May 11, 2013
Regulating human nature assumes some people are capable of evil, others are not. In fact it is a choice and our internal values are where the real risk lies. Face it, we all have weapons built into our bodies (teeth, claws) and our minds can be used to elaborately plan actions with unforeseen consequences.
Our real protection lies in the social contract, not regulating the spread of blueprints. Every citizen has access to sharp knives but that does not mean that we use them. Box cutters became weapons not because we failed to detect them, but because of a philosophy that does not enshrine value to others. It is the spread of radicalism and the rule of totalitarianism we have failed to defeat.
When we are taught values by an authority that uses its power in a corrupt way, whether it be religious or political, therein lies the source of insanity.
Guns in the hands of citizens do not protect them from guns. Money in the bank does not protect one from madness.
July 22, 2012
Guns are a religion in America. It is amazing how second amendment faith does not get shaken by these mass shootings. They shake their heads reassuring themselves “It’s not the guns that kill, it’s people that kill people.”
If you allow broad proliferation of weapons, then people will die. And, if you don’t the same thing may happen, anyway. The act of one individual with a particular distorted view of the world developed by obsessive behaviour and at a particular revision or developmental stage can have an impact that is amplified and acted upon to an extent of terrible violence and unbelievable harm. Or without the weapons would it just be a lunatic waving his arms around and disturbing cinema goers?
We have evolved fiction as a means to understand the more difficult parts of human nature. These thoughts exist already, the fiction does not inform, it may provide a storyline but so does Crime and Punishment, and The Bible, and we do not see these works as informing murderers to murder. Our fiction is our strength. It allows us to learn consequence without hurting ourselves.
It is not the gun that kills. It is not the snake that bites. It is not the disease I will catch. The safety hymns of reassurance we need to remember to stay sane. Of course over 99.99% of the people we know will probably survive the week and if we all behave, well and good. Violence is visible in a moderate environment. We believe outbreaks can be quickly contained, quelled and increasingly these days crave harsh decisive treatment by the police.
The London Olympics. Isn’t it nice for the Tory government to be seen by the world for the next few weeks having the military providing a security presence. It is seem almost logical to get them dressed in mufti. No! That would be even creepier. The cameras of the world will record the UK in the guise of a military dictatorship. And maybe that’s fair. It has been hard to discern Osbornomics as much apart from a grand Malthusian erosion of the needs of the state by shipping the poor off to forgotten council estates to fend for their financial existence he is exerting a kind of social totalitarianism. But now they exert a show of the military for the most watched World gathering of sports. I think that it is a Government ploy, a kind of show-piece Falklands – a Thatcherite glow of austerity for people and freedom of the corporate monster to consume them.
Countries survived on bluster backed by destructive power and domination. Bluster is only useful if it can be backed by military force. Something Britain had talent for. It is a dishonest assessment of our safety and economic state.
It guns become part of the culture, when citizens bear deadly force, you probably need a functioning social infrastructure without the usual feeders of crime. It still does not stop those with emotional demons or subverted realities from acting out drama with a deadly set of consequences.
July 23, 2011
Although most of us have that part of being human that loves others, a few do not. It is hard to spot absences as we are tuned to see things that are odd or out of place. The real horrors are ones that appear to have no basis in the shared world, but the horrors that are expressed from the mind of a terrorist.
This is an aspect of murderous insanity that supports the death penalty, at least their malign influence is truncated. But the danger of putting innocents to death is far greater. Merely because for each guilty person, there are millions of innocents.
In the calculations of war this may make little difference. But a society that is based on fear is a weaker society. Real effort is expended due to purpose and intent. An atmosphere of threat can breed indifference. Neglect may breed resentment Abuse breeds inappropriate behaviours.
However, average children being adequately educated universally and who are not hungry or mutually disadvantaged by the greed of the majority such that their education is not a principled priority of the state.
Universal medical care is a given. If this is too expensive, then perhaps so should firemen, plumbers and maintenance technicians should also be paid more, as well as everyone else, so that universal medical care can be a given, it an be afforded and resourced. This must not preclude a private medical service available with private insurance, which may compete with the universal benefit by boosting its effect.
August 18, 2009
Political protest is a sign of a healthy democracy.
In America, the Second Amendment gives a citizen a right to bear arms. Right wing protesters carrying assault rifles may be a legal right but is it a legitimate protest? How many presidents has American guns assassinated? On the Right we have Ronald Reagan, on the Left we have JFK. If Reagan had died, perhaps the Right would be a little more sensitive.
Is the right to carry arms relevant in today’s world? And is that in fact a valid political protest or just perpetuating the myth that being under the threat of random death is a benefit to anyone?
A man mistaken by a security guard was shot in the back, and left his child without a father. In the back. He kept walking when the guard started to shout at him, trying to get away. He was innocent of any crime. Having a gun does not make you right. It makes you into a potential murderer.