With 5% of the world’s population, the budget of the United States Military and Defense represents 100% of the absolute dollar value of the 13 largest countries of the world and 47% of the budget of the entire 190 nations of the world Military.
It is no mistake these numbers are statistically significant and the consequences of such armament, similarly predictable.
In the last 50 years, United States has been responsible for the most incidences, in number and cost, of war. In the last 50 years, the United States, directly or through our armaments and munitions has been responsible for the greatest cost of lives and treasure and the United States has armed virtually all of the indirect conflicts, in whole or part, whether our involvement, clandestine or a result of a formal declaration of war.
Acknowledging there are no mistakes in our collective behaviors, these instance of cultural war or human hand gun homicide are no more or less than the artifacts of our own idiosyncratic, conscious or unconscious, intent. We must admit, therefore beyond the pain and hardship of war obvious to all, there has to be something reinforcing, some benefit in this for some one, few or many of us.
Whether the pride of the soldier, the plans of the bureaucrat or the wealth of the plutocrat arising from the production of waste and expensive expendable military hardware, we only do, historically and prospectively what feels good, makes sense or creates profit or gain which if not universally known is recognized by one or another of the special interests group which speaks the loudest or makes the largest campaign contributions to the various members of congress or the relevant governing body.
In social scientists speak, the only difference between ontogenetic and phylogenetic behavior is the exponential differential recognized of a whole population acting in accord versus the one individual, acting alone.
We can take a Cat-scan of the Crips and Bloods, the culture of Chicago with 500 individual gun deaths in a year, or the battlefield of Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and from 30,000 ft, the behavior of the latter is not, manifestly much different than the acts originated by or upon housemates, family members or strangers in the gun violence which plagues our cities, elementary schools, theatres and population at large.
It is true the founders, in our 2nd amendment establishment of rights clearly articulated the appropriate constitutionality of civil disobedience, a hard-won lesson learned from our English forbears and the tyranny of the Crown, however it is also true they never imagined nor could they today reasoning which would allow civilian armaments, assault weapons, cannon, armed battleships, weapons of mass destruction as a right and entitlement of any and all, military and non military, in a largely and purposefully unregulated society devoted to both individual and communal rights.
The question any student of social science or human behavior must ask, simply, is why?
What is the strand of DNA, the original or proximate cause of the extent of the aberrance of our behavior and or what is the original behavior from which the secondary autonomy devolved as does a mutant strain of metastasized cancer. The answer here, whatever it may be and beyond any moral ethic or dilemma will inform the discussion and solution, should we want one, for its alteration or cessation.
The United States suffers 3000 deaths by handguns monthly, roughly equivalent to our 9/11, which annualized is 30,000 per year.
It is not possible, given our reaction to the Newtown Elementary School slayings or the horror of 9/11 that these events both arise from and reoccur because of our utter indifference, yet they do reoccur and we seem, nationally to be trying to understand why.
In a more natural setting, and Australia is a good example, with a national focus, similar to that which caught Osama Bin Laden or landed a man on the moon, there are examples of countries equally as violent who have made affirmative decisions to change their behavior as a country and we can easily replicate the Australian example, if we so choose.
Critical then and what must be understood to arrive at such a decision is why we do or do not make such a choice; and in this regard, there are two seemingly antithetical forces which appear to nurture each-other and make the apparent resolution of the 3000 lives a day, impossible to reconcile with our’ 2nd amendment rights.
That we have an enormous and profitable gun and rifle industry which can only continue to profit with nearly unregulated sales passing along is not unlike the model of the historical hawkish wing of congress which, in support of and nurtured by the Military Industrial complex came to recognize, especially in times of depression, the benefit of a small war ‘every now and again’.
Unregulated foreign war, much as unregulated sale and distribution of firearms for personal and household use, serves both mistresses of pride and profit.
Whether pride, for one being able to arm themselves from adversity and care for kith and kin, or the reciprocal fear which comes from the uncertainty of one’s manhood or lack of prowess in a modern complex industrialized world, there is a manageable mechanism to salve the need in a fashion which does not put the populace at risk.
Similarly, if we need to assert our collective will, and profit accordingly on the international stage by the promulgation of power and the assertion of indomitable strength, there are countries and cultures who have done this for centuries with humanitarian means which can still project our power and create enormous profits but do not cause the heedless and unnecessary fatality and human misery as does the less complex act of war.
How might knowledge of intent change behavior in a world where action, as Nietzsche says, is largely beyond good and evil.
Assuming then there is no right or wrong to our apparent instinct for violence and the free availability of guns and munitions for homicide or genocide, then to make certain this is a behavior we seek to change we really need only ask, does the political or statutory law reflect, more or less the will of the people.
If this appears true, the second question must be, do we understand what is the ‘will’ of the people, spoken or sub-rosa and does it represent a reflection of a psychological, human, anthropomorphic need which, in the light of day we want to perpetuate and continue to nourish and support.
As it is no mistake a cat purrs when a human clasps it behind the neck and emulates the grasp of its mum, there must be some related behavior or surcease from fear, relief from a moral turpitude or satisfaction of an unstated and perhaps subconscious need which the availability or ownership of guns, or the machines of war, bestow.
If it is fair to assume, as sentient beings there are no mistakes in the manner and way our culture articulates or acts out its wants and needs, then we must reason those who buy guns do so for some reason, benign, malevolent, unwitting, or unnatural. From here it is not a far leap to get to the structure of a society which from the days of our agrarian roots has largely disintegrated, changing so dramatically, there is easily reason, if not explanation for the proliferation of arms and the unintended outcome of 3000 deaths a month from hand guns alone, tens of thousands of deaths from more formal military conflicts and a life of unmitigated terror for any, civilian or military who would fall on the wrong side of the moment when anger, revenge, profit or pride would curtail, in the most horrible way, the most valuable possession of all that is human.