The American Culture Of Hate

Sarah PalinIf ever there was a perfect example of cause and effect, it is the shootings in Arizona last weekend.

Jared Loughner strolled casually up to a group in a supermarket car park, holding a semi automatic Glock pistol, and shot 14 people, killing six of them, including at nine year old girl. Without the intervention of some very brave people, many more may have died.

Collective Karma is the result of group causes, like gun laws that uphold the citizens right to bear arms. Ok back in the days of Billie The Kid and Wyatt Earp, there was some sort of case for people carrying a gun. Not because they needed it to protect themselves from other people, but because the Wild West was mainly a wilderness and had snakes, bears and wild cats.

Today the causes are more along the lines of political rhetoric that talks of hating the opposition or targeting them. Sarah Palin’s facile poster of various States marked with telescopic gun sites on them is just another example of the general over-the-top attitude towards anyone considered ‘one of them’.

The amazing thing, from a British point of view, is that Jared Loughner was entitled to own and carry such a weapon. Now I’m not so isolated from our own culture to be unaware of the criminal gun culture over here. But at least it is illegal to own or carry such a weapon. My own father had to surrender his guns, used purely for sport, shooting targets, after the Conservatives’ knee jerk reaction to Hungerford.

I feel very sorry for the people who were shot, but when you mix the cultures of guns and hate, should we really be surprised at the outcome?

And we shouldn’t go feeling too smug, that hate culture is spreading around the whole world, for political, financial and particularly religious reasons.

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