Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
February 5, 2013
After the horrific massacre of 20 little children at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut in December, US society is undergoing another phase of acute polarization pitting right wing gun fetishists against what we may call centrist and leftist gunophobes.
This conflict is being orchestrated by cynical political manipulators. What follows is a warning to persons of good will that this problem is so intractable that it is probably impossible to solve in the current situation of US society, and engagement on either side of the current acrimonious conflict is likely to be futile.
Tragic mass shootings like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Aurora, Colorado deserve to be thoroughly investigated, and the default explanation of the deranged lone gunman needs to be subjected to critical scrutiny. In each of these cases, there are troubling reports of second shooters or other participants whose presence has not been satisfactorily explained. But what of the thousands of Americans who die as a result of gun violence which actually does represent a sociological phenomenon? If this society is pervaded by barbaric violence, how can the incidence of this barbaric violence be reduced? Gun-control measures by themselves cannot provide a solution.
The pacification of modern US society, including a radical de-emphasis of the obsessive social significance of firearms, is a task that forces us to contemplate a vast new campaign for the eradication of unemployment, underemployment, poverty, despair, ignorance, illiteracy, homelessness, needless morbidity and mortality, and related social problems.
As novel as it might sound for those who have followed the current exchanges on guns pro and con, the best weapons against gun violence will turn out to be the de-globalization and re-industrialization of the US economy, leading through the creation of 30 million well-paid jobs to a situation of permanent full employment. When dealing with a sick society like this one, we must treat causes, and not just the symptoms. It is this overriding necessity which the current gun debate is designed to obscure.