Monday, December 17, 2012


Newtown Woman Comforts Child Who Lost Friends.
If nothing far worse our plague of semi automatic gun massacres shows us that America faces a crucial conflict in how we have always interpreted the essential Freedoms of assembly and personal expression with what a newer interpretation and meaning of 'freedom to bear arms' means in today's culture. They are now showing how they can totally oppose each other. We must find a way to honor both without destroying either. The increasingly individualized movement to bear assault style arms, a central encouragement in some publications of the National Rifle Association, can easily cause the former two freedoms to loose their essential power for a truly safe and democratic community. A seed has been sown, greatly by parts of the  philosophy of the NRA, and now is growing in America which says the more individuals are armed with lethal power the more free we are as a people. Nothing could be philosophically, psychologically or spiritually further from truth.
Not A Policeman But Next Door Neighbor
Openly armed civilians on the town square , or in a living room of acquaintances(even when it is NOT the conscious intention of the gun carrier), has a very direct use unspoken, unearned intimidating power to 'make us behave.' That means that free speech which ,at crucial moments in a free society, necessitates a person saying that which is very upsetting and offensive to the majority, must find more than normal courage to speak up. Where the public is openly armed everyone, as the president of the NRA has said, 'has to be polite', the implied threat being , 'or else.' This is not the atmosphere of a truly civil society.
The knowledge that I carry a loaded lethal gun in my pocket is a message to everyone else, ' you had better watch very closely all you say and do or I might determine that you are a threat to me.' In other words, 'don't upset me. I may go crazy.' This is classic passive aggressiveness, a way to control others by quiet intimidation. We must find the courage to stand against it in spite of the real fears of more massacres. Such an atmosphere inhibits any kind of free and open conversation. Is this living in freedom? It is the opposite! An armed public inhibits, reduces and quells (even when that is NOT the intention the person carrying)the likelihood, by imposing the inaudible fear and threat of armed individuals, the freedoms of assembly and expression from our living rooms to our town halls.
The  New Cool Guy In Our Culture?
 An ever more openly armed public, which is what the NRA unabashedly has wished America into becoming, does not promote an openly free democracy but an ever more intimidated and cowering citizenry. The world changing human movements which increase human freedom and safe living  must come from an assembled unarmed public, not from an individualized gun carrying one.

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