Examining American Society. Issue 2 of 4.
As Sheriff Joe Biden and lawmakers on Capitol Hill contemplate gun restrictions many are left to wonder what good if any will come out of legislation from Washington.
As a freedom loving nation, American’s don’t like being told what kind of weapon we can or cannot own and most of us would care even less for being told what we can or cannot watch for entertainment. This then leads me to ask, can a free society be a safe society? In order to enjoy freedom do we then have to accept a heavy level of risk?
For the vast majority, even in the face of horrific acts of violence, the answer is yes, a free society can be a safe society. But with that being said, how do we prevent the smallest minority from horrifically abusing freedoms enjoyed by law abiding citizens?
A multifaceted approach is needed to reduce violence in American society which includes but is not limited to weapons access limitations, decreasing violent entertainment, enhancing mental health treatment and restoring a moral authority in our nation.
America lives and thrives in the glorification of violence through the music we listen to, the video games we play and the TV/movies we watch. Even football, America’s most popular sport, is controlled violence. Our lust for death in entertainment is undeniable and unquenchable, and for decades has been rotting our society’s value of life from the inside out.
If virtual violence in movies and entertainment have had no impact on the consumers psyche then why did Hollywood push back grand openings for big budget films such as Jack Reacher and even go as far as to amend and delete scenes depicting a movie theater shootout in Gangster Squad? Even comedy TV shows such as Family Guy and American Dad were cancelled due to “insensitive” content following the Newtown shooting. When Jaime Foxx appeared on late night television to promote his bloody blockbuster movie, Django Unchained, he had this to say regarding the impact of violent entertainment upon our society: “We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence, it does.”
Gun control proponents often say our right to own a gun makes them feel unsafe, but if I were to advocate for “censoring” murder and death in entertainment because I’m worried about it’s effects on our society, I would be told to “change the channel.” But that doesn’t cut it. Those who are deeply moved by violent movies and games aren’t “changing the channel”. Rather they are channeling what they are consuming, emulating it and dressing up in trench coats and shooting classmates or pretending to be The Joker and massacring 50 people at movie premier.
Is violence in entertainment the sole cause for murder and mass shootings in our society? No, of course not. But it none the less contributes in multiple instances of major and minor crimes. If, as a nation, we are considering limiting gun freedoms in hopes of enhancing safety, should we not also be taking into deeper consideration limiting the ease of access we have to violence in entertainment? Or at least spend some time examining it?
The left’s self righteous indignation allows them to feel like they are promoting a worthy cause by banning guns. But in doing so, they overlook the most important aspect of preventing these shootings, which is to identify what causes them. But despite my desire for citizens to protect themselves and to have the freedom to do so, I do not advocate arming everyone. The NRA’s response and solution to preventing more attacks, by putting armed guards at every school was not only completely tone deaf, but was an intellectually inferior idea. One that would be akin to squeezing the air in a balloon; the air doesn’t cease to exist, it just moves to an area where it is less restricted. As liberals attempt to solve gun crime by banning guns and conservatives advocate preventing gun crime by arming more people, both actions amount to political posturing which fall woefully short of targeting the catalyst’s of violence.
Government no doubt plays a role in protecting its citizens but it cannot and should not be depended on to provide safety to everyone, everywhere, especially if its mean for accomplishing that task is through banning guns while simultaneously dismissing other avenues of violence prevention.
As far as legislation going forward, I think moving a gun ban through Congress, whether I agree with it or not is the right way to approach the legislation, on the other hand I strongly fear any executive orders being handed down from Pennsylvania Ave.
What this country needs less of is government intervention into our daily lives based on the guise of keeping us safe. What this country needs more of is it’s families identifying those members may be at risk for mass violence, identifying mental illness, and to limit contributing factors such as improperly stored firearms and entertainment through glorification of violence.
There are aspects of life the federal government will never be able to provide its people and one of them is personal safety. The real soluation to preventing violent crime in our communities lies in the household, not the White House. – DH