As much as the people of the United States might like to focus on their guns, let’s not forget that chemical weapons are also part of an historic past. Smallpox-infected blankets were given to Native Americans as part of a virtual genocide in the 18th century. The U.S. government is also known to have used chemical weapons in World War I, developed a biological weapons project under Franklin D Roosevelt and doused pretty much all of Vietnam with Agent Orange. And then of course there’s the use of nuclear weapons.
And so…what if the United States government had decided that chemical weapons were worth the amendment, and not guns, in 1791? A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear chemical weapons shall not be infringed. Is this what they would be fighting for now? Would it be the National Chemical Weapons Associations (NCWA) rather than the National Rifle Association (NRA)? Would mentally crazed individuals be running through campuses spraying nerve gas? Would so many others be collecting various strains and keep them loosely locked in bedroom closets? And would the U.S. government send aid to Syria, in the form of canisters, when people were killed by gunfire instead?
NRA Spokesman Wayne LaPierre stated that we should take this horrifying moment of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting as an opportunity to get at the real issues. He is right. There is little doubt that we need to reflect on our true natures, who we are, what we have done, who we have loved and cared for, who we have shunned and hurt. We need to recognize that it starts in all of us and, only after genuine, tough reflection, can we offer what we have learned to others. I intended to go out to the Rockaways today, to help distribute gifts and food. And I didn’t. I have many excuses to myself for this – I’m not really needed, I’m tired, I can’t be late for Christmas Eve dinner, I’ll do it later – and I do believe some of them, or at least I say I do. But the truth is that I am lying to myself. I am selfish and lazy. I’m pretending to be a good kind-hearted individual when I’d rather sit here and indulge myself. I’m faux good. (Good intentions do in fact pave the road to hell.) One thing that did hearten me during the Hurricane Sandy aftermath was that this false nature in us wasn’t nearly so apparent. I saw many sharp words exchanged because things had to get done. They weren’t pretending. They were being direct. People expressed themselves intensely and honestly, in anger, in sorrow, in devastation, in thankfulness. There was so much of that. New Yorkers can be quite good at this, speaking their minds – maybe too good – but we must remember that there is much positive in that.
Rockaways Donation Center
Being direct and honest. I think it might be just as simple – and hard – as that. I think back over the past couple of years to a most unpleasant situation at my workplace. The problem was never the difference of opinion – what could there be possibly wrong with that? – but because those who disagreed with me have whispered, plotted and attacked. I knew of this but was not concerned. Truth will out. That’s what I’ve always believed. But the bystanders didn’t do anything for fear they might be subject to the same attack. In other words, the misery wasn’t in what was said but because this cabal manipulated so many – even themselves – into believing that the monstrous shadow in the room wasn’t real. It was something else…which brings me back to LaPierre: “There are monsters out there every day, and we need to do something to stop them.” Indeed we do.These wild things live in us. These are terrifying things. We can’t hammer one another to concede. This isn’t about intimidation. This isn’t about winning an argument. This is about what is true in us. It is about being honest. It is about reflecting on how our actions affect others and making an examples of ourselves so that this world might be a safer, kinder place. Or do we want to pretend that we need a “good guy with a gun” to do that for us? Not me. I need to do something. I really do.
Yes, we all knew that NRA Chief Loon Wayne LaPierre would say crazy things like having armed guards in schools is the “one thing that will keep people safe” and gun control “is not going to make any kid safer”…but enough already! This is ridiculous!Don’t these statements in fact prove that Mr. LaPierre is mentally unstable and therefore should not be allowed near a sharp object himself, let alone a firearm of any kind? I mean, as interesting as Mr. LaPierre and his fellow gun-bearers might be for a Tarantino movie in their stupidity, duplicity and fury, this is too much. Little kids died. That happened. It really did. And if they don’t want to take that seriously, they need to be given a time-out – a very long one – and let the adults in the room sort out the problem. It’s time to dump the Second Amendment, kiddies. Everyone knows it. The West was settled – all the Native Americans nicely slaughtered – a long time ago and that whole Frontier Justice idea is done. Guns are the problem. If they aren’t taken out of the picture, many more people will die violent and horrible deaths. More little kids will die too. I mean, it’s so insanely obvious! Right?!? Ahhhh! Okay, I’ve got to sort my mind out somehow. I need to divert my attention to something else….Canadian Troupe Comedy perhaps? Click here for a little SCTV magic. Here for some Kids in the Hall. And here for CODCO. Sign this petition to get CODCO’s work released on DVD. At least we can do that. I know it’s not gun control or human rights, but it might help us cope.
I have to admit that it is hard to write my blog today. I cannot process in any way what happened yesterday in Connecticut. I don’t know how it is possible for someone to kill children one after the other, putting not one bullet into each tiny person, but several into every one of them, every last one. It makes me think that maybe the Mayans were actually right, that this really is the end of us, that the apocalypse has arrived, not with great storms and collapsing fault lines in the earth, but in us, dumb, staring at each other, wondering how we really got to this. And we did. The fact is that there are people – millions and millions of them – that will actually continue to support the right to bear arms as it is stated in the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They will say that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people, that guns have nothing to do with it. They will actually say that. And they will believe it. They will actually fucking believe it. That isn’t politics. That’s suicide, pure and simple. Guns don’t kill people? Really? How would that lunatic have killed 20 kids without his damned guns? How fucking stupid can you be? Anyway, yeah, the Pain and Guilt step of suffering grief, instructs that, as the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs – as tempting as they might appear at the moment. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase. Does it ever. But to get through all of this insanity, I recommend that you look within as much as you can bear and maybe listen to The Great Destroyer by the American group Low. When I go deaf/ I won’t even mind/ Yeah, I’ll be fine. The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino) is required viewing, reminding us that war kills everything in body, mind and spirit. This one’s nothing but pain and guilt, horribly, beautifully so.. I also encourage you to delve into the writings of the great philosophers like Arthur Schopenhauer: They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice…that suicide is wrong, when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person. And don’t stop at Schopenhauer. You must keep going. Read as much miserable philosophy as you can bear.
Most important of all, do something. Please. Sign a petition. Write a letter. Speak your mind, damn it! Fight these monsters right to the fucking end. Do it! Really, do it. Or else you have to just watch the world go to its damned and terrible end.