Evolution of Dispossession

Evolution of Dispossession
How to Steal a Country?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Massacres and Gun Control

I think every American, in the past 2 days, has taken a break from their normal routine of texting, phone calls ad nauseam, watching comedies on the tele, and perhaps were more restrained on their Facebook  posts. It has been a difficult pill to swallow, that 26 lives have been snuffed out, 20 of which were 5-10 year old kids, and the current news report is that they were all shot multiple times by this 20 year old. I do not know if he was a lunatic, or autistic, or just completely consumed by pain, or just predisposed to violence of the magnitude observed yesterday. He killed his mom and all these innocents and in the final analysis, we will never fully know why this happened.

But I see that people are seizing on this tragedy and ramping up the arguments on the need for gun control. I do not think that in the wake of such a tragedy that people should shift gears to political agendas, but they have, en masse, so now we all have to consider the various arguments.

US society once deemed the consumption of alcohol morally abhorrent, so prohibition legislation was passed. What was the outcome? People still satisfied their thirst by buying illegal alcohol, and the very worst elements of organized crime developed in the US as a result of the bootlegging trade. Al Capone in Chicago and the Purple Gang in Detroit, and the emergence of modern-day organized crime followed.

So it might be fair to say that when a government sees fit to legislate morality, bad things happen, as unintended consequences. We got organized crime.  Years later, prohibition was lifted, but we were left with the organized crime.

Then came the criminalization of drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine (which was in the original formulation of Coca-Cola!) , heroin and everything else.  Did people still get their fixes from these drugs? Of course! Criminalizing an activity or possession of an item does not rid society of the problems associated. Just like prohibition, when booze became illegal, the government simply made criminals out of normal citizens who had developed a taste for alcohol.

But these evil substances are destroying our youth! OK so lets prohibit these substances and activities, and that should solve all problems! The moment our youth realize that it is against the law to consume these drugs, then they will grow out of their habits and addictions! Wrong.

Making the possession of an object or an activity or habit illegal does not reduce the frequency with which these offenses occur. The way to combat immoral behavior is by educating people morally and ethically.

The Swiss have the 3rd highest gun ownership rate in the world, as Swiss law provides that all able-bodied men should possess a firearm for the protection of their home and inclusion into the national militia.

What is the difference between the Swiss and Americans?

Plain and simple, the Swiss understand that human life is sacred and precious and morally it is inconceivable to take another human life unless it is absolutely necessary, like someone trying to kill you or your family or showing hostile aggression to your nation.

In the US, however, violence is commonplace. It is omnipresent. It is in our movies and video games. It is in our politician's lies, like justifying going to war in Iraq because of 3,000 dead Americans on 9-11, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, al-queda or WMD's. 11 Years later and 5,000 dead Americans later and 35,000 wounded Americans later, everbody is putting yellow ribbons on their cars saying "Support the Troops" . I support the troops not with a token ribbon on a car but by opposing their needless deaths on a pack of lies. But not many people realize that some 1.2 million Iraqis died because of our intelligence failures/misrepresentations/lies. Not many people see the destruction of an entire civil society with 2.5 million Iraqis displaced due to the US invasion. Americans just bury their head in the sand of reality and say, well we might have been wrong, or worse yet, those ragheads got what they deserved.  Remember Madeleine Albright's pronouncement that 500,000 dead women and children as a result of US sanctions was worth the price. How little value we place on other lives! Violence is seen with the policies of Bush and Obama, dropping bombs on anything that moves by drones because intelligence agencies say that a likely bad guy will be at this location at a certain time. Collateral damage in the form of high civilian deaths is deemed acceptable. What is the difference between mourning kids killed by a lunatic in the US and kids killed by a US gunship in Afghanistan? One was done by a lone nut while the other is a deliberate policy, harsh as it sounds. Violence is seen in our police force tasing 90 year-old ladies who were going 3 miles per hour over the speed limit and did not understand the bellicose instructions of the armed gestappo of the US, and so they got tased.  The US is the most violent nation ever.  This violent streak permeates through our entire society.

Will stricter gun control laws cause this populace to become more morally upright? That is the central question here. I think these massacres can be correlated to the disintegration of the family unit, parents not teaching their kids right from wrong, kids not seeing the long-term consequences of their actions,  the younger generations not respecting authority, and simply having no respect for the sanctity of human life.

Here is some food for thought : for each child needlessly murdered in Connecticut, the IDF killed 16.3 Palestinian children in 2008-2009 during Operation Cast Lead, a massacre that most of our Congress supported, despite the Goldstone Report later finding Israel guilty of war crimes. A total of 326 children were murdered by the Israelis, and they died for no other reason that they were unlucky enough to be born Palestinian at a time when a global hegemon like the US deems Israeli life precious and Palestinian life expendable.

The murder of innocent people should affect all of society, and the murder of innocent children, whether done by a lone nut with something to prove, or by a rabid military trying to ethnically cleanse a region. All life is precious. Let's remember the gravity of this precept.

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