The song ‘Eve of Destruction’ is about the disintegration of human respect. Are we about to see that in the United States? R U Mueller tries to answer this question.
Through the years the US population, politicians included – or maybe especially them – manifest an immense depreciation of what would be considered “common sense.” This is exemplified by some of the warnings placed on products.
For example: “Never iron clothes while they are being worn,” or “Moving Bandsaw Can Cut,” or “Caution Hot Surface” on a hot glue gun, or “Do not use orally after using rectally!” on a thermometer.
Strangely enough though, there are no “Use May Cause Death” or “Caution This End Kills!” warning labels on firearms. As to the implied harmlessness of firearms, let it be said that they are not!
In the aftermath of yet another school shooting, the best the government can do is suggest the arming of teachers. Pitiful!
Arming teachers as a deterrent against attacks with an assault rifle is genius. A shoot-out in a classroom – imagine the ensuing collateral damage.
And what prevents the attacker from wearing body armour? What prevents the armed assailant from going to a cinema, or church, or bus station, or mall, or whatever, instead of a school? Will it be mandatory for all priests, rabbis, gurus, ushers, conductors, bus drivers, etc. be armed?
How does a good Mommy stop Johnny from hitting Becky with the sand-box shovel? She takes it away from him – she doesn’t give Becky a bucket to hit him with!
But no, now it’s going to be an arms race between the public and the villains? The police are armed and see what has happened – they still get shot, and in their paranoia they feel threatened by every shadow and get trigger-happy.
An arms race can never be won. De-escalation worked with the former Soviet Union and it will work here too.
And as to the psychological aspect: Americans have been socially conditioned (brainwashed) by the entertainment industry into believing that problems can be solved with a gun and violence is an acceptable alternative to mediation. One man doing “what a man has got to do” to right the wrong done. But it’s usually a subjective wrong and not an objective one, otherwise the authorities would react. Dirty Harry!
The three-lettered firearms lobbyists need fear and paranoia and self-justice to perform their perfidious profession with success – which is to increase the turn-over of the weapons industry. And as a side effect they increase the turn-over of the morgues too.
Barry McGuire was right. It’s the “Eve of Destruction.” Yet the peril is not from afar – it’s home grown!
R U Mueller is a sub-editor with Khmer Times.