CLYDE OVERELL III | Foreign Affairs | CONTACT
Once again, America is on track to register more mass shootings than days in the calendar year, after a series of massacres dominate the headlines this week – forcing the media to choose which tragedy to cover based on the numbers of lives lost.
While countries like Norway, Canada, Australia and New Zealand decided to ban semi-automatic weapons within days of experiencing this kind of horror – it’s clear that if America refuses to act after deranged assailants slaughter entire classrooms of primary schoolers with legally acquired firearms, they likely never will.
Less than a week after the most recent massacre of school children in Texas, the American gun lobby group the NRA has held a rally just 100 miles from the crime scene, where they scraped the barrel in attributing the blame for these mass-shootings on ‘kids growing up without fathers’.
While political experts and social researchers claim that the root cause of this sickness is the toxic combination of political corruption and a sensationalist news cycle, there is one blaring factor that isn’t taken into account.
A recent survey of disenfranchised young white men in America has found that just 1 in 100 have ever experienced an old fashioned scrap.
The report indicates that the country’s obsession with gun ownership is caused by the fact that Americans don’t have a culture of throwing hands at each other at pubs, train stations, school yards, traffic lights, footballl matches, family reunions – or even in the line for a taxi.
Americans are less likely to view a fist-fight as a way of venting their frustration with the world, and very lack the confidence to throw hands – even in self defence.
In fact, of the 100,000 respondents surveyed, less than 1% were aware that you can in fact defend yourself without indiscriminately spraying live rounds from an AR-15 at their attacker.
As the US President begins to once again make an unsuccessful attempt to introduce even the slightest background checks for gun owners, the backlash from conservative commentators has already started – with far more outrage dedicated to complaining about lack of freedoms than the massacre themselves.
However, the issue is likely to remain unaddressed as both the NRA and FOX News throw the kitchen sink at undermining any of the government’s efforts to put preventative measures in place, for fear of ending up in a situation where they have to punch their way out of a confrontation, instead of reaching for a concealed firearm that is capable of shooting down helicopters.