Culture or Trauma

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Like many Canadians, I watch America with deep concern.  An article in this week's New York Times has echoes of one I read in the New Yorker about the Florida woman who has had such a profound effect on gun laws there and across many other states on behalf of the NRA.  The article is here in the April 1 magazine.

As the writer confronts gun culture as his personal culture, there is an interesting revelation.  His fear started when as a young boy he was robbed in a dark alley.  He has reacted ever since by arming himself with more and more guns.  He shares that experience with the Florida advocate who was also robbed as a teenager.

Both are suffering from post traumatic stress that this writer is starting to acknowledge.  It's something that is shared more widely by a fearful culture that finds it hard to trust anyone and has mistakenly put its trust in weapons designed to destroy.. That doesn't work. Whether this writer and his culture can heal itself is the challenge. It's not helped by its leader.  The only charitable response is that the leader might be most frightened of all - of what we are still to learn - and perhaps we never will.