In light of the recent shooting in Las Vegas, Jim Kavanagh, over at The Polemicist, has a great article about guns and the Second Amendment:
The primary causal factor in an incident like this is something much more powerful than a gun; it’s, for lack of a better term, a state of mind.
It’s a condensed and revised version of a longer piece he wrote in 2013 (to which he provides a link) which approaches the phenomenon of gun violence in the US from what I consider a very nuanced and reasoned point of view: that of the very question of “rights”, what that entails, and how those rights have been appropriated by the dominant class without getting their hands dirty (noli me tangere). I suggest that the few who drop by on occasion read both pieces, the early one first, to appreciate the way he analyses guns, the Second Amendment (as a right), and mind sets. I’m not going to rehash his work, so click over to his place to read the original and start “thinking”. You can come back here any time you want. Or not.
The bit about not getting one’s hands dirty reminded me of the CIA’s old rule of “plausible deniability” and how that kind of thinking has engendered all kinds of criminal behavior. Probably the last time the US got its hands dirty was the Viet Nam war (and no, I haven’t seen Burns’ version of it, nor care to), which, in spite of its overwhelming destructive power, the US lost, just like they have lost every war since. The ripping apart of Yugoslavia under Clinton, and those “little wars” in Panama and Grenada might be considered, in some tortured sense, “victories”, but certainly nothing to brag about, given the results.
That violence is the default position for what is called foreign policy these days in the US, I think goes without saying. I sometimes wonder why the US even bothers sending ambassadors abroad any more, given that their job is supposed to be dialogue and compromise. The US no longer really listens to anyone these days anyway, other than the Israelis. But I’ve forgotten that an ambassadorship is now nothing than a four year paid vacation (if you’re lucky enough to be named somewhere more or less liveable, the US vassal states in western Europe, for example. But try to find someone even moderately qualified to go to places, way too many, where the US is simply ripping the place off, and not too popular as a result, except for the local honchos who, through fear of being disposed of or simple greed, are only too happy to make nice with their imperial proconsuls who probably know nothing about the country to which they’re sent) for having contributed a small fortune to whatever president’s election. And are referred to as “Mr Ambassador” for life for having offered cover for nefarious CIA, banking, and transnational corporate activities.
But I digress. Kind of. If there’s any of that famous “trickle down” effect so dear to our mainstream economists, I’m afraid it’s not happening in the economy, but in the mind sets of a small and thoroughly confused part of the population that takes it cue from the violent behavior of the US government to solve its problems. These people probably don’t even consider that the US is the biggest criminal enterprise ever founded. Or maybe they do, who knows? They might possibly think that if the government has the right to solve a problem with a gun, rocket, or bomb, then as a US citizen, they probably have that right as well.
Of course it’s delusional, but no more delusional than the people setting US foreign policy. No more delusional than Albright’s thinking that the lives of 500,000 kids were “worth it”, or la Clinton’s cackling over Kadhaffi’s murder. Or the sadistic desire to make certain countries’ economies “scream” because they opposed US predation.
Links to Kavanagh: