Guns - open carry and now concealed carry. I have started to wonder what the real agenda is of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as it has managed now to push more guns into the hands of millions and millions of us, nearly unlimited rights to arm ourselves everywhere.
Playing on fear of things that almost never happen (the guy who invades my house and shows up in a dark shadow hovering over my bed in the night, but then I reach under my pillow, pull out my Glock and blow him away), we are now actually having intense arguments about whether or not even houses of worship ought to have the right to prohibit guns on their premises.
What do they want? Armed protection from the changes that are coming? Armed protection from the hungry masses, from the dispossessed? Armed protection from government authorities protecting rights of 'minorities' and the common good - you know, like the Environmental Protection Authority or National Park Rangers?
What are we arming ourselves for? Because we all know that concealed carry is not making us safer, it is making the human community more frightening. We know that most gun violence occurs in the home. We know that most of our guns, except for the sport of hunting, either go unused or get turned on one another.
And I wonder about a culture so bent on arming itself, so bent on seeing threats everywhere, so afraid and insecure that it thinks purchasing a gun can keep a bad thing from happening.
What I know it has done (and the NRA has proved brilliant in spreading this darkness, this social mental illness) is create more chasms of suspicion and rage among us; it has further divided the human community; it has enhanced the very alienation that we must heal if this state, this culture, is going to find a way through multiple economic and ecological crises with our humanity intact.