“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
~ Albert Einstein
Where do we draw the line?
When will we stop?
Have we already passed the tipping point: is it already too late?
Current events seem to underline the immediate need for caution. History tells us that wise men have said so from the beginning of recorded time, yet there is no appreciable change.
We consider legislating away the tools of hate and violence, but to what end? We can take away assault weapons, and hunting rifles, and shotguns, and handguns. We can make them illegal to purchase and own. We can make them more difficult to obtain. We can subject the prospective buyer/owner to background checks and scrutiny. We can make the ammunition nearly impossible to find. But how does that solve the problem? The platitude “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns…” really does ring true. If there is a market for something, anything, there is a way to obtain it because someone stands ready to provide it for the right price. If you want nuclear weapons, someone will sell them. What will we prohibit next; knives, rocks, or sticks?
Political Correctness (PC) is the best possible socially-engineered solution for the policing and eliminating verbal and written commentary. PC empowered anyone to misconstrued or misinterpreted a simple remark as an assault or affront, and our legal system supports it. We can’t compliment someone without fear of a charged unwanted sexual advances. We are hypersensitive and hypervigilant, watching and waiting for the next innocent slip to begin the indictments and torrent of analyses and judgements in the media. This is why I find our current self-perpetuating direction so frightening.
The root cause of this problem should be the topic of our discussion rather than worn out excuses and attempts to blame the tool for the actions/decisions of the user. We must address the real problem; personal responsibility and mental instability. The two are not necessarily connected, but our unwillingness to accept culpability is a large part of the problem. We are too quick to shift blame to someone or something else, thus absolving ourselves.
If we want to stop aggression, we must stop using aggression as our primary solution. If we want to stop the hate, we must stop teaching hate. If we want to stop violent behavior we must stop teaching violence. If we truly want to modify behavior, we must stop using that behavior ourselves. We must, MUST learn to live together. We must coexist or face the consequences. Rewriting our history and destroying artifacts of the uncomfortable events will not erase them. It serves to strengthen the misinterpretation of the events.
The Civil War is an excellent example. A common explanation is that the Civil War was fought over the moral issue of slavery. In fact, it was the economics of slavery and political control of that system that was central to the conflict. Removing Confederate Flags and statues of Southern heroes only strengthen the case for those that want to profit by these erroneous beliefs.
Our every action and our every solution is violence based. Our entertainment is based on violence: sports, games, movies, TV, theater, and books. We must turn away from violence as the preferred response and diversion, insisting that we employ peaceful negotiations and the use financial incentives/disincentives as solutions.
We wage war on everything from drugs to poverty and wonder why our children seek violent solutions to their problems. We attack our problems with military fervor wondering why our children attack each other physically and verbally. We expect everyone to recognize and appreciate the subtle difference between fantasy and reality without teaching them how to see the differences.
Can we stop our down-hill slide? I think it’s too late. Current events and public outrage suggest that we have passed to tipping-point. The mass murder in Las Vegas is only the tip of the iceberg. We are divided on the approach/solution. Some want stronger gun regulations, some scream about the infringement of their Constitutional rights, and the minority don’t know or don’t care.
“When two brothers are busy fighting, an evil man can easily attack and rob their poor mother. Mankind should always stay united, standing shoulder to shoulder so evil can never cheat and divide them.” ~ Suzy Kassem
I fear there will be more to come. Confiscating and banning weapons of any kind will ensure that the criminals and crazies are well armed. Many see this as the final step toward an Orwellian police-state. It would finalize the loss our liberties and cessation of our freedoms which are already significantly limited.
We trade our freedom for security without thinking through the arrangement. We’ve made a deal with the devil to assure our safety. He now watches over our country in the guises of the TSA, CIA, FBI, NSA, and ATF. We’re not really any safer, are we? These watch-dog organizations didn’t know about the attack on the innocent people in Las Vegas, did they? Yet we still gave them the keys to our security. Why?
There is no easy answer to our dilemma. We have a monumental change to affect. From my vantage point, I fear our future. I don’t think we want to untangle our mess. We’re lazy and complacent, expecting the government to supply all the answers and make all the changes, yet we’re vehement with our disapproval when we bargain away our rights to obtain safety and security. We piss and moan in the social media about government choices and decisions but do nothing to make the simplest changes ourselves.
The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results, but we continue to send the same people to Washington DC expecting them to change and to provide new results.
We must be crazy!
October 11, 2017
~ The Author ~
Charles R. Dickens was born in 1951, is a veteran of the Vietnam, for which he volunteered, and the great-great grandson of the noted author, whose name he shares.
He is a fiercely proud American, who still believes this is the greatest country on the planet, with which we’ve lost control and certainly our direction. He grew up in moderate financial surrounding; were not rich by any stretch, but didn’t go hungry – his incredibly hard working father saw to that. As most from that era, he learned about life from his father, whose story would take too long to tell, other than to say that, he is also a fiercely proud American; a WWII and Korean war, veteran Marine.
Charlie was educated in the parochial system which, demanded that you actually learn something, and have capability to retain it before you advance. He attended several universities in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, and chased the goose further to a master’s, and has retained some very definite ideas about education in this country.
In addition, Charlie is a professional (struggling) blues guitar and vocalist – a musician. This is his therapy career. Nothing brings him as much joy as playing music, and he wishes that he could make a living at it… maybe some day!