A prominent New York-based analyst tells Press TV that the violent gun culture roots in the history of the United States as the Second Amendment is protected by courts of law.
On Friday twenty children and six adults have been killed in a shooting spree at an elementary school in the town of Newtown in the US state of Connecticut. Two students and a teacher were also injured in the shooting and were taken to the nearby Dansbury Hospital.
Meanwhile, despite the deadly incident, the Republican representative of Texas, Louie Gohmert, has said that more Americans should carry weapons to prevent future massacres.
On the other hand a new opinion poll shows an increase in the number of Americans supporting stricter gun control laws after a series of deadly shootings across the country. The poll suggests that 51 percent of the Americans believe the sale of semi-automatic weapons should be banned, while 54 percent favor a ban on magazine clips with more than ten rounds.
Press TV has conducted an interview with New York-based activist and radio host, Don DeBar to shed more light on the issue at hand. He is joined by two additional gusts on Press TV’s News Analysis program: Mike Harris, the financial editor of Veterans today from Phoenix, and Raynard Jackson, the CEO of Raynard Jackson and Associates from Washington DC. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
In the wake of this mass killing in New Town, there have been several other gun-related incidents of violence in Bexar county Texas, two people were wounded, in central Topeka Kansas two police officers died, in Fashion Island, New Port Beach gunman fired over 50 rounds in a busy shopping mall and in Alabama a man opened fired in a hospital wounding an officer as well as two employees before he was fatally shot by police and let us not forget again in Alabama where police killed two suspects after separate shooting incidents; three others are also found dead. What is the underlying reason for this gun culture in the US, in your opinion?
There is a culture of violence that lies beneath the gun culture. Just the same day as New Town Massacre, in China there was a stabbing of 22 or 23 students by someone who was obviously aggrieved and you cannot get guns there and so, the underlying problem of violence is even greater than just in general but, greater than the problem with guns; of course guns are much more efficient killing machines and that is a problem too.
In the United States, the attitude that we have to look at is the historical one. The country was founded on genocide and slavery, we have been at war since the formal founding of the American Republic in 1789-1790, in a constant state of war, more or less, against most of the rest of the planet and often with ourselves and the statement for example by Madeline Albright [former US Secretary of State], I think in the 1990’s, is indicative of the attitude.
When she was asked on 60 Minutes [TV program], if the loss of three quarters of a million lives of Iraqi children by the sanctions and the bombing that the United States under [Bill] Clinton was conducting against Iraq was “Worth it”? And she said, Yes!
In her opinion it was worth it!
So the official policy of the country itself is murderous and does not value human life. That children would notice this, and even children under 20, you know, people become acculturated with this attitude that the most successful people in the country are successful by murder and then they are acculturated with games and things like little soldiers, gun toys, video games that kill and the whole culture of fear also that makes people think that the only way they can be safe [is] with a gun. This is a toxic mixture.
Mr. DeBar it seems that you want to jump in as well. Quickly have your say as well.
I disagree that Israel was behind this shootout and I leave it at that and to say that I think that there is often confusion among people in the United States about who is the dog and who is the tale.
The United States is the super-eminent imperial power in the history of the planet. It controls Israel and Israel does not control it, although there is some backwash in the Congress and other places. I’d rather go to the issue at hand however; and the issue at hand is the culture of violence that came with the “first settlers” into this country, where they murdered in mass the people that inhabited in this continent and then they took, they stole, people from Africa and put them to work here, killing at least half of them on rout to build the infrastructure of this country and the remainder of the industrial base in this country, essentially, is weapons manufacturing, either for military, which consumes about 50 percent of our tax dollars or for the prison industrial complex, which essentially is from the police officers, who are now carrying machine guns in the streets, to the enforcement of the stripping of constitutional rights against people who are in prison in the main for nonviolent offenses.
That tells you the nature of this society, and so if you introduce weapons on the street and make them available to people in a culture like that then the result that we have now is the inevitable result.
One last statement, there is a benefit to get the weapons out of the hands of people. I had a friend for example, who in the 1970s killed herself and her boyfriend in a fight. The reason that that happened was A: she was angry and B: her boyfriend was a police officer who had a weapon in the room.
If that weapon was not there perhaps she would have tried to stab him or something but most likely she would not have shot and killed him and would not have shot and killed herself and that has been replicated across this country for a hundred years.
Mr. Debar, Mr. Jackson [other guest of the program from Washington] said something [that] a lot of pro-gun lobbyists have been saying in the past as well and that is no one is making these people put their hands on the trigger and pull it.
How do you respond to that?
Look at the legal conditions around, first of all, the Second Amendment, how that has been protected in the courts as opposed to the treatment of the First Amendment and the Fifth Amendment and the 13th amendment and others. The only one that has been protected is the Second Amendment; that is the first thing.
Secondly look at the condition of the Tort law, just about everyone out there for their speech or their actions are culpable for damages with the exception of gun manufacturers. If you made whoever manufactures a gun liable for wrongful death, regardless of the chain of custody, like they do under circular for environmental violations, like they do with speech under many conditions, you would see the problem get soft all of a sudden.
The fact that it has not been addressed is a testimony to the power of the gun lobby itself. The NRA being [the National Rifle Association] an arm of the gun manufacturers and not its membership.