A US reporter says the reasons for so much violence in America is easy access to assault weapons combined with a culture of violence fed into society and glorified.
In the background of this, a little more than one week ago America was rocked by the mass shooting and killing of 20 young children and 6 adults at an elementary school. Debate has since raged in an effort to understand the root causes of why America experiences so many incidents of this nature and what can and should be done to improve the situation.
Press TV has talked with Sherwood Ross, award-winning reporter from Florida to shed more light on the issue at hand. He is joined by two additional guests on Press TV’s News Analysis program: Tighe Barry, an activist with the CODEPICK from Washington D.C and Jim W. Dean, managing editor of Veterans Today from Georgia. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
The NRA [National Rifle Association] has been saying that the only way to counter this gun violence is more guns. Indeed we are even hearing now that people have been buying yet more guns after the school incident. So is that, even if we do not agree with it, the inevitable way to counter the problem?
Well, it is absolutely going in the wrong direction. Violence only begets more violence, more guns beget more violence.
You have to take away the guns and you have to change the culture so that shooting guns is not glorified the way it is on television, in video games and in Hollywood movies.
A lot of people have been suggesting that actually the administration might be looking for a way to go ahead with this restriction on assault weapons.
If that is actually a plan what interest does it have for the government to make that plan? Basically would you agree with what Mr. Dean [Press TV guest] just said there?
Well, I would agree that assault weapons have to be banned.
We had a ban on assault weapons and we need to restore that ban on assault weapons. It needs to be done.
I have stood on a street in Washington D.C in the shadow of the US capital and I have been held up at gunpoint by a man with an assault weapon. It is not a pleasant experience.
So you are saying the civilians who do have an assault weapons in America do actually pose a dangerous threat to society and that this issue should be addressed?
It absolutely must be addressed. I mean, we do not see other countries in the world with anything approaching the problem of America and it is also because the military in this country is glorified to such an extent that it makes violence seem normal and violence is not normal to human beings.
Some people have already gone as far as suggesting, for instance, that these massacres or instances are PSYOPs intended to actually strike fear in the Americans ulterior motives, but of course not all agree with that.
However, some are saying like yourself, that these issues may be used or exploited by the administration to pass laws that could otherwise be seen as invading people’s privacies. Would you agree?
Well, the Federal government has invaded everybody’s privacy in America to a greater degree than the NRA even realizes.
I would think that the NRA has a point when they say that they are afraid of the United States’ government. The NRA has good reason to be afraid of the United States’ government and so do the American people; because the American government is becoming a dictatorship particularly since the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] last year by President Obama, who signed it into law.
This means that Americans really do not have any rights today. But we have still got to solve the gun problem and we have got to take guns away even from people who do not use them on others.
We have thousands of Americans who use the guns on themselves, who commit suicide. It has got to stop.
What the NRA also mentioned and what is seen as a reality in American society now is what is being described as the culture of violence.
Hollywood films are being blamed for instance, video games are being blamed. Do you think that the underlying causes of the violence is not just about possession of guns, but it is about the culture of violence that exists in the American society?
Well, absolutely. It is my understanding that some of the people who commit these mass murders have pictures of US military activities in their bedrooms, in their homes and that they are impressed by what they see the American government is doing all over the world, which is to make war.
We are a nation that is at war with the world and we are at war with ourselves and these two things are interchangeable.