Owning a Semi Automatic Weapon Is Not A Natural Right: An Analysis of the Structural Elements That Support White Supremacy

The fact that the man who cowardly murdered 50 people and wounded 50 plus others was gay has little or nothing to do with his hatred. I get tired of the implication that if he was gay then that makes his killing lesbians, gays, transgendered and queer folk alright. It does not. When humans kill humans (and other species for that matter) this is a deplorable act and this is why I do not support wars. Wars and the patriotic spirit connected to them normalizes violence as a way to solving world problems. It creates a sense of global personal insecurity, because everyone walks on egg shell not trusting each other because of the fears of war.

In my experience as a violence researcher, when I tried to understand violence, I seemed to always come back to this conclusion–it was always related to hatred, control, and domination. A person who needs and wants to dominate relies on structural supports to dominate. Society creates social structures that influence who gets treated violently, and who doesn’t.

While we are talking let’s stop a minute and think about how white supremacy works…when black people kill black people we talk about this as a racial and cultural phenomenon. This framing of violence is racist, and supports a white supremacy view that blacks are deficient, inferior, and morally bankrupt. But when white people kill white people it is just people killing people and no cultural or racial analysis is offered. None, or very few cultural analyses are offered, that might bring us to a deeper focus, white people are people and the rest of us our others. This is an example of how our structures (the media, educational systems, and our day to day conversations) support forms of belief systems that imply that some of us are violent because of culture while others are violent as a form of natural act. Try to ask somebody about White on White violence, when it occurs, and what they think about it, and see how the person changes the subject very quickly? We are rewarded, so to speak, by the level of engagement and how are conversations fit within white supremacist social structuring.

Now the structural elements of white supremacy also impact how we think of the roles of women and men. Notice how we do not talk about the serial killer in Orlando as being a man, and relate his maleness to the use of weapons to control and dominate. Notice how we do not see his use of assault weapons as un-natural. (Of course, many of us do see this as unnatural, but about half of our US senators do not see having it as unnatural). Find a list of those senators who supported gun rights and think about commonalities.

In fact,the gun advocates, if I understand their thinking about this issue correctly, see the right to own A SEMI AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLE as a natural right. The NRA and others are able to justify their stances on possessing any type of gun they want because having it helps to create a social structure that controls and dominates. And please don’t get me wrong, we have to have gun controls because if we don’t our society will continue to denigrate. My main point is that when we talk about the behavior of men, that is sculpted from white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, we should not rush to other adjectives (crazy, lunatic, terrorist, etc) that essentially obscures his maleness. It is not that these other adjectives don’t apply, we need to carefully discuss all the elements at play.

White supremacy supports the rights of cis gender white men. This means that white men get to determine who is other based on gender and/or ethnicity and/or sexual orientation and/or presentation. This does not mean that white men are evil or bad, but what I am saying is that we need to dismantle the social structure that privileges groups of us over the rest of us.

Please share if you think this helps to broaden or deepen our conversation, and please ask questions. I don’t have all the answers and this is my personal view. I am certain I missed some angle or some connection too, but through having conversations it will enlighten me and others on my feed.

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