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Trained to kill

by Stephen Kaye
Mon Jul 18th, 2016

The latest dispatch from Tomdispatch brings home the 21st century paradox:  a US Army vet uses skills acquired in Afghanistan to kill his fellow Americans and the government that trained him uses one of its robots to end his life.  That this is right out of science fiction is not surprising.

 

Violence begets violence.  We once knew better (or did we?).  But we have abandoned wisdom and common sense in favor of a decent into a Hobbsian jungle. A sign of the gun culture: more violence to come.  What else are guns for?    

 

If we could just exit the Mid-East and leave it alone!  No good can come from sending it guns and gunmen.  We conjugate the verb to kill: I kill, you kill, it kills; we kill, you kill, and they kill.  Do we ever! But do we regret?  Do we learn?  

 

Is violence so much a part of the human condition that no amount of learning will undo it?  There are, we think, places and peoples less prone to violence and much less prone to guns. 

 

A society where every person does not have a loaded gun is not a society deprived, although there are those who would have others think so. We pray for peace, yet military rapid-fire guns are presumed legal.  Is there not something terribly wrong with that presumption?

 

Over several decades Hollywood has created a pseudo-religion of gun worship where guns are the voice of justice. Are we all children hypnotized by such a ridiculous fantasy? Are we trained from youth?

 

The idea of a law and order society requires the state to have a monopoly on violence.  The state that can enforce law without violence is an advanced state, a civilized state.  Sadly, that’s not the one we live in.