Firearms Don't Cause Mass Shootings - Caplitalism Does!
There has been yet another mass murder. And, as usual, we have yet another round of calls from liberals for gun control or outright abolishment of firearms.
Firearms do not cause mass shootings and are NOT the cause of violence.
The high level of violence in the US - which is not limited to mass shootings, but also includes an epidemic level of suicide and murderous police shootings - is not caused by firearm ownership. Rather, it is caused by the underlying pathological socio-politico-economic structures and system of the US.
Gun control is "low hanging fruit". Firearms are an easy target to aim at and gun control serves as a distraction from actually looking at, understanding, and acting upon the very real and complex issues - the underlying systemic issues and problems - that are the root of such acts, while doing absolutely nothing to address them.
The vast majority of mass shooters are:
4) "middle class"
5) abusers with anger issues.
There are many causes for mass shootings, but the primary causes include:
Patrirchy - toxic masculinity, male fragility, and male entitlement
Alienation - social dislocation, lonerism, and lack of human connection and solidarity
A dog-eat-dog cult of the heroic individual that tells men that they are either "winners" or worthless and that getting ahead at any cost is *the* goal in life
Nihilistic and neurotic consumerism that is empty and unfulfilling
Changing demographics and economic desperation and alienation, which leads to perceived a loss of power, and in turn leads to anger, and hopelessness
Lack of universal healthcare, leading to poor access to and lack of support and mental health counseling (noting that the vast majority of the mentally ill are adamantly not a risk for causing violence, but rather at risk of being victimized)
Reactionary politics fed by conspiracy theories explaining the above.
There is one single thread running through each of these: capitalism.
You want to do something about Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Parkland, et al?
Don't fall for feel good, easy do nothing solutions like gun control, especially when doing so will be harmful to the vulnerable. Instead, look at ending the actual causes.
A few quick side notes:
Gun control in the US has always - ALWAYS - been a racist means to disarm people of color and other marginalized people - people who are the most vulnerable to acts of violence and the least likely to commit the sorts of actions that spur these calls. Gun control targets people who are most likely to be the victims of violence perpetrated by white Christian men, who are least likely to be well served by law enforcement, and deprives them of effective means of self defense.
Currently, the police in the US murder more people in a single year than every single mass shooter for the last 50 years. If you want to put a serious dent in shooting deaths? Disarming the police rather than people of color, women, Muslims, the working class, and other marginalized people. It will be far more effective and far, far less harmful.
Finally, FUCK THE NRA. They are a corporate lobbiest group, more interested in maintaing and expanding the power of capital than in civil rights.
Capitalism as the Cause of Violence
American Hyper-Capitalism Breeds The Lonely, Alienated Men Who Become Mass Killers
This Theorist Believes That Capitalism Creates Mass Murderers by Causing People to 'Malfunction'
We spoke to academic Franco 'Bifo' Berardi, who believes mass killings like the Germanwings tragedy could be caused by the effects of capitalism on our collective mental health.
Mass Shootings and the Moral Hazard of Capitalism
Does America Have a Gun Problem or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
A conversation between Jackson Katz and Douglas Kellner on Guns, Masculinities, and School Shootings
You won’t say it, so I will: capitalism is the underlying cause of mass shootings in the US
A society whose narrative is built on hyper-individualism and competition disenfranchises quicker than men can cope. And it makes them dangerous.
Gun Control and Racism
The (Really, Really) Racist History Of Gun Control In America
The origin of gun control — and its impact on black Americans — is being forgotten
Gun Contol's Racist Past And Present
Calls for strict gun control after mass shootings overlook how regulations have been used to disarm people of colour.
Gun Control's Racist Reality: The Liberal Argument Against Giving Police More Power
Sincere calls for stricter gun laws are wrong: Without racial justice, it will backfire on minority communities
It Isn’t Enough To Talk About Gun Control, The Roots Are Deeper
Adam Ruins Everything - Black People Are Left Out of the Gun Control Debate
The Racist History of Gun Control
The Secret History of Guns
The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.
The Racist Origin Of Gun Control Laws
Who Goes to Prison Due to Gun Control?
Firearms and the US Civil Rights Movement
The NRA Supported Gun Control When the Black Panthers Had the Weapons
Back in the 1960s, even the NRA supported gun control to disarm the group.
'Guns Kept People Alive' During The Civil Rights Movement
NPR Interview with Charles E. Cobb Jr., author of This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible
We Will Shoot Back By Akinyele Omowale Umoja
Review of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, by Akinyele Omowale Umoja
Review: ‘We Will Shoot Back’
Another review of the same book
Malcolm X on Gun Rights and Self Defense
The Effects of Gun Control on Marginalized Peoples
Gun Control's Negative Effects On Marginalized Groups
#Stay Woke: Gun Control’s Negative Effects On Marginalized Groups
(Commentary on the above article)
Gun Control, Mental Illness, and Black Trans and Lesbian Survival
Leftwing Support for Firearms Rights
Why Some Members of the Far Left Advocate Against Gun Control
A roundtable of leftist gun supporters voice their thoughts on police violence, mass shootings, and the role of guns in civil rights.
The Rifle on the Wall: A Left Argument for Gun Rights
My Guns Saved My Life When The State And The Liberals Left Me To Die.
When the state is unjust, citizens may use justifiable violence
Disarm the Cops First. Reflections on narratives of exceptional and systematic violence after the Parkland shootings.
A discussion paper written by a member of the Twin Cities General Defense Committee, Local 14 (does not represent the official positions of the Twin Cities GDC, the General Defense Committee in general, or the Industrial Workers of the World.)
Some Articles Featuring Left Wing and Marginalized Peoples Self Defense Organizations
Rise of the Armed Left
Threats from the right inspire a new left-wing gun culture.
Redneck Revolt: The Armed Leftwing Group That Wants To Stamp Out Fascism
Redneck Revolt: ‘Our basic message is: guns are fine, but racism is not’.
There are several commonalities between the far left and the far right – including a disdain for liberals – but the biggest divide is on the topic of intolerance
Redneck Revolt and the John Brown Gun Club
Antifa: The hard left's call to arms
The Caucasian Panthers: Meet the Rednecks Armed, Ready and ’Bout That Anti-Racist Life
A redneck revolt? Radical responses to Trumpism in the rural US
There are radical responses to Trumpism in rural and working class white communities. The story of one of them, called Redneck Revolt, reveals important lessons for the US left.
Redneck Revolt Builds Anti-Racist, Anti-Capitalist Movement With Working Class Whites
Why Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then EconomicsAddressing our systems of White supremacy cannot be dismissed as “identity politics.”
They Hate Racists. They Love Assault Rifles. Meet Redneck Revolt.
6 Gun Groups That Aren’t For White Right-Wingers
The Second Amendment is finding appeal left of center.
In Response to Far Right, LGBTQ Gun Group Hits Firing Line"
Often, queer people are thought of as being weak, as being defenseless, and I think in many ways this pushes back against that," a group co-founder said
Resources and Organizations
"Redneck Revolt is a national network of community defense projects from a broad spread of political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. It is a pro-worker, anti-racist organization that focuses on working class liberation from the oppressive systems which dominate our lives. In states where it is legal to practice armed community defense, many branches choose to become John Brown Gun Clubs, training ourselves and our communities in defense and mutual aid."
We teach queers to shoot. Then we teach others that we have done so. Armed queers don’t get bashed. We change the public perception of the sexual minorities, such that those who have in the past perceived them as safe targets for violence and hateful acts — beatings, assaults, rapes, murders — will realize that that now, a segment of the sexual minority population is now armed and effective with those arms. Those arms are also concealed, so they do not know which ones are safe to attack, and which are not…which they can harm as they have in the past, and which may draw a weapon and fight back.