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What Protects Me Can Kill You

Posted on the 16 January 2013 by Fadi Bejjani @DrFadiBejjani
What Protects Me Can Kill YouOne can follow the advent of guns in America from its very inception via Hollywood productions  :
First we had the John Wayne types, gunslinging criminals like Billy the kid (Who Shot the Sheriff?), Geronimo fighting Custer with arrows, and what have you. In this early American era, there was no weapons of mass destruction to speak of. It was pretty much kill or be killed as often  represented in the iconic dual between two cowboys. It was the luck of the (faster) draw. There was no killing a bunch of people from thousands of miles away, e.g. via drones, while sitting in your living room. If you had a gun you had better know how and be willing to use it and there was no place to hide. In every shooting you took a big risk yourself. That was the mano a mano phase. In Asian countries, martial arts would be the equivalent. Those were all over the movies too, e.g. Bruce Lee.
Then came a deadlier phase, with the canons in play, like the Mexican War, the Civil War, all the way to World War I. One soldier, still quite a risk, was able to kill a whole bunch from afar, buried in the tranches. Gun exchanges were still quite bloody and marred in human inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Considering the relatively limited fire power available then, way too many people died anyhow and no shooter felt detached or removed.
The addition of the Air Force in World War II was a crucial milestone in the use of guns. You could be half a mile high in the clouds and rain bombs over a city like London or Berlin, decimating their populations and their infrastructure, by simply pressing a button. What amazing power! Of course this culminated into the atom bombs over Hirroshima and Nagazaki, where one man pressed a button in one airplane and hundreds of thousands died. Now that is awesome power! Henceforward guns were so dehumanized that the cause-effect relationship essential for instantly understanding the consequence of one's act had dwindled to nothing. Just press your button up in the air and fly away without having to witness first hand any of the carnage you created. When a human holds a gun for the first time he is highly likely to experience jitters and misgivings before he pulls the trigger; but these human feelings vanish when the scene of the killing is so remote.
Pilots are at least at risk of being shut down, thus somewhat preserving the human dimension of acts and consequences. Without real data about collateral damage and innocent deaths, DRONES seem to be obviously doing a good job killing bad guys and safeguarding good guys, except they have completely removed the soldier's skin in the game, the risk the attacker takes everytime he attacks. The risk is now null and void: The scene of the killing could be a hemisphere away from the one pressing the button, sitting in front of his computer. Come to think of it, It is SO similar to a video game set-up, isn't it?
I do not know if these facts would hold up in a statistical correlation analysis, but I do not think anyone looked at the timing of drones becoming public (via news and movies) in parallel with increasing schoolyard and other massacres in America. This drone action is kind of sneaky and anything but courageous, yet it can cause a lot of damage. Can that be an incitement for a sick mind or borderline personality? maybe. I think it ranks up there with incitements with the violent video games, except the former brings in more of a "even our country does it" enabler, whereas the latter brings a "I can do it" enabler.
In any event, I think I have demonstrated long and wide that actual guns have absolutely nothing to do with it. It is the Shooter Stupid! I do not believe in guns nor do I carry one myself, but I just felt like setting this record straight. I know that from Emmanuel to Cuomo to Biden, they are all excited about new gun control laws. Their approach reminds me of the doctors in the Molière era, the French playwright: They were fond of the fixation abscess, meaning creating an abscess in a patient's leg for example to channel his lung infection down there and then swiftly lance it. If you think that approach worked, vote for all these new gun laws.
Another thought cam to mind. Just yesterday there were six human bombs detonated in Afghanistan. That of course is diametrically opposed to drone, with regard to putting oneself at risk during the kill and displaying courage and fortitude, albeit misguided. What if those "sick" minds doing the massacres almost on a weekly basis get a wind of that approach and start fancying it? After all they are usually desperate enough to the point of shouting themselves after the fact. One can argue that they are already human bombs of sorts and that is another VERY SERIOUS FACTOR to deal with.
I will leave you with a quote from Oscar Wilde:
"Life Imitates Art Far More than Art Imitates Life"

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