December 18th, 2012
The day after the killings happened, I was due to be on Sirius radio, but for once, I couldn’t imagine talking about something on the air—it was, in addition to everything else in this crazy world—just too much.
Since then I have talked about it on PRN.FM and written a lot about it on the facebook page for one of my PRN.FM shows. (You can follow the posts and some of the responses–and post your own responses at: http://www.facebook.com/PRNoccupied)
As a place to begin… You can’t just say it’s only one single lunatic (this time), or it’s a lack of mental health treatment, or it’s the side effects from over-prescribed drugs, or it’s too many violent video games, or a lack of prayer in school(!), or even—though here we’re getting closer to the problem—that it’s a vast, over-proliferation of military style guns and ammunition in too many American’s hands…
It isn’t just one of those things—it’s ALL of those things. All of them and something deeper and more pervasive—It’s about the basic foundation and fabric of American history and culture. This was always a violent country. From the first Europeans to set foot in North America to the latest dimwitted redneck legislator who wants guns in kindergartens—and even going back to the birth of our nation, guns were the elemental and essential tool. If we didn’t have guns aplenty we would never had beaten the British but it’s the before and after that we have to look.
America was created from of the mass displacement and murder of Indians (including children)—and more than partially built on the backs of slaves (including children)—And the way that was done was by using force or the threat of force (guns).
But you know what? Forget the guns— Before guns, millions of innocent people, were murdered with rocks, sticks, knives, bows and arrows, spears, swords… In fact, in the last year alone a couple of dozen Chinese school-children were stabbed and killed by crazy men with knives. It’s not just the guns— It’s the violence in human nature. Happens in every place—in every time, but right now we’re talking about our country.
I’m saying that it’s much more than just the guns… It’s the deep, dark stain in the American soul.
You can’t have a President that meets every Tuesday with advisors and chooses who to kill that week (including children); you can’t attack the world with a political policy that requires the murdering of innocent people—thousands of children among them—with drone missile, artillery and air strikes; you can’t sell billions of dollars worth of graphic, flag-waving, bloody, video shooter-games to caffeine-addled young men; you can’t peddle more weapons than the whole rest of the world combined and have a larger military budget than the whole rest of the world put together… You can’t do ALL that and then fix the blame on one, discrete cause.
This is a country—whatever it’s great ideals and achievements are and have been—that was born in a cauldron of theft and murder. We are exceptional; exceptional in our facilitation and practice of violent death. Who pulled the trigger in Connecticut? America pulled the trigger. We put the gun against our own children’s heads and fired.
If we don’t take a long, hard look in the mirror and gain just a minimum of self-awareness, shame and humility… and if we don’t stop trying to be Number One over the dead bodies of Bangladesh factory workers and Afghani children—we will never stop all this self-murder.
Our chicken-hearted President just this morning created a commission (!) headed by Joe Biden, to “examine” the problem and come up with “solutions”. In plain English, this means he doesn’t have the guts to deal with this plague of massacres, and he assumes that the outrage will fade away (which it will) and he won’t have to risk dealing with it head on. But really, how could he deal with it? This is a man with a personal kill list—a man who, even after knowing how many innocent people get killed, keeps doing it. This is a man, for whatever psychological reason, who has a fatal boyish crush on the military. What can we expect from such a man?
We can easily condemn a Nazi prison camp commandant who kills a thousand people one day then goes home to the wife and kids as a psychotic mass murderer. But what are we to say about people—from a corporal in a continental US airbase drone wing right up to our Commander in Chief—and a Congress who keep voting him the money to do it, who murder people all the time then go home to the family at the end of the day. “How was work today?” “Oh man, don’t’ ask.. I’m wiped out—I pressed a couple of buttons on a console and murdered a couple of dozen people ten thousand miles away. Good thing we get coffee breaks. What’s for dinner?”
If someone is determined to be “a danger to himself and others”, he gets committed to the locked ward of a psychiatric hospital and not permitted to have anything sharp that could be used as a weapon. America was and is (again, aside from it’s real achievements) a danger to itself and others—but nobody is going to lock us up. I guess the people who live here who understand all this have to try to make it clear to other people. I don’t know what the odds are that that will ever happen.