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Friday, May 3, 2013

Quote of the Day

Israeli soldiers pulling guard duty on the beach.
"And yet, it's the NRA that's stepped forward with meaningful solutions that would actually help make people safer," including protecting schools "as much as we protect our jewelry stores and our sports stadiums" with armed guards... AFP story quoting NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.
Interesting, a little bizarre, and very confusing. I mean, he's right, it is not uncommon to see armed guards out in the city streets or in public areas. But schools are somehow sacred, no guns allowed there. But people are our most valuable resource, and children are our future and our most precious possessions. So why are we not willing to implement the same level of protection for our children as we are for our gold? Perhaps because we can understand people wanting to steal our gold and jewelry, but we cannot understand people wanting to kill or hurt other people, especially not children. It just doesn't make any sense. No sane person would want to do that, and all the crazies are locked up, aren't they?
    We have constructed this Disney-esque image of schools as places where children run and play and maybe learn something and nothing bad ever happens. We are able to maintain this fantasy because by and large it's true. There are over a zillion schools in the USA and in 99.99999% of them nothing bad ever happens.
    For the first million years of our existence, people dying was a commonplace event. Only in the last hundred years have we had any luck preventing death. I'm thinking that as a species we are evolutionarily conditioned to a certain level of violence. The more you try to suppress it, the more it forces it's way out. I suspect that if we had a higher level of everyday violence, then we wouldn't have so many of these peak events were one person kills many, i.e. if everyone had a fist fight every day, there wouldn't be these mass murders.
    Bascially, I blame WHO (World Health Organization). If we hadn't done such a good job of eliminating killer diseases, we wouldn't have such a large population, and we wouldn't have the pressure that large populations bring.
   George W. Bush got a humanitarian award for his campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. They estimated he saved five million lives. Meanwhile, the biggest war you never heard of, the war that's been going on in central Africa for the last ten years has killed five million people.
    One of the things I often hear from people who grew up in small towns is that "everyone knows everybody's business". They wanted to go to the big city to get away from being constantly monitored and criticized. Privacy has become a big issue lately. Funny how that works. I wonder if we all lived in small towns and didn't have any privacy, would we we be able to identify the crazies and lock them up before they went over the edge and started spraying the town with bullets? Or would the lack of privacy and the constant meddling drive more people over the edge and cause them to start spraying the town with bullets?
    I think what we have is two fundamentally different groups of people. Those who are crazy and think killing other people will somehow solve their problems, and those who are crazy and think that this first group doesn't exist. OK, there's also a third group of crazies who think that none of this is every going to be solved.

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