Friday, December 21, 2012

A reminder of what happens when common sense is overruled by fear

This site is a fascinating look at what happens when common sense is set aside in favor of fear-mongering. It's worth reading, because much of the 2000's were all about this sort of crazy extreme-reactionary behavior toward the threat of terrorism, and we're well into the 2010's and still paying for the consequences of our extreme responses.

There are several highly-reactionary approaches to the mass shootings in our society today which people are advocating. One is gun control; only the most paranoid and diehard out there are going to see restrictions on what sort of lethal firearms citizens can own to be a bad thing. Only the most peace loving idealistic liberals are going to see a total gun ban as a worthy goal (and for the record what I want isn't so much as a gun ban as a progression of society toward a state where people do not feel the need to own or defend themselves with guns, and therefore abstaining from the ownership of weapons become a voluntary thing; or in other words I'm a pie-in-the-sky hippie liberal-libertarian weirdo).

Anyway, the idea of banning all fireams is (at least in a world full of conflict and trouble) a bad thing, just like the idea of arming everyone and their children, their teachers, and even the janitors is a bad thing. Restricting free speech and expression through the banning of video games simply because the depiction of violence offends some people is a bad thing, because that's a fine example of a slippery slope which really will lead to a cessation of everything I hold dear about living in the United States. Indeed, the rationale appears entirely to be based upon people who are disturbed by the violence of some video games, and yet seem to feel that because they feel distress with such depictions of video game violence, that if someone else seems to enjoy it then something must be wrong with that person. It never occurs to them, apparently, that people who are immersed in games may react and feel differently about it than they do, or that its possible (as it is with me) to enojoy depictions of fictional violence while being repulsed and sickened by real world violence.

For me fictional violence almost cathartic; I intensely dislike real world violence, was sickened and disturbed by what happened a week ago, and am generally in favor of any policy in our country which moves away from real world violence as a solution to problems in favor of building toward the idealized future society that no longer needs violent action for conflict resolution. Yes, you could call me some sort of Roddenberryite if you like, but I am shameless in my belief about this; we are all capable of being more enlightened secular beings in the future who work toward a common good, and the ultimate common good is one achievable without violence, and with the free will of individuals who can apply a firm, rational understanding of a cogent and nonviolent social contract toward our future. We're a long way from that, unfortunately, but we're still so very much closer now than we were even 53 years ago, or even 25 years ago.

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