As a teenager Aerosmith was a band that I was crazy about. I remember many head banging moments shared with my friends singing on top of my voice- ‘Janie’s got a gun’🎸. The exhilaration that we experienced croaking (teens take their time to settle their octaves) this song were amongst the indelible moments of my childhood.
I was humming this song this afternoon when I started reflecting on its seriously disturbing lyrics. This song was composed by Steven Tyler in 1989 and he wanted to highlight the issues of violence, incest and guns. To be honest I was so caught up in the coolness of this song that I never really paid attention to its lyrics. The message was just lost on me until today when I had a moment of reflection. Janie was a little girl who shot her father to get over the abuse that he was inflicting on her. A tragedy set in a magnificent sound track!
It also dawned on me that the gun culture in the US today is so rampant that there are now 90 guns per 100 citizens and gun stores look like super markets. With a gun license you have a bewildering variety of weaponry to choose from. One of the reasons why guns are so widespread is that they have constitutional validity. One can understand that while the American constitution was being drafted guns were an integral part of self protection. Those were times when migrants were fighting the American war of independence, the culmination of a very violent chapter in history. But that was a few centuries back. Why do citizens need guns today?
With horrific frequency we are now seeing vagrant individuals picking up the gun for their own perverse reasons and snuffing out innocent lives.
Jamie’s got a gun, I wish she didn’t. Shooting down her father was not the answer. The American society needs to find a way out of this quagmire. Until then the society will remain a victim of a misguided omnipresent trigger. My sympathies with the victims of this modern day tragedy.