Too Many Guns

Song Lyrics

Why does a man reach for weapons of war
Whenever he cannot agree?
And how can a man look at 28 lives,
And kill them so casually?

And why do we claim that it’s illness to blame,
Or video games or TV?

The answer is one: Just too many guns.
It comes down to too many guns.

When will we learn that violence
By violence never is healed?
And how many people will lie in their graves
Before simple truth is revealed?
And why do we find it so hard to choose peace,
Instead of the battlefield?

The answer is one:  Just too many guns.
It comes down to too many guns.

Why can’t a people as wealthy as we
Find enough foor for the poor?
And who really wants the economy
Of a nation addicted to war?
And who really thinks what it means to be free,
Is killing the people next door?

The answer is one:  Just too many guns.
It comes down to too many guns.

Lyrics ©Doug Hendren 2012
Original parody of “Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan

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About the Issue

This song is not just about just about domestic gun control.  It is also about the big picture of the manufacture of armaments and promotion of violent conflict in the United States. We are indeed “addicted to war“.  President Eisenhower warned us in his farewell address about the rise of the military-industrial complex after World War II, but to no avail. Eisenhower also understood the effects of a military economy on the nation:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life…”    (Eisenhower, 1953)

US military expenditures equal those of the rest of the world combined. Of the part of the US national budget which is “discretionary” (about a third), the majority goes for military spending, leaving very little for education, transportation, energy infrastructure development, or other badly needed uses. A military economy makes a few arms makers very rich, but diverts money and attention away from our real needs. Money and resources diverted to the banking industry and the military are, indeed, killing the prospect of economic freedom and success for ordinary Americans.

Gun control isn’t really just about getting rid of assault weapons in our homes and schools. It’s about examining the roots of violence in our society, including a notion of “freedom” that no longer serves us well, and examining an economic system where many large corporations have a business model based on killing people.

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