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Monday, September 16, 2013

Anger Managment USA

Violence permeates so many aspects of American culture that it’s difficult to name one sector that doesn’t have a vicious side. The National Football League recently made a $765 million settlement with players so that they will shut up about head injuries and accept this as a cost of doing business in this $10 billion a year industry. Fans of the sport are complicit in their silence and their attitude seems to be, “Give us our ultra-violent football and don’t tell us about the brain injuries. We don’t care.” What is so disturbing about football is how many fans relish the most violent and moronic aspects of the game. Violence is an integral part of the sport.

Gun violence is so common that it’s depressing for me to even mention it in passing. The film industry hypes violence to such an appalling degree that you would think that gun manufacturers have paid Hollywood for product placement. Any hint of gun control has died a violent death in America and I doubt any politician will have the courage to go against the gun lobby in the foreseeable future. Congratulations, gun nuts. You won and common sense has lost.

In the recent movie Now You See Me, Now You Don’t about a group of magicians who use deception to rob banks the action by the part of the police and FBI characters was so completely out of proportion to the crimes being committed it was practically criminal. The swindlers in the film used no violence in their deeds yet the cops were running around everywhere with guns blazing and actually shooting at unarmed suspects.

In life imitates art two innocent bystanders were recently shot by New York police officers who were trying to apprehend an obviously mentally ill suspect on a crowded street. And another unarmed man was shot dead by police in North Carolina.

Perhaps I am made more aware of America’s fascination with guns and violence since I live in a culture relatively free of these curses. I can’t even remember hearing of a gun death in all my years in Valencia and ditto that for armed robberies. It would take someone much more qualified than I to even mount a theory as to just why Spain and the rest of Europe has so much less violent crime than the United States but if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to offer a theory I would blame our entertainment industry for much of our troubles. It may also have something to do with the fact that it is almost impossible to buy a firearm in Europe but don't tell the gun nuts.


  1. Well, that and the ease of buying a weapon in the US. Last year I was in a Wallmart in OK and asked about buying a gun. They said all I needed was a driving licence (even a Spanish one would do). Now I'm told that the same shop is regularly out of bullets as the Oklahomans are stashing them ready for when (?!!?) the Government comes in to control their firearms.
    (In the end, I bought a sling-shot for a Christmas present - the shop pretended my DL was from Puerto Rico - don't tell Trafico!).

    1. I used to buy hundreds of rounds of ammunition without an ID when I was a 17 year old high school kid. And no, we weren't waging a civil war; we just used to like to shoot up shit.


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