America, the land of the free and home of the brave, is embroiled in a battle with on-going violent episodes in schools, city streets, homes, and other public venues. Do we re-think our politics, leadership choices, and daily behaviors leading up to these altercations? Why? We are in another era of highly politically charged rhetoric, party grievances, marginalization, quick fixes, and fast facts. We pick an object or race as the culprit. Race discrimination has garnered too much intellectual theory for a quick trip to the pulpit, so we look for something that won’t talk back. The buzz word for garnering votes is now, “Gun.”
Gun ownership is one prominent battle of the day among communities across the US. The battle, mostly between urban crime-ridden communities suffering through gang violence, robberies, murders, and other poverty-related maladies; and suburban and rural gun-owning communities serves as fodder suppressing the voices of population marginalization, poverty, and a tanked economy. Local and national politicians and pundits utilize this battle to garner votes, divert residents away from social corruption, and create discourse manageable by the poor and ignorant. The urbanites and insane claim guns kill people. They check social media posts and newspapers for daily reports of school shootings (infrequent, but occur), gun accidents, gun rallies, and any gun-related horror to support their problem. Most suburbanites and rural residents know that people kill people, since many have owned guns all of their lives without incident. No gun ever walked out of their closet and went on a rampage. Their doors are unlocked. Their children, at 12-year-old, attend small weapons training at the local fish and game clubs. The guns normally come out for sporting events or hunting and fishing trips. This is the heartland prospective. They are free; therefore any impingement on that freedom, as in the oppressed urban areas, must be halted immediately. And their politicians don’t want their guns tampered with either.
A group of multi-racial, – the article stressed “multi-racial,” gun owners took to the urban streets of Detroit to educate citizens on their right to carry guns and solicit questions on the particulars of national and local legislation guarding that right. The September 17, 2014 “Crooks and Liars” article goes more into the details of their interactions with law enforcement, mostly peaceful, and responses from residents, who spontaneously associated (as explained by one Black and female police officer) guns with trouble, until this group meekly explains their purpose. The group’s videos served to examine relevant points in the discourse of who are recognized as legitimate communities and those depicted as, and therefore adopt the persona of, savage charges in need of protection and limitation; whether they personally embody these characteristics or not. Similarly, as with the word “Gun,” the groups chosen label may automatically bring the savage mind to recoil, – “Hell’s Saints.” But considering Detroit’s economic and social deprivation, reaching the bottom of most US urban areas, the moniker is definitely on point. Watch the videos.