“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves.”
– William Pitt the Younger, 1783
Let me be clear. I am in favor of sensible gun control, background checks and loophole closures on regulatory laws. But I do not believe that these measures will directly affect gun violence or violence in general. Rather the effect will be indirect and symbolic at best.
I believe that the increase in mass killings, gun violence, violence in general is due to an overall sense of desperation, a sense of “no one has your back”. The safety nets are old and ineffective. The police are more likely to harm you than protect you. You will not be able to afford to retire. Your pension, your social security, your healthcare are no longer certain. Your investments (if you even have them) are being stolen from you. There is disorder and danger everywhere. Nowhere is your safety guaranteed.
What reaction can reasonably be expected given these circumstances? Well I think that the analogy of the “foxhole” is most useful here. You are alone, watching your own back, brandishing whatever weapons you have acquired. And you know the cavalry, the rescuers are not coming. They don’t exist. They too are in their foxholes fighting to hold on to what little they have left just like you.
This is not mental illness. This is reality. Psychiatry has drugs available to reduce your anxiety, to help you sleep, to help you stay awake, to attenuate the symptoms of depression. And we are learning that the side effects of these drugs may do as much or more damage as they do good.
So what is the solution you ask? Are you just one of those naysayers with whiny complaints and denigration of others’ efforts with no idea of how to solve these problems? Or are you one of the monolithic self-assured types with a ready simple solution in your pocket?
“When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these daya are gone, I’m not so self assured…”
-The Beatles, “Help”
Well I guess I’m closest to the monolithic type here though I am not so self-assured and my solutions while simple in concept are not so simple to implement. I have written elsewhere in this blog (look up the previous posts if you need verification) that I believe the problem to be one of too much pressure on the middle and lower income classes in our society.
As we regulate guns we see increases in police violence, military violence, violence and killings without guns, etc. As one problem is “solved” another rears its ugly head.
While I believe that gun control legislation is a necessary step I also believe that until we solve the huge inequities in our world we will see little substantive reduction in violence in that world. I believe that this problem can only be solved on an international level and not simply by the United States alone.
Until we are able to establish stability in the classes that contain the large numbers of people in the middle and lower income classes we will have to live with violence of all sorts including guns, poisonings, knifings, bludgeonings, thefts, computer hackings, racism, class-ism and countless other types of violence and prejudice. It is anyone’s guess as to who or what group will be targeted next. There will be individuals, corporations, governments, innocent and not-so-innocent groups. No one is immune though some have more protection (not guns but security).
Unfortunately I see little if anything being done about social and economic inequities so I see no end in sight for violence. Perhaps we are going through another “dark age” or the actual “end times” if there is such a thing.
- Value Life to solve gun violence.. (truthbyright.wordpress.com)
- Gun Violence Legislation (sweetmelissa1954.com)