by Robert Wilkinson
Today's article isn't astrological, but important nontheless. In the midst of the turmoil created by a lone whackjob, I have again revisited something I've maintained for a long while. There are too many guns, and while the NRA insists that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," in the final analysis bullets kill people. In fact, bullets kill or seriously injure almost any living thing they hit; and yes, if you shoot a tree or a cactus often enough it will die, just like people and animals.
I don't know if we can ever get rid of guns, since too much of the global economy depends on the sale of weaponry. There are too many who have a vested interest in weapons for them to give up what they see is their means of livelihood, as misguided as I believe that means of livelihood is. But we can and should tax bullets to the degree it takes to bring down the number of times anyone can commit mass murder, or even individual murder.
This is strictly a matter of economics. Let the guns be bought and sold. However, we should make the price of bullets so astronomical that people will think twice before spraying a bunch of them at anyone. It may not stop the crazies among us, but they could only do damage to the extent they could afford say, twenty dollars a bullet.
Then instead of gang bangers spraying hundreds of bullets in drive by shootings, or lone crazies spraying a massive number of bullets into University classrooms, we would have maybe a few dozen bullets or even a hundred discharged, not all of which hit targets. It wouldn't solve the problem, but it brings down the odds of any number of thousands of bullets finding human targets. If the gunman at VT had to pay $2000 for a hundred bullets, he might not have been able to afford the damage he did.
Our governments have taken the same approach to cigarettes, and it really has brought down the number of smokers in our country, both teen and adult. Young people cannot afford to smoke nicotine delivery systems with the same cavalier attitude that existed when I was young. The statistics seem to prove the efficacy of this approach to bringing down teen smoking. If we can tax cigarettes, we can certainly tax bullets to the extent they put a burden on our public health system. Too many gunshot wounds in our emergency rooms across the country to debate that.
It is not a given that we should have semiautomatic weapons. The framers of the US Constitution never envisioned a reality when a disturbed adolescent could easily buy two semiautomatic handguns along with a lot of bullets. It took a while for the revolutionaries to load, shoot, and reload a weapon.
The ease and speed with which guns can be emptied of their load and reloaded is mindboggling, and dangerous for us all, given the instability of our times, the seeming inability of anyone in authority to do anything about getting the disturbed into counseling, and the extremely violent imagery of our mass media. These three vectors all add up to a disaster waiting for anyone with a grudge, a credit card, and an emotional imbalance serious enough to play out their drama on others.
Other countries in our world are astonished at the number of gun deaths in our nation. We are easily the most armed, most belligerent, and most gun-obsessed nation on Earth. Being armed, belligerent, and gun-obsessed is not a good formula for domestic peace and harmony. And for all the outpouring of sympathy and solemnity of the gun dealers who sold the kid his handguns and bullets, the karma of those deaths is squarely on their shoulders. If they didn't want direct responsibility for the thousands who now grieve, they should not have sold him the weaponry. Period.
Of course, perhaps we now are collectively experiencing just a little of the hell on Earth we've set loose in Iraq, where disasters like this happen each day. I just wonder why no one in the media is connecting the karmic dots. Infinite compassion for Virginia students and teachers (and the parents, mates, and children of the dead) is a good thing, but it is also a fact this happens every day in Iraq, thanks to our meddling, our overweening ambition to control oil, and the heartless politicians who mouth homilies while voting for more and more death.
That's the grim irony to this. We feel very badly when one of our own does this to our own, but turn a blind eye and cold heart when one of our own does it to people far away in the name of political policy. And that's unacceptable in a world where we are all in fact ONE. One life, one love, one Earth, one humanity. Let us affirm this is an awakening.
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson