I think there are some questions that need to be asked, and some words that need to be said. The gun debate is raging on for a week and a half after the shooting in Stoneman Douglas High took place. Liberals and Conservatives are carrying out a verbal war over the issue of gun control, and it is the hottest I’ve seen it since the Columbine Shooting back in 1999 when I was in high school.
The debate is as typical as it has ever been. Conservatives shield themselves from anti-gun criticism using the Constitution, while Liberals fire salvos of appeals to emotion. In the end, we have the same arguments over and over again with no ground being made – unless the succumb to liberal media emotional manipulation.
No matter where you stand on the Liberal and Conservative scale, one thing remains unaddressed: Why Americans want to kill each other.
Neither side is willing to ask such questions or hold up such a microscope to themselves. No one wants to deal with the almost psychopathic nature of American society. Liberals call for the gun to be banned as if that would stop the violence. They are, truly, blaming an inanimate object for the actions of individuals. Conservatives are equally uninterested in investigating why they (Americans) are so prone to such large acts of senseless violence. Instead, their focus is entirely on defending their right to own firearms.
I think there are two fundamental questions to be asked here.
1. What is causing people to go around carrying out mass killings?
2. Why isn’t the mainstream narrative asking “why”?
The primary cause of these shootings is the alienation of people from each other. it is a product of the capitalist system itself. The very basis of capitalism is to drive wedges between people, to see each other as economic units, rather than as people who live or die in the same society as us. Here I’ll use a quote from Wikipedia as they do a good job of explaining things.
The Gattungswesen (species-essence), human nature of individuals is not discrete (separate and apart) from their activity as a worker; as such, species-essence also comprises all of innate human potential as a person. Conceptually, in the term “species-essence”, the word “species” describes the intrinsic human mental essence that is characterized by a “plurality of interests” and “psychological dynamism”, whereby every individual has the desire and the tendency to engage in the many activities that promote mutual human survival and psychological well-being, by means of emotional connections with other people, with society. The psychic value of a human consists in being able to conceive (think) of the ends of their actions as purposeful ideas, which are distinct from the actions required to realize a given idea. That is, humans are able to objectify their intentions, by means of an idea of themselves, as “the subject”, and an idea of the thing that they produce, “the object”. Conversely, unlike a human being, an animal does not objectify itself, as “the subject”, nor its products as ideas, “the object”, because an animal engages in directly self-sustaining actions that have neither a future intention, nor a conscious intention. Whereas a person’s Gattungswesen (human nature) does not exist independently of specific, historically conditioned activities, the essential nature of a human being is actualized when an individual—within their given historical circumstance—is free to subordinate their will to the external demands they have imposed upon themselves by their imagination, and not the external demands imposed upon individuals by other people.
Becuase of this, we lose our connections to each other. This can manifest itself in so many ways. I believe that this is the cause of most of the mental illness in American (and Western) society. We no longer see each other as people of a society, but as individual units within a society that is designed to place us against each other. Difficulties in life, particularly those of children, can place people as antagonistic towards the society at large. They seem themselves as the victim of a world that doesn’t care about them. And it’s true, it doesn’t. That’s the nature of the system.
There is much more that can be said here, but this explains the jist of the point I’m making.
As to the second point: It should be obvious that capitalism is in no hurry to criticize itself. Liberals and Conservatives have something in common, they both defend capitalism as the prevailing system. They don’t want to criticize the system.
When Liberal and Conservative media go at it we’re looking at two competing groups of the capitalist class. Two sides that have contrasting interests that places them into a contradiction with each other. Gun manufacturers and the gun industry both want to be able to make sales to consumers. It is their profit motive to keep the guns flowing. Thus they pay off politicians to protect that interest. Other sections see great benefit in ending gun sales. They want an end to the violence, but within a certain scope. It’s more valuable to them to have a peaceful society, but not at the cost of their capitalist interests. In addition, there’s always the interest of the capitalist class to try and take guns out of the hands of the workers who may one day revolt against them.
Neither of them wants the death of capitalism, this neither can actually solve the problem of gun violence. Whether Liberal and Conservative, it goes against their capitalist interest to end it.