Houston Gun Show at the George R. Brown Convention Center.jpg by http://flickr.com/photos/glasgows/
Our country has a problem. The problem is fear. FDR said "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" We have evolved into a frightened nation. So fearful that when our President, our first black president is reelected, we go out in record numbers and buy guns. How have we gotten to this point in out history where, mass shootings by sick individuals has become a regular occurrence, where children every day are hurt by guns, where our most vulnerable and defenseless citizens, our children are harmed every single day and we do nothing about it?
After 9/11 this country was seized by fear. We were attacked on the mainland for the first time since the British came to our shores almost 300 years earlier. This incident was horrific and indeed frightening the first few days, when planes fell from the sky. We were hijacked by fear. Our leaders took advantage of our vulnerability and misused their power to make us afraid, be very afraid. We were made to take our shoes off at airports, we were told no more liquids when flying, we were told if you see something say something.
There is no doubt there are depraved people in this world who wish to harm Americans. We are grateful for our armed services and police who protect us bravely every single day. But the fear was inflated, in order to make us be subservient to our leaders' demands to go to war against a nation that had nothing to do with these attacks against us. We were given warnings every week, yellow ones, orange ones. It all was a lie, a ruse to get us to believe them. To support their war for profit and power. To get us to believe that Saddam Hussein was the one, when he never was. To get us to support them so they could build the largest embassy ever for profit by companies to which our leaders had ties to.
When they quietly went away, after
torturing people, and breaking laws, we elected Obama and more hell broke lose.
Those who were afraid became more afraid of the black man in the White House. They
told us to be very afraid again. He is not American, he is not like us. He
wants to take away your guns; he wants to make us be like those socialists, like Europeans,
not like the
And so we as a nation are in love with instruments of death. Machines purely designed to kill and maim, and we buy them, lots of them because we are told to be afraid. And that it is our fundamental right, because those who have this strange fascination with machines of death tell people so. Even though the constitutional statement is clearly about not having a standing militia, in the 1700's of which our founding fathers were against at that time and wrote a law that allowed people to hold weapons , should the need arise for a militia to be formed. Of course weapons in the 1700's fired a single shot and did not own 30 round magazines designed for massive killing in acts of war. But money talks in this era and so its intent is twisted and bought by money to protect the right to manufacture, buy and own these weapons. And the people are afraid and believe it to be so.
Another problem we have in this country is stress. We as a nation are obsessed with work and buying stuff we don't need. Corporate dominance which has lead to over exposure to credit card debt and electronic overload. We buy cars that cost what used to be the cost of a home. We cannot afford to outright buy them so we lease. A never ending monthly debt to drive ourselves around in vehicles that are polluting our planet. We buy bigger and brighter TV's , we buy cell phones every few months because they are newer and we think better , with more expensive monthly fees that we really can't afford. We buy computer devices, that are more portable and more fun than the one before that we just got just a few years ago, which still works fine, but oh the pressure to fit in and be up with the Jones's. We don't really need them, but we are made to feel less whole if we don't' own one and with it more monthly fees of which we really can't afford, all charged to those credit cards which like loan sharks , charge exorbitant fees that add more and more to our debt and stress level and give more and more profit to the corporates who's only interest is bleeding us dry .
We don't cook anymore because we are too busy working to make money to buy all this stuff that we really don't' need. And so we eat poor quality food, with chemicals, and preservatives and food colorings, which makes us sick. And we are more stressed than ever before, we are hamsters on a wheel going nowhere real fast.
We don't have much time off; we do not take much time for leisure and are more stressed because we have no time to enjoy life. We work nights, weekends, holidays, constantly on the treadmill with no end in sight. and it all makes us ill, physically ill, and mentally ill. We have poor health insurance, designed to promote the highest profits possible for the corporate machine, while we the consumer, sick and in need of help are forced to pay for these services out of our pockets, again with money we don't have. So expensive has the health insurance become that 50 million of our citizens don't have any health insurance at all. And those with illness be it physical or mental are left out in the proverbial cold to fend for themselves, if at all.
So poor souls like Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who needed help and maybe for whatever reason didn't or couldn't get it, resorted to deadly violence against innocent victims to scream very loudly for help in the worst possible way.
We are horrified when these large outbursts of gun violence happen, particularly when the victims are innocent children. What we do not talk about as a nation is the epidemic of gun violence that happens every single day, where many children die every single day from guns and usually from a handgun. Where 18,000 people die of suicide at their own hand with a gun because they are so desperate and without recourse.
What we do not talk about is the ridiculous ease to which a handgun is purchased, particularly high capacity magazine semi automatic and automatic weapons. What we do not talk about is the loophole in gun shows where anyone can buy many guns like these with no background check. What we don't talk about is the violence we perpetuate against each other on a daily basis, the abuse to women and children that happens every single day in this country and there is no conversation about it.
We as a nation need to wake up and look in the mirror and
ask this question, what are we afraid of? The time to live in constant fear has
to end. The time to live in a constant state of instant self gratification has
to end. The time for us to look at our selves and ask what is most important
for us a nation as individuals. We must reassess our behavior and take action.
We must ask our leaders to change and start representing us and not their own
self interest and that of the corporate plutocracy that has taken over
must look out for one another and stop being afraid and stop being selfish. We
must protect our weakest and that includes providing health care for all of our
citizens so people who need help can get it with out hesitation and without
fear. We must learn to enjoy life and take time. We must change the rules of engagement.
We must end this ease of attaining weapons of war and death. We must start with
this discussion of healing now otherwise we will continue to lose our country
and each other.
Credit given for photo at click here