The recent attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona has caused many attempts at blame from all corners of the media and political spectrum. Here at the Big Bad Blog, we decided to avoid the political minefield of attempting to blame one person’s irrational actions on people we do not like — this post at BoingBoing (and its 9/11 precursor) best describes what we have heard in the media over the past few weeks.
This article, which we read today, is more of the same. It argues along the lines of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” … and then goes on to analyze why Americans do more killing. Unsurprisingly, it then focuses in on American childhood and the popularity of gun-related toys and entertainment.
In this it is interesting to us, in that it strikes a chord with your intrepid blogger. A central tenet of the argument, as presented, is that early immersion in the world of play guns (for American children) leads to an adult culture of gun violence.
Growing up in Canada, your blogger was not allowed to own toy guns. But this parental directive did not extend to other children, or prevent me from playing with their toys. It also, apparently, did not extend to lego. Bombarded with the same media, playing with the same toys (toy guns, elastic-band guns, air rifles, water guns), yet Canada has notably less gun violence than the US. In fact, we grow up to sing/appreciate songs such as this one.
American culture, it must be noted, is its greatest export.
And, for the record, we think that Giffords probably wouldn’t be shot if there were rules preventing the sale of guns to crazy people.