WARNING: deteriorating society ahead!
WARNING: deteriorating society ahead! A society that is in conflict does not have time to bother with environmental concerns. But we'll soldier on here, addressing them as they come to our attention. Irresponsible US residents (criminals, gangs, race supremacists, militias, do-it-yourself armaments manufacturers & other mentally deranged folks) are currently arming themselves and others with these, making targets of all citizens. Led by Presidential example, and egged on by greedy merchants of death such as the one below, respect for law and order in the US is breaking down. We are shooting each other in record numbers, mostly for no "reason" at all. This is the result of three things. 1. A successful advertising campaign by the armaments industry. 2. An anachronistic 2nd amendment to the US Constitution originally passed to allow slave owners the constitutional ability to form armed posses to hunt escaped slaves. 3. The failure of the agreements made to end the initial military phase of the American Civil War (which continues). Stable, prosperous, democratic, environmentally conscious US society is struggling to recover from this assault. It may survive. Or, as per the original Confederate plan, we may soon be divided into armed, feuding regional pieces with varying degrees of polluted air, water and politics! You have been warned.
Leonard Smith I hope they are listening! Latest I've heard is that the Republicans have legislation waiting to legalize cop-killing bullets. Ryan decided to pull it until the fresh memories of Las Vegas become stale, as they always do. Here we go again.ReplyDelete
Leonard Smith It appears that, while Swiss laws are not the same as our laws, the circumstances of gun ownership there have a lot more to do with military service and hunting. In addition, the general populace there is not bombarded by an incessant advertising campaign by American gun manufacturers trying to expand gun ownership beyond hunters and veterans (aided by legislators that have been purchased by the armaments industry).ReplyDelete
Gun laws, like traffic laws, are never going to be 100% effective. But that is not an argument for having no laws at all, or for ignoring the laws that exist.
As to the situation in Vegas, yes the gun laws that were in effect just 13 years ago that banned semi-automatic rifles manufactured for the sole purpose of killing humans [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban ] would have made these weapons scarce enough to have prevented this killer from getting his hands on his hoards of semi-automatics without detection.
I shall be interested to see how the NRA reacts to the growing homemade gun industry when it gets large enough to threaten factory-produced weapons. Will they say whoopee, more guns? Or will they say tut tut buy our guns and try to stamp out their competition?
en.wikipedia.org - Gun laws in Switzerland - Wikipedia
Leonard Smith Hollywood is not helpful, for sure. However, I don't see much original plotting there. Most scripts are a fun-house mirror of actual conditions, rarely challenging our preconceived notions. Our heroes shoot straight, the villains are poor drivers and nobody ever gets a bathroom break.ReplyDelete
The internet is even worse and it is an environment we created for ourselves without the assistance of a script writer! Most of us adults choose to filter out the worst of the venom and hate that accompanies the violent images and language. Twitter and Facebook are particularly obnoxious in this regard (which is why you find me here and not there).
American society is still trying to sort out contradictory philosophies. We have a lot of lofty ideals regarding individual freedom, all written down by people who thought it perfectly OK to keep other people in bondage as slaves. Equal rights, equal power? Phooey! Well, maybe reluctantly with lots of exceptions.
The neighborhood violence and instability you and I have both witnessed is linked in my mind not just to guns, but to drugs as well. Way back in 1969 when I was a National Park Ranger Naturalist, Rangers were so well respected by the public, none of us carried guns. When drug dealers moved into our "neighborhood," however, guns were issued to law enforcement Rangers for the first time.
Guns allow us to kill each other over great distances, such as that between our hotel room and unsuspecting strangers below. Even well-aimed knives and clubs are hopelessly unreliable at that range. I don't think the violence you experienced in Britain would have been lessened had more British citizens been armed. As I recall the major killings there had links to bombings. Nobody suggested that Britons should carry their own personal bombs to bomb the bombers before the bombers bombed others. (Let me see now. Where have I heard that? Oh here, in relation to nuclear arms!)
While the absence of widespread gun possession does not guarantee peace, the presence of personal firearms in growing abundance here in the States makes violence more convenient, more likely and harder for society to eradicate.
Now to bury myself in the 19th century again. Think I'll go fishing!
[ sites.google.com - Arnold Galleries - Activities ]
Leonard Smith Yes, being a Ranger Naturalist was a dream come true! However, the national priority then and now was to sacrifice civilian well being for military objectives. As a result, that was a career that never developed for me beyond that one wonderful season.ReplyDelete
By 1976 I had checked out of the usual workday world at Cornell. I was employed as Night Supervisor at Mann Library on the Ag Quad. My responsibilities were to keep all services running smoothly while looking out for everybody's safety.
For me that was an isolating experience in some ways. I reported for my shift full of energy at a time of day when other staff were spent. Day staff saw either the elephant in the china shop or a bouncy Tigger come to visit.
For 18 years I was pulled away from the community, as I was working when it was convenient for others to have after-hours meetings. Anybody who has experienced night shift work will appreciate what that feels like. It's just a different universe. I would really feel it when students went on break, library hours changed and I had to swing to a day shift for awhile. Culture shock!
The Ag Quad was very much out-of-the-loop when it came to campus rowdiness. Most of the action was, as you experienced, along an axis from Collegetown through the Arts Quad to the west and north campus dormitories.
Mann's most notable experience about then was when a deer dashed through our open doors (no air conditioning in those days), slammed into the Reserve Desk in the main lobby (it had lost its footing on our waxed floors), recovered, then ran through the McCay reading room. Seeing an open window, it then exited. Due to the topography, that window was on the second floor of the building. Safety Division saw a little blood on the sidewalk below, but never saw the deer again.
Hmm...I see I have drifted off topic. As usual, good conversation & thanks for having patience as I do the old man thing...yammering on and on about oneself while everyone else dies not at the point of a shotgun, but of boredom....
Leonard Smith Ithaca still is "safe" for the most part, particularly on campus. So far as I know the hot dog truck remains. Collegetown's character, however, has evolved from a neighborhood of converted single-family homes and boarding houses to canyons of high-rise apartment buildings. Community opposition to the expansion of apartments has had limited success. It's sort of a tiny Manhattan with no view of West Hill in the distance anymore. Here's a Google Street View [ https://goo.gl/HdR92j ] from Oct 2013:ReplyDelete