Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Violent Culture in the USA -- 3


An image showing a gun = violence
Image design (Toronto: Jan. 16, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Where There's a Gun, There's a Violence

Mankind is amenable to the seven "deadly sins." These "sins" are: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger (Wrath), Greed (Covetousness), and Sloth (Acedia or Laziness).

All these "sins" or proclivities make many people weak and they are tempted to do unlawful things in life. The gun-related violence is one of them.

It only takes common sense and life experience, not university degrees, to understand that guns and weapons bring about more violence in the society. These serve as a tool to vent one's anger, take one's revenge, give vent to one's hatred and so on.

When a person possesses a gun, he or she gives the idea of violence a place first in his or her mind -- whether to defend himself or herself, whether to hunt a bird or animal. The idea of opposition first takes over that person's mind. That opposition may be an animal or a person. The idea that is in that person's head, is realized when he or she actually uses the gun or weapon. The use of the gun or weapon just doesn't come instantly from the vacuum, it was incubating in that person for some time waiting for a cause or trigger.

Bangladesh Is a Prime Example of What Happens When a Gunless Country Turns Into a Gunful One

Many of you know of the Bangladesh Civil War or War of Independence in 1971. At that time Bangladesh was called "East Pakistan" and present Pakistan was "West Pakistan." In East Pakistan, before this war, the most lethal weapon or gun was the ordinary hunting gun. Who owned those guns? Mostly, some moneyed people -- few politicians, businessmen, village chiefs and certain criminal elements, called dacoits (robbers). In a dozen village or so, there was hardly one gun owner. So, violence by a gun was a rarity. Burglary by breaking into a house would be a big news at that time.

In 1971, with the deadly crackdown by West Pakistani soldiers and some of their East Pakistani collaborators, about 10 million East Pakistanis fled the country to take refuge to India. It was a golden opportunity for India to weaken its neighbour and arch enemy -- Pakistan. It began to give training to young and energetic East Pakistani refugee youths on guerrilla warfare and ultimately provided thousands and thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to them. These guerrillas (muktijuddhas) got a real taste of successful use of these weapons for five to seven months.

When East Pakistan was liberated with the ultimate fielding of the Indian army in December, 1971, the government of independent Bangladesh asked the muktijuddas to lay down their arms and deposit them with the nearest government offices. Many deposited them, but some in all corners of the country did not. Their reasons being self-defense from local enemies (pre-war, war or post-war rivals -- political or otherwise) and ill-motives (making easy money by robbery, hostage-taking, etc.). Guns give a false sense of power and security. That has been proven in Bangladesh. With the easy availability of these guns, a reign of terror started immediately after the independence in December, 1971. Murder, mass murder, or mayhem -- whatever you want to call -- became the regular fare. In the first few years of independence, it was a normal affair for one person to ask another: "Who was shot today?" or "How many were killed today?" Bangladesh newspapers were full of those reports. At present, the gun-related murder is less than that of the early post-independent period, but regular gun-related deaths are ever present now. The theory of "guns = violence" is proven in the case of Bangladesh. It is a good example of how an innocent region can turn into a violent one with the introduction of easily available guns.

Americans Need to Rethink of Their Gun Policy

In the last 234 years, Americans left a tremendous contribution to world advancement, civilization, invention and discovery, but in the realm of gun violence its contribution is also unparalled. Gun violence is a sign of immaturity and emotional infantilism, even though committed by educated or literate people. It's being proven time and again that easy availability of firearms is never a healthy policy.

Americans need to ask their conscience whether the Second Amendment's sanctions still make it right and good for the greater number of Americans to acquire firearms so easily. A country's constitution is made at a certain time taking into consideration the prevailing situation of that time. If the situation changes, the constitution also can be changed to suit the new situation. Men and women make a country's constitution and laws, they can change those, too, to fit another era or situation.

Some people say that the Second Amendment is in the Constitution of the USA and it can't be touched. Not necessarily. In Pakistan, radical Islamists brought amendments to their constitution to include the existing Blasphemy Laws. It's now well-known how those blasphemy laws are being misused by a certain quarter to suit their whims and punish their rivals. The minority communities in that country is a regular victims of these infamous laws. Being in the constitution does not mean that the interests of the greater number of a country's citizens will be served.

A country's constitution should serve the people and not the people serve the constitution. Americans need to look at this under the new circumstances and new thinking and decide what to do about it. It's they and only they as a whole who can decide what's overall good for them and their country and act on it as responsible persons. Instead of mourning after a gun-related violent incident, they should take preventative measures for the greater good in future. Our prayers are with them.

For Further Understanding of the Violent Culture in the US

You may read the following for deeper understanding of this violent situation in the USA, because what happens in the USA affects the world, too. The gun violence is the extremity of the other types of violences in the society.

A) Gun Violence in General:

B) Political Violence:

C) Domestic Violence:

D) Violence Against Children:

E) Teen Violence:

F) Media (TV, Film, Video Games) Violence:

G) Gun Control Efforts in the USA:

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