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The Real Problem With Gun Violence In America

My first reaction to the tragic shooting in Connecticut and the bigger problem of the huge number of Americans who die every year as a result of gun violence is, like most other sane people, that we as a nation need far better gun control laws as well as a vastly improved mental health care system.  Alas, though, the more I thought about it, the more even those solutions didn’t seem like they would be enough.  And now Michael Moore comes along, and gets right at the heart of the problem:

“I’m not saying it’s perfect anywhere else, but I have noticed, in my travels, that other civilized countries see a national benefit to taking care of each other. Free medical care, free or low-cost college, mental health help. And I wonder — why can’t we do that? I think it’s because in many other countries people see each other not as separate and alone but rather together, on the path of life, with each person existing as an integral part of the whole. And you help them when they’re in need, not punish them because they’ve had some misfortune or bad break. I have to believe one of the reasons gun murders in other countries are so rare is because there’s less of the lone wolf mentality amongst their citizens. Most are raised with a sense of connection, if not outright solidarity. And that makes it harder to kill one another.”

Sadly, he’s 100% right. This is just the way we are as a people. The majority of Americans are self-centered and greedy. They only care about their immediate family and friends — suffering that is out of sight is out of mind. I’m financially set, so if you aren’t, then it has to be because you just don’t work as hard as I do. I’m physically in good shape, so if you aren’t why should I worry about that? I’m a white, anglo-saxon Protestant, and if you aren’t, well that’s your problem, not mine. I’m heterosexual, so if you are gay, again not my problem — you just need to go to church and get that fixed. On and on it goes in this country. And as Moore points out, that’s the bigger problem, and the insane amount of gun violence we have in this country is just a symptom of that problem.

Bottom line, here in America my totally unrestricted right to own a gun trumps the rights of 20 first-graders to live at all. God bless Idiot Nation.