There have been two more episodes of gun madness since north Oregon.There is the element of contagion in these but that accentuates rather than diminishes the danger.In view of the enormity of these events, the negative response of a community to a presidential visit pursuant to the event requires examination.
President Obama in his role as chief mourner and sympathizer showed up in Roseburg in the wake of the Umpqua Community College shootings and was preceded by a mass demonstration mostly in favor of maintaining guns and declaring that his presence was”political” and aimed at removing their guns.In fairness,there were some who applauded his presence and condemned gun madness.They were clearly in the minority. The “gunsels”(nineteenth century slang for gunslingers?)were allowed to assemble fully armed in the public streets.For these people Obama is that “other” who wishes to take from them something of value symbolic of defiance,independence and power.A view of the gun strongly touted by the NRA and its gun lobby.I assume that the secret service is aware of the risk to our President in trying to deal with(what should be) the grief and loss of those who hate him.
The old NRA helped me learn to shoot.(very well in fact: there are some medals lying around…)This new NRA (about three decades?)stresses the ability to kill and not particularly game since the instruments(automatic and semiautomatic) are borrowed from war and will shred game.Since it is still a world of symbolic interaction, perhaps there may be some hope in evolving games that allow us to deal with our hatreds in the context of the game.Frequent change of sides and alliances would have to be built in.This genre of game is not to be confused with the big game of three dimensional chess alluded to before;these deflector games are strictly for the hoi poloi although the big players will have to be aware of , and approve them.