(Article changed on January 4, 2013 at 22:11)
I want to
respond to Joshua Boston's letter about gun control. And not just to him, but to everyone,
including friends, who feel we need the right to own guns to be free. True freedom lies within each one of us. Outer freedom comes from this inner
freedom. Not from guns.
the Rocky Mountains by Currier & Ives
I really would like to know why Americans are so afraid that we need guns to protect ourselves? Perhaps when our ancestors came to America, it was so vast and wild that it scared the sh*t out of them. And we've never gotten over it. Why the insistence that we need to protect ourselves? Are the British trying to enslave us? Are the Indians coming over the pass? Are the Vikings raiding our villages? Is the Inquisition about to descend on our local wise women? I thought we were supposed to be living in a land of peace and plenty, intelligence and vision -- America???
No? Well maybe we need to change our attitude about life. Because we live in a culture of gratuitous violence--in our movies, in video games, in the violence of our religious beliefs, in our wars, in our relationships. We've finally created a culture that seems civilized, and yet we still pander to violence, at least in our imaginations. Which gives rise to reality. As a woman, I'm tired of the attitude that we have to fight to survive. It's a lie. The truth is that we survive and are protected when we cooperate. We survive when we stop judging people and start taking responsibility for our own lives. Our society has the know-how and resources to ensure we don't have to fight to get what we need. So why are we living in a violent past that has no relevance to our future hopes?
Sorry boys, but violence is childish, savage, moronic and utterly wasteful. And yes, while there are some women who like playing with the big boys, most women and some men can imagine a more creative, beautiful and cooperative way of resolving disputes then by killing each other. That's really a guy thing. Like Rape.
Rape is the other horrific side of the paranoid patriarchal need to dominate other human beings -- this time up close and personal because they prey on women and children. Those six cowardly young men who brutalized that beautiful young Indian woman didn't need guns to kill. They had violence in their hearts. That's really the issue here. Men and violence, patriarchal society and violence. That's what men need to control and confront within themselves -- their need for violence, domination and bigotry. And until they confront it and stop it, they shouldn't be allowed to play with dangerous weapons.
Why does anyone need a gun - which kills from afar? Why are you afraid to face someone who has an equal chance of hurting you? Guns seem cowardly. I'm not accusing anyone in particular of cowardice. I'm saying that our way of dealing with protection is cowardly. What terror is coming at us that we need to be so guarded? If we got rid of guns, people could learn to protect themselves in other ways -- by being healthy, observant, and centered. We could learn martial arts and merely disable our opponent rather than riddling him with bullets. Or we could learn sword and dagger fighting -- or how about staffs? It just doesn't seem fair not to share the consequences of our bad behavior for fighting. I sent my kids to their rooms without supper for fighting, and at least they went toe to toe with each other. They didn't destroy each other from 100 yards away.
Guns are weapons of violence and war; war is disgusting and evil. Why are we bringing this war to our homeland? We overspend on the military when our greatest death tolls come from within. We are killing ourselves--nobody else needs to. We say we have to protect ourselves from the rest of the world (an over-bloated military budget); but if we disabled all weapons -- and I'm sure we could find a way to do it -- we might actually learn to be civil and courteous to each other. Things are connected, you know. Owning guns does lead to violence, because you all have violence on your minds when you play with your guns and video games.
When will we be willing to see the truth? We are hypocrites. We say that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. How is it brave to need dangerous weapons to protect ourselves from . . .what? Our next door neighbor's dog? The kids down the street? We don't live in the Wild West anymore. Gunslingers rarely come to take over the town. Perhaps we're afraid that our government is out to get us. That they are really shape-shifting reptilian aliens who are leading us to the slaughter. If the government ever comes after us, it will be with soldiers who are our fellow citizens. If they ever do it, it will be because Americans are not brave or free. If we really believed that we were brave and free, we wouldn't be afraid to destroy our giant arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, which include guns of all types. If we were brave and free, we would speak the truth to power and damn them to oblivion as short-sighted idiots and lower than cockroaches.
A soldier does not a warrior make. A warrior will fight for what is right, eye to eye. A soldier does what he's commanded to do -- often from far away. Perhaps it's time for all Americans to become warriors and change the deep fear of life we seem to have into the bright shining promise that America is supposed to represent. A world without weapons. A world that is brave enough to be free.
Perhaps we need to learn from our Native American brethren how to face life and say, "It's a good day to die!" And give up our fears.