The American Dream Rides Shot Gun
Guns are an American way of life
The hotly sought after American dream has become an American nightmare for many in our society. Guns are in more homes than there are people in the United States according to recent polls. However, the images in this dream began to take shape hundreds of years ago.
The use of fire arms by the early European settlers altered the existence of the Native Indian and appears to have been a precursor or self-fulfilling prophecy for one of the most violent nations on the planet. The Native Indians were murdered in mass, coerced, and forced to surrender much of their way of life and freedom of expressions.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. gun-makers produced nearly 11 million guns in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. That's twice as many as they made in 2010.
America is decades pass colonial times, but death by fire arms is still part of this country’s legacy and accepted as a way of life. We have yet to fully concede that guns erode every facet of our society. We look at the number of murders on the nightly news and shake our heads in dismay. We hear about a new rampage shooting and again shake our heads in dismay. Instantaneously after a mass killing our legislators get in front of the camera and debate on the issue of gun safety, or lack thereof. Once the hoopla dies down, the debates hush. However, an election year provides a continuous venue for politicians to deliberate on the matter of guns in America.
These oral displays appear to be nothing more than political propaganda and tenacious posturing fueled by voters wanting answers from their elected officials. But what voters get is the same sing-song pretentious discourse. New York Times (2015/12/05) contributor, Doug Mills, argues that motives do not matter to the dead. That “…too many elected officials whose job is to keep us safe… place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms”.
Lives cut too short
In the May 2013 issue of Essence Magazine, a couple whose daughter was killed in the Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre stated that gun control laws should not be about Democrats or Republicans, but about human life. The mother of the slain six year old revealed that she goes into her daughter’s room that has remained untouched since her daughter’s murder and lies on her daughter’s bed seeking some type of solace.
Mothers and fathers in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and many other cities walk the streets putting down wreaths and other artifacts to remember the site where a loved one was shot to death. Not to mention the homes that are totally disrupted when gunfire erupts among family members and acquaintances. Physical scars and mental scars cut deep. Yet, the cycle continues.
On Sept. 22, 2016 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Gregory Green, 49, was accused of killing four children: Kaleigh Green, 4; Koi Green, 5; Kara Allen, 17; and Chadney Allen, 19. The two youngest children were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning and the older children, Green’s stepchildren, were shot to death. According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office the older children died of multiple gunshot wounds. Green bound his estranged wife with duct tape and zip ties, slashed her face, shot her in the foot and forced her to watch him kill the other childrem, according to authorities. She was found in the basement with the bodies of her teenage children.
America's dream unhinged
This nation frowns at the violence in other countries, but in America murders by gun violence is carried out in elementary schools, college campuses, shopping malls, churches, concerts, and just about any other place human beings navigate. Mills contends that it is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war "….America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing….”
For decades, the most dangerous piece of machinery was thought to be the automobile. But now it’s a gun according to a Center for American Progress report from 2014 that examined the mounting gun deaths among young Americans. And in spite of insurmountable gains in technology and medicine over the past decades, the value of a human life appears to be losing worth with the pull of each trigger. In an article entitled Keep and Bear Arms, the author states that, “Even given the link between guns and gun violence, which seems obvious to the rest of the world, America is unlikely to implement significant gun control in the near future”. http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/08/graphics-americas-guns
The white picket fence is still the backdrop for the American dream, but the dad brandishes his open carry while the mother looks dutifully on. The two children collectively hold a sign that reads, "God Bless America".