This is a comment by Jonathan G on the post “Men and Mass Shootings“.
Andrew Smiler said:
“We teach men that violence is a viable solution to problems. That’s the message behind expressions like ‘let’s go outside and settle this like men.’ It’s one of the messages that’s transmitted in all those action movies: violence is an acceptable way to respond to a threat, even if your own violence isn’t strictly legal.”
Jonathan G responded:
“Movies and television aren’t even half the problem. What is the proper way to deal with most-wanted criminal fugitives like Osama bin Laden? Send in SEAL Team 6 to blow his head off.
“How should we put a stop to Iran’s nuclear weapons program (which doesn’t even exist)? Threaten to bomb the crap out of the country. To stop Iraq’s nuclear and biological weapons programs (which, as it turns out, also didn’t exist)? Bomb the crap out of the country and invade. To stop an alleged imminent humanitarian disaster in Libya (which, again, may have been a wee bit exaggerated)? Bombs, again.
“What to do about Somali pirates holding American mariners hostage? Have a sniper team take them out.
“How can we interdict the illegal drug trade into the United States? With military aid and training to Mexico, Colombia and other nations. Essentially, with guns.
“What should the President do about a man accused of inciting terrorism? Send aerial drones to launch missiles to blow him up. And another to blast his 16-year-old son to bits.
“How should the police serve a drug-related search warrant? With a paramilitary SWAT team bursting through the door dressed in body armor and carrying semi-automatic weapons.
“How should they enforce anti-loitering laws against American citizens exercising their rights of free speech and free association? With legions of armored cops, tear gas, truncheons, tanks, flash-bang grenades and other violent tactics. And to deal with college students sitting peacefully, blocking a sidewalk? Pepper-spray them in the face, point blank.
“Violence is so often the first resort of the leaders of our society. Is it any wonder that individuals take inspiration and moral sanction from their examples?”
Photo credit: Flickr / OregonDOT