Gun Lessons

After every pointless gun massacre in the US there are the Good and the Bad raising their voices in response. The Good say, let's learn a lesson from this massacre, from these deaths. (Like, maybe not so very many guns everywhere, or maybe not so easily into the hands of crazy people, or maybe let's not have all these great crowd-killing type guns as much, maybe).

And the Bad (or is it, the Stupid?) say, Let's Not learn anything! No, you're making Politics out of it. Indeed, some people already know everything, and don't want to learn anything. It violates their world view.

Worse, they accuse the ones who want to bring some meaning to the lives of those murdered by taking a lesson from it.

If you want some innocent's death to be meaningless, then sure, don't talk about the causes, the enablements, the trends which their death is part of. Let's be sure to make their death as meaningless as possible, by not talking about Why.

I'm not saying that would bring them back. But at least we could learn something from it, and make things better. Make the future not so tragic for others, maybe. Then their life and their death can have some meaning.

When a backflow event sucks pesticide into drinking water, responsible people look at the causes and change the rules. Now we need reverse pressure principle backflow preventers. Somebody died, but now we have better plumbing. At least it had some meaning. At least we made the world better because of it.

When someone dies of cancer because some company dumped toxic crap in their drinking water, we don't just hold them accountable but we change the laws and the expectations of society so that companies don't do that any more. Or at least, less.

Is this a problem? When something bad happens, we think about Why, and we make things Better.


Copyright © 2017, Thomas C. Veatch. All rights reserved.
Modified: October 2, 2017