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Humanist Fellowship of San Diego Message Board › Juan Cole: Questions I ask myself about Connecticut School Shooting

Juan Cole: Questions I ask myself about Connecticut School Shooting

Wilfredo P.
user 11974495
Chula Vista, CA
Post #: 117
This is a superb column by Mr. Cole. Be sure to check out the reader comments. I really like these two:

The US mentality is so different from any other country I know.Individualism, exceptionalism, extreme religiosity, hatred of anyone different, assumption that might is right. I have never seen anyone grabbed, thrown against a car and frisked, or any of the other scenes typical of parts of the USA, or people imprisoned for long sentences for what any normal nation would consider petty crimes (or non crimes eg. returning to the USA when you are tossed out, criminalized a few years ago). Assuming anyone you do not know is an enemy,or those who you do not like to be therefore worth killing, is not a “regular’” reaction in mentally rational people in a democracy.

The reason why the media doesn’t mention gun control, except in passing, is that the media is controlled by large corporations, some of which are gun manufacturers. Corporations, as codified in US law, have one purpose and responsibility; to make as much money as possible. They have no social obligations. As long as this is allowed to continue these tragedies will occur. This man will be called “crazy”, “a lone gunman”, etc., the usual tripe. Nothing will be said about the social conditions in this country that cause people to resort to these crimes. There are simple answers to all these “whys”. Unfortunately, only a few marginalized voices will dare to mention them.


Wilfredo P.
user 11974495
Chula Vista, CA
Post #: 118
I've been thinking about this all day. Some people, as usual, are citing violent movies and video games as causes of these mass shootings. As I've said before, I strongly disagree with the contention that there is a causal relationship between violent video games and movies and mass shootings. If that were the case, then Japan and Canada would be among the world’s leaders in mass shootings. Of course, Japan and Canada are among the least violent countries in the world, and Japanese and Canadians are big fans of violent Hollywood movies, violent video games and controversial artists such as Marilyn Manson.

I can’t prove it, but I think the fact that the U.S. is #1 in mass shootings is related to four main factors: (1) the alienation and disconnectedness that many feel in our society; (2) revenge and bullying, which are two strong cultural factors in the U.S.; (3) funds for caring for the mentally ill have been drastically reduced since the Reagan administration and many mentally ill people who should be institutionalized are on the streets; and (4) easy access to guns, including automatic weapons and assault rifles.

It’s very interesting to me that the vast majority of these mass shootings occur in middle class and affluent suburbs. They just don’t happen in places like East L.A., Chicago's South Side or Compton.

I’m not in favor of banning guns, but I do think that we need to enact more reasonable gun laws. A mentally disturbed individual such as the Virginia Tech shooter shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. No one should be able to buy a gun without a background check. As the law currently stands, however, anyone can go to a gun show and buy a gun without a background check. Also, there is no need to sell assault rifles to the public. These weapons were built for one purpose: killing human beings.

The causes of school shootings will be debated again by media types and politicians and there will be calls for more reasonable gun laws. But our country will forget about this story in a few weeks and the status quo will not change. This is because many CEOs and their companies are making a lot of money selling these weapons and ammunition. And, furthermore, there are stockholders in these corporations who make these very profitable weapons. We see it over and over, in every area of life, from our food, air and water to our home loans and even the safety of our public places including schools, theaters and shopping centers. Corporate profits are more important to safeguard than the lives and well being of people.

user 6538808
San Diego, CA
Post #: 11
Pitch perfect...always happy to find another Juan Cole fan.
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