Guns in America = Metal Detectors and X-Ray Machines in Movie Theaters?

Civil unrest in America? Looks that way to 'outsider' Henry Porter, who wrote for The Guardian in September 2013 that there have been 360,000 deaths by firearms in the U.S. since 9/11. Our annual death toll from guns is over 32,000 and climbing, even though crime rates have been on the decline since the 1980s. Porter wrote his article two years ago, before the crazed events of the last 12 days, when a gunman opened fire at a military recruitment center and a lone gunman shot patrons in a movie theater showing Amy Schumer's 'Trainwreck'. I am sure that during this same time-period, as yet uncounted women have been shot and killed by husbands and boyfriends - or men they rejected.
There are even more shocking statistics. Porter writes that from stats derived from the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, and icasualties.orghttp://icasualties.org, an organization that tracks military fatalities, that from the 'first casualties in the battle of Lexington to recent operations in Afghanistan, the death toll is 1,171,177. By contrast, the number killed by firearms, including suicides, since 1968 (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI), death by guns totals 1,384,171.
He states 'that 212,994 more Americans lost their lives from firearms in the last 45 years than in ALL the wars involving the US, a staggering fact, particularly when placed in the context of America's safety-conscious initiatives involving 'secondary smoke' and highway safety.
Why Porter's article came up on my iPhone screen this morning is pure serendipity, but it dovetails neatly with the Houston Chron's reprint of a Los Angeles Times article titled 'Shooting renews movie security issue'. I immediately had visions of standing in line for a movie and moving through a set-up similar to TSA lines at airports. We, the people, simply want to see a movie, yet must wait in both a ticket line and a security line, undergo pat downs and X-rays. Must we take off our shoes too?
Perhaps this scenario will not happen because security measures cost lots of money. The LA Times article estimates that maintaining a strong security installation at a multiplex could cost between $250,000 and $1 million annually. With more and more of us binging at home on made-for-small-screen films, it's unlikely that theater security will take off. When we go to a movie theater, we will just take our chances. And we'll be ever more cognizant of the fact that some movies - like Amy Schumer's 'Trainwreck', or perhaps a Michael Moore film, might present opportunities for the fearful among us to make a statement with a gun.
I call this domestic terrorism, pure and simple. Terrorism, usually acted out by lone white men who are very, very angry and who feel powerless without a lethal weapon. And so often they shoot themselves in the process of killing others. What statement are they making? That all is for naught when daily life now includes lots of people of color and women on the move who don't seem to 'know their place'?  Do these white men fear - without being able to articulate the fear - that a white man's universal superiority and command over all others has diminished? Do they believe that a gun puts the man 'in charge' once again?
Porter says that after talking with American friends, he senses despair and the feeling that nothing will change because the gun lobby is way too powerful. Might it be possible, he writes, that international pressure may be one way of reducing the slaughter in America? Does gun violence in America demand international intervention? And would the U.S. intervene in another country's business, if 360,000 of its citizens were shot and killed in episodes that had little or nothing to do with 9/11 and international terror? Remember the elementary school children at Sandy Hook? The folks in the theater in Arizona?
America, we have an issue.



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