Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore recently wrote on his blog that the main reasons for mass shootings in the United States are fear and racism. On Christmas Eve, he wrote, “Calm down, white people, and put away your guns.”
In his blog post entitled “Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns,” Moore advocated stronger gun laws, but added that when Adam Lanza "saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work."
Moore wrote, in part:
We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end. We invade countries who didn't attack us. We're currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians.
This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to us as we are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves.
We're an awfully fearful country considering that, unlike most nations, we've never been invaded. Why on earth would we need 300 million guns in our homes?”
I get why the Russians might be a little spooked (over 20 million of them died in World War II). But what's our excuse? Worried that the Indians from the casino may go on the warpath? Concerned that the Canadians seem to be amassing too many Tim Horton's donut shops on both sides of the border?
No. It's because too many white people are afraid of black people, period.
The vast majority of the guns in the U.S. are sold to white people who live in the suburbs or the country. When we fantasize about being mugged or home invaded, what's the image of the perpetrator in our heads? Is it the freckled-face kid from down the street – or is it someone who is, if not black, at least poor?
I think it would be worth it to a) do our best to eradicate poverty and re-create the middle class we used to have, and b) stop promoting the image of the black man as the boogeyman out to hurt you.
Calm down, white people, and put away your guns.