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Macho gun culture.

I  think its fairly obvious we have a problem with this in the USA. When you take out one word, you get Gun Culture. Gun Culture and Macho Culture are two different things.

Sweden has a very healthy Gun Culture. I'm not going to go into too many details - you can find them yourself by googling "swedish gun owners" or something similar. What you will learn is a way of life "with a gun" that we don't have in the USA. They learn proper firearm usage (and respect) at a young age, they are familiar with firearms and the damage that can be done by anyone or anything pulling a trigger, and they have guns pretty much everywhere. The Swedes do not live in a culture we automatically associate with extreme violence (although they have violent crime, like ever nation of human beings).  The Australians, OTOH, are usually regarded differently.

The violent crime rate in Australia is very high. They don't have the kind of unlimited/unregulated gun ownership for civilians in Australia like we do in the USA, and there is still gun crime, but the real problem is just violence itself, regardless of the presence of guns. They have a macho culture that is very similar to the USA. They have a problem with violence that is similar to the problems in the USA.

Sweden ... violent macho culture? I'm not seeing it. Guns, yes, lots of them. Macho culture poisoning young men with the idea that every "dis" needs to be responded to with violence? Not sure I see it. Somehow Sweden, with its readily available supply of firearms, has avoided the horrific consequences of combining mach culture with gun culture.

Here in the USA we have companies that actually PROMOTE that connection. You're not a man unless you have a gun. What utter BS.

When you combine macho culture with gun culture, you get what we have in the USA. You get the benign Gun Culture of the Swiss with the arrogant Macho Culture of the Australians, and lo and behold you get epic testosterone fueled violence, banked by the winds of ego and popular "culture" that promotes violence.

You can bet other components include violent imagery in the entertainment industry AND denigration of intellectuals, both pervasive in the USA. The US also has a pitiful safety net for the mentally ill, the poor, elderly, and children - but that dovetails with the macho culture of "stand up and take it or you're not a man", even if that means your family starves or other terrible consequences happen to you, easily avoided if the "victim" of macho mentality would change the way they approach the world.

I firmly believe it is the the MACHO culture that is the root of the problem in the USA, not the GUN culture. The MACHO culture wants violent encounters to any situation in which you become angry, not thought-out, well considered reactions and certainly not a reaction where you could be called "a pussy". The MACHO culture normalizes assaulting others based upon something a stranger may look like or something a stranger said - it's a BULLY culture and we love it in the USA. Hey, as long as you're not getting the beat down, it's fun, it's entertaining? Right?

Until people in the USA have matured to the point they can address the problem with inculcating ridiculous concepts of macho in our male children, we will be having incidents like what happened in a CT school very few days. Or maybe weeks. Or months. But the fact is, until we change our values, these incidents WILL happen again.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a gun owner, grew up around guns and was introduced to guns at a young age by caring and intelligent parents. Never been in jail, never assaulted anyone (with or w/o a gun). I'm also a student of philosophy and religion. I am not and never will be a supporter of the NRA. I am a liberal. I believe we need BETTER regulations that are ENFORCEABLE and WORKABLE. Everyone reading these words will never exist in a USA where guns are removed from society. It just is not going to happen, ever, so stop pretending it will and stop fighting any way you believe - however well intentioned - will result in guns being taken out of our society. It ain't gonna happen. Start fighting, instead, the war on violence and macho, and start promoting intellectuals and "smart kids" in whatever way you can.

And this post also has nothing really to do with the horrific events of late, I don't know enough about that individual to speculate on what made him go off. This is a post directed at our on-going problem of violence and its roots in our culture.

Originally posted to filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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