Gun worship and two sets of killers

( – As many people in the nation grieve the cold-blooded murder of 20 little children and six of their teachers in Newtown, Conn., it is obvious that the chickens are coming home to roost in a society that consistently glorifies violence in endless movies, television programs, video games, songs and all kinds of death-dealing guns easily available to everyone, including potential killers. Of course, most people who soak up this glorification don’t become killers; but, enough do so to persist as a major problem in this country.

There are basically two sets of killers who have been produced by this combination of glorifying killing with guns and making them easily accessible. One consists of low-income Black males, mainly in large urban centers, who frequently kill each other for ridiculous reasons: “You bumped me and didn’t say excuse me,” “You dissed me,” “You invaded my turf,” “You messed with my drugs money,” “You messed with my woman,” “You looked at me the wrong way,” “You got the latest fashionable jacket and I want it.” In most instances of these, it’s not a case of strangers, as, in the majority of such encounters, the victim and the killer have a previous relationship to some degree. This raises the question of how we help low-income Black males to peacefully resolve their social conflicts..

That’s not the question with the second set of killers – middle-income White males, who make up most of the mass murderers. The reasons behind their killings are harder to discern, as they ruthlessly and randomly kill people, including innocent 6 and 7-year-old children.

Occasionally, the collateral damage of Black-on-Black conflict will be accidental killing of a small child; but, I have never heard of one of them deliberately going into a school and mowing down first graders. It’s revealing that in this society, street killings by low-income black males elicit feverish commentary from politicians, journalists, and academicians about “The pathology of Black males,” while commentary on middle-income White mass murderers most often focuses on the pathology of the particular individual. Killings by any Black male is always portrayed as a defect of all Black males; while, killings by White males is described as a personal defect. The concept of “The pathology of White males” apparently is never considered or entertained.

The most significant connection between the two set of killers is that they watch the same violence-glorifying movies. television programs and play with the same gory video games. Some supposedly intelligent people have insisted that these pop culture mainstays really have little, if any, connection to those actions of those young killers. It’s true that most young people who immerse themselves in this kind of “entertainment” don’t end up as murderers. But, previously, these connections affect enough young Black and White males to make them wreakers of havoc` in their communities.

And, if watching many hours of movies, television programs and spending many more hours playing with killing-focused video games have no effect on the minds and actions of increasing numbers of young killers, then one must believe that corporations are wasting their money when they spend billions of dollars for 30-60 second commercials designed to motivate people to purchase their products. We know they are not wasting their money.

These pop culture icons, along with the easy availability of all kind of guns, are a key reason why the chickens are coming home to roost to a gun-worshipping country.

Peter Bailey is an American author and journalist. Originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.


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