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That's the subject title, 'Gunfighter Nation', given to last nights PBS show from Moyers & Company, a title of one of Richard Slotkins  books.

Full Show: Gunfighter Nation
December 13, 2013 - As America remembers the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting a year after a lone gunman shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, Bill speaks with cultural historian and scholar Richard Slotkin about the role of guns and violence in our society. Slotkin is the author of an acclaimed trilogy — including Gunfighter Nation — on the myth of the frontier that has shaped our nation. read more w/transcript>>>


December 13, 2013 - Bill Moyers Essay on the NRA


Much More Found At: Moyers & Company

And everyone still refers to this Country as the United States as we've evolved into camps, red states and blue states, in much more then just the political. If one can even explain what's been going on as 'political', with little as to ideology to move the country forward, especially in one camp that hasn't shown any want to especially since the change of centuries!

Originally posted to jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Firearms Law and Policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:58:14 AM PST

  •  Bill Moyers is a national treasure (11+ / 0-)

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:07:48 AM PST

  •  And before yesterdays airing of the show (9+ / 0-)

    There was another Colorado student, armed with a gun and apparently a couple of molotov cocktails, goes hunting for a teacher but shoots and wounds another student and then kills himself!

    Colorado school gunman seen as bright and passionate about politics

    "He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff. I also heard he was bullied a lot."

    The teacher, alerted to the threat, immediately tried to lure Pierson away from other students by leaving the building, Robinson said.
    "It was very tactical for the teacher, for him to remove himself from the school," Robinson said.

    That "I also heard he was bullied a lot", by another student, is a non point. If that was one of his reasoning's he wouldn't have been seeking out the teacher, it would have been more pointedly at his fellow students. But the observation just before that does explain, 'why the teacher' and in class discussions, a part of educating!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:12:14 AM PST

    •  Well, "being bullied" may be relevant, without (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

      it being one of his "reasonings".
      Just one of several related issues about our society, where it's headed, and why.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:38:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What part of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, LilithGardener

        'seeking out a teacher and with a gun' don't you get!!!

        That 'bullying' can be cause in some but certainly not all!!

        Another one of them overused memes and used in these cases more to satisfy the needs of the masses as most of these shooters are killed, kill themselves, or defend with insanity plea's with their lawyers blocking any statements from!!

        "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

        by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Add (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, 88kathy, LilithGardener

          Most gun owners, especially in modern times, are incompetent and immature adults, their rhetoric and actions proves that out!!

          "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

          by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:50:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say it was a cause, but it does make up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          the background profile of the person. It is also a fact that an individual is a functionary within a society, and there's a degree to which the society is reflected in every individual's actions.

          I agree with you about the stupidity of our media, "overused memes" etc. and I'd agree that there's a maturity issue in gun fetishism and worship, (per your comment below), but I wouldn't say that every indiviidual gun owner, or most, are incompetent and immature. I would say they're operating within a culture in which incompetence and immaturity is normalized and rationalized.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:02:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As for this individual case, I don't think we have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          good picture yet of exactly why he was seeking out the teacher and wanted to commit suicide, etc. I wasn't makiing any comment specific to this case.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:09:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  On NPR This Morning (4+ / 0-)


        A Grieving Newtown Mother's Motto: 'Love Wins'

        "People say to me, 'I can't believe what that monster did to your baby!' Well, you know, it's true something terrible happened to Ana, and that was a terrible day," Márquez-Greene says. "But if we even use that language, 'monster,' if we talk like that, we already make a separation between us and them. And it doesn't work that way."
        My highlight and the point about mentioning 'bullying' all the time, as well as 'mentally ill'!

        The player isn't up yet but the written text of is posted.

        "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

        by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:07:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're talking about how the NRA etc. and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          the media and pols have latched onto 'mental illness' as a diversion from  passing a law on background checks, (ditto bullying) I agree with you, it pisses me off too.

          However, we have multiple related issues within our society as to why it's so dysfunctional. We need to address each one and understand how they fit into the whole.

          I don't agree with using one issue as a diversion from the other, more germane issue. So I think we agree.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:15:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As to 'mental illness' (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David54, LilithGardener


          Fear and Paranoia can be carried way over the line and into a 'mental illness' in the human animal!

          "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

          by jimstaro on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:15:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's true, but mental illness does exist. It's a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener

            thing. It's a fact. Our society is as dysfunctional in dealing with it as we are in dealing with gun violence.
            The two issues are related, but we can't fix one issue by dealing with the other.
            Each has to be addressed.

            The preponderence of these events center around power and powerlessness, and the gun as a symbol and fetish of power.

            It's as much a problem in sociology as it is psychology, if not more so.

            As for guns, I think we need to have background checks and a national database, at a minimum, and see if that doesn't pull down gun violence statistics. We have to do something concrete.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:23:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The NRA takes a perfectly treatable mental (4+ / 0-)

          cognitive problem and exacerbates it by handing all comers a gun and then scaring the crap out of them with 'they're just trying to take your gun'

          The NRA is playing mental illness like a violin.

          Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

          by 88kathy on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:49:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The culture of obedience demands violence. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, jimstaro, LilithGardener

    Obedience is a virtue. Indeed, it is a natural virtue because, for a species that has memory, it is beneficial to follow good advice and obey.
    However, as is the case with most virtues, obedience becomes a vice when it is imposed. Coerced obedience is abusive, because, like all kinds of cultivation, it involves the use of force. Or, at least, the threat thereof. And that's where the gun comes in. The gun is the culture of obedience's stock in trade. It's how authoritarians get others to obey. Instead of the whip, which can be grabbed and ripped out of the assailant's hand, the gun enables a "safe" distance and, he who wields it, can be fairly certain of remaining personally unharmed. The gun is the coward's ideal, keeping him free from personal entanglements.

    When you come right down to it, the gunman perpetuates the slave-owner's ideal -- to gain compliance and sustenance without having to do any work. That's the object of the culture of obedience, isn't it? Compliance without having to give or do anything in exchange.
    Moreover, when sustenance is provided from some other source and pure compliance becomes the objective, for power to be evidenced, the demand has to be perverse.
    There is no power in ordering someone to do the smart thing and satisfy himself. So, it seems safe to say that irrational demands are actually a clue that the (abusive) culture of obedience is in play.

    Does this suggest, for example, that the orchestrated kerfuffle in Fort Lee was/is characteristic of an abusive Chief Executive?  Man-made mayhem is not a happenstance.

    Guns are the slave-drivers' whips in modern hands. Why do they target children? Because cowardly predators always attack the innocent and unsuspecting.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:45:13 AM PST

  •  And his feet don't reach the floor. (5+ / 0-)


    Johnny Got a Gun
    Words and Music by Tom Paxton

    Johnny's mum and dad both worked long hours,
    They worked on the weekends too.
    Johnny was eleven, but they had no notion
    Of what Johnny was going through.
    Johnny got pushed and Johnny got robbed
    And it made him feel chicken to run.
    Big kids picked on Johnny every day,
    Till Johnny went and got him a gun.

    Johnny got a gun, he didn't bring it home;
    He covered it with rags and dirt.
    On his way to school he looked both ways,
    Then he hid it under his shirt.
    Johnny was afraid of going to school;
    There was always trouble in the halls.
    Fights in the boys' room, guns in the lockers,
    And little kids bouncing off the walls.

        [Cho:]
        Johnny was afraid of dying young;
        Everybody he knew had a gun.
        So Johnny got a gun,
        And every little thing looked cool.

    First time Johnny flashed his gun,
    Everybody backed off fast.
    Everybody treated him differently, then.
    Johnny felt safe at last.
    Johnny had a gun and everybody knew.
    Everybody left him alone.
    Till he bumped a kid who was coming down the stairs,
    And the kid had a gun of his own.

    The kid pushed Johnny, Johnny went down,
    And the kid had something to say.
    Pulled his gun; Johnny shot first,
    And he blew the other kid away.
    The police came and they took away the gun;
    Said he wouldn't need a gun any more.
    Took him to the station, sat him in a chair,
    And his feet didn't reach the floor.

    [Cho:]

    Johnny had a hearing, plead self defense,
    Prosecutor said, "No way."
    Judge said "you're eleven, but you're kill like a man,
    And it's gonna be a long, long stay."
    Johnny's mum and dad still work long hours,
    And knock on the unit door.
    Sit with Johnny in the visitor's room,
    And his feet don't reach the floor.

    [Cho:]
    Johnny was afraid of dying young,
    Everybody he knew had a gun.
    So Johnny got a gun,
    And every little thing looked cool.
    And his feet don't reach the floor.

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:58:06 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary jmstaro (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, WakeUpNeo

    For those of us who don't watch TV, diaries like this helps us bookmark the gems, for later when we have some down time.

    Bill Moyers is rock solid on this issue. A real pillar for getting the facts right and presenting them in a way that people can receive.

    Republished to the Firearms Law and Policy Group

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:26:09 AM PST

  •  Thank you and Peace to you, jimstaro. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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