Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last word (for now) on violence control

From the time I leave my house to get the papers until I return home, I usually note upwards of a 10 degree swing in temperature per my car's outside thermometer. Usually Doylestown is warmer than Perkasie and certain neighborhoods built near open fields are colder than those in town. This morning every time I looked at the gauge it said 33 degrees. Every time!! Although the temp was at 33 degrees, I still found my car sliding through certain turns and around some areas. While I won't say that I am becoming an expert at driving in ice and snow, I am certainly getting more used to being out of control, temporarily, while driving in poor weather. Could there be a future blog about life and enjoying those out of control moments?

Speaking of sliding, yesterday's sleet cover on top of the new snow produced my longest newspaper tosses to date. Not because I threw the papers any further but because some deliveries hit the ice and kept on going!! I wonder if any of the subjects of the various articles were saying WHEEEE as they slid on the ice?

I realized after posting on Monday that I was remiss in not mentioning that it was the national holiday in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. What a tremendous example of working for societal change within the framework of non-violence! It makes me wonder why, on a national level, we continue to advocate change in countries where the rule of law is less established, countries where leaders routinely use violence against their own people to control them, yet we invariably turn to our own version of violence to reinforce these ideas. Again, as if might makes right.

Would not an example of diplomatic pressure, aid to improve the people's standard of living, and support for the process of change, ultimately work better than bombs and bullets? Please, can someone cite me an example whereby the killing of the citizens of another country led them to change their society to be more like us? And, please, don't respond with WW2 for my understanding of history indicates that it was more the incredible amount of economic aid and debt forgiveness that turned Germany and Japan into allies. As proof, I would offer the evidence that our treatment of the losers of WW1, especially Germany, planted the seeds for the eventual rise of the Nazi party. It was oh so easy for Hitler to take national pride and turn it into international hate when his fellow citizens could see in their everyday lives how little the world cared for them.

You can catch more flies with honey...

But again, there is a violent streak in Americans, by nature and by culture. We love righteous anger and the victory of the downtrodden over the bully. Unfortunately, we don't seem to recognize that in many parts of the world, we are considered to be the bully. The memory of America's role in saving the world from Hitler, or even that of our victory over the evil Russian empire has been replaced by our more recent history of both covert and overt actions to change the leaders of countries with which we disagree.

So, how does all this relate to guns, gun control, violence control? Perhaps it is inevitable that the crazy or the angry individual will kill regardless of the law. But are the laws written to control those individuals or to guide the more rational, majority of the populace. I would think that if asked, most Americans would prefer a world with a little less violence and a little more love. For themselves and their children and grandchildren, etc.

If love then is preferred, should we then not use it as a litmus test when considering any topic? Do guns promote this future world of love or suggest that violence is an acceptable method of interacting with one another? Or more specifically, do assault weapons and multi-round magazines for hand guns sound like they should have a place in a world with more love and less violence?

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