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    How America May Amend Its Gun Culture

    Originally published for Radical Second Things. 

    During the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam war dragged on for over a decade. Opposition to a military draft that required youth to become involved in it, regardless of what they thought of it, led to the burning of draft cards, marches on Washington D.C., and, eventually, the elimination of the military draft in the country, and the end of the war itself.

    That didn't mean America suddenly became pacifist. No, that would be naive to find possible. However, America never again tried drafting anyone. Wars proliferated after the Vietnam war on a smaller but more numerous and clandestine scale, including in neighboring Cambodia, throughout Latin America in the following decade, and in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa after that. War for the U.S. became more and more remote, culminating with Bush's all volunteer occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and Obama's drone wars. Tours of duty were extended again and again and bombing done from thousands of miles away, with a draft being avoided as much as possible.

    In the wake of another school shooting in Florida, something seemed to shift - at least for some people. Most the comments I read on Facebook seemed on the anti-gun side, with only a few nonsensical right wing ones. Florida Governor Rick Scott, despite his NRA bonafides, tried to shift blame on the FBI and said they should be held responsible for the failure to stop the killer, John Kasich said the GOP was tone deaf to not act on gun control, the police commissioner where the shooting occurred said that those campaigning on gun control laws "as they are" will not be re-elected, and, as of this writing, even President Donald Trump, who played both sides of the issue in his whole time as a public figure like a true opportunist, has said he is open to expanding background checks. Students from the area of the Parkland shooting are even marching on their state capitol and Washington D.C. (along with supporting marches around the country) much like how youth protested to end the military draft.

    Like the military draft, guns are not going away from American culture. However, like the military draft, they are going to be modified. This issue is reaching the sort of social cataclysm that brought an end to both slavery and the military draft. Racism and war certainly never ended, as anyone on the wrong side of it can attest, but its overt institutions were no more.

    The firearm as a consumer item may end up being severely limited, limiting its channels in to the various state police branches and militia groups that usually have them in many countries. This is how it works in many Eastern European countries, where the sale of guns is very restricted but, in the right circles, they are a known item. Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia are good examples of this.

    This might not end terrorist shootings, especially ones like Parkland or Orlando when the perpetrator had alleged ties with extremist groups. There are regularly terror attacks in Ukraine, where terrorist groups are even able to find surface to air missiles to bring down airplanes. However, the restriction and the end of the promotion of guns as a consumer item will put an end to the proliferation of random, senseless shootings that America alone experiences.


    Clint Eastwood's next movie is reportedly titled "American Massacre, 1517 Shot at Springland High". 

    No foreigners or terrorists in it. No foreign countries. Americans killing Americans.

    Americans should identify with the characters and story as it takes place in the heartland, not Iraq or France.

    Assault weapons, which  so many Americans cherish, are given top billing as inalienable possessions, bestowed on us in perpetuity by the Founding Fathers. Thru someone in the film business, (Spoiler notice!!) the film concludes with courageous, principled Republican lawmakers refusing to allow a debate or vote on a revival of a national assault weapons ban. 

    Res ipsa loquitor:

    97% support expanding background checks. Amazing. https://t.co/8aCG958nyA

    — Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) February 20, 2018

    Celebs donating to the march on gun control: Oprah Winfrey has announced she is donating $500,000 to March For Our Lives, matching a gift made earlier Tuesday by George and Amal Clooney- via @CNN

    — Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) February 20, 2018

    Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018


    Spielberg pitched in $500,000 as well...

    It is exciting. I am just hoping the kids can keep it on the gun topic and keep things from going astray into other issues as doing the latter will make it easy to taint it as just another plot by Hollywood liberals. From what I've seen, so far I have some confidence that they can do that, some real smart cookies leading that movement, those kids seem to have a very savvy intuition for their age about all the culture wars issues involved. Maybe their boomer parents deserve praise for that.

    Meanwhile I find it intriguing that one can get Trump to flip on a dime when you combine polls with support from celebs that have something he would never admit they have: better ratings than him.

    Not that it matters that much, because it's just words and he'll always flip with those again, not even understanding the actual policy that's needed to gain the adoration he craves.

    But I had pretty much convinced myself that he only cared about keeping the base that he already knows how to manipulate, and damn everyone else. Here there is an inkling that he still dreams of having a bigger fan base. A really smart Machiavelli could manipulate that in certain situations. I think Schumer's tried,got near, but failed.

    Defusing the hysteria being promoted by the leftist/commie gun grabbers is a rewardless task because reason no longer applies. Trump did what he could without compromising his gun ownership rights support but it won't be enough for the gun grabbers it never is. The snowflakes don't have much else to offer voters in the next election so Stalinist individual rights attacks will probably be their game plan.

    Nonsense, he loves hysteria. Gun rights supporters shouldn't trust him to protect their interests further than they can throw a stick.

    Wall Street May Be Rethinking Its Relationship With Guns

    By Laura Colby & Polly Mosendz @ Bloomberg.com, Feb. 22, 8:01 PM EST

    • Week after Florida shooting, a bank abandons NRA credit cards

    • BlackRock, pension funds start to rethink their gun stocks

    [.....] On Thursday, the day the head of the National Rifle Association issued a searing rebuttal to calls for stricter gun control, the nation’s largest privately owned bank announced it would stop issuing NRA-sponsored credit cards.

    Then, the investment giant BlackRock Inc. said it was exploring ways to cull gun companies from the portfolios of clients who no longer wish to invest in them. In Florida, site of the latest tragedy, teachers expressed frustration that their retirement funds own gun stocks, following revelations that holdings included the maker of the assault rifle used to kill 17 students and educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    Activists have made similar appeals for years, only to see all the moments pass. Taken together, the recent developments suggest that, at least for the moment, the financial community senses the rising public pressure -- and is positioning itself accordingly.

    “Now is the time for the financial services industry to step off the sidelines and take a stand,” said Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Trillium Asset Management, which focuses on sustainable investments.

    The question is whether other investors, both big and small, are willing to exit investments that have plunged in value over the past year. Gun sales -- and gun stocks -- have tumbled since Donald Trump rose to the presidency. The thinking was that his administration, unlike the previous one, would be unlikely to push for stricter gun controls given its support from the NRA.

    Guns and Pensions [....]

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