Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another Tragedy, Another Loud Yawn

Another twelve dead in Colorado, from yet another lunatic with a gun. Sorry, several guns, and many pounds of ammo. All purchased legally, and nowhere do we hear from the "responsible" gun owners a cry for better regulation or better enforcement of our laws. Only a "hang 'em high" attitude that doesn't bring anyone back, and didn't stop this whack job in the first place.

As a nation, do we care? These were young people, with their whole lives ahead of them. Conversely, they hadn't contributed very much yet, and with their future economic outlook, probably wouldn't have much chance of doing more. So will we miss them? Did we need them to begin with?

The NRA and their spokespeople (i.e., registered gun owners who defend everyone's right to bear any arms they can get) always bring up automobile deaths, as if driving a car and firing a weapon are the same thing. The thing is, an automobile accident is just that - an accident. And you have to take tests to be allowed to drive an automobile. Guns are test-free, unless you count the background check. And you don't always have to go through one of those, either.

But because the American way of politics is to ignore whatever happens in the next street, we will have forgotten about this tragedy by next week, or it will be eclipsed by another tragedy of equally horrifying proportions. We'll find a way to rationalize our apathy, since the NRA has so obviously gotten control of pretty much every politician's balls, and we know that no amount of popular outrage can fight against the right-wing money machine.

And we'll pass more "stand your ground" laws, so that we can have open gunfights in the public square, and more innocent bystanders will be killed by loose rounds, and no one will be to blame, since everyone was simply defending themselves from everyone else.

And I am numb and angry at the same time.

But what I'm not is afraid. I'm still not afraid of my fellow man. I refuse to see everyone as a potential criminal, the way that the folks in the conservative wing do. I get that some folks like to hunt for food, and I see nothing wrong with that. But self-defense? If you're a woman, I get it. Get a can of mace (which is often harder to get than a gun), and if some bastard tries to rape or sodomize you, give him the whole can, right into his eyes (or mouth - hurts like hell, still totally incapacitating, even lethal).

But if I were to live my life assuming everyone was out to get me, or that the government was out to get me, I'd get a house with much smaller, barred windows, better locks, steel doors, security systems and all that. Maybe I'm just naive, but I don't want to live my life in fear of everyone and everything. I was raised to be suspicious, and it never did me any good. Certainly, I've been taken for a ride occasionally, but otherwise, most people are decent.

And since we apparently won't be able to stop these bastards from getting guns and doing bad things, maybe the best we can hope for is to treat everyone as a friend, until they prove they're an enemy. To turn the other cheek, until they recognize our humanity. Because if we can't see other people as human beings, each worthy of life and happiness, we've failed our potential as a species.

In which case, dying off won't be such a tragedy after all.

No comments: