Friday, April 19, 2013

The Animal Within

The problem I have with the gun control issue is that guns are such a pervasive factor in our lives, that it bothers me.  If you have a gun and you do something wrong with it, we will find a bigger gun and kill you with it.  That's where I fall off the tracks.  Which part of "bigger gun" makes the reaction sensible?  They have ceased to be a method of self-defense and have beco
me instruments of destruction, which, I suppose is their sole purpose, when you get down to brass tacks.
There is that part of the argument that alleges that our retaliation makes sense in light of your mistake.  We'll kill you because you killed us.  The vindictiveness of it all distresses me.
Part of it is a reaction borne of anger and part of it is that "eye for an eye" attitude that pervades society.  If you make a mistake, we will make you pay for it in like fashion.
I am more interested in motive and behavior than retribution.  I want to know why.  What makes people do these things?
If I am watching The Food Network and I see someone making a nice dish, they can give out the recipe and I'll jot it down, go to the grocery store, buy the items and bring them home.  By the time I've set them down on the counter I think, "Geez, do I really want to do this?"  The usual answer is "no."
These two nut-jobs had this idea in their head to construct a bomb from a pressure cooker.  They purchased the filler ingredients, put it all together, dropped it off and detonated it without once (one figures) thinking, "Maybe this is a bad idea."  That's what I want to explore.  What inspires anti-social behavior and what bigger part of their psyche makes them follow-through on their ideas?
Killing them satisfies our animal instinct but gives us no clue as to their motivation.  You can hate me for not wanting to see them die, but I'm more curious as to their behavior pattern than I am in being satisfied that they died to pay for the people they killed in satisfying that idea.
Perhaps the bigger victory would come in understanding such behavior and resolving to try to stop it rather than making us feel as though we have accomplished something by extinguishing the perpetrators.
We have treated a symptom, but the disease goes on.
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems worth while disputing.
He bolts down all events, all creeds, and beliefs, and persuasions, all hard things visible and invisible, never mind how knobby; as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun flints. And as for small difficulties and worryings, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker.
- Herman Melville

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