B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Violence, Personal Responsibility, and so on...

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 12:25 -- scott

My feeling is that just as with human induced climate change, societal violence has reached a tipping point. I personally doubt that anything can be done to reverse planetary warming. That doesn't mean we should just give up on trying to reach a more rational and efficient, as well as cleaner means of powering our toys. The same with our societal violence. It's the dominant theme in movies, video games and unfortunately in much of our personal interactions. I doubt very much that passing laws about gun control will actually reduce such violence, at least not in any reasonable amount if time. This was brought to mind for me (again) as I watched the ending of a Paul Newman film, The Verdict. He played a lawyer and offered these thoughts in summing up his case, that justice is not to be found in "the trappings of the court" or even in our written laws. It can really only be found in each individual's heart. If you feel the need to be able to put 30 rounds through someone's body I'd have to say that you've lost something important. I hesitate to call that humanity in that I don't particularly have much respect for humanity. There are, however, individuals that have been able to grow past that base level of humanity. You might know someone like that. They treat other people as they would be treated. They are also tolerant of people different from themselves. The truly great actually embrace those differences. I was just reading an article on Dave Brubeck. You can find this in his life and career. Another example from popular culture, this one as an example of a exemplary hunter, De Niro in the Deer Hunter. He gave himself one shot.

I don't think I'm being at all facetious in bringing these two crisis together here. They both stem from the baser desires of humanity: greed, fear of the other, and the overall propensity for self absorption. I don't mind relying on popular culture for illustrations, either. These provide a recognizable context to what I'm talking about.