The founding of the United States was based on the ideology of white supremacy, the practice of slavery, land theft and genocide. The mass murder of indigenous people by Euro-colonizers was fueled by white nationalism. From the settler colonialists down to the present, the U.S. has had a long love affair with guns. Violence is driven by racism, patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia. Worldwide, the U.S. ranks in the top tier in gun killings. From Thousand Oaks to Las Vegas, from Columbine to Sandy Hook the trail of tears and blood grows. Every massacre is followed by officials ritually saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy." A lot of good that's done. The NRA likes to say, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” How many more will die before things change?
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is an award-winning historian. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for many decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to social justice issues. She is the author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States and Loaded her book on U.S. gun culture.