Root of Anger

What is the root of many contemporary Republicans’ anger?

Between Donald Trump’s brazen rage and Mitch McConnell’s chronic dyspepsia, Marjory Taylor Green, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, and Tucker Carlson pride themselves in mean, irrational, rightwing, rants.  As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. posited regarding Governor George Wallace, their “lips dripping with words of interposition and vilification.”    

Anger is the child of fear, fear the child of ignorance, ergo, anger is the grandchild of ignorance.  Ignorance not in the pejorative, demeaning sense, but by definition, “lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.” (Merriam-Webster)

Given broad and distinct reservations regarding the trustworthiness of our cohort, ignorance around folks who do not appear, speak, behave, or believe as we do, fear of strangers, is rational.  Out of ignorance regarding any- and everyone who does not appear, speak, believe, or behave as they do, many Republicans today seem to assume all strangers necessarily harbor malevolent intentions and must be feared!  Then anger!

Today’s Republicans’ anger is rooted in ignorance of the fact they cannot turn back the clock, they cannot roll back the calendar.  I have written,

“In the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump a woman is succinct, ‘I want my country back!’  American history is a relentless parade.  Which star-spangled float or marching band, which ‘country,’ would our fearful lady have ‘back’?  Thirty, fifty, a hundred years, 1776, 1492?  Did the folks who met Columbus want their country back?”

In penning “We the People,”the Founding Fathers seemed to include all inhabitants of America.  On examination, they appear not to have had all the People in mind.  They did not mean women, people of color, folks who were here before white men.  For heavy lifting and cannon fodder, middle- and lower-class white males had to be included.  But, power and privilege rested in early America’s White Male Gentry.

An hypothesis regarding the authors of the Constitution’s intent is implicit and arguable.  Today’s Republicans’ position is explicit and beyond question!  “The People” are native-born, white, Christians.  Wokes, non-Christian whites, and the growing polyglot of mongrel races must subscribe to their band of Fascism, “Christian Nationalism!”

The Tragic Insanity of Guns in America

April 13: When Ralph Yarl mistakenly knocked at the wrong address, brandishing a gun, homeowner Andrew Lester, shot the 16-year-old in the head and arm.

April 15: When the vehicle Katlyn Gillis rode in mistakenly entered the wrong driveway, brandishing a gun, homeowner Kevin Monahan, shot the 20-year-old dead.

April 18: When Heather Roth mistakenly entered and immediately exited the wrong vehicle, brandishing a gun, the car’s owner Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Jr., grazed Roth in the arm and shot cheerleader Peyton Washington in the leg.

April 18: When the basketball Kinsley White was playing with mistakenly rolled onto the neighbor’s yard, brandishing a gun, neighbor Robert Lewis Singletary, grazed the six-year-old’s cheek, mother Ashley’s elbow, and shot her father Willian White in the back.

Connect the dots: innocent mistake, irrational gun owner, f—— gun!

With more guns than people, America’s gun-related homicide rate is 13 times, its gun-related suicide rate 30 times, the average for 22 other high-income countries.

Want to kill someone?  Forget knives, bludgeons, and garrotes.  Get a gun!

Tool of Choice–Again

Edited and abridged from my first, March 24, 2018, post.

What is the root of America’s burgeoning homicide and suicide rates? 

Some argue the problem stems from an overabundance of firearms in America.  Gun advocates respond, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”  With a blind eye to implications for Americans’ values and culture, gun advocates lay the problem off on mental illness and, ironically, a seemingly need to defend themselves amidst a hostile society.

To be sure, the strains and complexities of human life can exacerbate mental illnesses and lead to murder.  Despite America’s failings in appreciating and treating mental illness, I’m convinced the average American is no crazier than citizens of countries with dramatically lower murder rates.  Moreover, while the mental processes leading to homicide are not “normal,” my hunch is, the vast majority of murders in America are not committed by the “mentally ill.” 

Contrary to firearm advocates claim, Americans do not harbor more homicidal intentions than citizens of other countries either.  Since Cain and Able humans have slain each other: the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Conquistadors massacuring native Central and South Americans, by force or arms Great Britain colonized half the globe, Stalin annihilated millions of his own people, World War I, World War II, Hitler’s “Final Solution”; Hutus wiped out 70% of Tutsis, suicide attacks and truck bombs rock Europe, ISIS beheads infidels, Mexican drug-cartels murder rivals and bystanders, Bashar al-Assad massacres Syrians, adults, children, babies!

So, if not insanity or homicidal inclinations, what lies at the root of the facts that, “Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related homicide rate is 25 times higher.”  That, “Gun violence  .  .  .   was the leading cause of death for children 19 and under in 2020.” (Wikipedia)  That, in the most materially blessed country on Earth, in 2021, guns killed 24,000 by suicide

A Counsel on Foreign Relations, “U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons,” “Gun Ownership and Homicide, Selected Countries” graph is instructive.

CountryCivilian-owned guns per 100 people (2017)Gun homicide per 100,000 people (2019)
United States120.54.12
United Kingdom4.60.04

With 5% of the world’s population, Americans possess over half its firarms.  Does American civilians owning seven times as many guns and committing thirteen times as many homicides as the average for six developed countries, suggest a link between firearm ownership and murder in America?

In America, guns have become the major solution to minor grievances.  A hot-head sees the neighbor’s dog taking a crap on his lawn.  Not owning a firearm, the hot-head charges down the front steps, kicks the mutt in the ribs, and punches the neighbor in the nose.  With his trusty 44 Mag at hand, he steps to the porch and blows the pooch, and maybe neighbor, away.  Some jerk gets cut off on Interstate 5, lacking a firearm he curses, calls the offender a “stupid son-of-a-bitch!’, and gives him the middle-finger salute.  The ol’ 38 Special on his belt, the hothead rolls down a window and wastes the dumb bastard.  Gangs who once “duked it out” now shoot it out.  Drive-by shootings are common as fender-benders.  When was a six-year-old girl accidentally killed by a drive-by stoning?  At the point of “ending it all” pulling a trigger is quicker and less problematic than hanging from the balcony, leaping from the thirteenth floor, or slitting a wrist.

Get a grip Americans!  We murder more because we have more guns than people!  We murder more because firearms are easy to get, simple to use, quick, reliable, and more surely lethal than a knife, baseball bat, poison, garrote, or stone.

For a random murder or massacring a kindergarten class, America’s tool of choice is a gun!


From Buddhist Lama Lekshe King Tamang’s Facebook:

Friend at coffee today: Why do you practice.

Me: Because I’d like to live outside the echo chamber.

Friend: Even your own?

Me: Especially my own.