The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure.
-Lyndon B. Johnson
The Sons of Guns
Like a patriarchal elder passing a torch to the next generation, sons have taken existing weaponry and enhanced it applying new understandings to make weapons more efficient, and lethal. The use of weapons can be traced back to the beginning of recorded history and may extend well beyond that time frame. The evolution of weaponry begins with rather simple tools such as throwing stones to spears to bows and arrows. It was the accidental discovery of gun powder by the Chinese about a thousand years ago, that sparked a revolution in weaponry. The gun powder was used to create an explosive spear tip. Gun powder has become atomic power and the explosive spear tip a bomb. Handguns and rifles are like miniature missiles; small solid projectiles ejaculate from the barrel with a lethal force of mass and acceleration.
Gun ownership is popular for several reasons such as hunting, sharp shooting, status and as collector items. The most common reason for owning a weapon is ‘protection.’ The history of humanity is filled with attacks by one group upon another. Most of the warfare is amongst males of the species, either to protect from an attack, or to instigate an attack. As guns became ever more available, the battlefield became leveled, but escalated with each new generation finding more potency in improved weaponry. At one time, waring factions all had spears; today, they all have mini-bombs. Mega bombs, really big bombs, i.e., atomic and nuclear, are held in reserve as both factions in warfare realize that each side can annihilate the other. Better to use mini-bombs so the warfare can continue on without mutual annihilation. There is also an economic incentive to maintain warfare with guns and mini-bombs because such weapons are useless without ammunition. One may purchase a gun once, and ammunition for that gun every month for years and years. It is not an unknown feature of modern social economics that ‘war’ and, by association, ‘protection,’ is a big business, primarily because of ammunition.
But, the need for ammunition is predicated on the need for protection which has morphed from its original meaning of ‘to cover’ as in covering up, hiding, to shelter from harm and injury, into a confrontation. Protection is now more about possession; whether it be territory, resources or simply the hunger to dominate others and possess what they have, protection is often a fight to prevent loss of land, territory, resources and culture. Valid arguments can be made for protection of physical territory and social culture given man’s proclivity of aggression towards and acquisition from others. Warfare appears to be one of the consistent common denominators of human history. Despite hopes and wishes, thoughts and prayers, for a peace, conflict and warfare, possessive acquisitiveness and aggressive invasion may be a genetic disposition. However, there is much less validity in the protection of psychelogical belief systems, though most wars are fought based on a clash of belief systems, especially religious belief systems. It would appear easier to compete and fight than to collaborate and progress together towards something of mutual value. Indeed, most sons of guns, generation after generation, first and foremost apply improved scientific understandings and logical techniques of weaponry to military applications. There is no doubt of man’s tendencies towards violence. But, history is also a record of collaboration which suggests genetic predispositions towards working together. Indeed, it may be that modern humankind is a product more of collaboration than of killing.
Working together can minimize the belief in a need for protection. As has been noted by others, there is safety in numbers. Large numbers do not automatically ensure safety, but large peoples of humans working together, integrated and coherent, aligned and focused, can act in ways that contribute to a collective shield of armor difficult to penetrate. Still, the sons of guns are ever on the lookout for ways to advance winning, by killing. Killing is not a universal evil. It is a contextual choice in which there may be situations and circumstances where killing is appropriate. In such cases, killing is not an act of malice, hatred or fear but one of necessity, such as when defending one’s sovereign territory from invaders.
Invasion appears a common activity amongst peoples of humans. The imperialistic programming runs deep within the psyche. The drive to dominate others through various methods of subordination is all too common ranging in scale from households to school grounds to offices both professional and public. The bully and the petty tyrant run rampant around the world in an attempt to be on top, number one, the best, all of which often equates to the culturally programmed mind as love, respect, admiration and esteem. To keep that status, like ancestors before, the sons of guns will kill opponents in direct violation of the deeper calling within the heart of humankind to collaborate, work together, and play together; to share a common vision, a target of immense value for all. Such an aim may require a collective invasion, and defeat, of excessive myopic selfishness; and, such an invasion upon rigid beliefs will encounter defensive attempts for if selfishness is about anything, it is about preservation of itself, even when that preservation is not a protection but, rather, an entrenchment further into the quagmire of myopia (me-optics). A further shrinking of consciousness from the lofty expanse of inclusiveness to the narrow restrictions of exclusiveness, ends in a kind of malaise that may have the sons of guns killing the sons of guns. For, within an exclusive set of bullies and petty tyrants, the fight for dominance continues within its own sphere.
Conjure up in your own heart of humankind the most inclusive collective collaborative(we-optics) target, goal, objective, aim that is of the highest individual and collective Value. What are you daily doing to contribute towards that?