Good news for the merchants of death! After the latest and greatest mass killing in U.S. history, stocks in gun manufacturing are rallying. This is standard procedure. There were surges in gun sales after the shootings in San Bernardino in 2015. After the massacre at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, gun sales surged. After massacres, gun owners get skittish that the government might take away their guns; so they rush to buy more guns and stock up. Meanwhile the merchants of death lick their chops as the cash registers ring with songs of joy. According to Market Watch, the gun industry raked in $51 billion dollars in 2016. And no doubt business for grave-diggers and funeral parlors was noticeably brisk.
The logic of this phenomenon is clearly perverted. Imagine a man is told by a doctor that he has incipient lung cancer. What is the man’s response? He runs out to the nearest drugstore and buys five cartons of cigarettes. Sound lunatic? Consider this. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch reported that "American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer said on his radio show … that the problem at the heart of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas is that too few people had guns." This same suicidal “logic” we saw in the Burns & Novick documentary on the Vietnam War. The collective unwisdom of the war was: send more troops, do more bombings, make more destruction--and victory will be ours. The guiding principle was the kill-ratio—as long as we kill “gooks” in a ratio of 10 to one, we can say we’re winning the war. 57 thousand American lives were lost and we lost the war.
Needless to say, the same catastrophic logic is at work today: we’re sending more troops to Afghanistan, one of our endless wars that suck up lives and treasure while the merchants of death grow richer. How many times must we suffer the consequences of putting our trust in the logic of more weapons, more instruments of force, murder, and intimidation? When is it going to dawn on us as a people that we need to put our faith in a different kind of logic? Not a logic of brutal materialism but a logic of soul, heart and humanity?
Have we even begun to understand what those words mean? Gun idolatry in America runs so deep, I doubt it. Murder is as American as apple pie and a Gideon Bible in your hotel. Right Wing Watch noted that on his "Pass The Salt Live" webcast, religious activist Dave Daubenmire said the mass shooting in Las Vegas "was just the latest example of ‘the wrath of God’ being unleashed on America for being such a wicked nation." The same morally degenerate poison was heard spilling from the mouths of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after 9/11. Is there any place on Earth where there is more concentrated hypocrisy than among the NRA-Republican Party-Christian fascist-complex?