I am not an American. I am a Canadian living in Australia but I do understand that the guns in America and the push back by the American people is not as much about the guns as it is a symbol of their freedoms. I know many people in the rest of the world do not understand but I think sometimes we jump into the idea that all those who speak English are pretty much the same. You have to understand the American culture is different than even Canada. You have to be willing to see this from their eyes and accept it is not the same as it is in your country (wherever that is). This is their line in the sand. Do I wish they had rallied behind something else in the constitution like maybe equality? Yes. But they are rallying. It is their fight and I sense that for many, although there are those who are everyone’s worst nightmare about gun crazy hoodlums, they are more committed to the principle of keeping their dad’s old gun in the dusty cupboard in the basement than they are for the actual need for usage.
I also understand that there are those who feel they need their guns for legitimate reasons. I am not going to comment on the validity of those reasons just because I do not share them. This is what freedom allows, the right for all of us to determine what we want/need for whatever reasons we have. It is not a democracy when it comes to any of those choices for an individual.
I am not a fan of making laws based on unhappy circumstances and situations. I think that is the worst time to make laws – when people are upset, emotional, wanting revenge, afraid … I don’t think we should ever make laws under those circumstances. We need to think about what we are doing. We need to make sure we are seeing the whole picture and considering all the options and the consequences.
I look at what is going on around the world and the need for people to stand up against their corrupt governments. I am not sure how you get to middle age in this life without beginning to understand that things are not black and white. “We” are not all good guys anymore than “they ” are all bad guys. There are extremists in every group. Corruption does not favour certain countries while avoiding others. Every group has its share of deviants. Every human being has the potential towards life affirming conduct and conduct that would destroy life. Wake up. Look at your own situation and worry about it before you begin pointing at others.
Is it even wise for anyone to give away their own sense of self, trusting a religion, an institution, or a government? Disarming ourselves is not going to cause those that would harm us to lay down their weapons or to temper their intended treatment of us.
Every country is fighting their own demons. I am not sure any other possible outcome was available when we put before ourselves THINGS and appearances over any real substance. Once we preferred the beautiful sinner to the ugly saint, we signed up for all of this. Where do people go who are so broken that they have no hope? How do men with little self esteem or real abilities turn to get their fast cars and women? How do you get more so you can stay on top? What do you do with the anger of watching the world pass you by because the only thing that matters is how big your TV set is comparison to everyone else and there is no work?
You can’t ignore people or try to eliminate them with wars, lack of jobs and medical help. People are going to fight back. When there is nothing left to lose, there you have the scariest of armies. The middle class is disappearing in the United States. You have those that have everything and those that have very little. For those that have already lost so much, you cannot tell them that things are not that bad yet. Their lives are not a graph that shows we have a way to go before we really need to panic. You are either eating or you are not. You either have a job or you do not. THAT is indeed black and white.
And finally you have the people who have watched the injustices of law. People who have seen first hand how people are ignored, endangered, injured and maybe even killed because police and armies have weapons they will not hesitate to use. You have innocent people who have died. Their deaths are no less tragic than the child who gets caught in the spray of bullets in a drive-by with warring gangs, or the homeowner who gets shot in a robbery. We have to stop pitting our own stories against one another as if one matters more than the other and look to the greater concern. We are not each other’s enemies here. We have power we are not using. We can still vote. We can insist our politicians no longer be the rich guy, whose parents groomed them for office and who come from a long line of men who have held office. So what??? We want real men, real women . . . people who know what their countries need and want and are not afraid to do what is right. We need to be the ones coming up with the answers for our own lives and not some committee of privileged people who have never even known what it is like to try and make $20 last for a whole week when you need to feed a family of 4.
Stop watching the housewives of Beverly Hills and look around you at the housewives in your neighbourhood. There is the reality. What do you need? What can you do?
Lately I keep thinking about how so many people, after WWI wanted to know how the German people could have stood by and let such things happen. It is easy. We are all somewhat like the frog in the water, gently heated until boiling. We are slowly deadened to the reality of our situation. Get comfortable enough, look away enough … it is a step by step painless process until it is way too late. It is almost like we are all convinced if we just close our eyes tight and click our heels, we will be back home and all will be well.
It isn’t well.
So draw your line in the sand over whatever it is that finally gets your attention, but draw a damn line and hope for the support of other people, who will have other lines, and may not completely understand or support yours, but will understand the lines are all we have.