Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Way or the Highway - Both Roads Lead Nowhere.

Guns are dangerous.  I think we can agree on that, but the danger is relative and the danger is situational and site specific.  Ask anyone who lives 40 miles outside of Talkeetna, Alaska what you take with you when you walk out to the outhouse on a Spring morning and the answer will probably include a caution as to the minimum caliber of the weapon. Things are different in Brooklyn, of course. The plumbing is mostly indoors.

Who what and where always factor in the equation and no matter how we like to scoff at the idea that people kill people, it's true.  As long as there are people, there will be murder, criminal recklessness and crimes involving weapons and as long as people die at other people's hands the fear will persist and not in proportion to the actual danger but more to the needs of  activists.  Reality is no more apparent or objective now then it ever was and our time is a time of  propaganda, commercially cultivated outrage and hysteria.

It's de regeur to talk about or demand sensible gun control but specifics too often ignore the lessons of experience.  The most carefully vetted people sometimes do horrible things: take the Chicago cop who shot a man 16 times, apparently for reasons more to do with his failure to comply with demands than to the threat level.  What simple and sensible precautionary measures, what checks and registries will prevent such abuse of public trust?  Are the things we're urged to do effective in solving problems or are they more about elevating anger and the fortunes of certain activists?  Time will tell, but we're not likely to notice.

What about a march for justice that punishes and alienates and infuriates the innocent but can have no effect on justice, the mechanism of which has already charged the offending officer with Murder One?   Is it that it's not a riot or a lynch mob if we do it? Does interfering with justice serve  justice? Who is encouraging us even to ask, and who is called a racist for not following some group with all the answers?  What horrible crimes do we ignore every day because no organization's agenda is served?

And then there's the guy who shoots up a Planned Parenthood office?  Is the Evangelical Crusade, so effective in convincing people that all abortion is murder and the killing of  doctors and nurses a moral obligation part of the equation, or is it just guns and the lack of sensible controls?  Will background checks or gun registration have any effect on screening out some Good, God fearing Christian on a Crusade he passionately believes to be moral?  The cop he murdered - should we fry that pig's bacon?  Is there some grotesque contradiction between our dogmas and civilization's needs?
Is there some grave sickness in our culture or rather the cluster of conflicting cultures we call America?  We can't talk about that easily lest someone accuse us of "blaming the victim" even when we're all victims.

The passion for justice is as powerful as it is relative and that passion is as likely to advocate murder, to bypass a functioning Justice System as it is to favor emotional justice or revenge.  With all the quasi-demonic howling that dominates the American dialog, who is actually seeking a better world and who is merely pushing a vain dogma?  Who is singling out a single factor as the only important one?  Who is trying to limit possibilities, to shout down reasoned debate in the dominance game of  narrow causes and powerful organizations?

Guns are dangerous.  Passions are dangerous, marching mobs are dangerous, simplistic rhetoric and moral conviction are dangerous -- people are dangerous because we recognize no community of interest.  When it comes to a better Country, it's always my way or the highway you Communist, Racist, Fascist, Muslim -- you White, Black, Hispanic, Christian Atheist Liberal bastard!

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