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Seriously, Why Are We Outraged When Police or Anyone Else Kills Another — It’s What Man Does and Has Been Doing for Millennia

Maybe it’s time we REALLY looked at how to change the behavior that’s causing this

By Joe LucaPublished 2 years ago 10 min read
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I just finished reading an eye-opening book by John McWhorter, called Woke Racism and it got me stirred up.

Not just on the subject of racism (which it did, but more on that later) but on the topic of being a human being.

Something I happen to have a lot of fondness for.

Today is looking unnervingly like ten years ago or the 1970s or any period within my lifetime.

We have Russia massing troops on the border of Ukraine — again, in yet another game of brinkmanship by Mr. Putin.

We have shootings continuing to rise in the US and elsewhere during the never-ending pandemic, along with nerves fraying like at no other time in recent history.

All of which makes us wonder — what the F**k is going on — and didn’t we just watch this movie a few years ago?

When Too Much Seems Not Enough

As politics in the US draws ever closer to resembling a TV Game Show and reason and logic seem to be on hiatus, I start reading — a lot.

It’s what I do when I get anxious. When I feel that the world is misbehaving and I am losing my ability to do anything about it.

I read. I think about what others are doing — good and bad — but focus on the good and fixable — as I try to offset the ongoing trauma of living in a violent world.

Death is inevitable. If the Pandemic has not made that notion abundantly clear to everyone on earth — while forcing all of us to rethink how we live our lives — then I’m not exactly sure what would.

And it’s not that who and what Man is has significantly changed over the past two years — say compared to the last two thousand — it’s just that the flaking façade that was clinging on for dear life, has finally been blown off, revealing more of our true nature.

All of which points to the undeniable fact that Man is seriously slipping into an even more bizarre form of target practice against itself.

That beyond the current circumstances motivating such actions: A global pandemic, economic chaos, isolation fatigue, and people being cooped up in the same apartment far too long — Man seems even more hellbent on exacting revenge for his condition on others.

Not in running up to them and shouting expletives while dumping a Vente Frappuccino on their heads, but in planning a rampage.

In getting out a yellow pad and outlining how they will procure a weapon, locate a target, stake out that target, and buy the right clothing to look the part as they right a wrong — whatever that might be.

And the thing is, this behavior ain’t new.

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Schools and churches and opposing groups have been the target of rage for as far back as man found the time to record such things and perhaps wonder, even back then, why it kept happening.

But if they did do any serious thinking about this problem back in the long ago; if scholars and philosophers sat quietly for extended periods, thinking why this was — well, whatever they discovered either didn’t produce any meaningful change or they forgot to publish it and whatever advances there may have been, died with them.

Needless to say, the desire to right a wrong with a fist or a good joust has gone by the boards and we seem to be deeply mired in violent solutions.

And this is not simply when juxtaposing a person in authority with a person who may or may not be committing a crime but with various people in many diverse groups who have some bone of contention to pick with another and feel that deadly action is the only solution.

And the question that rears its rather confused head in all of this, is — why does a solution have to be a violent one?

We’ve been down the road of over-policing. Of firehoses and dogs masquerading as order. We’ve been on the brink time and again in inconsequential border fights between countries with the necessity to flex some innate muscles wrapped neatly around the urge to be right.

And the results, time and again are dismal.

And yet, we repeat ourselves.

Facts in Evidence . . .

According to Amnesty International:

• More than 500 people die every day from gun violence — that would be 182,500 per year. (45,000 in the US alone in 2020 according to the CDC.)

• 44% of all homicides globally involve gun violence

• There were 1.4 million firearm-related deaths globally between 2012 and 2016.

And if we were wondering how this could possibly continue — also according to Amnesty International:

• There are 8 million new small arms and up to 15 billion rounds of ammunition produced each year.

That’s small arms, and not the larger variety we routinely see men waving about while riding in 4 X 4s throughout the world.

The thing is — Man has been killing or harming Man for various and sundry reasons for as long as there have been people to kill and harm. And if we’re not doing it on the battlefields and in the streets, we’re doing it in Coliseums, in movies, and in video games.

It’s what we do.

And interestingly enough, it’s what we don’t do as well. That is — take all of this seriously enough.

And it’s not because some $billion study was recently undertaken, that concluded that Man has a tendency to take out his frustrations in the form of violent acts.

It’s that history and those few who have chronicled it, kept writing about battles being fought, conflicts being engaged in and Crusades being undertaken all to save some idea or other, in every century since written language was invented.

And if there wasn’t a bona fide reason for raising arms and fighting to protect ourselves — like a plague of locusts or invading Aliens — we simply made shit up.

And even in our Oral Traditions, where myths and creation stories are passed down from generation to generation, there are always aspects of them that contain violent acts that we take for granted.

Perhaps when living next to a volcano, ten thousand years ago, one was hard-pressed to not consider the earth a violent place.

And even though in some areas today this is still the case, we have become more enlightened over the millennia, haven’t we?

We can see things more clearly and can argue more reasonably about what should and shouldn’t be done to solve a disagreement, right?

Violence on TV, Movies, In Homes and Everywhere Else

We are creatures of habit. We like our steak with potatoes and beer and our pretzels with salt. We like our football on Sundays and our BBQs in the backyard.

We watch others and mimic their actions as a way of learning and we do this while watching dad and mom engage or big brother icing over the backyard to play hockey with friends during winter.

And yet, when we see violence on TV or in the Movies. When we watch comic book driven extravaganzas, with enough CG horsepower to literally take us to the moon, we simply don’t associate 89 minutes of people, places, and planets blowing up with anything being particularly troubling.

When we play first person shooter video games and spend hours within an amazingly crafted world of color and texture, we see no problem with killing thousands of aliens while talking shit with our fellow gamers.

Little boys going pow-pow with their replica six-shooters in the backyard have long since been elevated to virtually created realities that allow us to set aside our sense of proportion and engage in acts of senseless violence while being completely detached from the notion that maybe we’re teaching ourselves and others something we shouldn’t be.

We know, that as adults we need to watch what we do or say in front of the children because they’re like sponges and they’ll end up doing it themselves.

And yet when we engage in violence as entertainment, we feel comfortable in asserting that there’s no real link between watching violence and being violent.

It is curious though, how this human trait of mimicry gets turned off for some activities but not others.

So, What Are We Doing?

Studies in the US and elsewhere are showing that children, on average, are spending less time outdoors each day than their parents did. And I would venture a guess that their parents spent less time outdoors than our grandparents did.

There are even more studies, hundreds in fact, that show a direct connection between children being exposed to green spaces (we used to refer to this as outside) and having better health, lower weight, and vision problems, in addition to better learning and cognitive development.

Is there a trend here? If they are not outdoors playing games with friends or throwing a frisbee to their dogs, then they are likely inside doing homework, right?

We Are Who We Are

Humans are competitive creatures. We spend tens of billions each year paying athletes in various sports to compete in leagues throughout the world in stadiums large enough to house a small city’s population.

Billions of pints of beers and probably trillions of hot dogs, bratwurst, and pretzels are consumed while watching these games, while also enduring countless dust-ups and riots when our team loses or is disrespected, and sometimes, even when they win.

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We argue that we’re the best, or our teams are the best and if words fail us, then fists are always available to tip the scales.

We watch movies — mostly comedies — where 30 vehicles randomly crash and burn in madcap madness and not once do, we wonder — did anybody actually die. Why? Because it’s a movie or video game and real people don’t die in movies and video games. Only evil villains and insect-like Aliens from outer space.

We watch cars riddled with hundreds of .50-millimeter machine gun rounds and think nothing of it when the occupants crawl out safely after the car flips over 17 times.

In other words, we create REALTIES for consumption that are — completely UNREAL.

Violence has taken on the look and feel of a comic book or a campy 1960’s TV show. Where no matter the violence no harm is ever done, nor should anyone watching be unduly alarmed that anyone ever will be.

Where humans defy physics and are propelled through the air (usually encased in a reworked Chevy Camaro) at 100 MPH, landing on two tires, inside a moving cargo plane, that’s flying upside down.

So, does it come as any real surprise that in 2020 and 2021, people are beginning to feel the annoying tingling sensation as our collective consciousness begins to awaken from centuries of numbness?

Final Thoughts

  • We can’t say emphatically that playing violent video games creates violent behavior in people, especially children. The science isn’t all there yet we are told. Though it does seem close. Maybe it needs a few more years to be really sure.
  • We can’t say that using guns, by police or anyone else, is never right, because sometimes it is justified. And it is a constitutional right. And we do like feeling empowered by possessing one.
  • We can’t say that man is hopelessly destined to exact revenge or restitution through violence — because we are also optimistic and hopeful creatures and that would be too damn depressing.
  • We can’t or won’t say that violent behavior can be trained out of us because that would be too invasive. Too much into our business, like demanding that we wear masks to help stop the spread of a disease. We know what’s right — even when we don’t do it. That too is our right.
  • We know that spending upwards of $1Trillion per year globally on war efforts, war readiness, war games, and warriors is not the greatest thing, but not unlike the war on drugs — we are so far into this effort that it would be monumentally embarrassing to admit that we got it wrong and don’t know how to change our behavior. And anyway, the stuff that’s being made is really pretty cool.
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Being shocked, dismayed, or disillusioned by violence is natural. It would be downright alarming if we stopped feeling these things. But shock, disillusionment, and dismay must be followed by action. Direct intentional actions and not random acts of distraction.

When lives are lost in the streets it is pointless to only target police or those in authority and threaten to take away funds, power, or presence. That’s like pointing a finger at the tree that fell on your car during a storm and shouting — Bad Tree!

We need to focus on the forces behind the acts that we don’t want anymore. And I don’t mean deep-diving into conspiracy theories.

All people are trained throughout their lives to do and say what they end up doing and saying.

Not in classrooms with curricula entitled — How to be an Asshole or Ten Weeks to Becoming a Tyrant. But in real-world situations over and over again.

· Yes, some children brought up in violent households do not end up being violent. God bless their will and determination. But many more do.

· Many children growing up in abusive families end up being abusers themselves.

· Many children are raised to respect both guns and the sanctity of life and never ever make the mistake of believing one human being is less valuable than another.

But with every success, there is a failure and we need to own the fact that society does end up producing those we would honestly like to avoid.

But common sense is still lurking in the corners watching what is going on. If children mimic parents and older children and model their behavior after them, and we have accepted this fact since forever, then we better start acting in ways that we will not regret, if our children start imitating us.

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True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”-George Orwell.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”–Marie Curie.

“Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”-Albert Einstein.

“It’s time for us to turn to each other, not on each other.” -Jesse Jackson.

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About the Creator

Joe Luca

Writing is meant to be shared, so if you have a moment come visit, open a page and begin. Let me know what you like, what makes you laugh, what made you cry - just a little. And when you're done, tell a friend. Thanks and have a great day.

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