By Chris Lowe
My circle of Facebook connection has been circulating information about efforts to reduce transportation related deaths particularly car-on-bike and car-on-pedestrian deaths to zero. Why is a similar aim to reduce murder to zero ridiculous? To change the culture to reduce the idea that interpersonal violence can solve problems and is a legitimate way to do so?
My friends who have been circulating this story seem to agree with the story frame itself, which treats voluntary efforts to get people to think about being less violent as ridiculous. At least one appears to see it as an effective rejoinder to anti-gun arguments.
When I was a kid in the 1960s, there was active education against switchblades, and switchblades and knuckle-dusters were illegal in some states. I am not sure if Second Amendment misinterpretation and mania has led to collateral protection of the right to pulverize faces and intimidate that way too.
But the bigger point is that this *doesn’t* seem ridiculous to everyone in Britain because their level of murder overall and their level of gun murders are phenomenally lower than ours. In the U.S., gun nut culture has inured us, made us fatalistic, or has actively persuaded us into illusions that possession of guns gives us control over our lives.
I don’t have much in the way of policy that I want to pursue at the moment. But I refuse to be browbeaten into the idea that it is ridiculous for me to want less murder, to want to eradicate murder, to identify the superiority of guns as tools for murder, to identify the illusions of guns as sources of power and control, and to identify the fetishization and idolization of guns tied to the illusions of power as an important obstacle to work for actual social equality, equity, and justice, that would provide actual security.
And just to be crystal clear on the subject, the dominant U.S. gun rights ideology is hyper-individualist pro-capitalist gun rights ideology that actively promotes the kind of individualism that opposes efforts at social justice or cooperation for mutual security in our own communities by fair distribution of social goods and mutual provision for basic needs.
Gun rights culture is pro-capitalist and anti-socialist in the U.S.