Magazine article Variety

"Why Are So Many Americans So Seduced by the Destructive Potential of Guns?"

Magazine article Variety

"Why Are So Many Americans So Seduced by the Destructive Potential of Guns?"

Article excerpt

So now we're going to have a conversation about guns? After every mass shooting, America gathers itself and promises to ponder the realities of our country's gun violence. After this or that shocking atrocity, we tell ourselves we will finally get serious about addressing this blight.

And then of course we don't.

We natter on about background checks and the Second Amendment while the deeper question remains: Why are so many Americans so seduced by the destructive potential of guns and so enthralled with violence itself? When will the conversation take that turn? We are a perversely violent culture; our 300 million citizens are more likely to pick up a gun and shoot someone than, say, a similar number of Europeans. The NRA and its followers point to violent entertainment - some of which they sponsor - as the culprit, and the mainstream media largely tags along. Our nations true saturation with killing and destruction, though, is largely ignored.

Consider our de facto national pastime. NFL football has become so ferocious that its practitioners routinely suffer brain damage. …

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