The root causes of gun violence
Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Updated: Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:10
By any measure, Harold Bloom was a prodigious intellect who, among many other achievements, simultaneously held literary professorships at both Yale and New York University.
After readingThe Western Canon, I suspected that Professor Bloom's daily reality had melded with the fictional worlds he had spent his life critiquing. During a televised discussion of author Cormac McCarthy's savage, hyper-eloquent Blood Meridian, Bloom theorized that "the judge" (a villain in McCarthy's book) had somehow bequeathed his semi-fictional legacy of criminality and gun-violence to modern America.
Of course, it was ridiculous for Bloom to suggest that some patriarch of American gun-violence had ever existed.
Throughout human history, every generation has witnessed the rise and fall of judge-like psychopaths.
"Born killers" are rare, however, and, annually and nationally, are responsible for only a small fraction of total gun-crime. As bizarre as Bloom's claim was, it was, indeed, a very rare attempt by a public leftist to divine a single root cause for American gun-violence, and it is interesting that Bloom, himself, never once blamed guns, per se.
Why does America's political left drive itself to distraction seeking the root social causes for every societal ill in existence, except, of course, for that of gun violence?
Would seeking the root causes of gun-related crime focus too much attention on the graphic violence meted out, in ever-greater measure, by television, movies and other media?
In countries where target-shooting is a national pastime, and where it is not uncommon for father-and-son pairs to board public transport with rifles slung across their torsos, why is gun-violence almost completely non-existent? Obviously, something other than mere gun-ownership is responsible for the violence plaguing America.
The media elite of Hollywood and New York are some of the most culturally influential people in the world, and they are among this nation's most vocal gun-control advocates.
By way of movies, music, and television, these elites are also the world's most active promoters of antisocial behavior, including gun-violence.
America's political left is culpable here, as well: as a group, the media is the Democrat Party's staunchest political ally, and, refusing to bite the hand that feeds, liberals have doggedly, hypocritically refused to pin certain root-cause labels where they truly belong.
Many young people, here and abroad, now bedight their bodies with piercings and tattoos in efforts to emulate the deranged freaks (of all races) cavorting about on MTV. The media daily exert a direct, pernicious influence on the comportment of millions of gullible youngsters. Our common culture, mores, and manners (in short, our future ability to live together, peacefully) have all been systematically wrecked -- sold out for money -- by the media elite.
We have been told by the press that no provable link exists between media violence/raunchiness and the undeniable coarsening of our society.
This deliberate fabrication is propaganda promulgated to protect the moneyed interests of the entertainment industry, and is specifically tailored to preempt any who might wish to hold them legally/ethically accountable for the catastrophic cultural/moral damage they have wrought.
Television and movies inspire violence and general raunchiness. Thuggish music and videos openly lionize profane, criminal behavior.
I refuse to support the gun-control lobby because its leftist base supports those who would destroy us.
I disdain the NRA because, not unlike abortion-rights fanatics, its intractability stems from an irrational fear of losing the right entire.
If Blood Meridian's barbaric judge ever really stalked this earth, then, based on the book's witness to his lust for bedlam, he is now stewing in Hell and laughing at the intellectual and political mess that we, the living, have made of this whole debate.