Violent culture leads to gun use |

Violent culture leads to gun use

After the recent spate of shootings in Chicago, the police superintendent there observed that “illegal guns create this violence.” But I think he got it backward because in my opinion, violence causes illegal guns. Why? Because we promote and subsidize a culture of violence — it is everywhere you look: In movies, TV shows, advertisements, guns are featured and glamorized.

The new video game “Grand Theft Auto” that sold a million units in three days features gun violence on steroids. Guns in this culture are a symbol of power and prestige. They’re “cool.” But they are also killing machines, and their real source is alienation and fear.

You can lobby, debate and dispute gun legislation until the sun goes down, but there are already 250 million guns in America, and no amount of magazine limit, barrel length or background checks will reduce gun violence in this culture until we remove it from the centerpiece of our “entertainments.” Guns are plenty machismo all right, but they also kill 31,000 American each year. When these crazies decide to go on a rampage, what item comes first to mind?

Craig Steiger

Grass Valley

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