Monday, 2 April 2012

Line Of Fire

Another day and we have another shooting at an American High School. I’d use the term tedious if it wasn’t for the human cost.
I confess I’m perplexed by this American fixation with the “right” to bear arms. I know something of the cultural back story but it seems to me that this “right” has long since passed its sell by date? It’s always struck me as horribly obvious that when you allow weapons to pass relatively freely within a human population things can go awry. True, we all need to protect ourselves from time to time, but when we flood the streets with guns I fear that we just increase the danger. When humans get scared quite often the animal bares its teeth; we revert to brute violence and betray our humble, poorly evolved origins. This propensity to violence is thankfully latent in many, but don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s gone for good. You put a person in enough fear for their own wellbeing and you’ll learn quickly they may do things that under normal conditions they wouldn't dream of.
Perhaps I’m not the best person to speak on this issue and perhaps I’m missing some nuances. But people who don’t have guns can’t shoot others with them, which I think is a good thing.
On a slightly different note there’s also plenty we can do to reduce the chances of being a victim that don’t require us to produce a firearm. Common sense is your friend here, make no mistake. Don’t wander into places you’re unsure about. Don’t put yourself in the way of harm. And if a confrontation flares then walk away if you are able. It might sting your pride but not much else, and more importantly you live to fight another day. Of course there will always be scenario’s that defy our efforts to manage, but the general principles remain sound. There’s a lot we can do to avoid being the victim, and conversely to ensure that we don’t make others the victim of our own impulsive fears.

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