Sunday, April 1, 2012

Racism Kills, Fear Kills and Guns Kill

In response:
It is very bad in Boston (63 in 2011)  & believe it or not, Cambridge has a tense scene with The Heights & The Coast (opposite housing east & west of mass ave central square... young who see themselves as soldiers in a war where a kids can get a gun for $50.00 in a 1/2 hour.

Another innocent citizen in a hoodie. Armed with Skittles.
So true, Sebastian. We lived in Central Square (Area 4) Cambridge when it was a 'war zone' (1978- 2006) and our one block was like Sweden or Switzerland in WWII - a place of relative safety; a violence free zone for kids and families of all races and backgrounds.

"young who see themselves as soldiers in a war where a kids can get a gun for $50.00 in a 1/2 hour"

I have to wonder -  who promotes this 'war' and a culture of violence and why? Is it just a matter of "taste" and giving the consumer what they want? If that were so, why is there a billion dollar industry that 'shapes markets' for the producers of all consumer goods? Does art only reflect life or... do big interests have big reasons to foment fear and hate?  Whether or not you believe it is intentional,  the big entertainment industries and the gun manufacturers certainly profit by the violent culture that is promoted in the main stream.

Does this make me a "conspiracy theorist" ? So be it. Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion used to have a spoof company advertise on his show called the "FearMongers". 

Aristophanes, an ancient Greek 'Jon Stuart', lampooned the profit motive behind wars in his play Peace ( 421 BC).  In his comedy Hermes tells a gathering of citizens why Peace had left them many years earlier - she had been driven away by politicians who were profiting from the war.  And the goddess of peace herself explains that she had tried to come back several times, but each time the Athenians had voted against her in their Assembly. In the play the spear polishers, shield makers and jar makers - all doing a booming business in war time, tell why they had voted  against Peace and in narrow, short term profit, self-interest.

People have been aware and clear on the connections and complications of violence for centuries.
 It is not just 'human nature' to be violent.  It is also all too human and natural to make money on others misery.

Luckily it is equally human and very effective to:
speak truth to power,
stand up for justice 
with eyes our eyes open,
for peace.

Where do criminals and teens get guns?

Most shootings on America’s streets are committed by criminals and juveniles who do not have a 2nd Amendment right to own  guns but obtain them through a thriving illegal gun market. The
most common ways felons and youth obtain guns:

Federally licensed gun dealers who sell to prohibited purchasers
Gun shows where criminals and ANYONE can buy guns without background checks
Straw purchasers recruited to buy guns on behalf of prohibited purchasers

There is an “Iron Pipeline” of illegal gun trafficking  and it is supported by the gun manufacturers.

We can stop gun trafficking. Together.

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