Coming Home to Roost, Part 1
he thundering voice rang out from the large speakers situated across the damp, cement floor: “Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle…you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost or will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.” The words surged violently from the mesh screens, ostensibly louder by the second. A quick glance across the concrete quad produced a herd of silhouettes, all frantically running to their predetermined spots in the haze of a 4:00 AM fog.
“We don’t want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the God-damned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men.” It was the summer of 1994. I was 19-years-old. The words screaming from those speakers—a daily sound that I would become accustomed to over the course of a few weeks—were those of U.S. Army General George Patton (through the voice of George C. Scott). The location was Columbia, South Carolina, though it might as well have been halfway across the world because the only things I would see for the next two months were marching drills, firing ranges, fields of mud and grass, and miles upon miles of indistinguishable running terrain. This was U.S. Army basic training and I was one of thousands of recruits eager to soak up the glory of “defending our country.”
Everything that is done in basic military training is done with intent. The primary goal is to develop and condition killing machines—human beings who are capable of exterminating other human beings on command. The corollary effects of this development are vast. The transforming of one’s self to a component of a “well-oiled machine.” The suppressing of human emotion, and even human reason. The extraction of, as Patton suggested, cowardice—in other words, compassion, understanding, empathy, or anything that would cause a soldier to stop and question what they are doing at any given time. The ultimate goal of this training is to make one robotic—the finished product of a process of dehumanization, whereas one is forced to shed elements of humanity out of necessity. In doing so, runs the risk of viewing others in less than humane ways. It is difficult to deny that, in the event a person finds themselves in the midst of war, this training becomes invaluable. The chaotic, unpredictable, and nerve-rattling environment that is inherent with any battlefield does not allow for time to think. It does not allow for time to reflect. It only allows for conditioned reaction—proactive and reactive measures that are designed to create efficient “soldiering” and optimum survival.
Soldiers lose a great deal of autonomy in this process. On a hot and hazy July afternoon, just a few days before my introduction to the words of Patton, as I joined hundreds of others in a frantic scramble off a convoy of refurbished school buses, I lost myself. I became a blank slate. I became a shell of a young man, readily available for shaping, sculpting, and conditioning as my new makers saw fit. Life suddenly took on a whole new meaning. I was now accountable to others, as they were accountable to me; and our accountability was on parade for all to see. If anyone stepped out of line, questioned anything, considered alternatives, or attempted to think for themselves, their “irresponsible defiance” was immediately transferred to public humiliation. However, our forced accountability to one another—something we as a society could certainly use more of—was not an issue. It was the underlying purpose of this accountability that becomes questionable in retrospect. Ultimately, it rested on the acceptance of our roles as tools of war, something that would develop steadily in our subconscious. Already armed with abstract notions of patriotism, American exceptionalism, and moral superiority, our self-inscribed greater good was now supplemented with an inescapable obligation to fulfill orders. This is the inherent psychology of soldiering.
An Internalized Culture of War and Oppression
In the United States, the process of objectification begins at a young age. Americans are conditioned by everything from television, music, and marketing to sports, pornography—and even their parents—to objectify others. Gender roles play a major part in this process. Males are taught to objectify the female body and females are taught to embrace this objectification by basing their self-worth on outward appearance. Correspondingly, females are taught to objectify males as dominant protectors and males are taught to embrace this objectification by basing their worth on machismo, aggression, and physical prowess. According to philosopher Martha Nussbaum, objectification occurs in various ways. A person may be objectified if they are treated:
as a tool for another’s purposes (instrumentality);
- as if lacking in agency or self-determination (denial of autonomy, inertness);
- as if owned by another (ownership);
- as if interchangeable (fungibility);
- as if permissible to damage or destroy (violability);
- as if there is no need for concern for their feelings and experiences (denial of subjectivity).
Our collective conditioning runs the gamut of Nussbaum’s list. First and foremost, objectification (or reification) is a prerequisite to our dominant economic system of capitalism. By objectifying others, people become more suitable participants in this scheme that thrives off exploitation and alienation. With this conditioning, the CEO is more apt at seeing employees as numbers on a spreadsheet, the banker is able to view clients as nothing more than borrowers, the landlord is able to view a family simply as renters, and the boss sees nothing but workers who need to be prodded like cattle. People, essentially, become sources of income and profit to those who are willing to use them as such. And, perhaps more importantly, these “sources” are gradually shaped into willing participants along the way, apathetically giving in to systems of power and control.
This coercive nature naturally extends into the socio-political realm, where wealthy politicians are more than willing to use working class children as pawns of war, allowing their lives to be extinguished and bodies to be mangled for stock portfolios. This dehumanizing process also creates a world where these same politicians see citizens as nothing but fickle subjects, the government seeks to control “the mob,” the soldier sees only enemies, and the police officer only criminals in desperate need of order and discipline.
Essentially, the more we dehumanize interactions, or the more we make human contact impersonal, the more willing we are to engage in forceful, aggressive, and unempathic interactions with others—behaviors that are (it’s worth noting) viewed as positive attributes within the sports world many of us grow up in, and the business world many of us enter as adults. In this sense, it is not competition—in and of itself—that represents a problem; but, rather, it is the objectifying nature of coercive relations that pose as competition within any hierarchical society.
The act of objectifying others—whether treating them as “interchangeable tools” to be used at your disposal or simply stunting their self-determination in some manner—is a reciprocal process that is internalized by both parties. The objectifier, through the process of dehumanizing the objectified, becomes less human themselves. This internalization is what allows for a culture of war and oppression to persist. America’s “war culture” is shaped by a myriad of factors. First and foremost, we are an imperialist country. The U.S. has been at war, involved in a foreign conflict, or militarily occupied foreign territory (or all 3) for 216 years of its 237-year existence.
War is our business, and we do it well. And, yes, Americans have benefitted in some form or another from war (i.e., the formation of an “industrialized middle class”). However, these “benefits” haven’t come without sacrifice—the most prominent of which is a collectively misery that has been brought to much of the world’s population through colonialism, geopolitical land grabs, and the theft of natural resources. War is, essentially, nourishment for a parasitical corporate hierarchy that takes what it wants and discards the scraps, allowing them to “trickle down” to the rest of the world, including the working class in the U.S.
With a vast majority of Americans coming from this working class, widespread victimization—and a stubborn acceptance of it—represents a “rite of passage” in our culture. Whether through impoverished circumstances, socioeconomic limitations, substandard education, a general sense of exploitation that is realized as we grow older, or the grueling, existential crisis we all seem to face at one point or another, we are all victims of repression and exploitation on some level. This has never been more evident than during the past four decades. And the notion that we are to avoid “the victim card” at all costs—as it is supposedly a sign of “weakness”—is laughable when considering the immense amount of injustice we face as a whole: drowned out by corporate power, strangled by government suppression, working more and more while making less and less, forced into debt, dealing with skyrocketing costs of living, chained by student debt, etc.
The fact that soldiers and police officers—the hired guns of the ruling classes—almost always come from working-class backgrounds is especially interesting when considering their roles as enforcers of the very ideology that attacks their class peers. However, when combined with this process of objectification that has become commonplace, an immersion into a deep-seated “war culture” and militarism, and the robotic programming of military or police training, it comes as little surprise that a demographic consisting predominantly of white males is able to complete this transition from working-class oppressed to working-class oppressor with relative ease. Educator and philosopher Paulo Freire, eloquently describes this process of transformation through internalization: “The very structure of their thought has been conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by which they were shaped. Their ideal is to be men; but for them, to be men is to be oppressors. This is their model of humanity…. At this level, their perception of themselves as opposites of the oppressor does not yet signify engagement in a struggle to overcome the contradiction; the one pole aspires not to liberation, but to identification with its opposite pole.”
This widespread process of internalization is crucial to those wishing to maintain an inherently unjust and oppressive status quo. For, in order to keep such a system intact, the very few who benefit from this arrangement must rely on some members of the working class to ignore or shed themselves of class-consciousness on their way to breaking class ranks and carrying out the violent acts needed to sustain it. Without this internalization, human beings—and especially those coming from the working classes—would be left to act on their own interests, something that would not serve the ruling classes well.
Militarism and White Supremacy
Any discussion involving American militarism must include the underpinnings of white supremacy, an all-encompassing ideology which has ravaged the lives and communities of non-white peoples for centuries. White supremacy is fueled by objectification and, more specifically, the collective dehumanization of people of color. Its power lies in the fact that it not only transcends the fundamental societal arrangement of class, but that it is embraced largely by working class whites who have shown a willingness to internalize and project their own oppression on others—in this case, the non-white working classes.
Not surprisingly, this foundation extends far beyond the geographic confines of the U.S., representing the basis for which the White Man’s Burden and age-old foreign policies like the Roosevelt Corollary of the Monroe Doctrine operate. The ties that bind what Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to as “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism” cannot be underestimated, as they provide the self-righteous, societal “justification” necessary to carry out indiscriminate acts of aggression both here and abroad. Social theorist bell hooks’s assessment of George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watchperson turned murderer of Trayvon Martin, captures this mindset: “White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action.”
When Muhammad Ali refused to fight in Vietnam, famously stating, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong; No Viet Cong ever called me nigger,” he was referring to the dominant power structure of white supremacy that had not only subjugated him in his own country, but also had global implications regarding imperialism, colonialism, and ever-increasing militarism. Ali, along with other conscious Black Americans, recognized life in the U.S. as a microcosm of the war in Vietnam. Whether in Birmingham, Alabama or the Ben Tre Province in South Vietnam, black and brown people were being murdered indiscriminately. African Americans had their share of enemies at home—Bull Connor, George Wallace, the Ku Klux Klan, the FBI, Jim Crow—and, for good reason, had no vested interest in wars abroad. Their priorities were defense and self-preservation in their homeland, not offense and destruction in Vietnam.
Racism is a cousin to militarism and its influence on shaping American culture over the years is undeniable. Despite misconceptions, reconstruction in the post-slavery U.S. was no more kind to Black Americans than during colonial years, especially in the southern states. “In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the lynching of Black people in the Southern and border states became an institutionalized method used by whites to terrorize Blacks and maintain white supremacy,” explains Robert A. Gibson. “In the South, during the period 1880 to 1940, there was deep-seated and all-pervading hatred and fear of the Negro which led white mobs to turn to ‘lynch law’ as a means of social control.” These lynchings were almost always spontaneous, rooted in white supremacist and racist emotion, and void any semblance of due process. They were also mostly supported—whether through direct supervision or “turning a blind eye”—by local politicians, judges, and police forces.
According to Tuskegee Institute figures, between the years 1882 and 1951, 3,437 African Americans were lynched in the United States—roughly 50 per year, or a little over 4 per month through the lifespan of an entire generation. Essentially, for nearly a century, “freed” slaves were still very much at the mercy of, as WEB DuBois once noted, “men who hated and despised Negroes and regarded it as loyalty to blood, patriotism to country, and filial tribute to the fathers to lie, steal or kill in order to discredit these black folk.” This general hatred was not only projected by white citizens throughout the country, but remained institutionalized by laws of racial segregation—also known as “Jim Crow”—in much of the U.S. until the 1960s.
While the courageous and awe-inspiring Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was successful in curbing some government-backed segregation, the ugly stain of white supremacy has endured well into the 21st century through a convoluted lens of extreme poverty, poor education, lack of opportunity, and disproportionate imprisonment. It has become blatantly evident within the world of “criminal justice”—and more specifically through the ways in which law enforcement engages and interacts with Black communities across America.
Modern forms of lynching have gained a foothold with laws such as New York City’s “Stop and Frisk” and Florida’s infamous “Stand Your Ground”—with both providing legal outlets to harass and kill Black Americans at an alarming rate. However, even before such laws, police officers had terrorized inner-cities for decades. The most glaring example occurred in 1991 with the beating of Rodney King—an incident that uncovered a deliberate and widespread brand of racist policing as well as “an organizational culture that alienates itself from the public it is designed to serve” while teaching “to command and confront, not to communicate.”
The 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman served as a sobering reminder of the tragically subhuman value that has been placed on black life in America. Martin’s death rightfully brought on cries of an “open season on young black men,” while another 2012 murder, this time of 17-year-old Jordan Davis—who was shot and killed by Michael Dunn in broad daylight while sitting in a car with three friends—reiterated this fact. Like Martin, Davis was unarmed and posed no threat—and certainly not enough of a threat to justify lethal force. In Davis’s case, the murderer, Dunn, indiscriminately fired eight bullets into the vehicle where Davis and his friends were sitting. The public reaction to the two murders (adults killing unarmed children, mind you), especially from those who somehow felt compelled to defend the killers, as well as the subsequent trials, the posthumous (and false) “criminalizing” of the victims with decontextualized images and information, and the total absence of justice on both accounts—all products of a long-standing culture of white supremacy—exposed the lie that is “post-racial” America.
However, these reactions were and are nothing new. One study estimates that “one Black person is killed every 24 hours by police, security guards, or vigilantes.” Furthermore, “43% of the(se) shootings occurred after an incident of racial profiling,” Adam Hudson tells us. “This means police saw a person who looked or behaved ‘suspiciously’ largely because of their skin color and attempted to detain the suspect before killing them. ”
Many of the victims of these “extrajudicial” killings posed no threat at the time of their murders, as was the case with Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Aaron Campbell, Orlando Barlow, Steven Eugene Washington, Ervin Jefferson, Kendrec Mcdade, Kimani Gray, Wendell Allen, Ronald Madison, James Brisette, Tavares McGill, and Victor Steen, to name a few. Some, like Brisette (17), Gray (16), McGill (16), and Steen (17), were children. Others, like Madison and Steven Eugene Washington, were mentally ill or autistic. All were unarmed.
If the Rodney King trial taught us anything, it was that officers in the U.S. can inexplicably beat an unarmed and non-threatening Black man to near-death and face no consequences. Twenty years later, this unaccountability on the part of law enforcement has evolved into an overly-aggressive and often fatal approach to interacting with innocent, young black men. This has never been more evident than during a rash of indiscriminate and blatant acts of police brutality in recent years. All people of color have become viable targets, and some of the most alarming examples have been directed at children and people with special needs and disabilities.
In 2009, a 16-year-old autistic boy, Oscar Guzman, was chased into his family’s restaurant by two Chicago police officers after they questioned him for “watching pigeons.” Guzman, who was posing no threat and breaking no laws, was “struck in the head with a retractable baton, causing a four-centimeter laceration that had to be closed with staples at a nearby hospital.”
In 2011, two Miami-Dade officers stopped 22-year- old Gilberto Powell, who has Down syndrome, due to a “suspicious bulge” coming from his waistband. When the officers confronted Powell and began patting him down, Powell became frightened and ran. The officers caught up and beat him. The “bulge” turned out to be a colostomy bag. Powell was unarmed and breaking no laws.
In November 2013, a 14-year-old child was “roughed up” and tasered by police in Tullytown, Pennsylvania after being caught shoplifting at a local Wal-Mart. The child suffered a broken nose, multiple abrasions, and two swollen and black eyes as a result. He was unarmed and posed no threat to the officers.
On January 3, 2014, 64-year-old Pearl Pearson was pulled over by police on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident. After Pearson failed to show his hands when instructed by officers, a “7-minute altercation ensued” and Pearson was severely beaten. He was unarmed and posed no threat. The reason he did not show his hands as ordered: he’s deaf—a fact that is displayed on a sign attached to his car.
Other examples include the unnecessary brutalization of incapacitated individuals, as well as the emergence of a universal, reckless “shoot-first” mentality. The most recognizable incident was the 2009 street execution of Oscar Grant by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Policeman, Johannes Mehserle. Following a brush-up with other passengers, Grant and a friend were apprehended by officers who had them lay prone on the ground. Grant was “restrained, unarmed,” and had “his hands behind his back,” when the officer shot him in the back, killing him. The entire incident was caught on video.
Shockingly, occurrences like this have become common with relatively little fanfare. In May 2013, 33-year-old David Sal Silva was beaten to death by California officers after he was stopped and questioned for suspected public intoxication. “When I got outside I saw two officers beating a man with batons, and they were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head,” said witness Ruben Ceballos, who told the Californian the noise was so loud it woke him up. Sal Silva, unarmed, “begged for his life” before being bludgeoned to death for no apparent reason.
In September 2013, following a car accident, 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was shot 10 times by Charlotte police officer, Randall Kerrick. After knocking on the door of a nearby home, Ferrell spotted the officer and began running towards him for help when Kerrick opened fire. Ferrell was unarmed, posed no threat, and was merely seeking assistance after accidentally crashing his car into a tree line off the road. He died instantly. That same month, Long Beach police officers were captured on a video posted to YouTube repeatedly tasering and striking Porfirio Lopez with a baton as he lay in the street. Lopez was unarmed and posed no threat to the officers.
In October 2013, Sheriff’s deputies in Santa Rosa, California shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a pellet gun. The boy, Andy Lopez, was walking down the sidewalk on his way to return the “low-powered, air pellet gun” to a friend who he had borrowed it from. Before realizing the gun was a toy, and despite having no reason to believe the child was a threat, an officer shot him dead.
In 1968, Huey P. Newton noted that, “the country cannot implement its racist program without the guns. And the guns are the military and the police.” Forty-five years later, this comment rings true. Institutions and lawmakers alone cannot carry out racial and class-based oppression on their own—they need willing participants. Domestically, police officers must become these willing participants. And their psychological makeup, which is shaped by a process of objectification and a prolonged internalization of “war culture”—is crucial. On a global scale, this task is left to our soldiers—working-class women and men who are routinely placed in harm’s way for the wrong reasons, many of whom suffer a compounded and severe mental toll in the process.
The Mental Toll and Savagery of War
America’s “war culture” goes far beyond psychological preparation and conditioning. Ultimately, and most significantly, it includes the physical projection of this collective mentality. It includes, as social commentator Joe Rogan put it, “sending these big metal machines that kill people” halfway across the world. The young, working-class women and men (like myself) who become the willing participants of this projection are the very products of this conditioned mentality. As children, our inherent submission to objectification and subsequent immersion into “war culture” makes this possible.
Unfortunately, the effects of war are real. They are shocking. And they are horrifying. The mental health effects on the participants of these wars are vast, especially with regards to the modern battlefield. Soldiers are returning to the U.S. with a variety of such conditions—most notably Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, and anxiety.
Dr. Deborah Warden, of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, noted in a report for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation that elements specifically related to modern warfare have resulted in a significant increase in head trauma-related injuries. Two major factors in this development are technological advances in protective equipment and a relative increase in “blast attacks.” “In the current conflict, mortality has declined and it is believed that this is because of the advances in body armor worn by the military personnel,” explains Dr. Warden. “With the high-quality body armor, individuals who may have died in previous wars may survive with possible injuries to extremities and head and neck.” In addition to this, “more TBI may be occurring in the current war because of the frequency of explosive or blast attacks. Military sources report that approximately two thirds of army war zone evacuations are due to blast,” and “88% of injuries seen at second echelon treatment sites were due to blast.”
In a study conducted nearly 6 years after the beginning of the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, it was determined that, out of 1.64 million military service members who were deployed into these arenas, “approximately 300,000 individuals currently suffer from PTSD or major depression, and that 320,000 individuals experienced a probable TBI during deployment.” Additionally, “about one-third of those previously deployed have at least one of these three conditions, and about 5 percent report symptoms of all three.” A separate study found that “21 percent of active duty soldiers and 43 percent of reserve soldiers developed symptoms significantly related to mental health disorders.”
According to another study: “15,204 soldiers who had completed their first deployment participated in two questionnaires about their mental health and sleep patterns from 2001 to 2008. During baseline questionnaires before deployment, most soldiers did not have any psychiatric disorders or a history of one. However, during follow-up questionnaires, 522 soldiers had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 151 had anxiety, and 303 were depressed. Fifty percent of the soldiers studied reported combat-related trauma and 17 percent reported having insomnia prior to their deployment.”
The increase in mental illness among soldiers has been identified as the main cause of increasing suicide rates. In 2012, the Army reported that 325 suicides occurred within its ranks —“Our highest on record,” according to Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, deputy chief of staff and personnel for the Army. Naturally, within any arena of combat where young, impressionable adults are moved around like pawns on a chessboard, human emotion runs wild.
Despite the robotic conditioning that occurs during basic training, this chaotic environment has a tendency to penetrate the human psyche, bringing about an extreme range of feelings, vexations, actions, and reactions. Human beings are simply not equipped to handle the terrors that accompany war—the sight of human corpses, charred and mangled bodies, some of them children—in their totality. And coping skills, whether inherent or forced, vary in effectiveness from person to person. Unfortunately, some cope by internalizing the terror. In these cases, we see the worst in humanity.
The infamous Wikileaks video that leaked in 2010, showing “thirty-eight grisly minutes of U.S. airmen casually slaughtering a dozen Iraqis in 2007”—including two Reuters newspeople—puts this savagery into focus “not because it shows us something we didn’t know, but because we can watch it unfold in real time. Real people, flesh and blood, gunned down from above in a hellish rain of fire.” The video footage, which immediately went viral, came on the heels of the haunting images taken at Abu Ghraib where Iraqi prisoners were physically and sexually abused, tortured, raped, sodomized, and killed by American and Iraqi soldiers. Other such incidents were inevitable. A February 12 nighttime raid by U.S. Special Operations forces near Gardez killed 5 people, including 2 pregnant women. Another airstrike by U.S. Special Operations forces helicopters on February 23 killed more than 20 civilians and injured numerous others. Among the injured was a 4-year-old boy who lost both of his legs. A few months later, during a visit with the child at a hospital in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai “scooped him up from his mattress and walked out to the hospital courtyard,” and asked, “Who injured you?” as helicopters passed overhead. “The boy, crying alongside his relatives, pointed at the sky.” A few months later, in April, American troops “raked a large passenger bus with gunfire” near Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing 5 civilians and wounding 18.
In January 2014, numerous photos showing U.S. Marines burning and looting the dead bodies of Iraqi soldiers were obtained by the media. “Two of the photos show a Marine apparently pouring a flammable liquid on two bodies. Other shots show the remains on fire and, after the flames went out, charred. A Marine in another photo is shown apparently rifling through clothing amid one corpse’s skeletal remains. Another Marine is shown posing in a crouch with his rifle pointing toward a human skull.” Overall, more than a dozen bodies were shown in the photos.
Considering the savagery that accompanies such an environment, it is not difficult to see how undervalued human life becomes. The soldiers who carry out, witness, or even hear of this brutality are almost certain to suffer long- standing mental health effects. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs website, symptoms of PTSD include “bad memories or nightmares” and “flashbacks”; triggered and impulsive emotions; intense feelings of fear, guilt, or shame; and “hyperarousal”—feeling jittery, paranoid, and “always on the lookout for danger.” The effects of TBI include numerous sensory problems, depression and anxiety, and severe mood swings and/or aggressive behaviors, among many other things.
When all is said and done, and the politicians decide to bring them home, the soldiers who are lucky enough to return in one physical piece are often shattered into fragments of mental and emotional distress. Often, they face limited options—one of the most common of which is transitioning to a career in law enforcement.
Colin Jenkins is founder, editor, and social economics department chair at the Hampton Institute, a working class think tank providing history, theory, analysis, and research on political and social matters (www.hamptoninstitution.org.) Part 2 will cover bringing the war home, including police tactics and gun culture.