The US Second Amendment

Kid_gun

This subject is one of the concept that I have the most difficulties to understand: The attitude of people in the US towards its Second Amendment. What I cannot get is that such a vast majority of US citizens can protect such a right in view of the damages it makes in their society. The second amendment has been written into the US bills of rights in 1791. Every one has the right to bear arms for self-protection. Come on! We are in 2015. The time of the wild wild west is over. Billy the kid has long gone! What good it was to have a weapon on yourself at the time of Oklahoma City’s bombing or on 9/11/2001? None. Sorry it offered no self-protection. Why spend money on the army, the FBI or the police departments if there is no need for them to protect the citizens?

In view of the gun violence related figures of 2015, 52 000 incidents so far this year, including 329 mass shooting*, 90% of the world mass shootings since 1975. 13 232 people were killed so far in 2015 another 26 681 were injured. 693 children** have been killed by guns in 2015 and another 2 662 teens*** have died in the same way. Finally 20 000 people kill themselves with fire arms every years (source: GunViolenceArchive.org). These figures do not include gang related incidents, terrorist attacks, criminal underground affairs or police shootings. This makes it the 5 or 6th cause of death every year. It does not even make it in the top ten either in the UK or France!

Events such as Columbine’s, Aurora’s or Sandy Hooks or the figures above have absolutely no influence on the US population’s psyche. This Christmas, the sales of weapons as presents has shown an increase of 24% compare to last year (which showed a 17% increase from 2013).  41% of all publicly owned weapons in the world are owned by US citizens. There are over 300 million guns in the US. Only 1/3 of them are hand guns!

In vue of such events and such figures, I believe that in most countries in the world legislations to control and/or prevent the possession of fire arms would be brought in. The pressure of the street would win over any weapons lobby! In the US the consensual solution is always more guns: Guns on campuses, in schools, in public places. Guns to protect yourself from guns!

At  first I though that the weapon industry had such a power over the political class because of its prevalent position in the US economy that it made it very difficult to change the legislation. I was wrong. It is true that the US is the first exporter of weapons in the world with $33 billions in revenue and a about 210 000 jobs, but it is far behind the oil industry, the agro-farming lobby or the tech business! So, why does the weapons lobby has such an influence on politicians and the population in general.

It is through its powerful lobby: the NRA (National Rifle Association). When it was created in 1871 this association had the purpose of “promoting and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” It is far from its original goals, now! With over 5 million members, it has become one of the most powerful political lobby in the Capitol. It has a budget of $256 million. It has spent a mere $10 million on promoting and defending the second amendment during the last presidential election. Furthermore, it is said that 60% of the population would say no to any changes to the second amendment. So, it is fair to say that if you do not support the NRA and the second amendment, you will not get into office.

Even with such a powerful lobby such as the NRA. The incredible cost of gun violence to the US society: $229 billion, more than six times what it brings into the US economy, should have an incidence on US politicians and the public in general. But, no, the spending on a fair universal health care system, costing $251 billion is more controversial in the eyes of most US people or politicians. And I don’t even want to mention the budget of defense…

No one seems to care about the welfare of people in this country. An universal welfare system does more for a society than the right to bear a weapon! I don’t get it, the right to kill is more important to most US people than the right to live a decent, healthy life! How can you live in such a society?  Guns are not freedom!

How can you in your own mind let this happen?

* Mass shootings: 4+ people per incidents. ** Age: 0 to 10 years old. *** Age: 11 to 18 years old.

Advertisements

A World of Paradoxes

Escher-belvedere

The societies we live in are ruled by paradoxes. These situations that we have created, for some of them, are the causes of some of the most serious threats faced by our species. They represents the changes that would help us create a better, fairer, safer and more environment friendly society. In my opinion,  it would result in securing the futur of the human race.

I would like to know why we cannot deal with the evidence.

Lets start with the problem of weapons : What I would call the paradox of our self destruction. Weapons are driving our species to the brinks of self extinction. It is black and white : if there was no weapons our society would be safer. Huge amount of money would be freed for the great of good. We all understand that! The views of the US citizens on their right to bear a weapon makes me wonder if a whole nation is in a logic of collective suicide and do not even realize it. No weapons, no wars. No weapons, less oppressions. No weapons, less poverty.  No weapons equals world peace. So, why as an intelligent species can we not suppress weapons from our societies?

Another paradox of our societies is our response towards the environmental problems that we have created, towards the  destruction of our planet. We are doing nothing. At this stage all the causes of the problems that we face are documented and understood. We also know where it is going : the slow and inevitable destruction of life on earth. As far as we know there is only life here on Earth, we, also, understand that we are the cause of all the changes damaging the world that sustain us. Why can we not apply the solutions that would guaranty the sustainability of life on Earth?

All along the development of our societies we have thought about the human condition, its universal rights and its integrity. Since the cylinder of Cyrus “The Great”, several texts have been produced in that optic. The “Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme” of 1948 is the base of the United Nation. An organisation that has been created to defend these rights on the whole planet above the constitution of any countries. As soon as the UN has been created it was corrupted by the most powerful nations : USA, USSR and the UK. This way the UN is muzzled from the inside. Why creating an organisation to protect the human rights and world peace, spend money to run it but make sure it cannot do what it was intended to do? What is the logic behind this?

Now, probably the most difficult paradox that we have to deal with in our societies : MONEY. We all know that money is the core of all the problems in our societies. All the above, are fed by greed. War are fed by corporations that have corrupted all our governments, to protect their huge profits. The environment is depleted to guaranty the growth of the profits of huge businesses that make sure that the governments of every Nations around the world  do nothing to apply the changes necessary to protect life on our planet. When it comes to Human Rights the “Markets”, these virtual and occult entities, driven by the adoration of the “God Money“, do not even recognize the right to live! Life is nothing to them! It is like anything else for them : just a commodity. We created these systems, We can change them if we want to! Why do we do nothing about it?

There are many more paradoxes in our societies. Religions and our need to believe in something bigger then us, that does not exists. So many lives have been wasted for religions! Racism, fed on the belief that one is superior than the other and on the rejection of differences between people. How stupid this is. Now, we know that we are one species amongst millions of other species and that genetically speaking we are all different and unique.

Humans are a paradox of the universe. Leaving in a world of paradoxes. We have, therefor created our societies on paradoxes. It is true that there are some of them that we can only try to understand, but many of them are of our own making. These ones have been recognized and can be acted upon to make every individuals in our societies equal, safe and sustained on the bases that Nature is what rules the world we live in : The Earth.

Climate Change Conference 2015

COP-21

Here we are, another world meeting to “save the planet”. Our world leaders, well their collaborators, are all in Paris to discuss the health of our poor Earth. All sponsored by pretty heavy polluters! This makes me very frustrated and pissed off.

You might think that I am very negative about the outcome of this conference but I do not believe that anything will change until the real cause of the pollution and the real actors of the destruction of our planet are at the table. In my humble opinion what our world leaders should agree upon is to severely target the businesses who are polluting right left and centre for the only purpose of making money, money, and more money. And this agreement should be to systematically find, screen and force these oil giants, coal lobbyist, car makers, war salers, pesticides pushers, etc, etc to revise their copy and put their huge amount of money towards researches for non invasive, non changing, non destructive means to HELP the environment, the human race and every leaving things on the planet.  Or else face severe controls by an independent body elected by non political or business orientated people. And this organisation should have unlimited powers to achieve its mission.

I believe that political vues, religious beliefs, market entities, money matters, lobbies of all sorts have nothing to do in the solving of this very serious problem. The above are the cause of the global destruction of our planet. As humans we have been given the gift to be conscious beings. This mean that we are able to be aware of ourselves in our environment and to understand and act on it. So, the responsibility to respect and protect the planet is on our shoulders. Us, the race at the top of the food chain.

The facts are very simple and clear. It is black and white. As far as we know Earth is the only planet where we can live in the universe. We, humans are the only one, exploiting, changing and destroying it. We are the only one who are advanced enough to do something about it. We have the knowledge, the abilities and power to change the society  we live in.

It is not on politicians or religious leaders, business owners or market entities that we should rely on to drive the changes that need to be made in our way of life. We should only follow scientists, philosophers and elders in the making of a united, responsible, fair and environmentally friendly society.

We should stop reflecting on our place in the universe or in a next life. We have to find our place in the globally integrated system that is the earth,  first. This is what we need to achieve very quickly, the rest will follow as an evidence.

Post Scriptum : Here, I am not looking at pushing forward any society model over another. I am just expressing my frustration over the way that issue of the environment protection is dealt with.