Growing up on the West Coast of Canada, I’ve always felt that the American fascination with guns was bizarre, misguided, and dangerous. It’s hard to understand from a Canadian perspective the pride that guns play in the national identity of a large population. Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), spews a thesis to his supporters, referring to “a socialist agenda” and “a new tidal wave of European socialists” intended to strip citizens of their firearms, and take away all individual freedoms in the process. To me, this was an obvious example of the NRA preying on American nationalist pride to keep business in check. European Socialists? By European Socialists you mean Elizabeth Warren, Kamila Harris, and the other AMERICANS that are fighting for gun control? And then there’s the so-called President—massaging LaPierre’s back with lavender oil, assuring him that not only would comprehensive gun reform be blocked, but also that the sale of guns would be increased by arming public school teachers.
“…Trump also asserted that he would be ‘very strong’ on background checks for gun buyers as well as mental health issues.”
… Nod and groan.
How is that going to happen when you already deregulated the restrictions for the mentally ill to buy guns?
In the meantime, while the orange one is playing media games to ensure he makes more money from/for his NRA buddies, high school students are taking time out from their studies to protest a government that is proving to be deadly for them. High School Students.
Selfie is a reflection on the psychology of a teenage mass shooter. Kids aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen. Teenage boys spend the most, an average of eight hours.
Guns are everywhere on their screens and are associated with power and coolness in movies, video games, and social media. Is it any wonder that a kid—anti-social and suffering from one or a combination of mental illnesses—may want to go get an assault rifle and shoot people to feel cooler and more powerful? Growing up in the eighties, we had bullies that tormented kids with words and fists. Today, we have bullies shooting kids with guns. Why? It’s not rocket science. Guns are ubiquitous in America, and too easy to get ahold of.
Niki Singleton is a Canadian drawer, painter, and found material sculptor based in Brooklyn. Visit her website to learn more.