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schencka
The Hokies

So, what a horrible tragedy.

The event is also a good opportunity to note how one reacts to leadership. Krishnamurti tells us
Another cause of the present chaos is dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school or in the university. Leaders and their authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. When we follow another there is no understanding, but only fear and conformity... (Education and the Significance of Life, Chap. 4, "Education and World Peace")
As I watched the "wallpaper" on the tube (the video montages on CNN, etc. along with the yapping banter of "journalists"), I waited to hear something from our President. O great leader, lift us up after tragedy, I felt.

Yet I know down to my core that Bush is the WPE -- worst president EVER -- the man in charge of, who knows, 10,000 Virginia Techs in Iraq. So I am in conflict.

The very worst, and most self-serving, talking point I've seen in response to the tragedy is the idea that more people need more guns. Sen. John McCain said
I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon. Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.
This doesn't fully make sense. Someone about to go berserk may indeed be a "law-abiding citizen." The phrase "going postal" doesn't recall images of a ganster-mailman; it's about a mild-mannered person going over the edge.

One woman on the MSNBC last night was especially shrill, who chastised a police lietenant for not agreeing with her that more guns would "make us safer." Now there's the talking point well-put here
Just imagine if students were armed. We no longer need to imagine what will happen when they are not armed.
Easy, immediate access to guns allowed a foreign student to killed 32 people and himself. There's more guns in the US than people. Most people that commit suicide successfully do it with a gun -- you probably can think of examples in your life. Think of how many mothers of suicide-dead teens wished that their sons would not have had easy access to a 9mm handgun or a 20-gauge shotgun. We need more guns?

The police seem to be the best authorities on this; most carry Glock 9mm handguns on duty every day. And most police officers believe in authority; it's easy to imagine many are very conservative or libertarians. And they think a gun in everyone's hand is a bad idea. After all, would you think the folks down the street having the domestic disturbance should both have weapons?

More guns = more people trying to solve problems with guns.

A gun for every road rager? I hope not.

Am I even qualified to have a weapon on me at all times? Heck no. Statistically, you're WAY more likely to get shot if you have a gun than if you don't touch the things. For every "hero" that shoos a burglar away with his gun, there's three who shoot themselves, whose children shoot themselves or a brother or sister, and obviously, there's the Dick Cheney thing, where he shot a friend of his while out hunting.

There's a particular and peculiar "American cultural algorithm" in our country -- an algorithm is a solution to a problem: Set 'em free with war. Protect more people by arming everyone. Use torture to get the information you need. As "Christian" as we would purport ourselves to be, violence and aggression is looked upon as a solution for so many people in our country.

Krishnamurti says
War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday living.
Isn't that the truth. So while I await what President Bush has to say about VaTech, I must remember that this man thought launching a war of option would solve a lot of problems over in Iraq. You see how far that kind of thinking has taken us.

And we see that one person, at Virginia Tech, made his own war. And we feel only sadness. How about a little compassion for the warred-upon?

---

On "Ismail Ax." Troubled people will often align themselves with far-out political movements against their own society. Anarchists assassinated their countrymen, and so on. Islam has been so villainized in the last ~15 years, especially, since Fall 2001, that a person feeling anger, fear, and total outsider status will often turn to the most spurned-upon movement of the day. Sadly, people that hate themselves want to be hated.
 
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