“Money, it’s a gas / Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash / New car, caviar, four-star daydream / Think I’ll buy me a football team” ¬– Money, Roger Waters, from the Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon
After four mass shootings in one week – two on the same day – America said “Enough of this shit” and demanded implementation of laws that would stop the sale of automatic weapons and complicate gun sales to the mentally ill, to those under restraining orders, to people on the “no-fly” lists, and to other, similar untrustworthy types. As it turns out, the vast majority of Americans are in favor of these laws, including those who own guns, and have wanted these laws in place for years.
Those who are opposed to such life-saving logic include most members of our government and those who work in the White House oval office. They want the money given to them by the gun manufacturers and their lobbyists, and by those who are so paranoid that they should be the very first to be denied weapons.
So, our president, the one with the world’s greatest “stupid-to-power” ratio, hauled out the old trope about how these murders are the fault of violent video games. He uttered this pathetic nonsense just as the El Paso death count went up to 22. Their bodies were still warm when Trump opened his piehole and let the tweets loose.
Giving credit where credit is due, the Entertainment Software Association was prepared. As quoted in The Hollywood Reporter (the most logical place to follow coverage of our game show host turned commandant-in-chief), “More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide … Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.”
Right-wing gun nut zombie-parrots are quick to point out that 14 years ago Senator Hilary Clinton called for regulation of video games that would criminalize the sale of “violent” games to minors. They’re absolutely right: Clinton did indeed spout this bullshit. Whereas it’s quite sweet to see the Rapid Right say anything in support of Hilary, it is completely irrelevant.
In other words, right here on our ever-warming Earth, coyotes are eating our pets. They are not eating roadrunners. There’s a difference between cartoon violence and real violence. Otherwise, millions of Americans would have been blinded after watching The Three Stooges.
Coyotes, roadrunners, the Three Stooges. No, I’m not trivializing the situation. Not in the least. I’m reporting the absurd lengths Trump and the Rabid Right goes to in order to protect our right to walk into shopping halls and entertainment venues and slaughter dozens of human beings within a couple of minutes.
Video games are popular all over the world. Many of them are created, in whole or in part, in Japan, a nation whose culture is no less “violent” than that of America. Yet the intentional murder rate per 100,000 people in America is 5.3 and the intentional murder rate per 100,000 people in Japan is 0.2. That’s zero-point-two, compared to five-point-three here in the States.
Canada, which shares a cultural and commercial heritage with ours, has an intentional murder rate per 100,000 people of 1.8. Same goddamn video games, same language (by and large), same culture, and a small fraction of America’s homicide rate. (Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
Now let’s look at civilian gun ownership. In Canada, 34.7 per 100. In Japan, 0.3 per 100. In the United States of America – drum roll, please – it’s 120.5 guns per 100 civilians. (Source: Small Arms Survey 2017)
To put it another way, in 2017 the good ol’ USA our population was 326,474,000 humans, and we’ve managed to spread 393,347,000 guns among all those folks. That includes the insane, those who are under restraining orders, suspected terrorists, and folks with criminal records who are not allowed to vote but are allowed to buy guns if they’re smart enough to Google “gun show.”
Hey, President Dipshit: Guns don’t kill. Gun owners kill. Let’s get them out of the hands of the looneys… even those who are looney enough to support you.
(R. Crumb’s long-time view of our president courtesy of my ol’ pal and fellow Seedling John Krug)