Monday, March 09, 2009


Most of the guns used by the Mexican drug cartels are sold to traffickers by American gun dealers. A man walks into a church, goes to the pulpit and guns down the pastor, in front of his horrified congregation. It actually made the news when a committee of the Arkansas state senate killed (no pun intended) a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in churches. (I can hear it now: if some people in that Illinois church had had guns, the pastor might be alive today. Sure. Or maybe half a dozen more would be dead.)

And how do we respond? The United States Senate attaches a rider to a bill to give the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress that would repeal the District's requirement for trigger locks and repeal a ban on assault weapons.

Think of it: you could legally carry a .50 cal. sniper rifle in Washington, D.C. That's right, a weapon that can deliver aimed, rapid fire against targets a mile away, within easy range of the nation's leaders. (Remember the D.C. sniper of a few years ago? He and his sidekick terrorized the whole D.C. metropolitan area with an ordinary rifle.)

Oh, and there's a later development: Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case in which New York was trying to continue its campaign against gun manufacturers who flood the state with illegal weapons.

Will we ever wake up? Will we continue to let a minority of crazies hold the nation hostage? Will someone have the courage--or clarity--to stand up and say that the leadership of the NRA and its allied organizations are the witting or unwitting allies of drug dealers, mobsters and terrorists?


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

The short answer is no.

We are not children of God, but children of Nature, evolved from species who survive by preying on other and their own species.

The large brain is a failure if evaluated morally. It is a huge success if evaluated as inventive.

We are all insane, and can't help it.

The Old New Englander said...

Not the optimism we usually expect from you!

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

I'm beginning to accept, however reluctantly, what's becoming known as the "New Realism", understanding that we should not expect too much of ourselves when it comes to dealing with good and evil in the world. Obama is picking up on that from his reading of Rheinhold Niebuhr.

It could be what's behind SecState Clinton's punches-pulled language about China's Human Rights violations and Israel's Settlements policy, and what's behind Obama's and Adm. Dennis Blair's choice of Charles Freeman for the DNI group.

The self righteous like to assume the moral high ground when they are in fact guilty of the very same violations of morality as those they condemn.

The Israel lobbies like AIPAC, and neocons in general are smearing Freeman, by claiming he's soft on human rights violations, when in fact they oppose him because he's less than sympathetic to the view that US and Israeli interests and actions are intertwined and mutually advantageous without exception.

I've tried to be an optimist, but I'm really more of a cynic when I look at life objectively. Everyone has an agenda, and far too many agendas are about "what's mine is mine and what's your is mine, if I can snatch is from you, by force if necessary".

One of the most damaging aspects of the past eight years of Bush/Cheney rule is that attitude in action right from the top. An "I've got mine, get your own" world view has permeated this country and many cultures around the world. Clearly that preceeded Bush, but he codified it for our time.

Obama has been left with more than one mess. Financial and military, but also a poisoning of the national and, perhaps international, zeitgeist.

I posted at The Voice today on Why We War II, adding to a post on that topic of a day or so ago.

On a scale of Atheist at 0, Believer at 10, and Agnostic at 5, I'm about a 3.

I really don't see how one can keep hoping that we as a species will ever stop fighting and killing, when not only our history as a species is characterized by fighting and killing, but that all species survive by preying on others.

Reality has it that we are Creatures of Nature, though we might wish we were Children of God.