There’s been another school shooting — heck, we get them about every other day now, so there may be another one tomorrow — and once again, the rationalizations begin to flow, but nothing is done. The Republican governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevins, trots out the usual litany of excuses. He says it is a “cultural problem”, and that’s the end of where I agree with him.
“We have become desensitized to death, we have become desensitized to killing, we have become desensitized to empathy for our fellow man and it’s coming at an extraordinary price and we have got to look at the root causes of this,” Bevin told The Associated Press.
“We can’t celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen,” he added.
Uh, you know — American video games, TV, movies, and music are international now. We sell that stuff everywhere. American entertainment is popular world-wide, and other countries are also producing similar cultural phenomena, yet they are not experiencing these spasms of internal violence. Other countries in Europe and Asia have lower belief in a “higher authority” — America is weirdly religious — and their kids aren’t murdering each other to the same extent. Have you ever considered looking at the empirical evidence rather than worshiping your own freaky biases?
What is unusual in America is the Cult of the Gun, as promoted by the NRA. We also have these strange far right super-“patriots” — in quotes because their patriotism seems to consist of regarding their personal, selfish greed as their highest authority, and believe their duty is to arm themselves to the gills in order to destroy the American government. We’ve militarized our police to the point that “peacekeeping” is an exercise in firepower. I’d also point out that we’re told it is our moral duty to use armed force to murder citizens of other nations to force them to comply, which creates a disturbing conflict in our citizenry about the value of human life.
Of course, Matt Bevins knows that if he criticized the NRA or right-wing militias, he’d probably get shot.