Violence In American Society Essay

This return to the deadly practices of the ” Wild West” is neither a matter of individual choice nor some far-fetched yet allegedly legitimate appeal to the Second Amendment.On the contrary, mass violence in the United States has to be placed within a broader historical, economic and political context in order to address the totality of the forces that produce it.Focusing merely on mass shootings or the passing of gun legislation does not get to the root of the systemic forces that produced the United State's love affair with violence.

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The rise of violence and the gun culture in the United States cannot be separated from a transformation in governance in the United States.

Political sovereignty has been replaced by economic sovereignty as corporate power takes over the reins of governance.

Less than a month earlier, on December 2, in San Bernardino, California, was the mass shooting that left 14 people dead and more than 20 wounded.

And just two months before that, on October 1, nine people were killed and seven wounded in a mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.

Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.

At a policy level, violence drives the arms industry and a militaristic foreign policy, and is increasingly the punishing state’s major tool to enforce its hyped-up brand of domestic terrorism, especially against Black youth.The United States is utterly wedded to a neoliberal culture in which cruelty is viewed as virtue, while mass incarceration is treated as the chief mechanism to “institutionalize obedience.” At the same time, a shark-like mode of competition replaces any viable notion of solidarity, and a sabotaging notion of self-interest pushes society into the false lure of mass consumerism.The increasing number of mass shootings is symptomatic of a society engulfed in racism, fear, militarism, bigotry and massive inequities in wealth and power.But money in politics is not the only major institutional factor in which everyday and state violence are nourished by a growing militarism.As David Theo Goldberg has argued in his essay “Mission Accomplished: Militarizing Social Logic,” the military has also assumed a central role in shaping all aspects of society.Moreover, such lobbying, as corrupt and unethical as it may be, is now carried out in the open by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other individuals, groups and institutions invested in the militarization of US society.This lobbying is then displayed as a badge of honor – a kind of open testimonial to the lobbyists’ disrespect for democratic governance.In short, while militarily produced instruments might be retooled to other, broader social purpose – the military shapes pretty much the entire range of social production from commodities to culture, social goods to social theory.The militarization and corporatization of social logic permeates US society.The predominance of a relatively unchecked gun culture and a morally perverse and politically obscene culture of violence is particularly evident in the power of the gun lobby and its political advocates to pass laws in eight states to allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons “into classrooms, dormitories and other buildings” on campuses.In spite of the rash of recent shootings on college campuses, Texas lawmakers, for instance, passed one such “campus carry bill,” which will take effect in August 2016.


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