Friday, July 27, 2012

Gary Younge on Aurora Shootings: Now We Care about Guns and Violence?

After I posted several days ago about the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, I haven't written any further about that topic.  I haven't done so because, to be blunt, I have little hope that most Americans--particularly those with the political power to make a difference--will address the conditions that result in such horrific endemic violence in the U.S.  Not even now.  Not after yet another act of mass murder.

In an incisive article at The Nation right now, Gary Younge appears to me to share that judgment.  He wonders, in the first place, why we periodically rediscover that acts of mass violence involving guns take place in the U.S. when they're going on all the time in some communities in the nation--with no attention from the media and most citizens.  As he notes, the night following the Aurora shooting, twenty-two people were shot, three fatally, in Chicago.

What makes the news, when it comes to guns and violence, makes the news due to a racial frame that tells us some events of gun-fueled violence deserve attention and others don't.  As Younge states, 

The shock resides not in the fact that a large number of people have been killed by a gunman—that happens every night in America—but that every now and then, the wrong people have died in the wrong place.

And as he also observes,

When large numbers of guns are available in a society with massive inequalities, the likelihood is that a lot of people are going to get shot. 

Younge's is another of those voices from down in the real world that I really do wish many white, affluent, liberal American Christians could manage to listen to, as they wonder what answers Christianity has to offer the world, as it markets itself today.

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