It is a tragedy what happened in Newtown Connecticut, 28 people dead, 20 of them children. I cannot watch it for a number of reasons. One is the sorrow I feel for the children and their families and genuine sympathisers. Then there is the hypocrisy of the rest of the squads that are flocking to the area. The wimp Obama in the lead. These tragedies must end he bleats. But even though he is in his last term and does not have to win re-election he backs away from taking on the NRA. Then the mass media the same. I am not in favor of taking away the right of working class people to own a gun, this would leave only the capitalist state and the rich armed, but I am in favor of two things.
But before we go on to an alternative let us think about a missing detail that is not being discussed at this time of Newtown. Drones. Obama weeps about Newtown but the US government is slaughtering people, children, women and men in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Leave aside Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran. CNN estimates that 400 targeted killings have been carried out in these three countries and 3,000 people have died overall. In Pakistan alone Obama ordered over 280 drone strikes, that is over 6 times more hits than Bush in his 8 years. Living under a drone war is living under "mass collective torture." The US has a secret kill list. This is intended to go on. As one CIA killer said the thing about drone attacks is it is like using a lawn mower, when you have finished the grass grows again so you have to mow again.
Back to the approach to gun ownership in the US. As I say i am not in favor of taking the guns away from everybody as this would leave only the capitalist state and the rich armed. They would use these weapons to put down the working class. But I am in favor of sensible procedures for people to buy guns and a restriction on the number of guns per person, perhaps two per person and the types of guns. And a restriction on the size of cartridge. This would slow things down a bit.
On top of that a background check for all that is comprehensive. Even over 70% of the NRA members want all to have background checks. But background checks should be more than just state of mind. There are economic factors, social factors, records of violence all should have to be taken into account.
Guns in society are not inevitable pathways to violent societies. in Switzerland everybody owns a gun and has to be able to shoot. But it is one of the least violent countries in the world. Why. Because it has a high living standard, its has very good social standards, housing and health care and education. People have a place for themselves and a certain stability even though it is a capitalist country.
The US on the other hand has mass poverty. It has mass racist and sexist division as the extreme wealthy whip up division to hold on to their wealth through divide and rule and repression. It also has many many people severely damaged through the countless wars it has fought to defend the loot it has plundered from other countries and is still looting, for example the oil, gas, and other wealth from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America.
It also has the extreme glorification of violence. The mother of this young boy who is said to have done the shootings bought the guns and taught him to shoot herself. Incredible!!!!! Then he shoots her first.
Then you have the video games where it is pretty much shootins and blowings up non stop. Then you have the movies where unless somebody or somebodies are blown up in the first few minutes and then regularly throughout they are thought to be unwatchable. Who did the thugs at the Republican conference bring to talk to them. Make My Day Eastwood, best known for the scene where he tries to provoke his victim into doing something so he as a cop could kill him. If this is not glorifying violence I do not know what is. As I say incredible.
A thoroughgoing transformation of society is all that can end the violence in this country. The 1% must stop holding the wealth and holding down the 99%. The only way that the violence will end in the US is by changing society. By a mass movement of the working class which will fight for a better life for all. This is the only way.
- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Internal lives of Revolutionary Organizations
- Socialist Alternative members: Questions and Answers
- Sanders: Our Alternative
- The Nature of the New European Left
- Catastrophic Climate Change: Caused by Capitalism
- University of California workers and Unions
- An Invitation to Our Readers
- Facts For Working People Weekly Phone Conferences and Discussions