08/13/14

Robin the Mensch

RobinWilliams

Robin Williams 1951 – 2014

“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

At first I thought it was just me and my often silly human mind. But I felt the earth move yesterday. Not in the physical realm but in the global consciousness we all share. After bumping into people all day who are close to me, I found I was not alone. Prolonged hugs seemed to be the norm, instead of just saying see you later.

10/2/12

CAMA? Say it isn’t so Stevie Harper.

Why does the Prime Minister of Canada, Steven Harper hate science so much? I pondered.

Over the past year I’ve written many articles of my opinion or rather confoundedness, over the decisions made by the Harper government of Canada. Besides the ever quickening pace of trying to sell and export our limited natural resources as fast as possible, our government is also picking up the pace as to selling the companies that extract said resources, mostly to China. The government openly panders to the energy corporations, yet hinders working Canadians, all the while chiseling away at our basic human rights and civil liberties, especially women’s and children’s, and specifically dismantling most environmental protections and controls. At the same time our government gets rid of the jobs, shuts down the work and tapes shut the mouths of a world renowned, respected science community, especially in natural resources and environmental science and technologies. From constant barrages of omnibus bills to funding cuts to nearly every government agency that deals with the environment and people or the safety and care of both.

We pull out of the Kyoto agreement yet have no national plan to battle climate change and carbon pollution. Local environmentalists and First Nations are branded foreign radicals, with Greenpeace called a “Multi-issue extremist group.” The charitable status of any group that dares to criticize the governments environmental performance or its subsidies for fossil fuels are threatened to be revoked, while journalists follow the lead of their corporate controlled employers by way of the Prime Minister’s office. Anything to do with safeguarding our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans has been gutted or dismantled, such as the Navigable Waters protection Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Fisheries Act.

The incredulous concepts that are entering government policy making should be scaring the bejesus out of you, it does me. Each new decision the federal government makes gives an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It has all seemed so confusing. But if you know history it is yet another remake of the chapter we’ve all seen before and which I will name at the end of this article.

We are already degrading our land and creating ever more inequality amongst people, what’s suddenly the big rush? What is taking prestige over reason? Why the desperate maddening pace and disregard for the earth? Why has reform become a dirty word to politicians? Why is the Harper government so adverse to science and rational debate?

But then a couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I had heard of CAMA, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, no I answered, having no clue. “Check it out”, he replied. And so I did. And the confusion I once felt is gone, now I’m seriously afraid.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance, was formed in 1887 by the Canadian evangelical pastor Albert Benjamin Simpson. Simpson, born on Prince Edward Island in 1843, was raised in a strict Calvinistic Scottish Presbyterian and Puritan tradition, though later he converted to Evangelicalism and was ordained as a Presbyterian pastor. He served churches in Canada and the United States and by 1880 arrived at the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church, in New York City, where he began to put together doctrine which emphasized global evangelism. Moving to what is known as the New York Tabernacle he began to preach his word and eventually his and others words would transform over the decades to become the Christian and Missionary Alliance. CAMA is based out of New York with a strong base of operations in Alberta. There are about 500,000 members in the States, mostly all Republicans and about 130,000 in Canada, mostly all Conservatives and mostly all living in Alberta. They have about three million members worldwide.

The tenets of CAMA’s gospel are; Jesus our savior, sanctifier, healer and coming king, as well as the “pursuit and promotion of the Higher Christian Life.” Their commitment is to promote a biblically-based world view centered on Jesus Christ.

Their values  include developing their pastoral and lay leadership; where women are strictly not allowed, nurturing the pastoral staff and their families, belief in Biblical conflict resolution, encouraging creativity and innovation in submission of spirit, empowering churches and strategic building of churches in all communities of the world. They also have an Environmental Transformational Plan, which describes their “life zones” or spiritual realities, but the plan has taken ecology completely out of context.

CAMA’s Church Planting Life Zone for instance believes in an environment perpetually growing, where “church planters and church congregations pregnant with new church planting ideas would be welcomed, encouraged and assisted in giving birth”, which means building a new church and finding new members is encouraged and would be supported by CAMA, and of course, “sources of funding would be accessed in order to provide a steady stream of resources for church planting opportunities.”  Further, in each Church Planting Zone, “multiplication-minded leaders are motivated and encouraged by catalytic events designed to expand their thinking and accelerate their passion.” Other life zones include the Global Seamless-Link Life Zone, Leadership Life Zone and Pastoral Health Life Zone, all placing much importance upon the church, its executive and the Second Coming of Christ.

Their core values begin with the authority of the bible, literately every word of it as it is written, and leadership, where they state that they intentionally identify and train “godly” leaders. They uphold biblical justice, minister to the poor and oppressed of only their communities, and encourage and strengthen marriages and families. Divorce is frowned upon and if caught as an adulterer one loses their right to ever remarry.

As far as stewardship of the earth they view “all our resources and possessions as God-owned and we use them with integrity, accountability and maximum effectiveness.” The world was created for them to use as they will, that God is sovereign over creation and therefore humans can do no permanent damage.

As to prayer they believe, “We do nothing until we pray”. The Canadian members pray for Canada and its government and that “Godly agendas are required through minority rule.” They pray for those “utterly unreached people group-those under the domination of Islam, closed Hindu and Buddhist nations, etc.” All non-believers of their doctrine are considered the “lost people’. They also pray for their church leaders, pastors and executive to receive the spirit of their God in “remarkable new ways” and for them to be “strategic in service.”

CAMA members truly believe the Second Coming is “imminent and will be personal and visible”. Much like the evangelical Jehovah Witnesses have believed that every year is going to be the last one, since 1870; where Jesus Christ will physically appear on earth and will reign for one thousand years and then there will be the Final Judgment. After which time, the universe, including the microscopic parts of heaven and earth, will be renewed to become a new and fresh heaven and earth. They also believe the world to be only 6,000 years old.

To survive the second coming they pray that their churches have the “budgets, decisions and staffing that reflect their kingdoms values.”  Only those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ will be born again and “justified, sanctified and granted the gift of eternal life as adopted children of God.”

Fields of flowers, blue clear skies, cold crystal clean water and natural resources will be renewed and the chosen one’s will live on, to use the world to their will and a vicious cycle would seemingly begin anew. I know the Bible well, and unfortunately nowhere does one find a story about a Third Coming.

Other  beliefs of CAMA include that the free market is divinely inspired, with libertarian economics being God’s will and that God is opposed to government regulation or taxation for he created government for limited purposes only and whom should never intervene in the workings of a free market economy. They also oddly enough, though I am sure Charles Darwin isn’t their kind of scientist, seem to believe in the new social Darwinism, where the adage has been changed to the survival of the richest, not the fittest, will somehow benefit society and everyone else are simply lacking the motivation and ambition to help themselves.

Besides not having any regard for the environment and not putting any belief in science, they have utter contempt for homosexual relationships, abortion, stem-cell research, euthanasia and the use of marijuana. They demand the complete loyalty of their members to their organization, possess extreme disdain for mainstream media, but then don’t we all in its current state, and believe wholeheartedly in the Dominion Theory, where humans were made to subdue and rule over all of creation. Because when it all collapses, no worries, God will fix it.

Because the Christian and Missionary Alliance do not put any faith in the notion of climate change due to human contribution and don’t think much of science in general, they are closely affiliated to another appendage of themselves in the Cornwall Alliance, a right wing coalition of scholars, evangelicals and economists, many who are Christian Alliance members, and formed in 2000 with the introduction of the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship. Their motto is Dominion, Stewardship and Conservation; they “aspire to a world in which liberty as a condition of moral action is preferred over government-initiated management of the environment as a means to common goals.” Their main threats are science and anything to do with monitoring the environment.  They indeed have a very evangelical biblical view of the planet, but then as do so many other faiths and organizations. It’s why they all despise each other so much, would like very much to rid each other off the planet and to be just left alone, to be the only one left when human endeavor drives off the edge of the cliff. While extremists at both ends of the spectrum seem to have no qualms on creating an Armageddon themselves if they have to, just to prove their points.

Within the Cornwall Declaration are statements that were surreal to read, seemingly out of this world, time and place. I kept looking around, thinking someone was playing a joke on me or perhaps I was even being punk’d. The statements within the declaration include that policies to combat climate change would and are, destroying jobs. Besides, they say the trillions of dollars it would take to combat our affect on the planet would bring “no net benefits.” They also assert that any impediment on economic development such as raising energy prices, would take away the ability of the worlds poor to rise out of poverty, thus “so condemn millions to premature death.” They believe one of the worst things to do would be to continue trying to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, because it will only increase the price of energy and harm the world’s economies. In fact they flat out deny that carbon dioxide is harmful to the planet because it is “essential to all plant growth.” Believing the energy from their God’s planet must be abundant and affordable until the day he soon arrives, they feel fossil and nuclear fuels as being the perfect sources for this. Policies to control global warming they deem, “fruitless and harmful”, because the earth is “self  regulating and self correcting” and besides the earth was made to be used, so that humanity may flourish and display God’s glory.

As far as alternative and renewable forms of energy, they believe that such things as wind and solar power will only be good enough for either “poor or rural peoples.” Going further into the declaration; they do not feel that humanity is only consumers and polluters but instead we are producers and stewards. One of their main goals is to reduce the need for collective ownership and control of both, the earth’s resources and corporations, and if there is to be any collective action it must be taken at the most local level possible. They also wish everyone would just recognize their proper place in their God’s created order.

I began this article asking a few questions about the madness that seems to be enveloping Canada. The denying of science’s role in environmental and social decisions; cutbacks to fading social programs such as unemployment, pensions, health and welfare; the attempt to become a militaristic badass in the world;  the ongoing destruction of our basic human rights; the death of our will to vote; and the insane and desperate need for the status quo to continue.

The outcome of the last federal election, where 39% of those who voted elected a majority Conservative government, brought forth once again, the Harper government. It would seem we Canadians have a democracy problem. According to the Harper government’s agenda and policies, especially at the quickened pace as of late one can only surmise what’s behind such asinine decisions. Well surmise no more.

Yes, kept behind Oz’s curtain, glimpsed at only briefly, with nearly no one knowing, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance for nearly twenty years. He has always been questioned of perhaps having a hidden agenda. He does and it could very well be his God’s agenda, heaven forbid.

Other notable members of CAMA include many TV pastors and healing evangelists such as F.F. Bosworth and Clement Humbard; Billy Graham’s first African-American evangelist, Preston Manning; founder and former leader of the Reform party of Canada, and the now deceased, American Evangelist Billy Graham, who became a member of CAMA in 1933 but who was actually a Democrat and not completely on the religious right, once saying that Jesus did not have a political party.

Another long standing CAMA member is former Canadian Conservative cabinet minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Chuck Strahl, who in June 2012 was proudly given the chairman’s position of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the lone watchdog which oversees Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), by his close friend Stephen Harper. The sounds you should be hearing are the goose bumps bubbling out of your skin.

Is the Prime Minister of Canada really basing his decisions on what Canadians need and want today and tomorrow or instead on what was written by many and then translated dozens of times, two thousand years ago? His positions on research, statistics, protestors, journalists, First Nation’s people, women, children, pipeline opponents and climate change cannot but make one wonder what is exactly going on here. Though with his buddy Strahl now in charge of Canada’s Secret Service we may never know. Heck I could even disappear or be tagged as a radical dissident after this article is posted.

I am not anti-religious, I do believe in spirituality; the spark of energy every living thing on the planet possesses and that we all share. Most organised religions have made a lot of money and gained much power over the millennia trying to control that spark. Usually by making that spark of energy negative and flawed as it were born and the only way to bring light back into it is by sacrifice, devotion and fear of either one god or many gods. On the flip side, whatever belief system a person has to keep them feeling centered, their lives rewarding, fulfilled and honest is right for them, for the Canadian Charter of Rights protects the freedom of religion, but it also protects our rights of freedom from religion. This is one of the reasons Canada is such a diverse place, where no matter one’s personal religion or race, its live and let live.

But if a Republican evangelical belief system enters the Canadian Prime Minister’s office, we Canadians should know about it, and seriously consider “the virtues of democracy over theocracy.” Remember, everyone not within the republican evangelical tribe are the “lost people” or “the others”, especially if you happen to be disabled, elderly, poor or a veteran.

More frequently, the Harper government’s policies are going against most Canadian’s values, with the words irresponsible, unethical, blatant and arrogant being bandied about more than usual. Any programs for promotion of renewable energy and home-energy efficiency have been thrown to the wayside. Yet in reality, investing in renewable energy will create more jobs than the fossil fuel industry ever could and the investment would be highly likely to pay off, it has to, for survival’s sake. Unfortunately the Harper government is continuing to rely on our economics to grow their way out of the problem of climate change and  haven’t realized yet that it will be too little too late and will not work. The earth does not care about economics. Instead of dealing with the causes of climate change it seems the world’s leaders would rather “watch the ice melt and then divide up the spoils.”

The English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was often referred to as the “prince of paradox” for his prolific and diverse published works. He was a true radical, meaning he sought the root or origin of an issue, any issue and eventually became a Catholic to boot. Over seventy years ago he would write, “The old hypocrite was a man whose aims were really worldly and practical, while he pretended that they were religious. The new hypocrite is one whose aims are really religious, while he pretends that they are worldly and practical.” He felt government was going to operate in a way where, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected”, quite astute that Gilbert, I do say.

Meanwhile we Canadians have another three years with PM Stephen Harper as our country’s leader. The question of where does his ideas come from, whether from fellow Canadians or from God, needs to be asked. Is policy, especially towards the environment, really being motivated by religious faith over reason? But then whether religion is a factor in government policies or just plain old greed, they are both of the same cloth. It is being proven daily that the diffusion of aggressive social conservatism based on evangelical beliefs is impossible to keep out of politics here or in the States. The difference is in the States they are oblivious to how ignorant they are to their ignorance and in Canada we just don’t hear about it and simply don’t ask. As far as the media and Stephen Harper’s religious affiliation goes it’s been mum’s the word.

The vision of a conservative society, where the privileged few would rule but understand the responsibility that came with such power, of being accountable to all citizens, whether they be poor or not, and who would act only for the common good, was held by many great leaders over the past century. Since killing off some of these great leaders in the late 60’s, the new religion that has become termed “conservatism” has arose, widening even further the inequality of our society, ignorant to any responsibility to the people or the public good, and is ego maniacal, quasi-psychopathic and greedy.

What will our environment and society look like in three years? Will we have sold off most of our resources by then and continue to ignore extreme weather and a ravaged oil soaked land and sea, as our infrastructure crumbles around us, with too high food prices, more starvation and ill health?  Will most social programs once supplied by the government be gone and communities will be more on their own and somehow funding themselves instead? Will homosexuality once again become stigmatized, forbidden and eventually against the law like abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia and protest of any kind could very well be?  Will a new private prison corporation build more prisons to house people who were either caught or even suspected of smoking a joint? Perhaps more fines, impoundments, licence removal and in many cases, jobs lost, because there will be zero tolerance for drinking and driving, with the limit point oh oh. How far shall I go here? Switch over and start reading George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, all over again to verify how much truth and foresight both authors spoke? Especially Orwell’s notion of “doublethink”, which means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously, which could be the Harper government’s problem believing in greed and God at the same time.

The Conservative right, on both sides of the border, may have abandoned truth and fact but we must not. The facts are the obligations to the things that matter in our lives, such as our health, meaningful work, family and our environment. One of the reasons our cultures are fracturing apart and decaying is because of our use of disengagement and distraction as an excuse for our ignorance; it is eating away at our souls. We continue to buy what corporate governments sell and lose value in the simple truth. While empathy, which has been taught over the past few decades as being “soft” and which is nearly extinct in many places, is actually as powerful as intelligence and knowing the facts in being a force with which to act. But we have been disengaged for so long we’ve forgotten how to drive standard.

First gear definitely has to be asking if indeed our future is being planned by ourselves and those who represent us or being dictated upon corporate ideology and make believe. Switching gears should be easier after that especially when more and more people realize that they are not alone. There are so many good things being done to better the planet and our lives, by many people, companies and yes, even a few corporations, the world over. Unfortunately the richest corporation’s ravenous quickening pace is leaving a diseased, spoiled wasteland behind.

I’d love to ask Stephen Harper; What if we destroy the ecosystems and non-human species of the planet, change the climate, melt the polar ice caps, acidify the oceans and rivers, use up all the earth’s resources and Jesus Christ does not arrive? No sign at all, no phone call, nothing, what then?

Ending this article as if I had included a drawing I did of Muhammad, I ask what of humanity in the scenario above? Would the laws that would have been put in place by then, which is not so far off as many think, be similar to the laws that became the Nuremberg Laws of Citizenship and Race, released in Germany in 1935, by the degenerate psychopathic Adolf Hitler? The first law of this doctrine is similar to many documents worldwide, though in this case “kindred blood” sort of curls one’s nose hairs. But say the word “Reich”, was replaced with the Harper Conservatives of Canada, if indeed influenced by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the word “German” perhaps replaced with Evangelical. This could be the new Charter of Rights they desperately seek. The Republicans in the States would fit the bill as well and we know what carrot they are blindly following.

“A citizen of the Reich may be only one who is of German or kindred blood, and who through his behaviour, shows that he is both desirous and personally fit to serve loyally the German people and the Reich.”

And so it began. More laws were to be added, starting with the simple banning of homosexuals, Jews and most all religions, foreigners, undesirables, the homeless and poor and elderly, writers, dissidents, thinkers, artists and many other “lost people”, whether man, woman or child. The banning would then become incarceration in work camps, with the final step being the Jewish issue, which was taken care of a few years later when Hitler attached another law, a Conservative Harper, omnibus type bill, which was called the “Final Solution” and after the smoke cleared, more than14 million people, 6 million of them Jews, had faced their Final Judgment and would die, because they were not members of his tribe.

Do we not bring up such past evils and horror; so that we can make sure they never happen again? This time though, the earth will soon be incapable of handling the human drama of our egos, the way we live, think and treat each other and it. We must not continue on being dismissive any longer or go “quietly into the night”. The Second Coming is nearing, but it’s got nothing to do with God and everything to do with us and our actions as a species today.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

Further reading;

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/religions-fair-game-if-it-motivates-politics/article4450326/

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/lifestyle/article.jsp?content=20060220_121848_121848

 

09/28/11

Murder by Gun

 

 

 

deaths mask

For people who live in remote areas, land or sea, having a long rifle or shotgun, is simply the evolvement of weapons, where instead of throwing a rock or spear one can now shoot game more humanely and quickly, whether for protection or for food for our families. In the cities, urban living target shooters, the majority being hand gun users, take courses and earn the privilege of being licensed to have a weapon, as well as being registered as such. Most of these people are fairly responsible people. The problem in our societies is when the bad guys get a hold of a gun, or someone jealous, angry or mad has a gun or can get one. The gun is then not used to supply food for oneself, family and community nor for the enjoyment of basically playing darts using bullets, where instead of a dartboard one uses the silhouette of a human, while wearing headphones in a controlled environment and can fire away as much as they can afford, the gun instead is used to murder someone. But then as far as using a gun to do harm on another is but one way we assault and kill each other. In Canada and the United States, the majority of murders are by a firearm, most always a handgun. The next most popular way of ending someone else’s life is by using a knife, then fists and feet, blunt objects and other devious ways and methods. The use of firearms and weapons militarily, thus politically will not be included here. But on the bright side, the murder rate is actually going down, worldwide.

In most all countries in the developed world, the murder rates are between one and four per 100,000 of the population, with the lowest rates in Japan and Iceland, with nearly nil. Canada’s murder rate is below two per 100,000. The countries with the highest rates of murder include South Africa, Jamaica, Venezuela, Russia, Mexico and Columbia.

Over the last decade it is estimated that about half a million people have been murdered worldwide, each year, with 90% of these murders committed by males between the ages of 18 and 30. For women, globally, murder has become the leading cause of death in the workplace, with female victims most frequently killed by a former intimate partner or another family member, with 84% of all murders done by someone who is known to the victim. In America, workplace homicide is the fastest growing category of murder.

In 2010 Brazil was right up there at the top, as is its population, with about 40,000 murders. The rest include; India, one of the world’s largest populations, with about 30,000 murders, South Africa, 20,000, Russia, 16,000, Mexico, 15,000, United States, 13,000, Jamaica, 1,600, France, 1000, Canada, 580 and Chile with 200 murders.

America alone has over 45 million citizens owning nearly 200 million firearms, including over 66 million handguns, with 25% of Americans owning a firearm. It is estimated that firearms actually available in the States is well over 220 million. So how is this working out for them? And comparatively as possible, what about murder by gun in Canada?

In the past year there were 12,996 murders in the United States, nearly 68% of these, 8,775, were caused by firearms. There are no current numbers for Florida on gun murders and Illinois’ murder stats are incomplete. The nation’s capital, Washington, District of Columbia, has the highest murder rate in the country with sixteen murders per 100,000 people. DC also leads the country in firearms per robberies. Since September 11, 2001, and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, America has had over 140,000 people murdered, far overshadowing the combined deaths of military personal in both Afghanistan and Iraq, which today stands at 6,113 deaths and over 45,000 wounded after nearly ten years of conflict. In comparison, Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan from Feb. 2002 to June 2011 has caused the deaths of 156 military personal. Over the same time frame there were over 5,000 people murdered in Canada.

Of the States, the most murders overall by firearms happen in California with over 1,800 in 2010, followed by Texas, 1,246 and New York with 860. California also leads America in murder by handgun, followed by Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Georgia. Oddly the most assaults by firearms, is not in California or Texas but in Tennessee, followed by South Carolina, Missouri, District of Columbia and Arkansas. The States with the least gun murders are Vermont, Wyoming, South and North Dakota and New Hampshire. Sadly, with penitentiaries replacing the cotton fields, the leading cause of death for African-American males, 15 to 34 years old, is murder.

Nearly 70% of the total murders committed in the United States are murder by gun while in Canada, 30% of all murders are by firearms, with 7.7 million firearms registered to nearly a million gun-license holders. As far as registration of firearms laws and the murder rate, they have nothing to do with each other. Whether a country forces registration of firearms by it’s citizens or not, does not affect the murder rate. It’s like what was brought up during the most excellent film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Prohibition, when the United States enacted, since repealed, the 18th amendment to their constitution that prohibited the selling and drinking of alcohol, which did not take care of the abuse of alcohol and that, “Trying to legislate morality does not work”.

In Canada, from 2002 – 2009, 1,466 guns were used in homicides, of these, 133 were registered, 360 were not registered and  over 65%, 973 guns, listed as unknown origin, not recovered or serial numbers were removed. In 2002 there were 40 murders by rifle (long gun) by 2009 it had dropped 27% to 29 deaths by rifle. The total number of murders in 2009 was 610 with 179 homicides by firearms, 69% (112) of them involved a handgun, the weapon of choice for gang-related violence. In 2010 homicides dropped to 554.

In 2009/2010 there were 263 murder cases before the Criminal Courts of Canada, only half  (131) were found guilty, with the median length of a murder conviction being five years and an attempted murder conviction  averaging four and a half years.

Despite enormous and incredible improvements in forensics the percentage of murders solved has dropped. In the United States, in 1960, 90% of murders were solved. By 2007 that figure had dropped to 61%, with the biggest reasons being a lack of witness participation and the number of investigators on the case.

It’s encouraging that murders by firearms and crime overall is dropping. If we could tackle the problems associated with gang violence we would be well on our way to seeing far less murders by guns. But unfortunately we are a culture that glorifies violence and far too often, a culture that shows disrespect to authority. We will forever scream about our rights but ignore anything to do with responsibility. We sensationalize violence, especially when it has something to do with shooting and/or explosives and has sufficient blood splatter. Meanwhile there are many other ways we are killing ourselves.

For example, suicide in the United States, which we do not glorify nor think, is sexy, outnumbers homicide by 2 to 1. Worldwide, at least 10-20 million people attempt to kill themselves, with over one million successful in their attempt, with over 60% of all suicides happening in Asia. Suicide is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide, and the leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 25 years old. The reasons are varied but are all related to why we will hang ourselves and/or shoot a person with a gun, stab them with a knife or just beat them with our fists and are the causes which we should be focussed on, such as despair, mental disorders, depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism and drug abuse, with the two things most associated with suicide being depression and alcohol abuse. Over 30% of all suicides is because of an intimate partner problem, with over 30% of the world populations admitting they have said at least once, that they were going to take their own life. In fact, depression will soon be the 2nd leading cause of disability behind heart disease in the world.

Violence to ourselves or to others is all about not handling pressures and misfortunes in our lives, such as financial difficulties and interpersonal relationships. I don’t believe guns will ever go away, nor will suicide, but we can cut them down as to the problems, hardship, heartache, expense and loss that they bring to our society. But we can’t wait for the authorities to take care of the problem, and it must start at the community level, with our children and in our homes, and most importantly we must rediscover empathy. We have got to rethink the long held story that has been told to us that we are by nature, aggressive, materialistic, utilitarian and self-interested, when in reality we are by nature an empathic species, with empathy being a word based on the meanings of affection, passion and feeling and defined as the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better; the ability to share in another’s emotions, thoughts, or feelings. And only then can we begin to hope for a better tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

References:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/05/gun-control-homicide-rates-not-linked-study/

Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition of American English, Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1988.

Rifkin, Jeremy, The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy P. Tarcher / Penguin Group(USA) Inc, New York, 2009.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/sep/27/gun-crime-map-statistics

https://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/165476.txt

http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subjectsujet/subthemesoustheme.action?pid=2693&id=2102&lang=eng&ore=0

http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/LEGAL01-eng.htm

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11293-eng.htm#a24

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Canada

 

photo:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/borjamatic/2477202464/