How strange is it that in our country we are constitutionally entitled to carry around devices whose sole purpose is to tear holes in bodies to destroy vital organs or spill enough blood out to kill? They are designed and manufactured to kill other human beings and we carry them around in our pockets with that express intention as our only motivation.
I am struck by how strange it might seem to someone from another planet that if I took a bag of money from a man with a gun he would be in his rights to shoot me dead, that that bag of money, no matter it’s value, is worth more than one or possibly more human lives. (I don’t think about that one as often as back when I was a bona fide criminal, only just occasionally now.)
I woke up recently from a dream of a man pulling the trigger of a gun pointed at my face and after that I can’t buy the fear of guns actors show. They just can’t pull off the sheer wall of terror pushing the scream squeezed from every cell of resistance backing it.
We are all vulnerable to the random (street) and patterned (state) violence that is perpetually right around the corner. We are all walking over pavement poured over dirt in which lay buried the bones of old wars, pavement with new blood just hosed clean so that we can go on with the business of living.
We’re all half animal, savages with a thin veil of civility transforming our teeth into a social ambition and our claws into a litigious lust that keeps the cogs of civilization smoothly moving. But if you breathe deep you can smell the fear and if you look close you can see the anger in the eyes.
The shooter mowing down dozens on a U.S. army base plus the powder keg strapped to a boy’s leg on a plane on Christmas day plus the Mexican border drug wars plus radical generals in the Pakistani army w/keys to nukes, plus I.E.D.s, plus cetera, it is all adding up to serious unease. It always sounded trite when I heard it before but I am in actual fact losing sleep wondering if it’s right to bring a new human into a world that if it doesn’t blow up will most likely melt away.
I am pretty sure that this planet will not be left habitable for my grandchildren.
I am here to protect the new boy. I am old and strong and wary and know all the tricks now. But I can’t stop a bomb or cool the planet. If anything bad should happen to the new boy then I will be destroyed and I am felling slightly preemptively destroyed knowing full well what may be in store.
Even just getting into the car I am all nerves, driving down streets entertaining horrible fantasies of what I would do to anyone stupid or careless enough to hurt any of the soon-to-be five people I love more than myself.
I am by most accounts passably successful: I am married to a beautiful wicked smart woman; I make enough money; my daughter is (strangely) morphing into an over-achiever; and my dogs have coats so shiny you could fry eggs on them. In mere days I will have a newborn son. But these thoughts are the brooding of a victim, the last thoughts looking into the barrel of a gun. This rumination is all about a sad ending.
I am at odds with my context.[audio:https://stevewarrington.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/12-Weapon-World.mp3]