Newtown: Gun ‘Barbarism’ that Cannot be Removed by Legislation (La Jornada, Mexico)
Is U.S. gun culture beyond legislative redemption? This editorial from Mexico’s La Jornada asserts that the endless string of violent attacks leading up to Thursday’s massacre of toddlers in Newtown, Connecticut, suggests a society that requires far deeper introspection and correction than can be provided by lawmakers.
Today’s La Jornada editorial says in part:
Lamentations and promises are not enough: it is urgent that the government of that country do something to curb the excessive proliferation of weapons caches in the hands of its population (it is estimated that there are about 280 million firearms in the U.S. – almost one per adult). It is pertinent to recall that the persistence of an anachronistic legal framework that has allowed such proliferation is explained by the staunch support of the most reactionary and chauvinist segments of our neighboring country, including the ultra-conservative National Rifle Association and key Republican Party cadres. But in addition, one must point to an incapacity or unwillingness on the part of the Democratic administration: suffice it to say that during Obama’s first term, the drive to limit possession of weapons by individuals as well as the renewal of a ban on assault rifles, which expired in 2004, have been somewhat ignored – even though during his first election campaign, Obama promised to do so.
However, the availability of weapons among the U.S. population is does not in itself suffice to explain the often exasperating massacres that occur there. Nations like Canada, Sweden and Finland also record high levels of per capita weapons ownership without leading to the type of mass murders that systematically shock and terrorize the United States. This suggests a kind of collective propensity toward barbarism in that country which has never been explained, and which should start to be discussed as quickly as possible.
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