Of relevance to this week’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, this article first published by Global Research on June 2016 addresses the socioeconomic and cultural factors which trigger gun violence.
Violence is driven by socioeconomic and cultural factors, not the mere presence of firearms. The statistics clearly show this, and the very same statistics manipulated by so-called “gun control advocates” irrefutably contradicts their agenda’s premise when put into proper context. Worse yet, the obsession over gun control sidelines the urgency needed to address issues like poor education and dismal economic prospects for those living in the most destitute and violence-stricken neighborhoods in our country.
UK vs. Japan: 2 Unarmed Societies, 2 Vastly Different Homicide Rates.
Despite both nations being disarmed and having almost no “gun-related homicides,” according to UN statistics*, Japan and the UK still have an astronomical gap in homicide rates. Why? A visit to either country reveals an entirely different culture, education system, infrastructure, and socioeconomic paradigm. This is why despite Japan having a much larger population, even total homicides are lower than the comparatively more violent but less populated United Kingdom – with homicide rates in the UK nearly 3 times higher than those in Japan.
According to the UN’s study, which includes the most recent annual data available, Japan, with a population of roughly 130 million, had a mere 506 homicides over the stretch of a single year. Conversely, the UK, with less than half of Japan’s population (53 million) had 722 homicides. The rates per 100,000 people for Japan and the UK are 0.4 and 1.2 respectively. The UK, despite being an unarmed population, and having virtually no gun violence, still has 3 times the murder rate than the nation of Japan. Those that are murdered in the UK or Japan, are just as dead as any human being murdered by a gun in the United States. And clearly, this indicates that the presence of guns, or their banning, is not a significant factor driving homicides and violence.
UN’s 2011 Homicide Study – .pdf available here.
Gun Control Doesn’t Work – Ask Mexico.
Despite the hundreds of millions of guns to be found across the United States, with tens of millions of American citizens armed – some very heavily, the homicide rate of America is still below the global average of about 7 homicides per 100,000 people. The US’ homicide rate? 4.8 murders per 100,000.
A nation like Mexico – which is conveniently dismissed by gun control advocates, has – according to the UN – a homicide rate of 22.7 murders per 100,000 people, despite having vastly stricter gun control laws on the books. A visit to Mexico and the United States would, like visiting Japan and the UK, reveal a starkly different culture, education system, infrastructure, and socioeconomic landscape. Socioeconomic factors drive Mexico’s rampant violence – not a lack of gun control laws.
Logical Fallacy of Focusing on “Gun-Related Homicides”
It is true that “gun-related homicides” are higher in the US than other nations in a carefully selected “industrialized nations” category – however it can also be said there are more snowmobile deaths in Michigan than all of America’s southern states combined.
However, in comparing Michigan and America’s sub-tropical region, the problem isn’t snowmobiles, the problem is reckless behavior. Comparing only “gun-related homicides” in the United States with other nations is similarly dishonest, intellectual bankrupt, and statistically invalid. The problem is homicide and violence in general – not merely the means with which a murder is committed. A human being stabbed to death with a knife or throttled to death with one’s bare hands, is just as dead as a human being shot with a pistol, shotgun, or “assault rifle.”
A serious dialogue in tackling violence cannot begin until “violence” in and of itself is recognized as the problem – and not merely a myopic fixation on one of many implements that can be used to commit acts of violence. Indeed, guns do enable people to proficiently kill large numbers of people – but then again, so we are told by the US government, a handful of men with box cutters managed to kill 3,000 innocent people on the morning of September 11, 2001 – with not a single shot fired.
The human capacity to commit violence is not incumbered by a lack of means to do so. Banning certain implements will not deter an individual, or group of individuals from harming others if that is their intent. As the UK’s disarmed but still violent society illustrates, merely banning guns is not the solution. The differences between Japan and the UK are not legal – but socioeconomic and cultural. In the UK, violence in general is the problem. A focus on the implements rather than the factors that drive it, is like treating a cancer by nursing the symptoms. It is a logical fallacy – and ultimately a fatal one.
Obsession with “Assault Rifles”
According to the FBI’s 2011 analysis of homicide in the United States, out of 8,500 gun-related homicides, only 323 (3%) were committed using rifles of any kind – including “assault rifles.” Compared to knives and other cutting instruments (1,694), blunt objects (496), and bare hands/feet (728), rifles should be the least of the honest “gun control” advocate’s concerns.
The obsession with “assault rifles” for most is psychological, irrational, and a result of a manipulative mass media, blowing out of proportion what are superficially horrific “massacres,” but statistically rare (a fraction of 1% of all gun violence). On an institutional level, the obsession with “assault rifles” stems from the fact that semi-automatic rifles are the standard arms of modern combat, just as muskets were when the 2nd Amendment was first put to parchment. For a runaway tyranny, tens of millions of rifles in the hands of its citizenry poses a major obstacle for further exploitation and expansion both at home and abroad.
Handguns in the most destitute parts of the United States, driven by poor education, poor economic prospects, and rampant drug crime, drive the vast majority of “gun-related homicides.” Solving this problem means empowering these people with a proper education, and the means to make for themselves a viable local economy as well as acquire the skills necessary to participate socially and economically on a national level.
By addressing the root of violence, it would also empower disenfranchised people to take for themselves a larger percentage of the nation’s wealth – something the current ruling elite are demonstrably not interested in. So the violence will continue for the sake of preserving the wealth and influence of corporate-financier special interests, while attempts to disarm the public will be made to allow for that wealth and influence to be expanded further yet at our expense.
End the Debate Through Organization and Deterrence
1. Address the Real Cause of Violence: Looking over the UN’s statistics and then studying the multitude of factors in each country driving total homicide rates can give us a glimpse into both the cause of violence and real solutions for reducing violence. Cherry picking weapon-related homicides to suit one’s political proclivities at the expense of ignoring systemic violence is not only intellectually and morally depraved, but negligent as well.
The most violence-stricken nations – nations like Honduras, El Salvador, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Sudan, Columbia, Puerto Rico – suffer from tremendous socioeconomic disparity, a lack of education, political turmoil, rampant drug gangs, and even low intensity civil wars and proxy invasions fueled by Fortune 500 exploitation.
Guns did not create these conditions – guns are not even manifestations of the turmoil spurring on the violence, rather the abuse of firearms are – the runaway fever of a bacterial infection. Treating a fever alone will not cure a serious infection – and to ignore the infection and myopically fixate on the fever alone will cost the patient their life.
Conversely, education, socioeconomic development, technological progress and the leveraging of technology to empower the downtrodden, impoverished, and violence prone, are the antibiotics used to battle and ultimately cure the infection.
The body’s ability to induce a fever is a natural defense against infection – as an armed population is a natural defense against armed gangs, despotic governments, and foreign invaders. The fever is only dangerous if left unattended and if chronic infection beyond the fever’s ability to suppress it sets in. Disarming a population is analogous of disarming the body of its natural defenses, an immunodeficiency which turns routine sickness into life-threatening conditions.Mexico’s decision to disarm law abiding citizens across its nation has left millions defenseless in the face of drug gangs who have no intention of honoring Mexico’s gun control laws – the result is horrific violence that threatens the very survival of Mexico as a nation.
Commit to addressing all violence – not just “gun related” crime, and force the “gun control” advocates to both recognize the true cause of crime and commit to facing it. Will an honest individual argue against stopping all murder as opposed to only “gun-related homicide?” Will an honest individual argue againstimproving education and socioeconomic prospects for poverty-stricken, violent segments of the population? Will an honest person look at the inner-cities of America and honestly say simply banning guns will cause rainbows to shine and progress to finally be made toward lifting people out of socioeconomic stagnation? Do honest individuals or media personalities only cry to “ban guns” on the rare occasion suburban children are killed, when people in the inner-city face death on a daily basis? An honest person would not.
2. Get Organized Locally: It is clear that the “gun control” agenda peddled by the US government and the global corporate-financier interests that direct its policies, is aimed at subjugating civilization. This is the same government that willfully lied to the American people regarding “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq to trigger a decade-long war that cost a million innocent Iraqis their lives, along with thousands of US troops sent off to hunt the non-existent weapons and fight terrorists funded and armed by America’s own allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A government interested in stemming violence and protecting innocent life, they are not.
Trying to debate a criminal who only debates as a means of stalling for time and obfuscating his ceaseless efforts to exploit, dominate, and destroy all around him, is an exercise in futility. There is no debating or negotiating with a criminal, nor with an illegitimate, criminal government. The interests of Wall Street and London driving American and European politics will not be “convinced” to end their assault on human freedom through clever debate.
When confronting a belligerent adversary, the first priority should be avoiding conflict – be it rhetorical and political, or upon the battlefield. This is not a tenant of pacifism – but rather a stratagem devised by renowned Chinese warlord, Sun Tzu in his treatise, The Art of War:
“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
The idea is to pose a level of martial, economic, and social prowess, vigilance, and preparedness – denying your adversary even the opportunity of feasibly confronting you. It also involves imposing your will upon the adversary, rather than simply responding to a series of your adversary’s provocations. It cannot be said of America’s firearms owners that they possess any of these qualities – which is why their rights and freedoms are being slowly subverted, and the battle slowly taken from them.
Getting organized locally, first as a shooting club, then as community activists involved heavily with local law enforcement, volunteer firefighters, disaster response, gun safety and marksmanship courses, competitions, and so on creates a physical infrastructure, a coordinated, active and well exercised armed citizenry capable of facing a myriad of adversity together as a community, for their community.
For each county in the United States to have such an organization, guided by American values as documented in the US Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, would collectively create a deterrence that would shut down the “gun debate” before it even started. Banning guns would be as feasible as banning gravity.
Such an organization being present and prepared for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, would be able to maintain law and order in a personal, local way – a way federal agents, troops and mass-murdering Blackwater mercenaries could not compete against. Such an organization would have immediately went into action, and FEMA would have been left at a roadblock outside New Orleans, barred from meddling in the affairs of a responsible, sovereign citizenry.
Getting organized is the only solution. Anything less will lead to the slow but sure, incremental erosion of our rights and ability to address our responsibilities in the manner of our own choosing. Endlessly debating professional propagandists is a necessity, but this alone will never succeed. Presenting a corrupt, tyrannical government with the organizational capacity to defend our rights both preserves these rights, and prevents conflict from even occurring in the first place. That such organizational capacities would include local law enforcement, and ideally even the National Guard, would take organized force out of the hands of special interest, and put them back in the hands of the people for whom they were formed to defend in the first place.
Getting organized locally can be as simple as two people gathering around a table for a preliminary meeting, going to the range to responsibly exercise their rights as firearms owners, or organizing a firearms safety course through local law enforcement. It seems like a small step to take, one that will not make much of a difference, but a single viable model can provide an example for others to replicate across the country, in parallel and to great effect. Those groups that aim on being balanced, responsible, inclusive, representative of all who live in their community, objective, and attempt to reach out to everyone, especially those who stand against the right to bear arms, will be amongst the most successful.
Additionally, such organizations must by necessity address the actual causes of violence through improving education, infrastructure, and economic prospects on a local level – as is the duty of all responsible, well-informed citizens. Having weapons is not enough if you have no means of sustaining yourself socially, economically, or logistically. Building a strong, self-reliant community, and a nation built up of such communities is the other necessary ingredient needed to sustainably preserve freedom.
The first county that actually reduces crime by addressing its causes rather than endlessly fighting its symptoms, and is able to successfully communicate that success, will have erected a mile-high brick wall for “gun control” advocates to climb over. It is likely that even opponents of gun ownership will see activism addressing many of their own political causes, including poverty, education, and economic disparity, and realize the best option is not animosity and endless debate, but pragmatism and cooperation in the streets.
Such organizations expanding in parallel across the country will have an incremental effect on reversing the tide that has been set in motion by special interests posing as “progressives” and manipulating the minds of the well-intentioned the world over. It was through slow, incremental regression that got America to where it is today – and it will take lots of hard, patient work to progress forward.
The corporate-financier driven mass-media – be they faux “left” and anti-gun, or faux “right” and pro-gun, are here to ensure we chase our tails endlessly in debate while the government pragmatically eliminates our ability to arm ourselves, all while the violence continues unabated. The purpose is to prevent us from stepping back, and actually doing something constructive to both protect our rights and improve the conditions our communities are suffering from. We are subconsciously preparing for a confrontation we will never win, because it is one that will be “pushed back” indefinitely until all the weapons have been banned, confiscated, or sufficiently regulated out of practical use.
Heed the words of Sun Tzu – stop holding your breath for a battle you should not want to fight in the first place, and instead, begin building locally the organizational capacity and deterrence to render moot gun control advocacy and the insidious greed of special interests that drive it.
Get organized, and end the “gun debate” forever.
* The complete UN study, from the UN’s website in .pdf format can be found here.