DIY, Soldier!

Life in many urban places is too cloistered, bureaucratic, unimaginative and boring these days. And I would argue that in a lot of industrialized regions, there really isn’t that much violence for the population size. But single acts of violence are so publicized and subject to so much fear-mongering that people become intensely affected by them. The other thing is, the good life becomes boring because it lacks drama. I think people are naturally geared towards creating drama for themselves.

Awhile back a sword ban proposal was introduced in UK Parliament, with the intentions of banning the trade, import, and use of real swords in the region. I can think of no other reason to do this except fear of sword violence or youth violence. What’s weird is that I can’t tell if modern industrialized life is better or worse for the lack of violence in it. I mean, violence is bad, but so much traditional culture has deteriorated as industrialized countries introduce more socialized measures and technologically impressive standards of living. As a result, traditional culture has become pretty expensive to uphold. Modern culture has become almost exclusively technological progress, the third phase of Neil Postman’s technological theory.

In general, nobody really knows how to use swords anymore. Some martial artists, historians, military men and sportsmen do, but that’s about it. Isn’t it strange that anyone would want to ban swords when nobody knows how to use them? Or maybe that’s the typical reactionary fear of things one does not understand? I don’t think of myself as a conservative zealot who wants guns and firepower to protect me from the government or whosits. But it’s a weird situation in some places: weapons only exist illegally, so citizens do not carry weapons, but many criminals do. And in some places, weapons are legal so everyone has weapons. It seems like no matter the legislation, weapons just won’t disappear.

The funny thing is, a lot of pro-gun people, for instance those USA citizens who argue for “the right to bear arms”, argue for a kind of anarchistic, Do-It-Yourself, frontiersman existence. Isn’t that quoted line from the USA Bill of Rights a colonial decree? It is, and the attitude hasn’t changed: people who want to own guns for purposes of deterrence (and other personal reasons) are arguing for a way of life that is libertarian and independent from any external protective organization.

Really, I think violence is just more common in harsher economic circumstances. But what is the best course of legislative action? In some ways, when we rely on the government to protect us, they take one step closer towards being the “Big Brother” of Orwellian legend. I see the danger there, but what if a lot of us can’t adequately defend ourselves? Is it just a cruel predatory world out there?


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