Thursday, December 27, 2012

Guns and the paranoia that sustains the addiction

It's the Holiday Season and everyone seems to be talking about guns!
Sound  paradoxical?
Well, only in the world where the celebrations of Christmas and Hannukah are, and have been for centuries, celebrations of generosity, humility, compassion and life!
Guns, on the other hand, at least in the U.S. and increasingly in Canada, are instruments of "protection" if you can bear to follow the twisted logic of the NRA and in Canada, the National Firearms Association (NFA).
"The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun!" are the words out of the mouth of Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the NRA, one week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And so, with Senator Diane Feinstein promising a bill to restrict the sale, import, export and manufacture of  assault weapons  and magazines of 20-100 rounds to the public, of course, those very items are "flying off the shelves" of the gun stores across the U.S.
The fact that there are some 280,000,000 guns distributed among some 330,000,000 people, and that number is rising quickly, means that, effectively, the United States is an armed camp. Most of those gun owners are responsible hunters, target-shooting sportsmen and women. However, there are already so many guns in private hands that the Feinstein bill will do nothing to take the existing guns off the streets, out of the bedside tables, out of the glove compartments, and out of the desks of millions of Americans. Another important piece of information is that guns purchased for protection of families and individuals are most frequently used in the shooting of the people they were purchased to "protect"....especially among the women who live alone. Those women are much more like to be victimized by their own weapons than they are to have the occasion to use them to either deter or shoot an invader.
The misinterpretation of the second amendment, permitting individuals to carry concealed guns, is such a dishonest reading and rendering of the original intent of the amendment, to provide a citizen militia to protect the U.S. from invasion by enemies from without. Remember the American Revolution preceded the constitution, and the fight in that war was against the British.
And, when the word "freedom" is attached to the implementation of the Second Amendment, including the legal decisions from the Supreme Court, the possession of guns has become so inbred into the fabric of the American culture and  mind-set that is has virtually become an item of faith, worshipped more "religiously" than any God, regardless of the demonination, or faith community.
Rationalization, in the defense of liberty is as hollow as it is in the defence of a declaration of war against Iraq.
Rationalization in the defence of a gun industry is also as hollow as advertising for tobacco products that generates "sociability feelings."
Rationalization in the argument from the NRA is a hollow as the claim, by Republicans, that the president is holding the country hostage to his will on much rubbish!
Nevertheless, rationalization, distortion, prevarication, outright lying about the need for citizens to bear arms, and to bear them secretly, in order to protect themselves from the "monsters" they see in shooting sprees, without a balanced acceptance of social, political, ethical and economic responsibility will only lead to and result in more imbalance, more distortion and more lying on the part of those whose commitment to the public sale of assault weapons represents their paranoia and their assessment of their fellow citizens.
And that paranoia is not healthy for the country, for the world and especially for the young people who are attempting to learn how to live in their schools, with the NRA and other crazies advocating for an armed police presence in every school, "to protect the children"....
This approach, while clearly counter-intuitive to a healthy education process, is also effectively spreading the cancer of a dependence on guns as "insurance".
And we all know how deeply addicted to and conflicted about insurance is the American society. The insurance lobby holds as much sway over congress as any with the exception of the military and the pharmaceutical industries.
Seeing itself as the world's supersalesman, the United States may believe that in order to continue to hold the number one position in the world for gun manufacturing and exporting, it has to maintain an uber-warehouse full of the loaded killing machines, just to maintain that number one position, another of the many examples of the U.S. addiction to power, as a surrogate for the pursuit of truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as the oath all witnesses take before testifying to an American jury...
Too bad they can't teach, model and espouse some form of that oath to their children, who can and do see right through the sham  of "gun protection"!!!

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