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Violence...we just love it

by Ron Holdraker
June 5, 2021

Oooh, look, Popeye just smashed Bluto out cold. Fake cowboy guns, filled with exploding caps were all the norm. TV showed Indians ,and bad guys with black hats falling off horses by the scores. War movies kind of showed the brutality of combat, usually with the godless Japs and Jerries  finding due justice.

All was well in the world as news stories showed numerous dead bodies of enemies, but rarely us, the good guys, falling prey. That was the world we knew back then - in the 50s.

Yes, occasionally a brutal boxing match showed blood-curdling injuries and boxing deaths and serious injuries were covered en masse by the media.

Now, move decades ahead. MMA matches are simply not worth the time unless blood is everywhere. The more gruesome the coverage the better. Youth today, no longer are satisfied with a punch in the nose, go for the full injury. But wait! How many times have you read about MMA, octagon deaths, serious injuries? The guy in the ring has no validation unless he is sporting at least one cauliflower ear, squashed nose, brutalized face. 

Remember the Texas School Tower shooting? On August 1, 1966, after stabbing his mother and his wife to death the night before, Charles Whitman, a former Marine, took rifles and other weapons to the observation deck atop the Main Building tower at the University of Texas at Austin, then opened fire indiscriminately on people on the surrounding campus and streets. Over the next 96 minutes he shot and killed 15 people, including an unborn child and one final victim who died from his injuries in 2001.

That was perhaps the imaginary initiation into mass shootings, but today a man with a AR15, or handgun with multiple rounds is almost a daily occurrence and hardly worth noting.

The local news reports a shooting overnight in Rochester, something that would have piqued attention and memory. Nowadays it hardly notes a head turning. Many of the reports end up later in a broadcast, or on inside pages of a newspaper afraid of becoming a “If it bleeds, it leads” philosophy.

Gun ownership in the early 1950s was hardly a blip on anybody’s thoughts. Hunters hunted, sportsmen target practiced and a few homeowners even considered private security.

In 1950, statistics showed 93.5 guns per 1000. By 2007 it grew to 88.5 per one hundred. That is an incredible increase. Bottom line private gun ownership has skyrocketed.

Way back decades ago if a person was caught with an unauthorized loaded gun, prison was the future. Today, the punishment is far softer with liberal lawmakers and courts.

We hope buying back unauthorized guns is more than a publicity joke as broken, antique guns make up the majority of turned in weapons for money and gift cards.

Gun control laws usually followed mass shootings and blaring headlines. Today many states are doing away with many gun laws in favor of public pressure and votes.

Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.

The NRA continued its commitment to training, education and marksmanship for decades.

Then, in a complete reformation, the NRA became more enamoured with the Second Amendment and a growing number of state and federal laws imposing regulations.

Hunters, sportsmen be damned. The NRA became the powerhouse voice, and very powerful lobbyists get elected officials either elected or defeated. Gun legislation became the NRA focus. Gun ownership/possession rightly, or wrong, became the focus of crime and laws.

According to a FOX News story, homicide rates jumped by 30% from 2019 to 2020, while gun assault and aggravated assault rates climbed 8% and 6%, respectively, experts found.

Violence? We have either adjusted to the new norms, or enjoy a good picture/video of someone, anyone, bleeding profusely.

Media always post the unanswerable question of WHY? We look for a reason why someone participates in a mass killing/beating? There is no  simple answer. But we never really admit our overall personal acceptance.

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