I would agree that the the support of the president for this effort is worthwhile. Let me add only that it may be just a little better than nothing.
Everyone is horrified by the events in Newtown, another chapter in a long and worsening cultural dysfunction. Weapon safeguards, for which there are already many, are a facet of a complication. Government programs have a gained a reputation as political remedies. The public demands popular and focused remedies, and our public leaders are apt to provide the same to thwart any momentum that could lead to unrest, improper focus, and their growing unpopularity as leaders.
These "solutions" relieve anxiety more than they actually solve problems. The underlying causes of gun violence against humanity seems to have roots growing for hundreds of years in our American culture so it's hard to extricate. And like weeds propagating in the country, the history of the life form defies the best herbicidal, and homicidal, remedies.
I see animal carcasses almost daily, crushed on the highway eventually rendered into a red stain that the rain washes away. A beautiful child with blonde curls, when he first saw a Star Wars flick, gently replied "the killing" when asked his favorite part. A man whose battle memories of Iraq cannot be repeated may be mentally impaired from them, forever. A grade school relative is entranced by video games that involve kill or be killed action with a constant splatter of blood so sickening, he had to get over it to have fun. Another relative was so impressed with his neighbor Mario Puzo and his writings he willingly bought a one way ticket on the gangsta express - it would have been better if he didn't survive the trip.
My experience is not unique. While hardly anyone I spend time with has guns, I wonder how gun control begins to divest a culture that celebrates and glorifies the use of every kind of weapon in every context. The celebration takes place on TV, in the movies, in war re-enactments, in videos and video games, in outer space, under the arctic, in books, in comic books, on web sites, in clubs, in war games, at Halloween, in theater, in recorded music, in rape, shall I go on because there is almost no end to it? The fixation on violence against nature persists without relief. It entertains by a climax of execution - the purposeful termination of life - justified in little minds, sometimes my own, by a fabrication of righteous indignation against an enemy created mostly by fiction.
In the absence of real leadership, government programs, like herbicides, are makeshift solutions. While we may want to support them, the real solution requires persistent diligence in examining the roots and causes of disregard for the sanctity of life. Support weapons management, but then what?
Allen E Neyman
Allen E Neyman Associates Architecture LLC
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