Why we don’t have the gun control we need
Every dark phase of history in the United States has been fueled by greed. Slavery was the obtaining of free labor, which enriched plantation owners and everyone else who profited from the cotton industry alone. Jim Crow laws were enacted when white people were afraid of losing influence and profit to newly freed slaves. Those laws contributed to many violent deaths of free Black citizens.
The booming economy of the Vietnam war era was largely due to the size and power of the military-industrial complex. Soldiers were the fodder for that machine, as slaves were the fodder for the antebellum south. An estimated 58,220 Americans died in Vietnam.
From 2006 to 2017, there have been 1,358 victims of mass shootings in the U.S., according to USA Today. Michael Bloomberg, of Everytown For Gun Safety, reports that from January 2009 July 2014, 57% of mass murders (four or more people dead) were due to domestic or family violence. There have been over 250 mass murders in the U.S. so far this year.
Where there is greed, there is always fodder. Follow the money, or follow the fodder, one will lead to the other. The NRA is currently under investigation (finally) for misuse of funds as a non-profit organization. Influential current and former members of Congress, all Republicans, are the top recipients of money from gun’s rights donors, most of it from the NRA. Ted Cruz from Texas received the most: $309,021. America’s gun business brings in $28 Billion a year. The greed is obvious.
So, who are the fodder in the fight over gun rights? Obviously, the victims of mass shooters. Less reported are the victims of family and domestic violence where there are fewer than four deaths. And there are the people who aren’t considered victims, although they died at a mass shooting scene; the actual suicides, or suicide by cop, of the mass shooters themselves. All of these, despite everyone’s expressed thoughts and prayers, are acceptable losses to those in Congress and the White House who refuse to enact far reaching gun control laws. They are acceptable losses to the NRA. They are acceptable losses to gun manufacturers and sellers. Acceptable losses is a military euphemism used to talk about casualties that are considered tolerable. All these gun related deaths are acceptable to everyone and every institution that profits off the sale of guns.
“At any point in an intractable conflict, there are people who figure out how to benefit from it,” Elizabeth McBride in Forbes.
Slavery, undeclared wars, and gun control were and are intractable conflicts. However, profits or the promise of profits came before the conflicts became intractable. It is the very fear of loss of money and profit that makes the conflicts intractable, because those who profit don’t want to give away the goose laying the golden eggs.