Violence is always our answer…

I just read a few news clips about the shooting in Connecticut.  Another senseless tragedy based on violence.  What can we expect from a country that views violence as the answer to everything?  We use violence to secure our rights.  We use violence to spread democracy worldwide.  We wage war on everything from drugs to poverty.  We enjoy and celebrate violence – football – boxing – ultimate cage fighting – video games.  Our children are subjected to violent movies and toys.  We are a violent society.  What can we expect except more violence?

When your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail.  If your answer to every problem is violence everything becomes a war. 

Violence begets more violence!

Instead of blaming the murderer and guns, we need to look inward and blame ourselves for allowing violence to be so pervasive.  Yes, there is personal responsibility for this action.  Yes, someone murdered several people – some were children.  Yes, this is tragic.  Yes, this will be a strong message to support gun control but gun control is not the answer: Personal responsibility and rational behavior is.

It will take some serious work to change our attitude and our favorite solution to everything.  Who fosters these violent solutions?  Who is allowing this to continue?  We do!  Each of us looks to the simplest and quickest solution available.  Too often this is violence.  It is our hammer.

Who looks for peaceful solutions to our problems? 

Leadership is the quality that we lack most in this country.  Sure there are thousands that profess to lead, yet they take us nowhere and when we arrive we wonder why we allowed them to lead.  Who will lead us to peaceful solutions instead of using the Military-Industrial Complex to solve our problems?  Who will be the one to take this monumental and necessary step?

Will our corporate leaders stop the violence?  Will our civic leaders demand an end to senseless and ineffective violent solutions?  I doubt it…  Everything we hold sacred is based on gain.  Money and Power are our gods!  If violence creates wealth, we rationalize it as “just business.”  If our neighbor offends us we litigate; we don’t talk to them about the problem… we use force.  It is our solution to everything.  Rather than seeking a peaceful solution – we pick up the stick.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood.  We just grab a gun and start shooting!

Take a good look around you.  Look for the violence in our world.  Recognize how aggressive we are.  Even our language and demeanor are aggressive.  We race, we don’t drive.  We compete for items in the store, we don’t shop:  Pushing and shoving to get ahead of the person in front or next to us to grab that precious item.  How do you act in these situations?  Do you seek to understand or react with anger and violence?

Almost everything you see, hear, and read is violent:  The news, the weather, sport, games, movies, TV, Internet sites, books, magazines, and our government.  A massive storm “Attacked” the East Coast.  President Obama announces a new war on poverty.  The State of Arizona declares war on Illegal Immigration. 

The solution is very difficult and most probably not possible for us at this point.  Each of us must endeavor to approach situations with peaceful intentions, not vendetta.  We need to seek inner peace, not conflict.  We must lead by example; peaceful example.  We must find better ways to solve our problems.  As old dogs, can we learn new tricks?  Are we capable as a society to learn peace and to abandon violence?  I doubt it.

Tragic situations like today’s shooting in Connecticut are symptoms.  We feel sad about it, we pray for the victims’ families.  We cry a little, we mourn a little and we feel badly, but no one tries to understand or even look at the bigger picture.  We demand gun control insisting that this will solve the problem.  We blame the pencil for the spelling mistakes.  The National Rifle Association (NRA) relies on the Second Constitutional Amendment as their mantra.  We on the other hand fail to recognize that gun do not kill people: people kill people with guns.  What criminal or terrorist will willingly surrender his gun?  When guns are gone, will we go after knives?  When the knives are gone, will be abolish sticks?  Even our government has clandestine programs to sell arms to the enemy.  Remember “Fast & Furious?”  Now tell me that we are not a violent society.  Tell me that controlling or abolishing any weapon is the real answer.  Logic demands that we look for the cause not the symptom.

We invade other sovereign nations to democratize them.  We use violence to push peaceful solutions… What?  We fight wars for peace.  Isn’t this like screwing for virginity?

Our video games are all violent.  How many video games can you count that are NOT violent?  Our sports are very, very violent.  We watch football for the “bit hit” on the quarterback.  We watch auto racing for the crashes.  We watch two people stand in a ring beating each other senseless.  We cage them and cheer the blood-sport of these modern gladiators.  Our movies and TV programs are all violent.  They are full of battles and carnage.  They extol the virtue of “Might makes Right.”  We value power and strength over reason.  Why are we surprised when an individual resorts to violence to solve personal problems or to make a personal statement?  Why?

I was a warrior in my youth.  I fought for this country and did my best to conquer my enemy.  Now I realize that violence begets violence.  I see how my actions enforced and strengthened the violence in the world.  I have changed my ways.  I now seek inner peace.  I now look for peaceful ways to live in this violent world.  I hope that my singular example will make a small difference.  I advocate reason rather than retaliation.  I believe in the sanctity of life.  Gandhi said that “It is impossible to shake hands with a clenched fist…”  How can we expect anything but violence from a society that knows only violence?

Violence is that LAST resort not our first response.

Who is to blame for these senseless tragedies?  Who is responsible for these senseless murders of innocent people – children?  We are!  It is us!  We are ultimately responsible.

Our country is based on violence.  Our entertainment is based on violence.  We teach our children violence.  We advertise with violence.  Our new music is violent.  Everything is violent, even our approach to solving problems is violent.  We are the violence. 

We are in “Self Destruct Mode” we are watching the countdown approach the final moments.  Will we as a society have the strength and wisdom to disarm it?

As Pogo said…”We have met the enemy and it is us…”

Is it really any wonder that violence is our immediate response?  What else can we expect from a violent society?