Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

W.J. Astore: Guns and Grievances

The news out of Orlando is shocking. Another mass shooting in America. Another 50+ people dead with an additional 50+ wounded. And then I saw this headline:

“America has 4.4% of the world’s population, but almost 50% of the civilian-owned guns around the world”

The ready availability of guns in America, to include military-style assault weapons with 30-round clips, makes it far easier for shooters bent on murder to kill large numbers of people. It doesn’t matter what you call these shooters, whether you label them terrorists or lone wolves or crazed lunatics or whatever. Apparently the latest shooter bought his guns legally, had a grievance against gay people, expressed some last-minute allegiance to ISIS, and then started blasting away at innocent people in a club that was friendly to gays.

Sure, guns alone are not to blame. The primary person to blame is the shooter/murderer himself. But (to repeat myself) the guns sure make it a lot easier to kill, and in large numbers.

We live in a sick society, often a very violent one, certainly a disturbed one, one that places enormous stress on people. Another exceptional headline that I first heard on Bill Maher is that America, again with 4.4% of the world’s population,takes 75% of the world’s prescription drugs.

Guns and drugs – the two don’t mix, even when they’re legal. Americans are over-armed and over-medicated. Add to that mix the fact that Americans are under-educated, at least compared to our peers in the developed world, and you truly have a toxic brew.

Over-armed, over-medicated, and under-educated: surely this is not what our leaders have in mind when they call us the exceptional nation, the indispensable one, the greatest on earth. Is it?

Copyright 2016 W.J. Astore who blogs at Bracing Views.


Guns look way too cool in our movies

2 comments on “W.J. Astore: Guns and Grievances

  1. tmezpoetry
    June 13, 2016

    I’m sorry but if this is shocking, then we’ve had our head in the sand too long. And what does prescription drugs have to do with it or even being uneducated? The man who shot up the theater was very educated. This is about someone feeling entitled to take another life. This is about hate without regard to however one dresses up the issue.


  2. mlord102014
    June 13, 2016

    The tragedy of Orlando is about guns and death but it gives Trump a boost and that is the greatest of all tragedies. I thought about how much i and the world in which i live will miss Obama.

    Liked by 1 person

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