This end of year appeal for support comes a little later than usual because I (J. Hughes) was rocked by the recent Sandy Hook school shooting, about 25 miles from my office at Trinity College. As a social scientist and public policy person I try to keep my eye on the big picture, the tens of thousands of people who are killed every day by violence, treatable disease, poverty and inadequate infrastructure. I try not to let my proximity to some tragedies distract from the larger and more persistent needs of the world. But as a parent and someone with many small connections to Sandy Hook I was left stunned and tearful for days. And angry that the balance of forces in American politics has prevented us from having the simple and effective public policies around guns and mental health that have kept the incidence of gun violence and mass killings lower in other industrialized countries.
“And angry that the balance of forces in American politics has prevented us from having the simple and effective public policies around guns and mental health that have kept the incidence of gun violence and mass killings lower in other industrialized countries.”
But the balance of forces in US politics derives from the same as the killings themselves: not superficial but, rather, integral to what we are as Americans. Our outmoded politics are what they are supposed to be under our system (if it is actually a ‘system’). Thus for starters the entire Constitution has to be revamped or discarded.
Posted by Intomorrow on 12/21 at 09:12 PM
... the following is the second amendment to the Constitution,
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
How is the above 21st century? We don’t know what to do so we acquiesce: the outcome in this case is more school, and other, massacres. I don’t think for a nanosecond that Newtown is the final one.
So we either tolerate the status quo—are apologists for it—or we facilitate radical-yet-peaceful change. Naturally, changing laws is nothing, minds have to be changed away from thinking anyone has the right to own weapons and destroy anybody who gets in the way.. such is the commonplace American concept of the right to bear arms. It flows from our legacy as colonies beginning around the 1660s with recurring ‘Indian’ wars; then, two hundred years later, occurred the Civil War and afterwards more fighting with natives until the end of the 19th century.
Posted by CygnusX1 on 12/22 at 06:21 AM
Well said. Changing minds and memes lies at the heart of radical change in social philosophy. Although you need not ditch the “sacred” constitution, it merely needs a further 21st century amendment? In fact, that paragraph may still stand as important for any ideals towards US devolution and state independence? Organised militia and right to bear arms as final jurisdiction in political failure, discord and impasse concerning oppression and freedoms?
1. Stop? No, ease this propagation of blockbuster, block-blasting, Hollywood movies bonanza, (supported by the NRA?) and this applies “world wide” to movie violence. Seems every promising future vision for Humanity has to involve killing, shooting, betrayal and double-cross as sub plot, (lest punters get bored or confused?)
Get some celebs on board to speak out and speak up, there’s plenty out there? I’m not talking Clint or Arnold. Grimer wormtongue politics no longer convinces, yet still confuses, defers and obscures?
Posted by CygnusX1 on 12/22 at 06:51 AM
“While you were sleeping”..
Wow! See? Ideas and memes propagate even whilst half the globe slumbers? There is no such thing as an original idea they say? Ideas simply infuse, coalesce and infiltrate? Teach me for sleeping without my tin foil hat?