Joe Bageant drew a good picture of the systems of our society that create a demand for violence with his essays (“Deer Hunting with Jesus”, and other stories). Violence is profitable in capitalist societies, and like life itself, it grows where there is a niche to exploit. America’s fanatical use of competicism in all aspects of life creates isolation and individualism as tools of profit-making. Isolated and depressed individuals buy more stuff (guns included) to fill desires that are often not really even their own, but the coerced motivations of marketers pushing their lizard brain’s buttons.
As Wendell Berry put it, “In a society based on competition, you invevitably get fewer and fewer winners and more and more losers.” Our consumption-based system of competitive resource and cash flows puts people at each other’s throats literally and figuratively every day. Bullies are highly praised for their prowess. Moderates are attacked for being too soft. Individuals who don’t fit into competitive cliques or who are simply not energetic are ostracized and attacked if only because they are ‘different’.
Kimmel is doing noble work, and he understands that what he’s really fighting are the systems that isolate people from each other and leave them spent and hopeless at a profit (bullies’ profits are measured in power over the weak).
Yes, most of the guns in circulation are a problem waiting to happen, but the focus on guns and gun violence distracts from the social and cultural depravity that creates and profits from killers as a commodity item. Advertisers profit from the news stories, especially the hyped exploitative stories about gun control arguments that we can’t really call “debates”.) It’s all clickbait now. Money doesn’t care where the clicks are from.