The book Enter the Babylon System: Unpacking Gun Culture from Samuel Colt to 50cent as written by Rodrigo Bascunan and Christian Pearce is a thrilling piece of fiction masterpiece that captures the attention of the reader from start to the end.
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It is intended on changing the perception of the larger society’s view of gun violence culture in relation to the hip-hop music. Therefore, the authors in this book are bended on informing the society on who exactly should be blamed for the escalating gun violence. According to them, being a member of the culture under scrutiny should not be used as a basis when investigating gun violence.
Gun Violence and Hip-hop as Depicted in the Book
The book Enter the Babylon system: Unpacking Gun Culture from Samuel Colt to 50cents has been written with the sole purpose of deflecting criticism of gun violence that is being blamed on the hip-hop music and culture. The word Babylon has its origin from the Bible when Israelites were sent into captivity.
The word Babylon in this case has been used to portray the society as living in a form of captivity by the gun violence culture. In this case, the book is a reaction or rather a cry of the captives to be freed of false claims that have no valid basis. However, the society is in a situation that it cannot free itself.
The authors feel that they have the right to embrace the hip-hop culture that is so popular that any attempts to wipe it may require well-researched evidence as to why it has to be wiped.
In their reaction, the authors have delved deep into the gun industry by conducting research that has taken them to different countries, leading them to interview different people from gun manufacturers to arms dealers, from government representatives to criminals on the streets, and from museum curators to people in the army (Bascunan & Pearce 2007).
The authors in this case have sought information from any possible sources of persons with relations to guns to find out whether the gun owners have any link with the hip-hop culture. They have thus come up with a historical background of information that has been able to back up their view of the gun culture from the days of Samuel Colt who invented the colt pistol to the rapper 50cent who is viewed as the modern day epitome of gun violence and hip-hop culture.
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The book has been written in such a form that it gives a blow-by-blow scenario that leads a reader point to point until conclusion. The book has been organised in short chapters that use very simple language to deliver the desired information to the reader.
According to the Bascunan and Pearce (2007), the culture of gun violence has got a bigger history than the hip hop music and culture and that it is misplaced for the larger society to blame hip-hop entirely for the escalation of gun violence.
Bascunan and Pearce (2007) are though honest enough to admit that hip-hop has had its role too in gun violence, and it is not entirely innocent in this matter. Many hip-hop musicians produce lyrics that are boastful of how they are tough in society. They sing about how they have survived gun shootings, how they have shot other people, and how they have scenes of violence involving guns in their videos.
This information can be accredited to most hip-hop stars having come from the violent streets, which are dominated by drugs and gangs, which have embraced the hip-hop culture and music as their own. This relationship therefore joins hip-hop music with gun violence and the hip-hop. However, this link should not be used to blame hip-hop fans for all the gun violence in society.
The authors of the book have gone ahead to give out statistics that indicate that fans of hip-hop music are far more in relation to those involved in gun violence. Just a fraction of the fans is involved in gun violence. The Canadian society blames the American society for infecting it with the gun violence culture and for being the source of guns that cause havoc in the Canadian society.
However, the book has come out to show how the Canadian society has its own homegrown players in the gun industry who should take part of the blame in this game. The book strategically reveals that the gun industry has many players who go without blemish for their roles in gun violence.
In this case, there are gunrunners and dealers who operate illegally besides being known to the authorities. This group of players supplies guns to society in large scales operating a global network of this business. Nevertheless, because it has so much influence in the government, it can never be touched: its business continues to flourish. The book has come up with statistics that indicate more deaths by guns in other incidents rather than the hip-hop music.
To this extent, the writers indicate that there are far bigger inciters to gun violence than hip-hop (Bascunan & Pearce 2007). The recent invasion of other countries by Americans and their allies has increased the reporting of using of guns at war to deal with enemies.
This finding is a sure inciter to gun violence because it trains the minds of listeners to start thinking about guns. More so, many war veterans who have come back as heroes have been involved in gun incidents back at home and away from the war zone.
On the other hand, violent video games that can be found in every household for playing by children involve the use of replicas of the real guns that can be found in the industry. This case has been one of the greatest expert information sources of different guns in the industry.
It has been blamed for most of mass shootings that have happened, and which have been carried out by people who are not hip-hop fans at all. Therefore, when society blames the hip-hop industry wholesomely, it is simply negating on crucial areas that need investigations.
Bascunan and Pearce (2007) are therefore bended on changing the image of the hip-hop as a culture and industry to the outside world by painting it in a picture that is acceptable in society. They have included one on one interview conducted on hip-hop artistes, fans, and other players. The interview informs society on the positive side of the hip-hop.
They paint the hip-hop music as a tool used by musicians to talk about the society in which they live. Most hip-hop artistes have their origins in the streets where drug gangs rule supremely. At times, the theme of gun violence in their music is not necessarily used to incite violence but to narrate to the outside world what really happens in the same world in terms of killings.
Therefore, hip-hop should be viewed in this case according to the writers as an informative toll rather than an inciting tool. The writers question the role played by the National Riffles Association, which is the greatest advocate of the licensing of guns into civilian hands.
The writers equate the association with people suffering from a borderline psychotic problem for their obsession with guns without caring for its effects in society.
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These associations stand out as some of the groups the authors of the book point at in their deflection of blame from hip-hop. Such groups together with the gun laws that govern the Canadian society are to be blamed more than hip-hop fans for the small role that hip-hop plays in gun violence escalation.
Gun Violence and Hip-hop from the Author’s Point of View
Rodrigo Bascunan and Christian Pearce are reporters by profession. Their speciality has been writing and reporting on the entertainment industry. The two authors are owners and founders of the Pound magazine, which has been dubbed as the most appealing and best selling magazine in Canada based on how it addresses the hip-hop culture and music.
To produce such a magazine, the authors must have all the right sources of credible information on this culture. Largely, the devoted authors have an insider interaction within the industry by knowing who is who in the industry.
Therefore, the book presents reliable information that opposes the notion of hip-hop as being the root behind gun violence (Bascunan & Pearce 2007) since the two present an epitome of hip-hop member who have no history of gun violence.
Besides, the book offers firsthand information and revelation of the authors’ tireless interaction with major players of the industry who give them information as it happens in an effort to find out whether the existing hypothesis on the link between hip-hop fanatics and gun violence is true.
Therefore, Bascunan and Pearce have taken the move to write this book as a way of vindicating the hip-hop industry from the accusations levelled at it by the larger society. In this case, they have a good chunk of the hip-hop society and that the field is their source of bread and hence the need to paint it in the right colours without bias. The authors have employed a mix of fiction and real life situations.
They have blended them to come up with a thrilling drama-like narrative that is much captivating to the reader as a strategy of capturing his or her mind to read until the end after which he or she will be convinced that the ongoing claims about hip-hop culture are actually false.
The writers have taken a bold step to come up with the book that is aimed at absolving the hip-hop society from the gun violence problem. The use of guns in violence is a universal practice because of the ability of the gun to exterminate an enemy.
Thus, the gun has become popular for this reason. The writers have done a meticulous job by first being honest and admitting that hip-hop has its blame to take on gun violence culture. This strategy makes their views in this book genuine as it has minimal levels of bias. The book has been written based on research done in almost every area that needs to be interrogated with regard to guns. At the end, the book is acceptably convincing.
Bascunan, R & Pearce, C 2007, Enter the Babylon System: Unpacking Gun Culture from Samuel Colt to 50 Cent, Vintage Canada, Toronto.