Robert Stanelle

 shoot first america

I was watching the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and found it was a catalyst for some reflective thinking on my part. In the film, beings from another planet had supposedly come to destroy the human race on earth in order to “save” the earth. Humans were being destroyed because they were destroying the earth. Thus, the only way to save the earth was to destroy the human race. To kill the humans would save the earth and all the other species that inhabit the planet. No one ever explained how we knew this? Maybe they were just tourists coming for a visit?

In the movie, when the aliens arrived in New York City, our police and military immediately opened fire. The aliens had done nothing but arrive. We earthlings spoke not one word in welcome or friendship nor made any attempt to create a dialogue. We simply opened fire. In my opinion, this action spoke directly to the problem with western society in general and particularly the behavior of the United States. The USA loves its guns and the west passion for weapons of all kinds speaks directly to the issue of destroying the earth. To the majority of our “leaders,” if not also to our people, we are a “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality and society. This attitude permeates throughout our society in a deep-rooted way. And that is frightening for the earth and the world.

Guns of all kinds must, for the good of mankind and the earth, be outlawed. As a society though we do not seem to see this, fight violently against it, which in itself is a kind of warped thinking, and refuse to allow any control on our guns. We kill at will – and seem deliriously happy to do so. We kill animals, living beings, small and large, just for the “thrill.” We kill another human being for “looking at me,” cutting in front of your vehicle with theirs, of saying something about our mother. We have no hesitation about firing our guns.

The same is true on a worldwide basis. We “attack” other countries for any excuse. If our “leaders” don’t agree with something another country has done, we attack them in the “name” of democracy. We ignore the fact that democracy is supposed to mean that country can do as they choose, the same right we afford to ourselves, just not to them. Then we wonder why other nations and peoples call us “hypocrites” and “arrogant” and worse? The answer is so obvious – except to so-called “leaders” in the United States. We can “democratically” elect out own leaders – but we tell your country it can’t, unless you choose to elect someone we like and can control. If not, we will refuse to recognize them and do everything we can to overthrow them. We can have missiles – but we tell your country it can’t! We can have nuclear power – but we tell your country it can’t! We can have ice cream – but we tell your country it can’t! We can have anything we want – but we tell your country it can’t – unless, of course we give you permission!

It is all very sad, or should be, for any “thinking” citizen of the U.S.

So that is where the problems of our society and the earth as a whole start, with U.S. “cowboy” arrogance, hypocrisy and a “shoot first” attitude. My thing is bigger than your thing and I’m not afraid to use it! What about other nations you ask? We are the supposed leaders of the world, the most powerful nation. Everything starts with our example, or lack of one, and our examples over the years have not been good.

This attitude has permeated our society in virtually every way possible. There are no morals, honesty or transparency in any kind of business anymore. All advertising on a good day distorts the truth and on a bad day outright lies. It doesn’t matter to the advertiser. Just make money. Shoot first and worry about any lies or damage later.

Drug companies pay millions to lobbyists to lie about their products so as to get them to the market as fast as possible and keep the profits coming in at the expense of the honest but naïve public. Just make money. Shoot first and worry about any lies or damage later.

Banks loan money to people they know can never pay it back in any reasonable time but will pay interest forever, profiting only the banks and hurting badly those consumers who were foolish enough to buy into the banks propaganda. The bank wins and if the people don’t, who cares? Shoot first and worry about any lies or damage later.

Even our athletes have learned to cheat, be it on the field or in the training room. Do whatever you can do win, to be bigger, faster and stronger. Fairness is not even in the vocabulary anymore. Just win, baby! Shoot first and worry about any lies or damage later.

Now I have had individuals tell me they need a gun for “protection,” because the other guy has one so I need to have one to! Ah yes, the “my thing is bigger than your thing syndrome.” Yet how often we have heard or read in the news about someone who had no gun but was killed because the killer thought he saw a gun. Shoot first and worry about covering your posterior later.

I admit that I have never owned a gun of any kind and never had the desire to. I fired a rifle once, at a tin can on by cousin’s farm when I was about fourteen. It did nothing for me but bruise my shoulder. I have been in “fights” twice in my life, once in eighth grade and once in my freshman year in college. Both times because the other guy was hitting me and I had no choice but to defend myself. I “won” them both but I was not proud of myself. I was sore all over for even the winner loses. Violence is the epitome of ignorance. Unfortunately mankind, as a species, appears historically to be quite ignorant.

Now some of you would call be a “wimp,” chicken, gutless or some other derogatory term, and that’s okay if it makes you happy. It really doesn’t bother me in any way. It only saddens me for the state of mankind. As you can guess, I am an “educated” man. Ten years of college and various degrees have turned me into one of those people you can’t stomach or in any way comprehend: a non-violent, over-educated, animal loving, vegetable eating, wine drinking liberal. You turn the other way when you see me or, if not, want to hurt me in some way, with your eyes, your mouth or your body. You can’t with your head. You are not up to that task.

So that’s how I see it. The very root of our societal problems starts with our guns and our attitude about them. They have led to the destruction of our society in a thousand different ways. I remember reading an article some decades back in the “Economist,” a well known British “intellectual” magazine. It stated the U.S. would always have societal problems until it learned to control its guns and its lawyers. As I said, “some decades back.” Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

I fervently hope that one day it will change. It is difficult to be optimistic, but I do pray that one day the good citizenry of the U.S. will rise up and say, “ENOUGH,” and that guns will finally be outlawed, or at least used only to shoot lawyers. When that happens, I’ll look up at the brightest sky and see all the clouds smiling.