|From Album 5|
OK, my image is a little forced, but…I sometimes think of the old saw armed = polite when stuck in traffic, when every vehicle is a potentially lethal weapon, and when polite is the last thing that comes to mind. No, weapons don’t make people polite. They risk making stressful situations far, far worse.
The idea that we can arm and shoot our way to safety and security is absurd. It turns the entire notion of civil society on its head, making it at best a case where we’re perpetually on the verge of the-war-of-all-against-all. It goes beyond reasonable self-interest to a hyper-individualism that lashes out furiously against any perceived slight. Toss in religion, culture of honor, refusal to compromise in the name of civility, tolerate diversity, etc. … then add guns as easily obtainable as toys … and you get yesterday, where the violence in San Bernardino was the worst, but not the only mass shooting.
And then there will be the inevitably demagoguery from the usual suspects, who’ll insist this can all be taken care of by a war, or a wall, or by “bombing the shit out” of whoever … once they’re voted into office. Because that’s obviously worked out so well over the last decade and a half…
We’ve now got a generation of young adults for whom war overseas and mass shootings at home is…normal.