"Send Lawyers, Guns and Money"

The gun really is a wretched piece of technology. It is unlikely that the human being exists who could be safely trusted to own a gun — much less an automatic/mass killing weapon. It is a technology that delivers virtually instantaneous death with the slightest of gestures. Human beings are contentious, temperamental creatures. We require highly sophisticated, finely tuned and calibrated cultures and environments that are based in wisdom traditions in order to not become mentally and spiritually unwell. US America in 2021 is about as distant from such a culture and environment as one could imagine. Allowing people living in such a system, one whose social bonds are utterly fractured or hanging by the thinnest of threads to own portable machine guns is bracingly insane. Rather than “random,” the mass shootings that are occurring several days a week in the US are predictable in every way, save for their specific locations.

The focus of the system into which we were born is declared in its name: *capital*ism. I actually appreciate that candor. What is considered of prime importance and attention in this current order order is: capital. Not people, not other living beings, not the future, not the past, not the present, not your ancestors, not your children. Not joy, not health, not love. Not the earth, not air, not water. Not god and not the goddesses. But capital. Cool, distant, abstract. Capital. Theoretically it works. Theoretically, everybody, “pursues their own happiness.” Theoretically.

In reality, if you adjust human behavior to accommodate capital above all else, what results is: Austin, Kenosha, Indianapolis. Boulder, Miami, Muskogee. Predictably, people break down within this system. Depressingly, health care is a for-profit industry in this system. So, getting mental health care when one does break down psychologically is a complex endeavor — financially and otherwise. And, remarkably, virtually anybody can buy a portable machine gun. There have been two mass shootings in only the last 24 hours in the US.

Austin, Kenosha, Indianapolis. Boulder, Miami, Muskogee. Our cities are named after people who were “ethnically cleansed” out of their homelands to make way for capital. Or they are named for generals. Politicians in the US are reacting to the problem of mass shootings in the way they react to all chronic problems — with rhetoric, prevarication and over-complication. If you have ever been close to somebody with an addiction, this behavior is familiar. The illness must be accommodated. Not the body and not the soul. But people in this country and around the world are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. We understand that it doesn’t have to be this way. The canard that it *does* have to be this way has… just about run its course.

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Writer, translator, actor, musician.

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Dan Hanrahan

Dan Hanrahan

Writer, translator, actor, musician.

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