US gun violence: Capitalism is the culprit | Gun Violence

On July 27, two prime executives from distinguished US gun firms – Marty Daniel of Daniel Protection and Christopher Killoy of Sturm, Ruger & Co – appeared earlier than america Home Committee on Oversight and Reform chaired by New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney. The listening to got here on the heels of the newest succession of massacres – the Buffalo grocery store, the Uvalde elementary college, the Highland Park July 4 parade – which have come to outline life in America.

Because the Guardian famous, this “marked the primary time in practically 20 years that the CEOs of main gun producers testified earlier than Congress”. The CEO of Smith & Wesson Manufacturers – which in keeping with the committee earned no less than $125m in 2021 alone from the sale of assault-style rifles, a frequent prop in mass shootings – had declined to take part within the try at “oversight”.

However the two keen invitees presumably spoke for the US gun trade as an entire once they shot down the notion that their merchandise and aggressive advertising practices have something to do with rampant killing.

Killoy insisted {that a} firearm is an “inanimate object” that can’t accrue accountability, whereas Daniel – whose agency manufactured the inanimate object that slaughtered 19 college children and two lecturers in Uvalde – maintained that the blame should be assigned to the person “murderers”. In Daniel’s view, “these murders are native issues that should be solved regionally”.

For her half, Maloney took the chance on the listening to to specific her “hope [that] the American persons are paying consideration at the moment”, noting “it’s clear that gun makers will not be going to alter until Congress forces them to lastly put folks over earnings”.

However had been we People actually paying consideration, we might have seen way back that our nation is totally predicated on placing earnings over folks – from the company destruction of the surroundings to the manic incarceration of poor minorities to a healthcare system that’s decidedly sick. This isn’t to say US behaviour overseas, the place the “struggle on terror” and different types of army slaughter with US-made weapons have additionally produced many, um, “native issues”.

In her preliminary invitation to the three arms executives to testify earlier than the Home committee, by the way, Maloney inspired them to “clarify to Congress and the American folks why they proceed to promote merchandise to civilians that are supposed to be used within the battlefield”.

Which brings us to the next query: When the US converts the world right into a battlefield, how do People know the place to attract the road? Extra exactly put, it isn’t immensely surprising {that a} nation that inculcates its citizenry with a macho, shoot-’em-up perspective vis-à-vis different human populations may find yourself with some, properly, “murderers” on its arms – notably when the home panorama is one in every of dystopian capitalism and acute alienation.

As for the culpability of US gun producers in scenes of armed sociopathy from Buffalo to Uvalde, there isn’t a denying that the trade itself is morally wicked – and but it’s merely fulfilling a nefariously profitable operate made doable by common systemic depravity. The elemental blame for mass shootings doesn’t lie with the CEOs of Daniel Protection and Sturm Ruger – simply because the blame for US-bound migrant deaths doesn’t lie with oft-scapegoated human smugglers, whose reprehensible enterprise is simply made doable by America’s model of lethal capitalism and profit-driven border militarisation schemes.

On July 29, two days after the Home Committee on Oversight listening to, the US Home voted to ban assault weapons – though the measure hardly stands an opportunity in clearing the Senate. In its report on the vote, CNN referenced the committee’s “investigation, which alleges gun manufactures promoting assault-style rifles have employed questionable advertising techniques, together with interesting to White supremacists, ‘preying’ on the masculinity of younger males, and working ads that mimic video video games”.

However to faux that predatory promoting – or the poisonous propagation of the conception of life as a online game – is something however all-American solely does the disservice of distracting from the truth that America’s present blood-soaked predicament shouldn’t be one that may be resolved by way of piecemeal laws. In the long run, it’s both revenue over folks or folks over revenue – and, if the latter association is ever to be obtained, it requires nothing lower than a complete overhaul of society.

Sadly for optimists and by chance for profiteers, that is simpler stated than accomplished, and any such societal rectification is unlikely to happen previous to planetary self-destruction. The failure to see capitalism as America’s underlying illness — towards which all different signs should be recognized and handled accordingly — signifies that the nation’s more and more violent episodes will proceed to be seen as “native issues”, to borrow Daniel’s phrases.

For proof of the system’s pathological nature, one want look no additional than this 12 months’s dispatch from American journalist Todd Miller, writer of Empire of Borders, on the fifteenth annual Border Safety Expo in San Antonio, Texas – a venue for the dialogue of weapons-mountable robotic canine and different demented imperial visions.

He describes an expo panel that includes former US officers who had handed via the revolving institution door into non-public employment, and who acquired a query from an viewers member alluding to the ever-more profitable subject of border safety: “Why would you even need a answer?”

Silence ensued – a silence that additionally suffices to clarify why, barring an assault on capitalism, America won’t ever get its gun disaster below management.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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