hubert-williams_web.jpgEvery time some idiot takes a weapon or weapons, which the U.S. Constitution gives him the legal right to own, and murders people he has never met, the nation rises up in remorse but then settles back comfortably to await the next appalling repetition.

From the way the public speaks, the possession of deadly weapons is a prerogative many Americans treasure.

Under the 1791 provision of the Bill of Rights (the Second Amendment) each man and woman, and it appears some teenagers too, have the right to “keep and bear arms.” The rightwing gun lobby is such an influential force in

American politics that there will be no significant change to the law nor will the killing frenzy cease in my lifetime.

This very easy access for just about everyone to instruments of death is yet to surface as a matter of grave concern in both the Republican and the Democratic campaigns for the November presidential elections. Everybody seems to be just sitting and wondering, “Who is to bell the cat… and at what cost?” Obviously, with the stakes so very high, it is prudent to seek shelter in the Constitution.

With violence ingrained in America, every so often some idiot hugely acts it out in Columbine, Aurora and now Oak Creek fashion, with deadly consequences for so many families.

And after every such very tragic event in which the shooter survives, there comes the pantomime, a charade, during which many, many millions of dollars is spent and numerous players want to command the public stage to determine whether the shooter is in fact guilty of the act — which, mind you, he had said from the outset that he committed — or if something mental caused the shooter to act out of character.

In today’s America, violence and cherry pie are too frequently synonymous, as H. Rap Brown once said.

Far too many children, it seems, are bred on violence and far too many parents exact control through violence.

Industry is reaping billions of dollars on games that feed children on violence.

Killing the onscreen representation of a human being has become great fun for the kids pulling the triggers at the numerous amusement arcades primed with many of technology’s products.

The latest craze which I have encountered has been excited by the Angry Birds video game. I have never myself had a run-in with an angry bird, except for the case of a hen fearing some threat to her chicks — and that’s a great reason for any parent becoming angry.

Birds are beautiful and harmless creatures of nature – a delight to the human eyes and ears (though it is true that the majority of birds throughout the modern world are reared only to delight the human palate).

But I have looked in awe at small children gleefully pummeling away with a baseball bat at a large representation of an “angry bird” until it bursts asunder, spilling out gifts, the quest for which had excited their assault.

This, I learnt, is called the piñata, which I presume transmits the message to the children that if you want something that somebody else has, then beat them and get it.

Sad to say, the piñata has become a very popular feature at children’s parties across the United States and the brand name is in such great demand that the angry bird is the early bird who now gets the worm across a vast line of children’s products – a multi-billion-dollar production giant.

It is therefore not difficult to see why someone, deranged or delusional for whatever reason, would consider the destruction of human lives as a first option, whether in a high school, a cinema, a temple, or wherever.

Hubert Williams, a Guyanese journalist, travels frequently in the U.S. and the Caribbean.