Friday, December 4, 2015

What's Wrong With Our Country?

Taken Dec. 4, 2015
Half-staff flags again, the photo taken at the same place, on a day the wind was blowing in the opposite direction it was on November 19, just a few days ago. Why is it so often a day of mourning for our country, people are asking, and they're suggesting various remedies, mostly forms of gun control.

My view, should you care to hear it: This culture lives and feasts on murder. The U.S. is the biggest arms dealer in the world. We engineer and avidly play murderous video games and let our kids play them; we enjoy murders and autopsies and death and gun violence on TV and in our movies and books; we count on slaughter, fictional and real, for entertainment. We just love to be stunned when mass murders happen in our country (we don't care a real lot when they happen elsewhere that isn't Western Europe). We are excited and enchanted by the fuss, the video loops, cable news pornographically following every move and chasing every ambulance, the "experts" and "heads of state" and talking heads blaming guns, gun ownership, the economy, parents, mental illness, the Koran, racism, privilege, liberalism, colonialism, education, or history. Especially when white middle-class folks going to movies or school are murdered, concerned people call for a ban on all guns, or on assault weapons and not other guns, or say we should try to make it really difficult to get guns, or confiscate all guns, or change the Constitution because it's not correct or up to date.

First of all, stop loving murder. Refuse to let murderous entertainment or murder mysteries or horror movies into your house even if they're from the BBC, don't watch them, don't read them, and don't listen to TV news, which is tailored to create anxiety and fear and is a great tool for demagogues.

Second, quit turning each and every mass murderer into a celebrity, their faces on the cover of People magazine. The more attention we pay, the more murder spectacles there will be and the more half-mast flags will result.

Third, if you're so concerned, get off Facebook and get active, join an organization and work for what you believe in, donate money, support mental health clinics, befriend a troubled boy, fix it so that only those over age 21 with a high-school diploma and 3.5 grade average and no record and doctor-certified can legally obtain a firearm and require firearm education. Because we can't ban all guns, and even if we did they'd be sold on the sly and people would still leave them where kids can get at them, everyone should be trained from early youth in firearms safety. Make firearms "forbidden" items and you only increase their ability to fascinate.

And, if you are a responsible firearms owner, keep them and stay responsible. The first thing Mao did when he wanted "cultural revolution" was require all citizens to give up all guns, then gave them to mobs of brainless teenage boys, Red Guards, who had no problem at all threatening, beating, and killing their parents and teachers.

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