Guns and countries

This concept of borders is man-made. A construct of society that equates to the uncontrolled selfish thought-process of a child who can’t and won’t understand the quiet pleasure in sharing. This need to own something so much older than humanity itself, seems so ludicrous. So many, hundreds of millions of lives lost. And for what? A piece of land that in a couple of generations might not even be in your hands anymore?

This us-against-them mentality pervades every facet of our lives. Look around you. Tell me who you think is “us” in your mind and who is “them”? To what extent are you willing to treat another as “them”? When do they become “us”? Why can’t we see all of humanity as “us”? Do people in your “us” category count as just your family members or your fellow countrymen? Or is it anyone belonging to your race or your religion or your sexuality or your gender? When do we stop classifying?

“Imagine a man risking what life he has left for something as absurd as a country!” said the old man.

Nately cried,” These is nothing absurd about risking your life for your country!”
“Isn’t there?”, asked the old man,”What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries usually unnatural. Surely not ALL countries are worth dying for!”
– Catch 22

I went to a gun range the other day where my friend had me shoot rifles and handguns and that is when I realized something. I realized the seriousness of firing a gun. Movies make it seem so cool as heroes fly from one corner of the room to another, firing off a million rounds an hour in every which direction. But it’s not such a joke. When you hold the gun in your hands, you feel the weight of it. It is heavy not just because of its mass, but because of the weight of knowing the destructive power of this weapon you hold in your hands. It can rip through a human being in a millisecond, taking with it all of its hopes, dreams, the potential of a person to single-handedly change the world for the better. All of it gone in a split second that it takes to fire a gun. Then consider the fact that people point these weapons at others purposefully to take their life. Is that the real baggage of war? The weight of all the potential good that is lost to this world once that trigger is pulled? To me it seems that no good can come of this “tool”; its powers of destruction outweigh its benefits tenfold.

As appealing as the idea of firing a gun is, even at a static target, I have come to the realization that guns are just not for me. After all, words have a similar kind of damaging power. Only, words you can heal and come back from. You can’t come back from death. You can’t come back from taking a life.

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