i’m not the only one

Much as I try to remain aloof about Facebook, limiting my wall-scanning to once a day at most, rarely commentating and even less often posting my own thoughts and pictures, there occasionally comes a post that causes me to have a severe emotional reaction; so strong, in fact, that it takes all of the will-power I can muster to detach from it gracefully (i.e. not post hateful and/or sarcastic comments in response). While I take pride in having cultivated a group of Facebook friends who tend to avoid using this medium as a forum for political, religious and otherwise inappropriate topics, there are still a few ranters and ragers out there who’ve managed to sneak into my network. So since I’ve struggled to find the inspiration (or time) to blog lately, I’ll use a recent post I read that, despite my best efforts to dismiss, has continued to make its mark on my thoughts, leaving me feeling frustrated and disappointed with our culture.

It was a post that came right after the latest school shooting in Oregon and was directed at the Facebook community at large, suggesting that “we” should stop using school shootings as an argument for stricter gun regulation because “we” are lying to ourselves anyway. “We” don’t want stricter gun laws at all, because what we secretly want is worldwide disarmament. That’s right, no guns. No guns anywhere. Not here, not there, not in a train, not in the rain, not with a fox and not in a box.

I’ll just say it now – I don’t secretly wish guns didn’t exist, I openly wish for it!! Not because I don’t recognize the argument for their existence in today’s society, but because fundamentally and at my core I am still a loving, caring, non-violent human being who wishes that we could all (and by all, I mean ALL) put our pride and arrogance aside and treat one another with kindness despite our differences. And what I find so horrifying about this post is that this person, and likely many more, think that wishing for something like a worldwide laying down of arms is reproachable. Maybe this is a good time to remind everyone what the definition of “weapon” is: something (such as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy. So what if it’s not realistic in the current state of the world – should we not still strive, even at the individual level, for peace and harmony with fellow mankind? We recently bought a gun; we live in the mountains alongside bears and mountain lions and our garage was robbed in the middle of the night last fall while we were all sleeping. So I get it. I understand the right (and motivation) to bear arms at the individual level as well as at a government level where many of the freedoms we enjoy in this country are indirectly or directly related to our reputation for having a powerhouse military. But all of that being said, I don’t have to like it and I don’t have to stop wishing for something better for me, for my family or for the world at large.

John Lennon’s hit song, “Imagine,” has been regaled as one of the greatest songs of all time, not just in America where we take relative peace and freedom for granted, but around the globe. The sheer popularity of that song over the last 4 decades is a testament to our fundamental belief that a better, kinder, non-violent world is possible. Even if it can’t happen overnight, it can happen and it’s certainly okay to imagine:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

2 thoughts on “i’m not the only one

  1. I understand the sentiment for laying down arms and having worldwide peace and also for being non-violent. I can’t say that I am non-violent in the fact that I would never hesitate to defend my family with efficiency. A saying that we have in an “armed society” is that “an armed society is a polite society” being that responsible armed citizens know that provocation is not in their better interest: non of us want to actually use our firearm ever much like our Police Forces or Armed Forces counterparts, in fact we avoid it at all costs but reserve the right to have the tool if necessary for the job. Armament equalizes an otherwise unequal platform (physical strength can mostly be overcome by being armed much like needing a firearm to defend oneself against a bear). You are correct in your sentiment but, in the words of G Love, the World is not ready. We here are ready but the world is not and, unfortunately, I know enough of my fellow man, having looked down the barrel of a threatening gun myself, that I will stay armed and ready. And I am also an avid hunter which is a different but similar conversation that bleeds into conservation. I hope you find these words at least a point/counterpoint. Either way, I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

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