Friday, September 06, 2013

The right to bear arms and freedom

The idea that "the right to bear arms" has anything to do with "independence" is a funny meme. Where is the freedom in "I'll shoot you if you don't let me do this"? Real freedom comes from the commitment to be free, the choice not to be the coerced, the choice to stand for something knowing someone else may disagree.

Now, I'm not saying that physical persuasion isn't fun and satisfying. I'm just saying that having a bigger gun isn't freedom, it's just (trigger) finger-pointing. Who is the victim, the person who is shot or the person who shoots? Is it my fear of death that persuades me that I will kill someone who threatens to kill me? Is it my fear of harm that motivates me to risk my life defending those I love? How is being afraid going to make me free?

But then again, freedom is greatly overrated. Fear has been a more powerful meme than love when it comes to survival. Fear has gotten us through about 2 billion years. Love is relatively new and has not proven itself as a successful strategy. Certainly I would like to believe the meme "love conquers all," but there is so little evidence that in fact love conquers bigger guns.

Perhaps love is just a passing phase, an aberration, a mutated meme that will die because those that believe in it are so easily killed. Would I be willing to die, to love my enemy instead of killing him? I doubt it. But perhaps loving my enemy would transform my enemy to choose love over fear, in which case I may be killed by the bigger gun, but the meme jumps to a new host, like a flea abandoning a dead dog for anything warm that passes by. Ah, so many strange
thoughts...

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