Gun culture in the U.S.

Several massacres, some involving children, were necessary for the United States Congress to break its inaction of 30 years and pass a law that proposes modest measures for gun control. However, almost in unison, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional another law, established by the state of New York, where only a license is required to carry a weapon in public.

The advance of the conservatives, especially in the composition of the Supreme Court, is blamed for the difficulty in controlling weapons. Even President Biden called on voters to vote against this trend, but the reality is that the gun culture is a problem that goes back to the origins of the nation, and sustained over time by liberals under the protection of the most anachronistic constitution on earth. Indeed, the Constitution protects the right to bear arms, what is insane is that this rule is the one that governs the country after more than 200 years of its implementation.

The reason is not to be found in the veneration of people’s democratic rights, as the Court would have us believe, but in a business that is estimated at nearly twenty billion dollars a year and its corresponding apparatus of political influence that involves most all political leaders in the country and spreads corruption to other parts of the world. Currently in U.S. courts is a lawsuit brought forth by the Mexican government against U.S. arms companies. It challenges  the uncontrolled sale of arms to criminal sectors of the Latin American nation.

The infamous Second Amendment, which establishes the right to bear arms, was established in 1791, eight years after the United States had achieved independence. It was heir to the claims of the settlers to organize themselves into militias and bear arms in the face of the English prohibitions, aimed at curbing the independence movement. But this demand, before considered revolutionary and progressive, became cursed when it surpassed the logic of self-defense to respond to the interest of acting against indigenous communities within the US expansionist process.

This is how the constitutional right to bear arms was born, guided by genocidal intentions, which explains the roots of a culture of violence, endorsed again by the Supreme Court, against the stability that the system should claim. Hundreds of new ‘militias’ are arming themselves like armies to confront the threat posed to them by other ethnic groups, immigrants, and even the country’s political system. Those who attacked the Capitol did so with a “license to kill.”

The cult of weapons is also the ideological matrix that sustains the enormous military power and the existence of a permanent state of war, which has made the U.S. legal and political system dysfunctional, since it has broken with the control and balance mechanisms conceived by the founding fathers of the nation. George Washington himself spoke against the militarization of the country and the lack of control in the production of weapons. It is why the Constitution sets forth that the declaration of war and the military budget are prerogatives of the Congress.

Although the United States has never been a pacifist country, the control mechanism worked relatively effectively until the middle of the last century. If you look at a historical statistic of the US military budget, you can see increases that took place during periods of war or security threats, but rapid decreases when these times ended. However, since World War II the escalation has been uninterrupted and the reason is again of an economic nature. To speak well, more than the cult of weapons, it is the cult of businesses related to them, which corresponds to the nature of the system.

Nixing military spending was related to its implications on a balanced budget, its effects on social investment and the damage to the development of other key items of the economy considered more lucrative and safe. But this vision changed when the government created specific incentives for the production of weapons and, along with services to the armed forces, weapons’ plants spread throughout the country, to the point of generalizing the dependence of many local economies on military spending. 

The military-industrial complex is linked to the production and sale of all kinds of weapons, including those that, in their own right, are carried by regular citizens in their daily lives. But it also extends to other lines of the economy, from food and clothing producers, to the entertainment industry and the press, to the large energy companies. The Pentagon is considered to be the single largest consumer of oil in the world.

The great financier of arms production has been the U.S. taxpayer himself as part of the profits are redistributed to the entire population through the Pentagon’s domestic spending in a kind of militarized version of the Keynesian doctrine. A fallacy is that the military industry is the basis of the scientific development of the United States, when what it is about are projects previously subsidized by the State, without risks for private companies, which nevertheless seize the patents and commercialize them for own benefit. Some American researchers have defined it as a universe where “risks are socialized and profits are privatized.” Under this scheme, any civil company could be chosen for the development of scientific projects and new technologies.

The establishment of U.S. hegemony as a result of World War II, especially its control of the international financial system, made it possible to mitigate the negative impacts of militarization on the rest of the U.S. domestic economy. In the long run, thanks to the mechanisms of capitalist domination, the rest of the world subsidizes U.S. military spending, pays off public debt and guarantees the standard of living of the American people.

The domestic political corollary has been the subordination of the governmental and legislative body to the interests of the military complex, especially when high levels of corruption of government officials, congressmen and judges, at all levels, are added to the systemic logic. Sometimes it is pathetic that the executive branch requests a certain amount for the military budget and Congress, supposedly the body in charge of regulating these expenses, decides to arbitrarily increase it [as happened in the current budget]. It is said that for each congressman there is at least one lobbyist from the arms complex in charge of giving them love and reminding them of their duties.

Sometimes it is not even necessary, his own voters remind him or her — as they are also dependent on the investments of the military complex in their lives. It is said that the majority of Americans supports gun control, and it is logical to assume that they do. However, statistics show that there are 1.2 guns per every American, from which it follows that many who hate them also use them, since it is imposed by the ‘American Way of Life.’ Weapons, from the simple and effective revolver to the atomic bomb, have been functional to the development of the U.S. system and therein lies the cult that protects and justifies their use. 

Its natural market is crime.