Virginia Tech, Iraq, Rio, Philippines, Afghanistan, Darfur and Somalia…. there's definitely too many people dying right now! Then there's the unacceptable fact that Iraq has two Virginia Tech-style attacks every single day. Unfortunately for mankind, with the aimless American war machine continuing, while elsewhere in the world there are reports such as that of the Taliban being accused of killing civilians and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening his army will "cut off the hand" of any attacker, it doesn't appear that death and destruction is going to stop any time soon.
Primordial man fought and killed with sticks and stones, progressing through what has been considered his development to master the use of swords, bombs, guns and missiles. We have now developed to become an advanced civilisation but man continues to fight and kill in the inner cities of America and England, slaughter in the ghettos, projects, townships and favellas, and massacre on the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan.
As much as we try to fool ourselves, mankind today is no better than primordial man who fought and killed with sticks and stones. We just have better weaponry. Our culture of the gun was born with the Western civilisation and European domination that sucked the blood of the Third World at point blank range. As the “uncivilised world” was about to breathe its last breath we retreated, leaving our guns behind, allowing the indigenous people to continue the death and suffering on a daily basis. We thought we were far removed in our Western utopias until the War on terror forced us to adjust to the reality of violent death. Our armies and politicians have taught us to kill with the gun, our experiences have taught us to defend with the gun and popular culture has taught us to be cool with the gun. But we cannot blame it on Bush, Blair and Bin Laden alone, or on music, television and criminals, as it is the fault of us all and our acceptance of the culture of the gun.
A famous man once said that "the condition of man … is a condition of war of everyone against everyone" … "Without a common power to keep them all in awe; they are in that condition called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man." There will be … "no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.
The problem now is that the State, the Nation and the West are the “common power”, but they rule with the use of the gun and profit from the manufacture of the gun. We must stop seeking power with use of the gun, stop accumulating wealth with use of the gun, stop waging war with use of the gun and stop initiating peace with use of the gun. Maybe then the gangs on our streets will stop using with the gun, maybe the militia in the Third world will stop using the gun and maybe the next angry/jealous student at another Virginia Tech will not use the gun.
We as citizens cannot stem the manufacture, supply and importation of dangerous weapons, nor is it our responsibility to tackle crime, particularly when government’s control the required funds, education reforms, welfare solutions and criminal justice policies to achieve a lasting effect. But we can change our views and opinions towards the legal and/or illegal use of the gun by our fathers, brothers, friends, neighbours, police and armies, while lobbying our leaders and politicians to change theirs. Whether we discuss this here, at home or on our blogs, it needs to be discussed and changes need to be made.Powered by Sidelines