WE LOVE GUNS

The U.S. has only 4% of the global population, yet this tiny percentage owns nearly 50% of all civilian-owned guns in the world! There are more guns in the U.S. than there are people.

This is a curious fact. How did this come to be?

A quick glance into history illustrates how Americans regard their guns as a practical necessity. Slavery and genocide required a well-armed populace. Plus, the long-held affection for the western “cowboy,” who always wore a gun, reflects the American Ideal of independent-minded machismo.

In the U.S., the police shoot to kill, as do the citizens as they shoot at each other and at the police. And now a new reality game has caught the nation’s imagination and the mainstream media — school shootings. During the first half of 2018 there were 20 school shootings in the U.S. Young white males stomped into a grade school or high school, where they were sure to find unarmed kids packed tightly together, and opened-up with their high powered automatic weapons . . . which they or their parents bought legally.

There is something terribly fucked about this scenario. The problem can’t be with the guns, because a gun is an inert object with no emotions, no thoughts, no motives.

Therefore, guns are not the problem. The CULTURE is the problem!

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Gee, thanks

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new interior minister, did not allow passengers from the rescue ship to disembark in Italy. “Starting today, Italy will begin to say NO to human trafficking, NO to the business of illegal immigration.”

Italy is a member of NATO, which, at this moment, is engaged with the U.S. as a “coalition partner” doing battle in the Middle East against “terrorism.”

According to a UN study, nearly ninety percent of those killed are civilians, most of whom are women and children, and this trend continues into 2018. Further, the constant warfare involving several different countries resulted in the largest migration of people since world war two.

This is not hard to understand. A neighborhood that contains “smart bombs,” Hellfire missiles, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, car bombs and suicide bombs will have a definite impact on social reality – chiefly on the residents and victims.

Imagine watching your neighborhood blown up by bombs and bullets and members of your family torn apart. You grab your children and run! You’re overwhelmed by grief and terror and your only thought is to keep living. Whole families with small children and babies pack up and go by any conveyance. Desperate civilians, most of whom are women and children, take great risks to escape war zones. For example, they’ll crowd onto boats and try to make it across the Mediterranean Sea to safety inside one of the wealthy countries.

Somalia poet Warsan Shire remarks: “You have to understand, no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”

These war refugees put their lives in the hands of strangers, and for a fee or a promise they embark on a boat voyage, many for the first time in their lives, and they bear hunger, discomfort and sickness for long days and weeks, hoping to arrive safely at an unknown place where they may know nothing of the language or culture, or where they may not be welcome, and subject to scorn and abuse.

The fact that people leave their homeland on a perilous journey to somewhere else demonstrates the power of experiencing the impact of modern weaponry. Exposure to extreme violence elicits a visceral, primal reaction, with all nerves and neurons screaming. This reaction is a deeply traumatic experience, especially for civilians, and can manifest later as post-traumatic stress disorder. The impacts on refugee children are especially powerful and deep.

And Italy, complicit in making boatloads of refugees, turns away the boats because the refugees are now “illegal immigrants.”

Gee, thanks.

ENTER THE AGE OF DOOM

There’s no denying the human character possesses a schizophrenic foundation: on one side, capable of good and noble thoughts and actions; on the other side, equally capable of the most horrendous atrocities.

Recorded history rarely focuses on times of relative peace, but is full of careful accounts of battles, wars and conquests. There’s plenty of evidence of rape, pillage, torture, mass killings and genocide. As we descend further into the shadowy depths of human ancestry, we wonder who was the first humanoid to get angry, pick up a rock and beat to death another of his kind.

The urge to violence precedes the idea of “weapon.” This is why “gun control” in the US will never work; it’s not guns that kill people, but people killing people. A gun is simply the easiest and most efficient means of delivering death. A gun is an inert, senseless object, until it’s gripped in the hands of a human, at which point it follows the human will.

If humans are capable of violence on their fellows, how much more violence could they visit on the natural world? In the case of Mother Nature, human activity has driven the Earth to its knees, and for the first time in their history humans witness a mass extinction event — only the 6th in Earth’s history — plus a quickly warming atmosphere.

Human societies are inextricably a part of Nature, and as Nature deteriorates so too does human experience. After millions of years of wanton expansion, exploitation and “growth,” humans now find themselves as an endangered species on their own planet!

WHY I’M CRAZY

During my crucial teenage years, when the world opens up wider and penetrates the brain, I attended high school at St. Thomas Military Academy. This was a private, all-boys military Catholic school. During all four years we were required to attend classes in religion and military.

At 8 o’clock in the morning the bell rang and I sat down in Father White’s class with about 25 other “cadets.” For the next 55 minutes the good father told us about Jesus, the prince of peace, and the brotherhood of man.

The bell rang, and I hurried to the next building to attend military class. Sgt. Stock spent 55 minutes showing us the various positions of the “bayonet thrust” and the most vital spots on the human body in stabbing for maximum fatal effect.

INMATES

A recent national survey by The Nature Conservancy discovered that barely 10% of U.S. children spend time outdoors every day. The other 90% only a few days or not at all. What are they doing most of the time? Phones, computers, games, TV.

Kids these days are born into a world filled with electronic wonders and they adapt quickly. However, the technology has forced a significant change in general lifestyle, because electronics are an “indoor” activity.

There was a time when such electronic things existed only as dreams, a time when us kids regarded “indoors” as sort of like prison. In fact, for thousands of years humans spent most of their time “outdoors.”

In the 50s, growing up on the outskirts of urban expansion, us kids spent most of our free time outside the house — playing, exploring, entertaining ourselves. I recall the only time I spent indoors was during mealtime and bedtime.

At dinnertime the neighborhood erupted with whistles, bells and hollers as all the mothers called their kids home — a discordant backyard symphony that I will never forget.

We experienced a healthy balance between Nature and Nurture.

But now it’s nearly all Nurture, but the “Nurture” — love, friendship and information — is electronic. A whole generation of people hung up on electronics.

I look out at the future, but the only way I can see it is with my wildest imagination.

I DEMAND!

The pompous Mr. Pompeo, President Trump’s new Secretary of State, made a demand that Iran “withdraw from Syria and cut support to Houthis in Yemen.”

Meanwhile, at this very moment, the U.S. has 6000 (uninvited) troops inside Syria supported by two aircraft carriers. Also, the U.S. supports, supplies and approves
of Saudi Arabia’s nasty war in Yemen.

Obviously, Mr. Pompeo does not recognize the gigantic hypocrisy he speaks. This
is a sure sign he suffers from functional insanity.

I can’t imagine how the world will survive 3 or 7 more years with President Donald Trump.

jerking the trigger

Young people in the U.S. see their parents struggling, the world going to hell and their lives defined by homogenized music, movies and “news.” Isolated individuals suffer from anomie, bullying or bigotry and cross the line . . . because each mass shooting in the U.S. lowers the threshold, and the next mass shooting will come easier. Also, there’s the attraction of star status (or anti-star) conferred by the media — mass shootings for the mass media.

However, I have to say that shooting at people and getting shot at was the most powerful adrenaline blast in my life.

Maybe that’s another reason why they do it.