The U.S. Gun Romance and Harsh Reality of Gun Deaths: Newsletter 12/01/22
A close look at the history, key contributing factors, mental health-related issues, and needed changes
Gun violence has been a major issue in the U.S. for too long. I felt it worthwhile to examine the historical context, key contributing factors, and critical mental health-related issues. My goal? To increase awareness and perspective and develop a reasonable discussion about reducing gun deaths. Join me in exploring a subject of critical concern for the safety and well-being of our community.
In the United States, gun romance is alive and well. It has been part of our culture for centuries and is deeply ingrained in the national identity. From the Wild West to the modern day, guns symbolize strength, freedom, and even heroism. Unfortunately, many of us are familiar with the harsh reality of gun deaths in America today. From mass shootings to suicides to accidental deaths, gun violence has become a national tragedy. It’s time to break the cycle of gun violence and work together to create a safer future for all.
The Gun Romance
Our history as a nation is one of fierce independence and the struggle for freedom. The lure and stories about our efforts to be free and a sovereign nation abound with conflict and open warfare to overcome tyrants and oppressors. The adversaries are subdued and overcome by superior courage and perseverance accomplished in our earliest history with the use of long guns against knives and bows and arrows. In the revolutionary wars, the weaponry was similar, but the patriots had the advantage with the knowledge of the terrain, support of the local citizenry, and close-at-hand supplies. With the expansions of our country to its westernmost reaches, guns protected against hostile adversaries in the conquest for land and protection of livestock and family.
Guns were necessary to hunt for food and protect farm animals from predators. In our civil war and later with the involvement in foreign wars, the technology of firearms advanced to accomplish mass causalities. The instruments of fighting became more deadly, from cannons to military aircraft, rocketry, and bombs. Even with the tragedy of war, the romance of an individual with a gun continues the mystique of independence, control, and power. The recreational viewing of violent media stories and movies has plots revolving around the villain who has to be overcome by the superior use of weaponry, usually a firearm.
The fascination with guns and ownership continues, with the increased sales of firearms every year, including military assault-like weapons. Media and marketing are undoubtedly important contributors to this trend. Some consider owning a gun a necessity and imperative to being a proud and patriotic citizen. There is the belief that having a high-powered gun increases one’s sense of security, prowess, and the means to be a hunter. A firearm becomes a valuable asset if one feels the need to protect their family or property or is a hunter, collector, gang member, or criminal.
Growing up, I watched westerns and crime shows and played cowboys, cops, and robbers like most kids. Violence and weapons were commonly part of the storyline in comic books, television, and video games. However, rarely today do movies, video games, or T.V. programs teach about the safe use of weapons or the consequences of bringing fantasy violence into the real world.
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