceded that terror suspects should face checks before being allowed to buy guns. The shift revealed how the Orlando massacre is reshaping the presidential race and could rewrite US gun laws.
    “Anyone on a terror watch list who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing,” the National Rifle Association (NRA) said. However, it said the potential purchaser’s petition should be given 72 hours to be discussed in court and only then should the sale be blocked.
    Hours earlier, Donald Trump broke with Republican dogma and called for the FBI to be given powers to investigate anyone on their watch list who applied to buy a gun.

  • guyaneseonline  On June 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

    From John Bland, an Englishman in Southern France:

    Hello Hubert,
    You wrote an interesting round-up of gun violence in the USA, and I agree with your conclusion that the Orlando massacre will fill the news columns and wavelengths – until the next massacre.
    There’s a website called Gun Violence Archive, which has counted, in 2016 so far, 23,656 incidents. These have resulted in 6,069 deaths – I’m not sure if that includes the latest 49 – and no fewer than 12,437 injuries. Among children aged up to 11 years, 258 have been killed or injured, and among teenagers (12 to 17) 1,302 have been killed or injured. There have been 141 mass shootings; 147 policemen (‘officers’) have been shot or killed, and 371 ‘perpetrators’ have been shot or killed. There have been 1,055 ‘accidental shootings.’
    A map complementing these statistics show a heavy concentration of incidents in the New York and Eastern seaboard states, and in and around Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. St. Louis has been named as ‘the murder capital’ of the USA.
    Discussing the Orlando killings with friends, including an American, we agreed that President Obama’s initial response had been muted, not to say inadequate. He tended to ramble on at length without coming out with a single concrete intention to rectify the gun laws situation. After all, he has nothing to lose in his remaining months in office.
    But further consideration led us to concede that, while he might have ‘nothing to lose’, Hillary Clinton would have a lot to lose if she, as Democrat presidential candidate, should be saddled with an Obama commitment to tackle the National Rifle Association head-on.
    Many people have reservations about Hillary, but the Americans I know think her ‘the least worst candidate.’ Bernie Sanders is a worthy man but somehow he doesn’t come across as Presidentiable (to be compared with RC Cardinals deemed Papabile or not).
    If she is elected, is she likely to make any headway against the entrenched NRA, an almost certainly hostile Congress, and her countrymen’s pathetic clinging to the Second Amendment – the right of the people to keep and bear arms? As if nothing in society has changed since 1791. And of course it has, not least the killing power of assault rifles.
    With that thought ….
    Kind regards, John

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