The Whole Gun Issue Is Kind

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The whole Gun issue is kind of interesting if you view it from a non-political, and strictly economic, perspective. The US was founded on, and can thank its amazing early and rapid growth due to the power of three major financial institutions : Cotton, Tobacco, and Slavery. Property ownership is another one, but not nearly as powerful as those three.

Because many people were not intellectually mature enough to yet perceive slavery as inherently wrong, and tobacco as bad for you ( We can leave cotton out of that, although it is directly tied to slavery), these financial institutions flourished for quite some time. It took about 250 (1620- 1850’s) years for people to wake up to the fact that slavery is inherently unjust, wrong and not suited to an advanced civilization (obviously making slavery illegal did nothing to address racism & segregation, but it was a good first step). It took about 350 years ( 1620s- 1960’s) for people to realize that tobacco is deadly, thanks to the obvious ( millions dying from lung cancer).

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The financial power of slavery was so great that it caused a Civil War, with thousands and thousands of grisly deaths and men lost.
The aftermath of the end of slavery as illegal was the next 100 years of segregation, lynchings, and horrific racism, which continues to this day, although, en masse, is probably less than ever, and will continue to dwindle away in tiny increments due to a an ever more mixed society.

The financial power of tobacco was ( and is ) so utterly huge that they fought the regulations against them tooth and nail ( you can look this up on your own). Tobacco companies have lost huge amounts of business in the USA – sales are nothing compared to what they used to be – they don’t even try here anymore – they have given up, and now ( literally) focus on selling tobacco to children in 3rd world countries. There’s a great and very factual John Oliver piece on tobacco that’s worth watching on YouTube.

All along this trajectory, guns and weapons have been a developing and powerful industry. They were part of every war fought, they were part of controlling and eliminating the Native Americans, controlling slaves, and so forth. With every skirmish, planned or unplanned, ammunition and bullets were needed. Wars are great for people who make these things, because these things must be bought, from private companies. Everyone knows wars are great for business.

Once the whole country was settled, fences built, people no longer living in make shift houses where bears and mountain lions can get in, Indians all dead or on reservations, etc etc – guns, as a domestic weapon, have little to no real purpose as a necessary tool, but are now a leftover relic from a bygone era.

Because our society was so used to these things being around, however, these “insta-kill” devices, it only made sense for them to be carried by police, because in a society where citizens can freely have them, they must be had by the enforcers, so that the enforcers can keep up with those they are enforcing. So while nobody was really looking, guns kept proliferating. We lost a president to one, a Beatle, an MLK, but, these tragedies were never viewed as a result of the proliferation of guns, but people. But that’s not entirely accurate. Had guns been viewed as unnecessary in an advanced civilization earlier, or only needed and issued ( as it says in the U.S. Constitution) for a militia defending native soil – these deaths could have been easily avoided.

The weapons industry does not want to go the way of Tobacco or Slavery. This is why- in no uncertain terms – the issue has been made into one about people’s rights. This is a made up issue. By communicating this propaganda about people’s rights being infringed upon, they have built a powerful narrative that controls people’s fears, continues their business, and makes them profit.

In a capitalist society, all industries will fight HARD and at all costs to keep their profits coming in. This is why the tobacco companies fought regulations so hard. This is why there was literally a war over slavery and the perceived “rights” being taken away to own another human.
The reason that Big Tobacco ultimately lost – and now everyone agrees that cigarettes are bad, and should be kept out of everybody’s faces — is because of the overwhelming evidence. So many deaths, so much cancer, so much ugliness. There came a “tipping point” where all could agree that cigarettes are terrible for you.

It may be the case, that until there is literally a shooting death in every town, every day, on every street, literally – or maybe another civil war – this one about guns — that it will take something this extreme — to force everyone – not just the government- but everyone- to collectively agree it’s time to put guns back where they belong, in history, with the other bad ideas we’ve had, like the absence of seatbelts, no traffic lights, and the 1000 other things that caused death and misery for so long before we all woke up to the fact that it was time to make our amazing country safer for everyone.

Or maybe that time is here, and we can all collectively agree that it’s time to move past the need for deadly weapons as something we all need.
Just a thought.

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