Violence in America: From Greenie Stik-M Caps to Blackwater

Baby Snake
Before he was Snake Plissken, trying to Escape From New York over and over again, Kurt Russell was Agent Zero-M in a toy commercial for the Mattel Sonic Blaster.

View to a Kill
It's hard to imagine today but in the mid-20th century, kids were immersed, marinated and basted daily -- no, hourly -- in TV commercials, TV programs and comic books that were all about guns, bullets and shooting to kill.

Greenie Stik-M Caps were five cent boxes of gunpowder that kids bought at the candy store so their toy guns would look, sound and smell authentic when they fired off a few lethal rounds at friends and family.

Yeah, that's right. Gunpowder.

Violence was part of the culture that was, to a large extent, sold to consumers as fundamental essence of the American character.

The heroes of the era were indeed those who would shoot first and ask questions later.

The cowboys and private detectives on the glowing box in the living room were men who took the law in their own hands and delivered justice from the smoking end of a blazing six-gun.

You know, like the Blackwater mercenaries that shadow our US military today.