In a kingdom long ago (OK, maybe not so long ago), there lived, in a thousand villages in the demesne, a happy and peaceful people who sent their children off to school each day, secure in the knowledge that their children were receiving the best education that a developed and tight-fisted kingdom could afford.
A few decades back (in this kingdom, remember, somewhat long ago), there arose, among this peaceful people, the monster-gods Bush Master and Lord Remington, threats long since reined in by the people, or so they thought, through reasonable and flexible laws that still respected one of the cornerstones of the kingdom’s law--that anyone, if such a citizen chose, could arm him- or herself to the teeth.
The hungry monsters, long dormant, realized that, with a good Propriety Firm like the NRA or the CATO Institute, they could get the people to idolize what they reverentially called “The Second Commandment” (their first one being “Thou shalt not kill”). The PR firms fired up the people to the point where Bush Master and Lord Remington could arm every single citizen of the kingdom, several times over, and could scare the hell out of them at the same time, which is what monsters and gods are especially good at.
Well, as you may have guessed, the citizenry was, at some point, so well-armed that anyone could get a gun and do whatever the hell they wanted, whenever and wherever the hell they wanted. So those peaceful schools I mentioned at the beginning? They became shooting ranges featuring grade schoolers and high schoolers, and anyone in between.
The people realized, with horror, that thousands of their children were being slaughtered each year at the twin altars of Bush Master and Lord Remington. The people tried, unsuccessfully, to pray and send whatever thoughts they had to the twin threats, but the slaughters continued. So the PR firms hired by the twin monster-gods had an idea: Instead of spreading the horror of children being sacrificed almost weekly to Bush Master and Lord Remington (which, face it, was an image problem even for gods), they would simply, at the beginning of each school year, ritualistically sacrifice children from each school district all over the kingdom, in September, and create a new national holiday around it called The Harvesting.
And the people were happy—I guess—but pretty confused. As for the twin monster-gods—and their buddies—they were fully satiated.