Frank Rich has an Op-Ed in today's NY Times, entitled "THE GUNS OF AUGUST," which focuses mainly on the growing dangers of the festering lunatic right wing brandishing firearms at political rallies, including those where President Obama is actually present. Hard to believe, but you see it in the news everyday. And there are actually some real loonytunes in the far right media and elsewhere, people hiding their doughy white bodies and big hair in pickle barrels, while supporting the right to play cowboys and "Injuns" in the public square with deadly weapons.
So, I left a comment (expounded on below) to Rich's piece, not arguing against the right to own a firearm, but rather questioning the sanity of owning one.
Your comments are welcome, of course.
Two years ago, I was ambushed and brutally assaulted by two thugs in front of my own home in a residential area of Brooklyn. I was brought bleeding and unconscious to the hospital. If I had a gun on me at the moment of the attack, I surely would have used it to protect myself and my family, and as long as said gun was legally owned by me, I'm sure no charges would have been brought against me. So, why didn't I have a gun, and more importantly, why don't I own one now?
It's really simple - because owning a gun is basically insane.
If you own a gun, you will eventually shoot something that is alive, most likely killing it. I choose not to enhance the odds of my having that opportunity, because killing is the highest violation of the essence of my humanity.
I still eat meat, so one might argue that an animal is killed by someone else on my behalf. How hypocritical is that, PL? Well, to a certain degree, I agree, and I am heading, sooner rather than later, towards vegetarian living. But still, killing for sport, which is what hunting is, is different. It is killing for "fun," not for necessity or nourishment, and finding entertainment in the act of ending life is... insane. It just is.
One might argue that cops and soldiers carry firearms to protect the common good. (And I would actually argue against that notion.) But is that insane? Well, it's socially acceptable and collectively encouraged by our society to use deadly force as a cop or soldier, true, but nonetheless, for an individual to choose a profession in which killing is part of the job description is a sign of serious psychological disturbance. Sorry. It just is. We want to believe it's a sign of bravery or patriotism, but killing someone with a weapon that could blow up a whole neighborhood is hardly courageous.
Facing your enemies with honesty, directness and love is truly courageous, but few are as genuinely heroic as a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King or a Jesus.
Our current level of evolution as a species is such that there are those that would kill to further the dictates of their greed, xenophobic fears or lust for power over others, so many feel that an armed police force and military is the only way to protect ourselves and survive. I understand that mentality, but it still represents the thinking of a low-level of consciousness which, for now, is a discussion for another blog entry.
To be continued...