If John Brown Were Alive, Could He Help in Ferguson?

 This year marks the 155th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Although he isn’t the most revered figure in American history, he most certainly is honored as a revolutionary and a hero ranging from the likes of Malcolm X to Quentin Tarantino. A contemporary of Brown, famous author, poet, naturalist and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau, wrote an essay called “A Plea for Captain John Brown” and recited it publicly many times before the execution of Brown. He pleaded abolitionist supporters to remember him as a true hero, a martyr, and not as a fool for giving his life for what he believed.

If John Brown, abolitionist, insurrectionist, and self-proclaimed martyr, who called for the immediate end to chattel slavery in the United States were still alive, he most certainly would be of great help in Ferguson, Missouri. His enthusiasm, passion, and belief that no person should be subjugated to slavery or injustice is what people of color in the United States need from the white majority. Although what is happening in Ferguson isn’t slavery, John Brown’s call to action during his lifetime motivated members of the white community in the 1800’s willing to support direct action efforts of achieving equality and justice for the African-American community.

John Brown was born in 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut, where he grew up in a religious household. His father, Owen Brown, was not only an abolitionist by belief, but also an active participant in the Underground Railroad, a network of people, safe houses, and pathways that helped fugitive slaves escape to free states and Canada.  John Brown’s name has been etched into American history for his famous raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now part of West Virginia). On October 16, 1859, John Brown along with 20 other men attacked an arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia with the intent of stealing enough weapons in order to start a slave revolt. His plan failed and he was eventually captured by local soldiers and U.S. Marines led by Colonel Robert E. Lee. John Brown was tried, convicted of treason, and executed by hanging on December 2, 1859. His legacy lives on as a polemic character in American history whose martyrdom is honored by some members of the black community and condemned by others who described him as simply a terrorist.

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So where does John Brown fit into contemporary American social issues? One can argue that a person like John Brown hasn’t existed in the white community since his death.

When white Americans says,  “there is a lack of leadership in the black community” they must recognize that there is also a lack of leadership in the white community regarding racial equality and the call to justice for all people living in the United States. John Brown would be a perfect example of a leader for the white community who could command them in their efforts to combat institutionalized racism and injustice.

The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American, has sparked a new wave of protests condemning not only the use of excessive police force, but also racial profiling, the criminal justice system, and the apparent apathy white Americans have for the plight of minorities in the United States. Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer on August 9, 2014. Although there is overwhelming evidence and witness testimonies conveying that Michael Brown had indeed tried to surrender to the police officer with a “hands up” motion, he was shot multiple times by Wilson. At an estimated distance of 35 feet from the police cruiser, and no visible weapon possessed by Brown, witnesses heard Wilson fire approximately 10 shots. Based on the evidence present, one can conclude that officer Darren Wilson did not act in self defense, and that Michael Brown was murdered in cold blood.

Two months after the shooting of Michael Brown, Darren Wilson is still on paid administrative leave and has not yet faced charges or arrest. The state and federal investigations are taking a long time to reach a conclusion. Protesters believe this is deliberate, concluding that the local government is hoping that protests in and around the Ferguson – St. Louis area of Missouri will die down. The fact that charges haven’t been formally brought up against Darren Wilson is just the tip of the iceberg for the African-American community as they can foresee the murder of Michael Brown going unpunished. Below the murky waters of American race relations there is a lot of racist backlash against African-Americans coming from the white community with respect to demonstrations and vociferous opposition to unpunished white-on-black murders.

The fundraising efforts of people who support Darren Wilson was one of the first things outside of the investigation that struck a nerve within the African-American community in Ferguson. There were wristbands that read “I am Darren Wilson” being worn by members of the Ferguson police (as if to say that they also supported extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals). There were online fundraisers that had raised more money, about $400,000 for Darren Wilson and his family than for the family of the Michael Brown.

The amount of money raised for Wilson is nothing compared to the vitriol and racial hatred perpetrated by television news pundits and online social commentators. Young black men, who dress, act, or look a certain way are victims of verbal abuse in the media when they are all referred to as “thugs” “gangsters” and “hoodlums”. There has been an additional racial polarization in the United States regarding white America’s negative perception of young black males, hip-hop culture and whether they are innocent/guilty in the eyes of the law. As if the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, wasn’t enough to cause deep-seated racism to surface, the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and John Crawford, by white men has opened up old wounds in the African-American community, reminding them of lynchings and unpunished murders, which lasted from since the end of the American Civil War up until the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s.

The American prison system is disproportionately filled with African-Americans compared to white Americans. It is estimated that “one in three black males will end up in prison”. Similarly, African-Americans, along with other people of color, make up approximately 30% of the U.S. population, but represent 70% of all arrests and 60% of the prison population.

Constant police surveillance, police brutality, harsher punishments and longer sentences for people of color is akin to modern-day slavery and social injustice. John Brown would condemn the American prison system and fight tooth and nail until all unlawfully imprisoned people of color were released. Missouri is one of the states continuing the tradition of disproportionately sending people of color to prison.

John Brown definitely could be of good help in Ferguson in order to show other white people what true support for justice looks like. After a few weeks of protests and demonstrations in Ferguson, Governor Jay Nixon deployed the Missouri National Guard. Protestors were met with excessive force in the form of tear gas, flash grenades, riot police and soldiers with high-grade military equipment. It basically looked like a war zone in Ferguson during the Governor’s “invasion.”

A parallel can be drawn between how white Americans feel about social injustices, whom they support, and how the media portrays key players during a controversial event. One example comes from the Cliven Bundy standoff. Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has been disputing with the United States Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees. With the threat of government repossession of Bundy’s cattle, protests ensued and armed militias, mostly right-wing white Americans, came out to support Clive Bundy in an armed standoff against federal agents. Although those who supported Bundy were armed and aggressive, the government agents didn’t fire cans of tear gas, flash grenades, nor did the Governor of Nevada send in the Nevada National Guard. Conservative news media personalities like Sean Hannity were quick to support Bundy and his anti-government crusade, but soon realized how racist Bundy was when he made comments like “are black people better off as slaves?”.

How would John Brown respond to Cliven Bundy’s remarks about black people being “better off as slaves”? He would have killed Clive Bundy and all who attest to racist ideology. John Brown would have joined the protestors in Ferguson, Missouri to support the African-American community against the local police, the state police, the National Guard, and federal agents. He would have mounted his own militia of fellow whites to help protect the African-American community from white aggression.

The importance of having white people fight alongside people of color in Ferguson is tantamount to how the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s was such a success. In the same way, John Brown represented the ideologue of vengeful justice through direct action since before the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln, well known for upholding his abolitionist beliefs and declaring war upon the Confederacy for breaking up the Union, later paid for his beliefs with his life. Later on, during the 1960’s, John F. Kennedy was killed for unknown reasons, but speculation has it that he was killed for trying to end the Vietnam War, and for trying to give civil rights to African-Americans.

Although John Brown’s personality and legacy as a Christian religious fanatic and insurrectionist can be seen as somewhat of an ethical dilemma for pacifists, atheists, and the United States government, it would be interesting to see how much could been achieved as far as civil rights in America if a person like John Brown were around. John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry on October 16, 1859 is said to have been one of the key factors in polarizing the country so much that it started the Civil War, which restored the Union and ended slavery. The positive aspects that came after the most devastating war in United States history is difficult to justify on both sides. In the spirit of the 155th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, there is Ferguson October, which is a call for action and civil disobedience pleading for justice not only for Michael Brown, but all American citizens victimized by the prison-industrial complex. There are some things that aren’t as simple as being labeled as liberal or conservative. Morality, liberty and justice have no political party, and therefore, more people should abandon party affiliation and fight injustices for all people regardless of race, class, or gender.

By: Opton A. Martin

Violencia con Armas de Fuego: El Viejo Mundo v. El Nuevo Mundo.

“Ejecución y difamación es una táctica del Nuevo Orden Mundial para censurar a la gente.”

“El Nuevo Orden Mundial pretende destruir las tradiciones y monumentos que llevan cientos o miles de años de existencia. Es un club internacional de hombres poderosos que tienen más en común entre ellos que sus propios compatriotas como militares, políticos y socios económicos.  Exterminan y difaman a toda la gente en su camino y esperan que se les olviden.”

Sólo a veces es la muerte evitable. A veces a propósito, mayormente sin saber, nosotros construimos sociedades peligrosas con fallos en la estructura social que a consecuencia, trabaja para aislar a la gente para privar de derechos civiles y empujarles a la periferia. La clase baja tiene limitaciones económicas, educativas y representativas (para votar) porque la clase media apoya las leyes y la política de la clase gobernante que pretenden mantener el sometimiento de los pobres.

La gente que vive en la periferia luchan entre ellos porque compiten para pocos recursos. El “centro” del capital no es para ellos porque está siendo guardado por la policia, pagado por los ricos. Aquí es donde el poder legislativo, político y económico controla los elementos del estado – el estado semi-fallido.

La violencia con armas de fuego en toda América (salvo Canadá), desde los Estados Unidos hasta el punto de Argentina y Chile es muy diferente que la violencia con armas en África, Europa, Asia y Oceanía. Los motivos de la violencia con armas difiere de como está distribuida y su prevalencia. La similitud de violencia con armas entre el viejo mundo y el nuevo mundo se trata del control del territorio, espacio, tierra, región, zona, estado, país, califato, comunidad, manzana, ciudad, pueblo, isla, ruta de comercio y sobre todo, recursos naturales (el dinero). Aunque puedes decir que el robo cuenta por mucho del uso ilegal de armas de fuego, los países de América tienen las problemas graves del narcotráfico y la guerra contra las drogas que contribuye a la mayor parte del día a día violencia con armas.

El tráfico de las drogas a través de América va de sur a norte y acaba en las manos de los norteamericanos y europeos para consumir. Los estadounidenses consumen más drogas ilegales que cualquier otro país del mundo. Brasil, Colombia, Venezuela, México y todos los países de sus alrededores están plagados de violencia de bandas de narcotraficantes que amasan sus imperios y reciben protección personal a través del dinero generado del trafico de drogas, la extorsión y los sobornos pagados a agentes policiales. El comercio ilegal de las armas es por lo tanto parte a las drogan porque uno es necesario para proteger al otro. Algunos países de Centroamérica y el Caribe sufren de mucha violencia del narcotráfico a causa de su geografía. Los cárteles pasan por ¨caminos¨ estrechos y como un embudo, la violencia se concentra en países como Honduras. Con una cifra de homicidio a 82 por cada 100,000 residentes, Honduras es el país con más homicidios con armas de fuego en el mundo. Nicaragua, Guatemala y El Salvador también están estirados por el narcotráfico y violencia que han causado una crisis humanitaria que es la inmigración irregular de niños desde Centroamérica hacia los Estados Unidos.

La violencia actual que ocurre en países centroamericanos ha llegado a niveles bélicos principalmente por la política americana durante las administraciones de Ronald Reagan y George H.W. Bush que apoyaron a los ¨Contras¨ (comandos anti-izquierdista) para cumplir las campañas anticomunistas a través de golpes de estado y operaciones secretas contra ideologías izquierdistas como marxismo-leninismo, comunismo, o cualquier banda afiliada con las ideas y creencias de Che Guevara y Fidel Castro. Reagan autorizó la asistencia de la CIA para fundar y entrenar a los ¨Contras¨ para luchar contra los Sandinistas en Nicaragua.  Y quién puede olvidar la invasión estadounidense de Panamá en 1989 para deshacerse de Manuel Noriega, un antiguo empleado de la CIA y narcotraficante dictador militar. El gobierno estadounidense ayudaba establecer los cárteles de drogas con los mismos Contras, prácticamente en paro, que luchaba contra los izquierdistas (soldados a narcotraficantes).  El escándalo Irán-Contra era real, no una conspiración elaborado por periodistas. El acontecimiento del escándalo destaca lo poco que sabemos sobre la profundidad de las operaciones en América Latina.

La guerra contra las drogas continúa clandestinamente cuando el gobierno estadounidense ayuda crear parte del caos. Un ejemplo es la ¨Operación Rápido y Furioso¨ . El nombre tomado de una película de acción, describe el escándalo de la venta de armas de los Estados Unidos a cárteles mexicanos. Entre 2006 y 2011, la agencia de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de fuego y Explosivos (ATF) vendían armas a los que creían que formaban parte de bandas narcotraficantes para ¨rastrearlos.¨ Al final, las armas de fuego de la ATF se encontraban en escenas de crímenes brutales en México y el gobierno mexicano perplejo porque no tenía información previa de la operación.

Cuanto más hacen esfuerzo para parar el tráfico de drogas, la gente tiene que pagar más dinero y los cárteles ganan más dinero, se compran más armas, se ponen más violentos y controlan más territorio. Los cárteles siempre están buscando nuevas rutas para transportar las drogas y las armas. La violencia ¨se atasca¨ en países pequeños como Honduras, El Salvador y Jamaica, países que tiene lo más homicidios (por 100,000 habitantes) con armas del mundo. Jamaica ha llegado a ser muy peligroso últimamente porque envíos de cocaína y otro contrabando ha desviado para viajar a través del Caribe vía Jamaica. Si las drogas fuesen legalizadas o parcialmente legalizadas los cárteles tendrían menos dinero para fundar su conflicto armado. También los norteamericanos y europeos pueden dejar de tomar drogas completamente lo cual nunca pasará.

Hay menos violencia con armas en Europa y Asia que América. Las leyes de Europa preserva el derecho a las armas para los que tienen permiso de caza o si son agentes policiales. En España por ejemplo, si quieres comprar una escopeta primero hay que conseguir un permiso de caza. Las pistolas están muy restringidas para el público general.  En los Estados Unidos, comprar un arma no requiere nada más que el dinero porque la Constitución de los Estados Unidos dice que poseer armas y formar una milicia son partes de su independencia y seguridad nacional. Entonces, poseer un arma en Estados Unidos es una cosa de cultura. Resulta que para cada 100 estadounidenses hay 88 armas. Es el pueblo con mayor cantidad de armas del mundo. Puede ser porque ciudades como Chicago, Il ,USA, cuenta más de 500 homicidios por año, la mayoría a bases de violencia con pistolas. Altas cifras de homicidios con armas son comunes en ciudades con 100,000 habitantes o más. No debe ser así.

Algunos países en Europa tienen muchos propietarios de armas pero no padecen de la violencia con armas como América. Las capitales Europeas como Madrid, España, que tiene una población parecida a Chicago (incluyendo las cercanías) tiene aproximadamente 30 homicidios al año, y sólo una parte de la cifra incluye homicidios con armas de fuego. Oceanía (Australia, Nueva Zelanda, Polinesia) tienen cifras de homicidios con armas parecidas a Europa.

Sólo Suiza y Finlandia acerca a los Estados Unidos en cantidad de propietarios de armas de fuego con una cifra de 47 por 100 suecos o finlandeses respectivo a sus países. Violencia con armas no es muy común entre agente de policía en Europa tampoco:

“Según Der Spiegel de Alemania, la policía alemana dispararon solo 85 balas en todo de 2011. Un recuerdo de que no todos los países del mundo son tan locos por pistolas como los Estados Unidos…La mayoría de los disparos no se apuntaron a nadie: 49 disparos de aviso, 36 disparos a perpetradores, 15 personas heridas y 6 personas muertas.” thewire.com

 En los Estados Unidos es común oír una historia de un policía que disparó 90 veces a una persona.

Las temas de raza, etnia y protección policial son partes de una sociedad que es más peligroso para las minorías, especialmente los afroamericanos que los europeo-americanos. En 2002, la policía americana mataron a 313 hombres afroamericanos. Las ejecuciones de hombres negros fue calculado como ¨cada 28 horas un hombre negro es matado por la policía.¨ La violencia con armas sale de personas que han perdido totalmente su humanidad. Es la mecanización de matar.

En Asia, casi no tiene violencia con armas en China y Japón. Japón tiene casi 1/2 de la población de los Estados Unidos (128,000,000 est. 2010) metidos en un país el tamaño del estado de California, pero sólo hay aproximadamente 2 homicidios con armas de fuego al año. Comprar una pistola en Japón es un proceso agotador, hay limitaciones del modelo, análisis psicológicos, hay que tomar un curso y hay rutinas de inspecciones. En China, posesión de armas de fuego está prohibida para los ciudadanos. La falta de acceso a las armas y bajos niveles de violencia con armas están relacionados, pero en países menos industriales es más complicado.

Una de las cosas que separa la violencia de armas en los Estados Unidos a Europa o Asia es cultura. Los estadounidenses sienten que necesitan tener un arma porque fue fundamental en formar las fronteras de América del Norte al estilo ¨Wild Wild West.¨ Al contraste,  Europa y Asia tiene estado-países antiguos formados con matrimonios, diplomacia, rutas de comercio, batallas con espadas, cañones, y mamutes cruzando los Alpes  suizos. Ir a campos de tiros o disparar a cosas en el jardín es una forma de diversión para los estadounidenses (al resto del mundo no tanto). A veces, son demasiado listos para disparar a cosas o personas que no amenace a nadie.

El continente de África y la región del Oriente Próximo tienen violencia con armas de fuego pero los conflictos del ¨viejo mundo¨ son problemas propagados por el Nuevo Orden Mundial. Reinos antiguos en África y el Oriente Próximo se formaban hace muchos siglos, interrumpidos por las invasiones de Europeos que re-dibujó estas zonas durante los siglos XVIII, XIX y XX. Países modernos como India, Pakistán, Nigeria, Argelia, Sudan, Egipto, e Israel son zonas donde los británicos y franceses bordeaban y cruzaban países ignorando vínculos culturales,  lingüísticos y étnicos cuando formaban países nuevos.

Zonas de conflicto armado como Siria, Libia, Sudan, Malí, Israel, Yemen, Pakistán y otros, requiere armamentos de países occidentales (EE.UU, Europa Occidental y Rusia). Debido a la inundación de armas, la violencia continúa para borrar las linea que los Europeos han dejado hace un siglo. Es una puerta giratoria, pero los países occidentales tiene lo más para ganar mientras los países de conflicto sigan comprando y lanzando las armas.

Aunque parece que quitar las armas de la gente para reducir homicidios es una solución simple, no es así de fácil. Si la gente quiere matar a otro, lo harán. En Sudáfrica, donde la cifra de homicidios es más alta que los Estados Unidos, homicidios con armas de fuego sólo cuenta por 45% de ellos, pero 67% en los Estados Unidos. Hay problemas profundas que provocan la tensión entre ciudadanos en cada país.  La disponibilidad de las armas sólo exacerba las problemas, luchan una falta de recursos. Lo que es verdad es que aunque países en América están en un estado de ¨paz¨ las cifras de homicidios competen con zonas de conflictos armados. Hay que llamar la atención al público para acabar con el despliegue rápido de policías militares al estilo futurista, distópica y Orwelliano. No más tanques, granadas, y metralletas en las calles de América apuntados a los ciudadanos. El estado policial, pre Segunda Guerra Mundial del siglo XX era malo, el estado policial del siglo XXI será peor.

Por: Opton A. Martin

Old World Guns v. New World Guns

“Execution and defamation is a New World Order tactic for censorship.”

“The New World Order seeks to destroy traditions and monuments, some hundreds or thousands of years old. It’s an international club of powerful men who have more in common as military, political and economic partners than their own countrymen. They exterminate and slander those in their way, those who they hope will be forgotten.”

Only sometimes is death preventable.  Sometimes knowingly, mostly unknowingly, we engineer dangerous societies with flawed socio-structural elements that are designed to push certain groups of disenfranchised people to the periphery. The lower class are limited by economic, educational, and representational boundaries, which are supported by the suburban middle class who vote for these policies.  Those living at the periphery fight against one another because they compete for the little resources that have been left for them. The the “center” is off limits, because it is being guarded – this is where legislative, political and economic power control the elements of the state – the semi-failed state.

Gun violence in the Americas (with the exception of Canada) from the United States to the tip of Argentina and Chile is very different than gun violence in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. It differs in the motives behind how gun violence is distributed and executed and the prevalence of such. The similarities between Old World Guns and New World Guns is that it all comes down to who controls the territory, space, land, turf, region, zone, state, country, caliphate, community, block, city, roadways, access, building complex, county, town, island, trade route, port – and above all natural resources (money). Although robberies could account for much of the world’s use of firearms illegally, the Americas have the problems of heavy drug trafficking and the drug war which makes up part of regular, day to day gun violence.

The flow of drugs through the Americas normally flows South-North and ends up into the hands of North Americans and Europeans to be consumed.  The citizens of the United States of America consume more illegal drugs than any other country in the world. Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico and everywhere in between has been plagued with intense violence from gangs who amass their empires and personal protection from the money generated by the drug trade, extortion and bribery of police forces. The illegal gun trade is just as much a part of the illegal drug trade in that one is needed to protect the other – they go hand and hand. Central American and Caribbean countries suffer a great deal from the drug trade because of their geography. It is a narrow passageway for cartels coming up form the South American mainland. At about 82 homicides per 100,000 residents, Honduras has the highest murder rate of any country in the world. Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador are also stretched thin by narco-trafficking and violence, which has caused a humanitarian crisis that is the irregular immigration of children to the United States.

The current war-like levels of violence and armed conflicts in Central America was propagated from the foreign policy campaigns under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who supported the Contras (anti-leftist commandos), in covert operations and coup d’etats against left-wing ideologies including Marxist-Leninists, Communists, or any political fraction in support of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro’s revolution. Reagan authorized the CIA to help fund and train the Contras to fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And who can forget the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 to dispose of Manuel Noriega, former CIA employee, and narco-trafficking military dictator. The U.S. government effectively helped to establish Latin American drug cartels with out-of-work Contras  who before fought against leftists. The Iran-Contra Affair of the 1980s was real, not a fabricated conspiracy, which highlights how little we know about how deep these operations run in Latin America.

The drug war continues in mysterious ways as the U.S. government helps to create some of the chaos, especially with their “Fast and Furious” operation of 2006-2011 in which the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) sold weapons to those they believed were tied to Mexican drug cartels (in an attempt to “track” them).  Eventually those same weapons began appearing at brutal crime scenes in Mexico, and the Mexican government was perplexed as they were not informed of these American operations.

As American police crack down,  drug prices go up, the cartels make more money, they buy more guns, they become more violent, then they control more territory. Drug cartels continue to look for newer routes for transport of guns and drugs, which at times causes the violence to “bottleneck” in small countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Jamaica, which have the highest rates of homicides (per 100,000 people) by guns in the world. Jamaica has become especially violent since cocaine and other drug shipments have diverted to travel through the Caribbean via Jamaica. If drugs were legalized or at least partially legalized, drug cartels would have less demand ergo less money to fund their armed conflicts. Or Americans and European could stop doing drugs all together, which will never ever happen.

In Europe and Asia gun violence is far less prevalent than in the Americas. Legislation in these geographic areas generally only permit gun purchases for hunters and law enforcement officers. In Spain for example, if you want to buy a shotgun, you have to get a hunting permit, hand guns are rigidly regulated. In the United States, buying a gun doesn’t require much of anything besides money. The United States Constitution states that bearing arms and forming a militia is part of independence and homeland security, therefore, gun-ownership is a cultural thing in the United States. It is a direct result as to why there are about 88 guns per 100 Americans, making the United States the most gun-packing nation on Earth. It might also shed light on why cities like Chicago boast 500 homicides a year, the majority of them being gun-related. High gun related homicide rates in U.S. cities over 100,000 people are common – they shouldn’t be.

Some countries in Europe have relatively high gun ownership rates, but don’t suffer the amount of gun violence present in the Americas. A European capital like Madrid, Spain, which has a population similar to Chicago (including metropolitan zones) suffers from only about 30 homicides a year, with only a fraction of them being gun related. Oceania, which includes Australia, New Zealand and island nations in Pacific, have similar gun related homicides to Northern Europe.

Only Switzerland and Finland come almost close to the United States in gun possession at about 47 guns per 100 Swiss and Finns in their respective countries. Gun violence is rare in Europe even among police:

” According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the U.S. of A. As Boing Boing translates, most of those shots weren’t even aimed anyone: “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.” – thewire.com

In the United States on the other hand, it is not uncommon to hear a story about a single police officer who shoots a person 90 times.

Crime and police protection with the theme of race and ethnicity are part of what make America an unsafe place for minorities as they are treated differently than European Americans. In 2002, police officers in the United States killed about 313 African-American men. Gun violence and police execution of a minority group has been calculated as “Every 28 hours a Black man is killed by the police in America.” Gun violence comes from those who have completely lost their sense of humanity – it’s the mechanization of murder.

In Asia, China and Japan have effectively gotten rid of gun violence. Japan has almost 1/2 of the U.S. population (128,000,000 est. 2010) crammed into an area equivalent to California, yet might have about ~2 gun-related homicides per year.  Buying a gun in Japan is an enduring process, there are strict limitations on the type, there are psychological and metal exams, a course must be taken, and it is subject to government inspections. In China, private possession of firearms is practically forbidden for citizens. The lack of guns and lack of gun related violence are clearly related, but the subject is more complex in countries less industrialized.

One of the main things that separate gun violence in the United States to gun violence in Europe and Asia is culture. Americans feel the need to have a gun because it was instrumental in carving out the North American continent in a Wild Wild West fashion, whereas Europe and Asia have older nation-states that were conquered by marriages, diplomacy, trade routing, epic battles with swords, cannons and mammoths crossing the Swiss Alps; in Europe and Asia, they have other ways of having fun besides shooting at things in their back yards, or shooting at people in their front yards.

The continent of Africa and the Middle Eastern region have some gun violence, but these current “Old World” conflicts are New World Order endeavors. Ancient African and Middle Eastern kingdoms were cut out centuries ago the same way kingdoms were formed in Asia, India, and South America until they were abruptly invaded, and geographically redrawn by Europeans in the 18th,19th, and 20th centuries. Current places like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, and Israel were all cut up by the British and the French who ignored cultural, linguistic and ethnic elements when they crammed different people into a states.

Conflict zones like  Syria, Libya, Sudan, Mali, Israel, Yemen, Pakistan and more, require guns and armaments to be sent from Western nations (i.e. North America, Europe and Russia). As these zones become flooded with more weaponry, the violence continues as new fractions seek to redraw the lines that were left there by the Europeans in the first place. It is a revolving door of violence, but the Westerns nations profit the most so long as the guns keep firing.

Though it might seem simple enough as to just restrict firearm availability to reduce firearm homicides, it might not be that simple. If people want to kill each other, they will do it. In South Africa, where the homicide rate is higher than in the United States, firearm homicides account for only 45%, while in the United States the rates is about 67%.  There are deep-seated social problems that lead to friction between groups of people. The availability of firearms only exacerbates social tension of lack of resources. What is certain is that in the Americas, where many countries are at “peace” , they have just as many or more casualties, as current war zones. These problems must be addresses as to not coerce the governments of the Americas to deploy  futuristic, dystopic, and Orwellian permanent military police who will monitor the streets with tanks, machine guns and stun grenades. The police states pre World War II of the 20th century were bad, the police states of the 21st century will be worse.

by Opton A. Martin