Stigmatizing violence

I forget which of my friends posted this, and Facebook moved too fast for me to think about it and then find it again, but someone said this weekend that we need to stigmatize the glorification, or at least normalization, of violence in our culture the way we have done quite successfully with racism and anti-gay bigotry. I think this is exactly right. How hard it will be no longer to smile politely at tales of playing “Call of Duty” or shooting an assault weapon for fun! But we have to. And also to keep the facts about our video game war in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Yemen as visible as possible. Michael Moore’s brilliant “Fahrenheit 911” keeps coming back to me these days. Smart, concerned people (Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, even Michael Moore) remind us that other countries, including earlier version of ourselves, have had as many or more guns per capita as we do, yet see far fewer murders. This doesn’t mean we should look elsewhere for solutions; it means that we are presently too fucked up to handle gun ownership on a mass scale, especially police & military weapons like handguns and assault rifles.

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