pull the triggerJanuary 19, 2011
I will not write another blog post “Glock-works” (it would be Glock-works 4), but the question of weapons and violence is always going around in my head. What is the appeal of weapons? Why are so many people fascinated by weapons and why do people want to possess them and ultimately use them?
Why are people collecting catalogues from weapons manufacturers and pictures of guns or military aircrafts or battleships? Why are people discussing the advantages of this or that weapons system? Why are people playing computer games where they can shoot their virtual adversaries by the hundreds? Why are priests blessing weapons?
Why are pacifists and peace activist considered as dangerous outsiders with the FBI launching investigations against them?
This is nothing new by the way, John Lennon was also on the FBI watch list. “Give Peace a Chance” is not a notion that is liked by the establishment and everybody who is threatening the profits of the “military-industrial complex” has to be watched carefully and impeded in her or his actions and if necessary “neutralized”.
Why are at one hand pacifists and peace activists denounced, harassed and detained (131 in December in Washington) and why are on the other hand people allowed to buy any kind of weapons and to hoard them? Why are they left alone even if they are known for their mental instability and aggressive comments?
Why do we glorify weapons and killing and wars? Why are young men sent into wars when most of them will come back traumatized and emotionally crippled (PTSD)? Why do humans like to kill animals and other humans — are we really that wicked? Why do we destroy nature? Are we inherently evil?
We had a party some years ago where our neighbors were invited and I overheard the conversation of the farmer, who was our next neighbor, with another man, a carpenter. The farmer told, that he had found a pistol from Word War II in the fields and had cleaned and restored it and it still worked. It was an old “Walther P38” and he was very proud that he had such a rare piece at home now. The carpenter agreed, that the discovery of the pistol in the fields was a lucky accident and he told that he had also a gun at home, inherited from his father, and he used it occasionally to shoot birds.
These men were seemingly normal people that paid their taxes and had no criminal record (at least as far as I know), and they worked hard and were respected members of the community. Yet they had unregistered weapons at home that could be used at any time to kill other persons! I don’t know where this guys got the ammunition, but it was for sure not difficult because in the small towns and villages here where everybody knows everybody no one asks for permits.
The only plausible answer to the mystery, why people are fascinated with weapons is the fact, that a gun gives them power. If they run out of arguments, if they are too dump to compete in a civilized discussion, if they fail in school and don’t have a chance to get a decent job, if they are outperformed and outwitted by everybody around them there is one remedy, one argument left:
They can pull the trigger!
You don’t have to learn and train, you don’t have to research and analyze, you don’t have to adapt and compromise. Just put out the gun and pull the trigger. It is so easy! The gun gives you power. It doesn’t matter if you are small and weak or clumsy or overweight. It doesn’t matter if you are cash-strapped or if you failed in any project you started. You were a nobody and nobody listened to you and nobody cared about you. But you have a gun now and you can use if at any time and pull the trigger!
People will notice you!
Sting I Hung my Head (third verse)
Here in the courthouse, the whole town is there
I see the judge high up in his chair
“Explain to the courtroom what went through your mind
And we’ll ask the jury what verdict they find”
I said “I felt the power of death over life
I orphaned his children, I widowed his wife
I beg their forgiveness, I wish I was dead”
I hung my head, I hung my head
Sting is one of the rare pop stars who write intelligent lyrics and he is still one of my favorite song writers. His concert for Gulnara Karimova in Uzbekistan has though dampened my appreciation for him considerably because he would have enough money to be able to reject such a contract.
There are artists who don’t let greed overrule ethical considerations, for example: Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Vanessa Paradis, Devendra Banhart, Klaxons, Pixies refuse to play in Israel.