By Milan Vodicka, Ph.D.
I am living another day of recovery in this world of disasters – the last one being the shooting in the Florida High School. After hearing the news and the reporting about it, I am still challenged not to fall into anger and fire F-bomb loaded verbal missiles against the esteemed “lawmakers,” reporters, and anyone supporting the insanity of the availability of military assault weapons to the general population.
Well, let us take it in order. Is it possible to “reason” with the ideologically blind and brainless, money- bribed people called “lawmakers?” With the “did nothing, do nothing, will-do-nothing” crowd of “lawmakers,” whatever hell, evil, and suffering is in front of them? The ones who do not understand the principle “when there is no coffee in the room, NOBODY can spill it there?” Well, they have a slippery mantra that will cover all conceivable circumstances, yes, “mental illness.” Or they use any other piece of irrelevant ineffective idiocy, such as “too much attention to Russia.” One has to wonder whether – heaven forbid – the tragedy of loss of their own child or spouse would have any effect on them…
Simply, there is no other remedy than to get rid of them. Vote them out. Deny them any support, in any form, financial or otherwise. To reason with them is a waste of time. They are the personification of the term “dogma.”
As a contrast – hurray for the Florida students! They are becoming a beacon of what humanity should be about. We should be with them. Their lives are on the line! I am.
Now, reports and reporters. It is a fact that words create our perceived “reality.” This “reality,” in turn affects our behavior. Here is an example, from the writings of the famous German philosopher Hegel. What will happen when someone calls a person “an uncle?” The word “uncle” is, of course, loaded with unspoken implications. The uncle, in order to be an uncle, must have at least one nephew or niece and at least one brother or sister. He was raised in multi-child family environment, meaning some sharing was inherent. And so on.
Apply this to terms “gun control” and “gun safety.” The term “gun control” – full of the implications just like the “uncle” term – is a part of the national dialogue incessantly used by reporters. There is a shift in context and meaning, instantly implying, for example, that “government will be in charge,” an anathema to any “freedom” loving gun ownership supporter. The proper term to use is “gun safety.” What is the difference? Logically, “gun safety” is a SUBSET of “gun control.” It follows it is not an IDENTICAL (the same) description and concept. Therefore, it should NOT be used interchangeably, as it currently is.
Other loaded verbal expressions in widespread use are “the gunman” and “opened fire” – as if they are badges of some Wild West manhood and distinction. The descriptors should be accurate. The “alleged murderer” and “started shooting people” forgo any potential glorification of perpetrators of shooting incidents.
I am advocating verbal clarity. “Gun safety,” not “gun control.” Above all, I am advocating clarity of purpose. Do you really like to hug your assault weapons more than to value the lives of students and children and hug them?
Lastly, the support and supporters. Recall the proclamation of Republican President George W. Bush regarding terrorists (I paraphrase): “We shall destroy the terrorists, and also anyone who supports them, materially, or providing shelter, or any other assistance to further or promote their aims.” So, here we are – the organization with the most dues paying members in our District is the National Rifle Association (NRA). Considering the potential of this NRA organization to do good, it is unfortunate that its leadership lined up itself with the monetary interests blind to consequences of unspeakable and unbearable human suffering. Human suffering expressed by lives needlessly lost. The pseudo-arguments against common sense gun safety measures were debunked over and over again. Yet, the charade persists. I plead with you, NRA members, change this. The life of your kid, your spouse, or your own may depend on it.