There are three huge problems standing in the way of sane gun laws in the USA. The first is that gun advocates are immune to reason. You will frequently hear the absurd claim that gun ownership is essential in order to prevent the State from becoming a tyranny. In this version of reality an obese middle-aged white guy with a rifle can stop a tank, an Apache helicopter (even though because it has stand-off weapons the guy won’t even be able to see it over the horizon as it sends a heat-seeking missile his way), or any other hi-tech weaponry all governments have possessed for decades. When people make claims like this you know there’s no point in talking to them — they are beyond help. The second reason is the fact that in representative democracies it’s relatively easy to sway and buy the so-called representatives, and never more so than when they are on a 2-year re-election cycle as uniquely occurs in the United States. The final reason is that Hollywood is sex-terrified and gun-obsessed. A few years ago, when video stores still existed, I was wandering the aisles looking for a comedy for my two small children. 37% of the DVD jackets in the “family comedy” section featured people holding guns. This alone tells you how deeply ingrained in US culture the problem is. Guns are funny! Yes, what could be more mirth-inducing than a gunshot wound? And so the USA will never solve its insane gun problem, and so 30,000+ people per year, year in and year out, will die of gun violence. And 330 million people will continue to live in a country where the undercurrent of fear and insecurity is pervasive and crippling — but they don’t even notice it because it’s “normal.”

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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