Newton Was Right

Reading time:  56 seconds  .  .  .

In case you missed the short New York Times essay entitled When May I Shoot A Student?, I suggest you read this fine piece of satire about carrying guns on campus. Then consider the awful realities.

We are living in times that are awash with fear.  We fear “Islamists” and people we see as political extremists (although we ourselves are not extremists).  We fear the Russians, Malaysian Airlines, anyone with ties to Iran and fundamentalism anywhere (with the exception of those who agree with our own) and we plod through our lives harboring the handmaidens of fear, anger and hostility.

There is a relatively small cadre of actors who exploit our fears to manipulate us.  Sometimes it is for money and power (ref: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-AZ), or because they are true, hair-on-fire believers (ref: Sheriff Joe Arpaio).  Regardless, it is always for self-promotion.

They use these times of rampant fear to change America in hideous ways that are not wanted by the majority of us, like rejecting universal background checks before gun sales, allowing concealed carry and allowing guns in public places like bars (what could possibly go wrong there?) and now college campuses. One of the results of guns on campus will be ongoing, random shootings of college kids. It’s just a matter of time. And our grade schoolers of today are headed soon to a college campus to join their heat packing peers.  What is your comfort level with that?

Bear in mind that we tried the Wild West and found it far too brutal and bloody. Going back to that is not likely to produce a different result. So, I appreciate the satire in this essay about new laws allowing guns on campus, but as I read it my gut churned and my heart ached for the coming hordes of mourners.

Given our experience at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech and other school campuses, what is the requisite number of dead kids that will cause us to change our laws to something approaching sanity?

Newton was right: A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Applying that to the present situation, we will continue to have radical, death producing laws and lots of unnecessarily dead Americans unless we (which includes you) do something about it.  Hand wringing won’t help.

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Ed. note:  There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better.  It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better.  That is the reason for these posts.  To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.  Please help by passing this along and encouraging others to do the same.  Thanks.  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Newton Was Right
  1. David Lindgren Reply

    Jack, good morning. I certainly feel helpless re the rage re guns and reading your post and other media attempts at getting beyond “hand wringing”. Yet, there is something very basic that we are missing here that frankly I don’t get. My sense is that it is going to get worse before it gets better. There is a core of mentally incompetent groups masquerading as Republicans, Evangelicals, Tea Party. Their belief systems are so intransigent that all the fighting with them only seems to reinforce them. There is something that we are missing.

    • jaxpolitix Reply

      Yes, we are missing something and I think I have a handle on two pieces of it.

      First, I don’t know if those folks you mention are mentally incompetent; I do believe, though, that they keep themselves blinded to anything that is not their orthodoxy because of the perceived safety for them in staying within their tribe and for the comfort of its self-imposed, moronic simplicity. That leaves out a lot of the last 400 years of science, as well as notions that we don’t have to kill those who don’t agree them.

      Second, the times have allowed these people to have a very large megaphone and now, at last, they feel they have a voice and are being heard. That keeps them screeching at the top of their lungs because they now can hear their own voices and others are listening, too.

      Darth Vader was right, in part, when he said: “You don’t know the power of the dark side.” It is momentarily intoxicating.

      It also make a very big mess and damages people greatly. Some get killed.