Sat Dec 15, 2012, 06:24 AM
MBS (4,911 posts)
The Bell tolls for all of us: Charlie Pierce on the Newtown tragedy and our commonwealth
Last edited Sat Dec 15, 2012, 07:26 AM - Edit history (1)
. . . There's. . little doubt that the primary heroes of the day were schoolteachers — public school teachers — who hid children in closets and saved their lives, and who evacuated the children, leading them out through what had become a killing field in preposterously good order in what were the last hours of their childhoods, as one of the teachers said, with devastating accuracy, to a local TV station. There's also little doubt that the response of the local police and fire departments in a very small place was prompt and brave.
When we go on forever on the blog here about the value of a political commonwealth, and how it is a product of the ongoing creative process of self-government, this kind of response is what we're talking about. There are things we must do together, in a political context, because these things are too big — and, in this case, too monstrous — for us to handle alone.Self-government and its institutions — public schools, police and fire departments, the ridiculously underfunded mental-health facilities, and all the people to whom we increasingly begrudge their salaries — are the only things keeping us from falling back into barbarism, and the only things keeping us safe and sane when one of us falls back into it on their own.
We are our brother's keeper. The bell tolls for all of us. These very old — and, yes, Bryan, very Christian — concepts really do undergird our experiment in self-government. We all have an investment in the institutions through which we apply these concepts to each other and to ourselves. We have to nurture those institutions and guard them, because they are so very much more easily destroyed than they are to build. And, yes, dammit, we have to pay for them, and we have to pay the salaries of the people who work for them, because we are their keepers, too, and because the bell tolls for them the same way it tolls for all of us.
Resist, then, the forces who tell you that the creation and maintenance of that commonwealth is too expensive or too complicated, or that it is an appeal to a time now lost to technology and modernity and the glories of free trade. Resist the frauds and mountebanks who seek to prosper from fragmentation and isolation, and who tell you that your "freedom" exists in a place outside of that creative process of self-government, and that, in fact, the institutions produced by that process are the enemies of that "freedom." Resist, as strongly as you can, the people who seek to profit by isolating you in your homes, and in your anger, and in your wounded sense of aggrieved entitlement, and with all your guns.
10 replies, 2443 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
The Bell tolls for all of us: Charlie Pierce on the Newtown tragedy and our commonwealth (Original post)
Response to MBS (Original post)
Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:09 AM
Maineman (751 posts)
5. Stop Teaching Gun Violence!
Computer games are used to teach math and other subjects. Videos are used to illustrate how to do math and other skills. Children learn how to do math from watching videos and playing computer games. Are we to believe that violent computer games, videos, and movies do not teach violence? Are we to believe that children decide to learn math from computer games, but turn off learning when the game involves shooting people? Are we to believe that children and young adults with mental health problems make this type of distinction? In other words, are we fools and idots? Will we continue to brainlessly accept the marketing spin of video and computer game profiteers when they assure us that violent games and videos do not affect behavior?
Oh, you say the people involved have a right to earn a living? Our Constitution is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not life, liberty, and the pursuit of money. Violence training materials are certainly as big a public nuisance as organized crime. Stop violence education now!
Possession of movies, videos, and computer games that teach, illustrate, or depict gun violence should be banned. Possession of such should be totally illegal including existing products. In 1933, and for forty years thereafter, personal possession of gold was banned, and citizens were required to trade it in, especially gold coins. We can certainly do the same with violence training materials.