by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Gun/Knife control is not the issue. Violence is.
We allow ourselves by the media and the powers-that-be more often than not to be directed how we should think and when it comes to the issue of guns and knives, if they both are to be believed, then guns and knives have a mind of their own and will attack people. Obviously, guns and knives are inherently dangerous as they will cause deaths. Well, that is the way most of the media and the powers-that-be portray it.
But, the truth is that both guns and knives are inanimate objects incapable of independent action and thus something else much cause the problem. And it does. It is people who use such guns and knives that are the problem, not the guns and knives and removing them will not make a single iota of a difference. People, violent people, will use then something else; a screwdriver, a brick, a rock, or a cudgel, a tire iron, or whatever else may come to hand.
A gun cannot pull its own trigger no more than a knife being capable of jumping out of its sheath and stabbing someone and thus banning them – or even restricting their ownership and use – is total stupidity.
Evil does not exist within a gun. It exists in the minds and hearts of those who pull the trigger for evil purposes. No gun pulls its own trigger. It is an object and does not have the capacity to do so. Therefore called a gun (or a knife, for that matter) evil is stupid in the extreme.
We must address the violence in society and deal with it.
While it is true that the world has always had violence, and not just human to human, and there have always been murders and such, it would appear that today things have gotten to a stage where no one seems to have any moral compass anymore as to what is acceptable and what not.
I am not talking here about religion but morality for most of us instinctively will balk at the very notion of taking someone's life. It is instinct and also upbringing and it seems that the latter is missing in today's world, especially in the so-called developed world.
Where in years gone by an argument between boys or men would have been sorted out with a fist fight today knives and guns are involved and while it is true that there were duels fought in many instances too here again the morality came to play and often death was not the end result.
However, today death is the aim, it seems, when someone considers that he has been disrespected by someone else, or whatever, and the wrong look can, nowadays, lead to a stabbing or shooting, especially among inner city youths.
But would this violence stop were we to ban all guns and knives in private hands? The fact is that it would not and thus the issue of violence must be addressed and not guns and knives. It only distracts from the real problems and their causes.
Climate Change is not the issue. Corporate destruction of the environment and pollution is.
This is something that already the Hippies who, basically, founded the green movement, warned us about. Namely corporate greed leading to destruction and pollution of the environment and they encouraged us already then, in the 1960s and 1970s, to change and to be the change. But we did not heed their message as the majority saw them just as eccentric dropouts and misfits to society and the same majority was looking to our corrupt government, which all are, more or less, in the pockets of the corporations, for a solution.
It is corporate greed which causes to pollution and the destruction of the environment and it is not climate change or global warming (or -cooling, if we are to believe the scientists of the 1970s over the current ones) and not the other way around.
Thus we need to combat corporations and their greed in order to combat pollution and environmental degradation and destruction and thus the changes to climate and everything else.
Pollution and environmental degradation caused by corporate greed does not just cause climate change. It is the causal agent of many health issues in the developed as well as in the developing world.
However, the corporations seem to be holding our governments in their hands and our governments are deep in the pockets of the corporations that only a total change of the system, with the people taking control, will ever bring about the needed change.
There is also a great deal that each one of us can do to reduce our impact on the Planet and it is all small steps really and if all would just do it things would look altogether different.
Every time you opt against using the car to go to the shops or the library or whatever and walk or cycle instead you reduce your impact in that you are not pushing out pollution into the atmosphere. While it may only a small amount image now thousands doing that and the reductions would already be immense. It also means you need to buy less gas and the car has less wear and tear. At the same time you get exercise in the more-or-less fresh air, depending where you live, walk and cycle.
Each and every time that you reuse, repurpose or upcycle some item of waste into something for your own use in the home, the office, or elsewhere, you reduce you impact and vote with you wallet.
You may not believe it but you have a great impact on things, including corporations and their treatment of the environment, in how you shop and what you buy (and don't buy). Every one of us, through his buying or not buying the products of certain corporation can send a loud and clear message to them that we do not approve of their practices. And, as their bottom line will be affected if we boycott them they will make changes. But we have to be informed as to what's what also otherwise they will just try to bamboozle us.
Security is not the issue. Civil Rights and Liberty is.
While it is true that, as far as personal security is concerned, there will always be those that do not want to work and rather scrounge and rob it should be something that the people should be allowed to deal with themselves rather than having government agencies, too many of them often, deal with and that, more often than not, most inadequately indeed.
We have surrendered our personal responsibility for our personal safety and security to government and then wonder when government takes that as consent to create more and more restriction to our personal freedoms.
Government is not benign and never will be. It is all about control and the more we give them the little finger the more they will take our freedoms from us to such an extent that we have to have a permit for everything, including, possibly, travel from place to place in our own countries.
When it comes to our protection we must (be allowed, as it once was) to look after ourselves and to protect ourselves. Communities must be allowed to protect themselves and their residents by their own militias and vigilance committees or such like. This is how it once was done and in most cases it worked and worked well.
National security is not an issue either if we stop playing about with the idea of nation states and just consider that the world is our home and we are all citizens of this one Planet.
The so-called war on terror has not made us safe in our own countries. It has done the opposite and if we do insist on having armies and navies and air forces then they should just restrict themselves, as their brief in most, if not indeed all, nations is, namely the defense of the territory of this nation, including the territorial waters. In other words, keeping any potential invader out. Going further than that is, to all intents and purposes, illegal and thus an act of aggression.
If we go to other countries and kill their citizens in the name of the war on terror then who is the terrorist? We are. And we then must not be surprised if those people rise up against us and commit violence on our streets. It is but a natural reaction.
The US Supreme Court ruled a couple of years ago that it is not the job of the police to protect the citizens from harm but that the police's job is but to enforce the law. That, I am sure, sums it up as to how the government and its agencies, including the judicial branch, see the people; namely as someone to be controlled. The “to serve and protect” that the majority of police departments in the US have in their seal should be removed as they neither serve the people nor protect them. Unless those words stand for serving and protecting the government and the ruling classes, for that they do very well.
While the police's job no longer is to protect the public they, and the powers-that-be, will also not permit the people to protect themselves and do everything in their power to make the people defenseless against attacks on their persons or property. That, however, they do not want to permit for an armed populous and one prepared to be responsible for its own security and protection is not one that can be controlled by police and other such agencies.
Stop chasing "red herrings" or the "cause du jour" and work for causes that will effect immediate and long lasting change.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”, said Mahatma Gandhi and we must be this change, each and every one of us.. we cannot and must not abrogate our responsibility to government and its agencies, as they will just carry on with business as usual, impose restrictions on the people, and allow the corporations to get away with murder, literally, as has been the case so many times, with the Union Carbide incident in Bhopal in India being just one of many such cases of corporate murder.
Small acts can cause great things if every one of us performs such small acts. Every one of us can do something and together this is going to be a flood. The power of the people is underestimated by the people and especially by the powers-that-be. We have the power and we are the power. Let's use it and be it.