Here we are, a few days on, and Gabby has been wiped off the front pages by Tunisia, which has been wiped off the front pages by Egypt.
I was proud of my blog and my readers in your responses to the last post. Thinking people, sane discussions; in spite of what is often an inflammatory topic.
Events like all of these are serving as a Rorschach blot test for our cultures. People and pundits interpret them in the light of their own interests first. I was amused at the number of columnists pointing out that the real failures in Tucson were in the health services department. Why, if only they'd had better funding, surely this poor sick man would have been helped, and all this prevented.
Which is not impossible; but what is also incandescently true is that no matter how well you fund and run any program, some human or other will slide through the remaining tiny cracks, and bad things will happen, regardless. Less often. But you cannot ever reach zero.
Surely we know this.
Then what is required of those of us who think is - some provision for the exceptions.
And what a tangled can of worms we have there. I cannot provide "answers" to the two excellent conundrums posed in the comments to the last post: "should common citizens be armed", and from Steve Salmony: "is there any hope for our species."
But I can, I think, provide a bit of useful insight.
This world of ours is what it is; and we live in it.
Discussions and opinions about what it should be are useful. But they should not be mistaken for realities waiting to pop into place.
Perspective on arming of citizens comes from Egypt, right now. Their police have been rejected by the people, declared and made illegitimate. Leaving the streets open to any and all criminals, who, be assured, were right on their toes waiting for the very first opportunity.
So far, the result in Egypt seems to be that neighbors are arming themselves with anything available, and openly showing that they will resist looters. Often these neighbor-police only have sticks to show. Often the criminal element has an illegal gun or two.
None of which is any answer to whether the situation would be improved by better gun control, or everyone being armed. It's just worth knowing; seeing; you could find yourself in this situation; anywhere in the world.
And it's not easy to come up with pat answers and positions. I'm on the fence myself. We own guns, being way out in the country, and using them for hunting sometimes. At the same time, I think there is some point to trying to decrease the number of guns floating around in cities; and I am fiercely opposed to the idiotic new ruling here in the US allowing people to carry concealed weapons in our National Parks. The Park reality includes the fact that they do have a highly trusted police, who can keep those places as safe as the world is ever likely to be anywhere. We should keep it that way. (rant, rant.)
All of this, and similar stuff, adds up to a response to your question, Steve- likely the only one you'll ever be able to find.
Does our so-promising species have any chance at a future?
There are quite a few of us species members who are going to fight for some kind of future, until we die, no matter what.
We already are.
The real world sucks. It always has; read Charles Dickens if you doubt it.
Incredibly bad things happen. Horrors happen. More of them are ahead of us.
But in all the past horrors, some of our species have struggled to make things better, just a little, whenever possible.
It can be crippling to look at our real world and bemoan what it is not. We could be so much more; so much better. You can freeze yourself into immobile depression by contemplating too long what we don't do.
Better, I think, to just keep in mind: It's a Real, Real, World.
One good response that can help keep you sane; find your iceberg, and push on it.