Random rambling

Gun control?

Just a few words about the gun control controversy.  I was watching Bill Maher on his 11th season premier last night and I was trying to sort out why countries who allow guns, and countries who don’t allow guns seem to have so relatively few instances of horrifying gun violence the way we have it in the United States.

One big difference between the United States and most other places, and this is going to sound a little weird, is that we were founded on Puritan principles and have perverted that particular belief system to mean that Sex Is Never Okay.  Follow me here, now.  Also, we have a huge advertising industry dedicated to making us unhappy with our bodies and in a constant state of anxiety about our bodies.  Men and women both bear the brunt of this kind of manipulation and it comes out in different ways: Women are encouraged, very strongly, to be thin, elegant, well-groomed, and to have specific kinds of attractiveness, no matter what their biological heritage may be; men are encouraged to look a certain way and to be sexually potent, with huge genitals and an ever-ready attitude.  They are expected to be the sole initiators of sexual activity and must be ready, willing, and able at the drop of a hat.  So everybody is left feeling inadequate.

Think about the way people feel about their weapons, and the words they use to describe them, and about the way they feel about their genitals, their sexuality, and who they are in relation to the opposite sex, and how they describe all that.  Notice a connection?  Guns are always hard, always ready, and the biggest, baddest guns can go and go and go, forever, with only brief periods of reloading.

It’s sick, yeah, but isn’t it possible that the biggest gun-manufacturing country in the world has a population who has caught that particular illness and personalized it?  So, two of the big differences between the US and other countries: unlimited guns, very much limited and inhibited sex.

I’m wondering if maybe I’m onto something here,  I doubt very much that anybody but me will ever read these words, but if somebody actually sees what I’ve said, feel free to comment, unless you’re a troll.  I warn all trolls ahead of time: a.) I don’t want your guns, and b.) I don’t feed trolls, so don’t expect a lot of conversation about this if you’re rude and stupid.


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5 thoughts on “Gun control?

  1. Hey, I came over here from CA – that idea makes TOTAL sense to me. Might also explain why it’s usually males who have a fixation on guns. 😉

    • I’m so glad what I said made sense to you! The problem now, is, what do we do about it? Advertising is like a huge, fully metastasized cancer in this country, and lots of men are so fixated on their guns…it’s making me very nervous about the continued survival of the USA.

      • I don’t live in the USA, so I can’t really speak from first-hand experience. But even from so far away the situation does seem out-of-control, and anxiety inducing. 😦
        As a European, the notion of owning (let alone using) a gun seems utterly alien to me. It’s just not part of my awareness, and of the culture here. (Although the over-sexification of the media seems to be similar.)
        What do we do about it? That’s a really difficult question – off-hand I’d say, education is (part of) the answer. Beginning by raising awareness in the general public, and teach / raise future generations differently. This can (and should) be widened to include issues such as equality of men / women, people of different skin colour, etc. I also think that empathy is vital for all of this.

        So that would be the ideal situation… it’s quite easy to be overwhelmed by all the ‘bad’ stuff that’s going on, and then the more you focus on it, the more you will see it. So we might try to do what we can, and make (small) changes in our immediate environment? And hope that a pebble dropped into an ocean will still create ripples?

      • I grew up in a family of gun-owners. My father has a huge gun collection and I’ve fired many of them. However, I, also, feel like owning and using a gun somehow does not apply to me–as you say, it’s an utterly alien concept.

        Raising awareness/educating the public is an excellent first step. Unfortunately, our educational system is rapidly being neutralized and dismantled by the same interests who promulgate guns and shame. It’s very scary to me.

        Instead of teaching children to read at younger and younger ages, I believe that the early school years, say from 3 or 4 years old until about 6, children be taught empathy for each other. It’s possible to teach empathy, but it’s not easy to develop a meaningful testing instrument to prove that it’s been taught. And when the kids go home to brutalized and unempathic families, the poor teacher has to start over again the next day from square one.

        It’s not hopeless–never hopeless!–but it’s a very difficult situation. When I rule the world, things will be different.

  2. Well, I’m looking forward to when you’re ruling the world! 🙂 And I agree, it’s not hopeless, but difficult…
    I’ve been thinking about the empathy/education thing for the last couple of times while washing dishes though (’cause that’s my ‘serious thinking’ time):
    Again, I don’t know a whole lot about the American (public) education system.. I really like your idea of ’empathy classes’ though. And yes, I agree, it’s difficult to have a (standardised) test for that – however, if someone truly *is* empathetic, that’ll become obvious very quickly, no?
    You mentioned children who are in an abusive / chaotic / destructive family situation – it’s hard to find words that are adequate for the heartbreak that these children go through, over and over again. Hopefully though, empathy might be especially useful here – the perspective that this provides might help the children be clear about the fact that what the parents or caregivers are doing is not right (in fact, it’s really, really wrong), to help themselves as well as they can, and also, to NOT carry the abuse forward. (Ideally, they would also receive help and support from the community at school, of course.)

    To round this comment off, I read the following words some time ago (but now can’t seem to find it again)… something to the extend that if you want more gentleness in the world and feel vulnerable because life is tough – then don’t make yourself tougher, be more gentle because you will reap what you sow (or words to that extent).

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