There is a sickness in the American culture—we are in love with violence. It is not just a casual indulgence it is an obsession. We love violence in any form (be it in the pursuit of the bad or the good). We love it in our movies, TVs, video games and even in our music—most notably in rap. We can see it in our love of sports—the more violent the better and football tops all. A subtler lure to violence is an increasing interest in extreme sports that thrive on the desire to ‘push the envelope’ ever farther.
Among so many Americans there is an open love affair with guns and any attempt to set reasonable controls meets with angry resistance. Mass shootings have become so commonplace as to be part of today’s norm.
The political process of our nation has become a circus of verbal violence with shouts and insults and foul language and bold lies. It goes on because the public responds not with criticism of it but with eager attention to it. It is an embarrassment before the world that the highest office in our land is negotiated in such a manner.
I seem to be saying, “the grass is green”—yes, everyone knows of these things, but do we treat the love of violence as a serious problem that needs attention? It doesn’t ‘just happen’ we choose it! We respond eagerly at its display whether it is in the films we watch or the sports events upon which we spend billions of dollars. As a nation we refuse to face the gun issue in a rational way. As a society we refuse to look in the mirror at ourselves and see the self-damage we inflict . . . like the drug addict and alcoholic we maintain there is no problem—refusing to acknowledge the evidence.
If we are striving to be leaders of the free world, we have an obligation to set a precedence of choosing attitudes and behaviors that enhance rather than diminish, to do that we must face our addiction to violence.