Blogs > Stone Age Brain | Rick Shenkman > Is the Wild West Responsible for Violence in America? (Video)

May 16, 2022

Is the Wild West Responsible for Violence in America? (Video)

tags: guns,violence,Wild West

Scene from Myth America (Wild West episode)

This blog post was written by Rick Shenkman, the founder of George Washington University’s History News Network, and the author of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books). 

This has been a horrible weekend of violence in America. NPR reports that just 19 weeks into the year we've already "seen 198 mass shootings."

Stories in the news feature bodies strewn on urban streets and church parking lots bloodied by gunfire.

Our culture celebrates violence on television, in the movies, and in books.

A guaranteed winner on social media is a post showing a guy shooting someone.

What's the cause of our love afair with guns and violence?

Twenty-five years ago I addressed this question in my TLC series, Myth America.

You can watch the thirty minute episode on the Wild West here to see if it's to blame.

The answer:  It is and it isn't.

(You can watch the other shows in the series I've made available so far by clicking on this Twitter thread.)

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