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America, where natural death is unnatural

Tehran Times – Guns and violence have been taking lives in the United States for years, but no one has the ability to deal with them. Violence in America is so institutionalized that if, in some states, anybody dies of natural causes, in fact, he has died of unnatural death.

In an article in the Washington Post titled “How Gun Violence Shatters Lives, and Our Country’s Public Life”, Alex Kotlowitz writes: Let me first point out what we already know: It’s impossible to think about our nation’s gun violence without thinking about the easy availability of guns.

It does seem self-evident that we need to impose some restrictions on guns, restrictions that would make killings and suicides less likely. An assault rifle ban. Or background checks. Or waiting periods for firearm purchases. Or banning the 3D printing of guns. The problem, of course, is that we’re so polarized on matters of gun control that it feels almost Sisyphean. Even in the wake of recent massacres in Colorado and Virginia, gun-control advocates in Congress have thrown in the towel. One senator conceded, “The blunt, stark fact is that there simply aren’t enough votes.”

Today, those who live in the so-called “American Dream” must also have the constant fear that they may pay a price for this dream.

Today, every man and woman in America is horrified to see the news of shootings in schools and streets. Every bullet that leaves the barrel of a gun can destroy the dream of an American family. It is American families who have to pay for the boom in the gun market

Paul Auster in his new book titled ‘Bloodbath Nation’ writes about an epidemic in America; not the covid epidemic, but the epidemic of violence and murder in his country. Auster wrote this book based on his personal experiences.

Bloodbath Nation focuses on gun violence in America and uses black and white photographs by New York photographer Spencer Ostrander. These photos were taken in the last 2 years and show more than 30 places that have been the site of 30 shootings in recent years in America.

About the author

Like most American boys of his generation, Paul Auster grew up playing with toy six-shooters and mimicking the gun-slinging cowboys in B Westerns. A skilled marksman by the age of ten, he also lived through the traumatic aftermath of the murder of his grandfather by his grandmother when his father was a child and knows, through firsthand experience, how families can be wrecked by a single act of gun violence.

In this short, searing book, Auster traces centuries of America’s use and abuse of guns, from the violent displacement of the native population to the forced enslavement of millions, to the bitter divide between embattled gun control and anti-gun control camps that have developed. Over the past 50 years and the mass shootings that dominate the news today.

Since 1968, more than one and a half million Americans have been killed by guns. The numbers are so large and so catastrophic that one must ask why.

These crimes are only the tip of the iceberg, says Auster, and American lives are becoming increasingly saturated and disrupted by gun violence. It is not impossible to register all crimes, but it is exhausting.

According to him, gun violence is a personal issue for all Americans, and “Bloodbath Nation” is also rooted in these old traumas.

In this book, Aster goes back in time and clearly shows how the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, which guarantees the freedom to bear arms, came from the 18th century, and there is no reason why a citizen should walk the streets with a loaded gun today.

In the past decades, 228 cases of armed violence have occurred in American schools and colleges alone. A country with more than 300 million people and about 393 million firearms. Statistics show that about 40,000 Americans die each year from gun violence, which is equal to the number of those who die on the roads.

Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri, Alabama, and Alaska top the states with the most gun violence in 2022.

Auster’s new book is concise, bitter, and passionately written, but does not offer a solution.
He writes that the situation is getting worse every day, not better. “Why is America so different—and why are we the most violent country in the Western world?” he asks himself.

Auster himself lives in New York; a city where shootings have soared in the past year. He writes: “The gaps in the United States are steadily turning into great gaps of empty space.” The book is a request from both sides of the story to find a way to avoid more death and sorrow.

What they say about the book

An intimate and powerful rumination on American gun violence by Paul Auster, one of our greatest living writers and “genuine Boston Globe”, in an unforgettable collaboration with photographer Spencer Ostrander “[Bloodbath Nation is] remarkably powerful… Accompanying Auster’s sobering, impassioned plea are haunting black-and-white photographs taken by Spencer Ostrander.”—Alex Kotlowitz, Washington Post

“Auster’s book is exactly what is needed at this time.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment

“[A] powerful look at the causes and consequences of gun violence in America… For Auster, who casts doubt on the likelihood of judicial or legislative remedies, the end to the gun debate will only occur when ‘both sides want it, and in order for that to happen, we would first have to conduct an honest, gut-wrenching examination of who we are and who we want to be as a people going forward into the future.’ This trenchant account goes a long way toward making that possible.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Deft and dogged and entirely too contemplative to be a screed… Accounts of [Auster’s] personal experience with guns merge with sociological observations and a partial inventory of mass shootings in the U.S… Will the message of Bloodbath Nation reverberate outside the echo chamber of Auster’s fellow gun-control advocates? [Auster’s] generally measured tone makes it seem possible.”—Shelf Awareness

“Exceptional in its clarity and arresting in its sense of urgency… A harrowing, haunting reflection on the routine slaughter wrought by guns.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“A rigorous and evocative grappling with mass tragedies in this time of ‘furious discord.’”—Booklist “An anguished cry of bafflement at this country’s obsession for guns… deals with the societal consequences of sacrificing thousands of lives.”—Library Journal

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