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Henry A. Giroux | Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence

Demonstrators gather outside the State Capitol for a rally about expanded gun rights in downtown Austin, Texas, January 1, 2016. (Photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman / the New York Times)

  • Militarism provides ideological support for policies that protect gun owners and sellers rather than children.
  • Related: Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action

Henry A. Giroux, Truthout / Rise Up Times, January 10, 2016  | Gun violence in the United States has produced a culture soaked in blood - a culture that threatens everyone and extends from accidental deaths, suicides and domestic violence to mass shootings. In late December, a woman in St. Cloud, Florida, fatally shot her own daughter after mistaking her for an intruder. 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.

Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. 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.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books are America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016) America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism.

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Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action,  Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

One Big Thing: Student Protests * Gun control walkout: Teens protest around the country by leaving schools * Right wing pundits attack student survivors of mass shooting, and Donald Trump Jr approves; * America's youth is sick of shootings. It's time to let them lead the way. * Marco Rubio almost got away with his routine. Then he met Cameron Kasky.