I saw an article today that stated that the rate of gun deaths in the United States is 10X comparable nations. There is a reason for that.
Scott Adams has been running a series of Dilbert strips wherein Asok, the Hindu intern, is accused of being a terrorist. In one, he points out that he is a pacifist Hindu, but “You use violence as a tool and worship one of Islam’s prophets.” If it hurts to read that, tough, because both of those statements are true. Jesus is the 4th prophet in Islam, and we do use violence at a tool.
For instance, many of us buy firearms because we feel the need to defend ourselves. I see postings about how the guy who broke into a car is going to “get shot” if he shows up again. Or little stickers stating “insured by Smith & Wesson.” Funny, in its way, but definitely using violence as a tool.
And there is violence and there is violence, you know? I’d be happy to give someone breaking into my car a nice martial arts lesson, if you get my drift. They could think about their life choices while the bones healed. But death for petty thievery? Bit over the top, I’d say. And I am not blaming the guns; I am blaming people who use guns without thinking about what they are doing.
Guns are great tools, and no mistake. But they make violence impersonal, which apparently in some people makes it okay to act badly. Those people are wrong, of course. Bad action is bad action. Personally I think it is more satisfying to be able to defeat someone with brains and cunning. (That is what martial arts does, by the way, whatever you may have seen in Kung Fu movies.) It’s not guns, it’s attitudes.
Deadly force is a legitimate answer to deadly force, and for nothing else. Being the first to use deadly force in a confrontation makes you the guilty party, no matter what sort of asshole the other person acts like. That’s why people complain when cops shoot a feeing suspect in the back. Heck, it’s against the code of the west, if nothing else. And our attitudes about violence cause other problems as well.
Those idiots who occupied the bird sanctuary in Oregon? Some of their points are valid, and should be hashed out. But taking over a wildlife preserve with firearms? Who do they think they are? Jason Bourne, James Bond, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo all rolled into one? They ended up looking like idiots, so they got their reward. But the fact is that they used violence as a tool.
I saw another article that reported on the results of a survey of people all over the world. One question was “Who is the biggest threat to world peace today?” In most places, the answer wasn’t ISIS. Care to guess who it was? I’ll give you a hint: it was a country that uses violence as a tool. Yes, that one. I’m sitting in it. Ouch, huh?