Sunday, October 4, 2015

the gun song

If it weren't so tragic, it might be comical. We all know how this plays out - there will continue to be talk and articles and posts about guns, gun violence, and gun control and mental health for maybe the next 3 or 4 days, and then we'll snap back to seeing endless loop kitten videos - nothing will be done, nothing will change. To call our national response routine would be an understatement. 

In the last few years, I've traveled to different parts of the world; India, the Caribbean, and recently, Amsterdam. When people from other countries learn that I'm from the United States, there is the inevitable question about the U.S. and our cultural relationship with guns. Embarrassingly, this is what we are known for around the world. 

Piteous and absurd, the notion of freedom has somehow become conflated with a perverted reading of the 2nd amendment, so much so that the two might never be teased apart. Nor, do I believe, is it possible any longer to remove gun culture from our national identity. It is as undeniable and almost as shameful a part of our country's history as slavery and Jim Crow. From the Revolutionary War, to the Old West, prohibition era gangsters, organized crime, and drug wars - guns are as American as baseball and apple pie.
"All you have to do is move your little finger and you can change the world."

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