Democrats continue to blame the NRA for any and all gun violence in the United States, most recently after the recent shooting in Virginia Beach. According to Democrats and the main stream media, all gun violence stems from gun advocates who have joined together to support the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. Gun violence does not start with the NRA as congressional leaders would have you to believe.
The NRA didn’t promote this shooting, nor did it support this shooting. The NRA also has a long history of promoting firearms education and safety programs. The NRA has been an outspoken advocate in favor of common sense measures to help make schools safer. This is not the story you will hear from the liberal left as they are in an all out money grab to take on President Trump in 2020. Just take Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for example. She was an NRA supporter when it was convenient, but now that she needs money from the radical left, she’s against them.
Mass shootings have several causes and not a single one of them is the fact that private citizens are able to own guns. One of the large issues that many conservatives have addressed is regarding mental health. Ask any conservative if they will support mental health initiatives to help identify and treat those with issues that may become violent offenders and I believe you would get a resounding yes. Mental health has been an underfunded and underutilized segment of healthcare for many years. Many articles have been written discussing how a decrease in mental health institutions and facilities has caused a mental health crisis across the US. A lot of societal issues could benefit from properly funded and utilized mental health facilities. Contrary to what many conservatives will say, I do not believe the issue begins and ends in mental health alone and other areas should be considered.
A second issue contributing to gun violence, in my opinion, is popular culture. The reality TV culture that we live in makes everyone want to be popular. Everyone wants to live the lavish lifestyle of a Kardashian or to be remembered for doing something, even if it is violent and costs someone else their life. The constant coverage that violent shooters receive makes them cultural icons. This is a tendency we have seen throughout US history (remember Bonnie and Clyde, Ted Bundy, Al Capone, etc.) where those who commit evil acts are almost seen as cultural heroes. The main stream media parades the names of mass shooters across social media and television for weeks following events in an effort to push their gun control agenda. Instead of simply reporting on the tragedy, every detail of the life of the shooter is uncovered and they are idolized by some who want popularity and fame. This contributes to the societal fascination in violent crime and the fame that can be obtained through committing it.
Another issue is the continued move to desensitize violence. For years, Hollywood has popularized violence, guns, and death through movies and television shows. Popular video games promote shootings and death long before an individual understands the inherent value of a human life. We speak out against mass shootings and other violent crimes in real life, but we are willing to let anyone over the age of 13 years old watch a movie where people are killed for basic disagreements. On a recent post on imdb.com, the poster listed 18 movies that they watched which referenced school shootings. Where is the outcry over this violence on TV and film where a school shooting is normalized?
Video games do not help the cause in relation to gun violence either. In a recent survey, over 60% of teenagers reported playing the game Fortnite, which promotes the shooting of others in an effort to “win” a battle. The concerning part of the survey, only 28% of parents who reported an 8-17 year old child playing the game were concerned about their exposure to violence. The description of the game on the ESRB website has this in the description, “Battles are highlighted by frequent gunfire, explosions, and cries of pain.” Why are only 28% of these parents concerned with the exposure to violence of their 8 year olds? Several studies have also highlighted the concern with video games.
If we want to see why we have an increase in gun and violent crimes, we do not have to look very far. We have created a culture that no longer understands the value of a human life. Anyone can see a person die on the movie screen then walk across the red carpet and accept a reward for best actor. Children see their characters in video games shoot others and the excitement they generate through killing someone virtually, at an age when they do not understand the concept of death. The problem is not the NRA, nor is the problem gun owners. The problem is society and our infatuation with violence.
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