Monday, December 17, 2012

Guns, Guns, Guns

If you're the biblically minded sort, then the trouble began when a jealous Cain clubbed Abel to death, but if you're evolutionarily minded, then it's a 'chicken and egg' question. Violence had no beginning, except perhaps in the Big Bang, it was always here, coded into the DNA. If people are just grown-up animals, more articulate versions of the creatures who eat each other's young, and sometimes their own young, there is as much use in wondering about the nature of evil as there is in trying to understand why a killer whale kills.

But debating how many devils can dance on the head of a pinhead is largely useless. We are not a particularly violent society. We are a society sheltered from violence. No one in Rwanda spends a great deal of time wondering what kind of man would murder children. They probably live next door to him. For that matter, if your neighborhood is diverse enough, you might be unfortunate enough to live next door to any number of war criminals, all the way from Eastern Europe to Asia to Africa.

The issue isn't really guns. Guns are how we misspell evil. Guns are how we avoid talking about the ugly realities of human nature while building sandcastles on the shores of utopia.

The obsession with guns, rather than machetes, stone clubs, crossbows or that impressive weapon of mass death, the longbow (just ask anyone on the French side of the Battle of Agincourt) is really the obsession with human agency. It's not about the fear of what one motivated maniac can do in a crowded place, but about the precariousness of social control that the killing sprees imply.

Rest of this superb essay here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't have to be a historian to know that I've a right to bear arms for personal self defense ... the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self defense and other lawful purposes ... There is so many insane ppl around ... and yes, there're communities that deal with the threat of gun violence every day of their lives but when tragedies happen then ... we realize something must be done. So, let's talk about guns ... gun violence ... and criminal's mental health ... and have on mind, taking my gun away will not stop deranged individuals committing monstrous crimes. And globally there're crazies everywhere... The major difference is that they don't have so easy access to guns like we do here in US. And the NRA should really more represent gun owners then gun manufacturers ... and if the reality is any indication ... the only thing that will come out of this last tragedy is gun sales will go up ... All states require a simple test to show proficiency to drive a car ... so if the same standards are implemented and requested from CC permit applicants as the ability to responsibly handle a firearm, then nobody will advocating taking away weapons if we show we can responsibly use the thing... I'm for banning assault weapons or limiting the size of ammunition reloaders and mainly making it harder for mentally unstable people to get guns ! ... and if more sane people were armed, the crazy people would get fewer shots off ... this is my personal opinion and everyone can help by donating to mental health research and institutions instead of pointing to gun control as the problem ... CC permit applications and issuing increases while violent crime and murder rates decreases in some part of the CA and all around the States ... Of course we would never see the mainstream media report this ... The presence of guns don't make a country violent.... A violent ppl and culture do ... a culture of violence, particularly a culture of gun violence that pervades American society...
Coco Chantrenne, M.B.A., Ph.D