0
   

"The Mindless Menace of Violence"

 
 
aidan
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 06:34 am
I didnt' know where to put this - so I put it here- if it's the wrong place for it, I apologize.

I watched "Bobby" the movie about Robert Kennedy's assassination the other night. His voice speaking these words played over the end credits.

The next day I woke up to the news of the shootings in Illinois. I can't be sure, but I believe that in the six months I've been back living in the US, there has been at least one random, mass shooting each month.

I realized that I don't even bother to read the details of them anymore.

And it reminded me of this speech by Robert Kennedy. How sad that forty years later - our country is still beset by violence.

And I wonder if Americans know that people in other countries don't live the way we do in America- afraid of our fellow countrymen (and even elderly women pushing grocery carts).

That's why I can't live here anymore. I am tired of viewing others and having them view me, as the enemy. And I know it doesn't have to be that way.

Anyway - this is a great speech. He was a great writer- and I think more of a sincere humanitarian than his more famous brother.
He made this speech the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Quote:
On the Mindless Menace of Violence

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.


Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
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OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 04:47 pm
Re: "The Mindless Menace of Violence"
aidan wrote:
I didnt' know where to put this - so I put it here- if it's the wrong place for it, I apologize.

I watched "Bobby" the movie about Robert Kennedy's assassination the other night.
His voice speaking these words played over the end credits.

The next day I woke up to the news of the shootings in Illinois.
I can't be sure, but I believe that in the six months I've been back living in the US,
there has been at least one random, mass shooting each month.

Were the victims in sufficiently humble n docile obedience
to the gun control laws ??


or were thay prepared to defend themselves ?





Quote:
I realized that I don't even bother to read the details of them anymore.

And it reminded me of this speech by Robert Kennedy.

How sad that forty years later - our country is still beset by violence.

With all respect,
and in all candor: what were u expecting ??

I am confident that when that happened those years ago,
no one in America predicted that in 40 more years ( nor any other number of years )
that there 'd be no violence here.
There has been violence since the dawn of man,
and during all the millions of years of human existence ( depending on how u define human ).

By what reasoning wud anyone believe that it wud come to a halt in 40 years ??
No one even entertained the possibility.






Quote:

And I wonder if Americans know that people in other countries don't live the way we do in America-
afraid of our fellow countrymen (and even elderly women pushing grocery carts).

Do u know someone who is afraid of our fellow countrymen ?
I don 't remember ever running into anyone of that description.
Obviously, one shud be careful where one goes
and always be properly well armed to deal with such situations as may arise.





Quote:
That's why I can't live here anymore.

U r leaving again ?




Quote:
I am tired of viewing others and having them view me, as the enemy.

Did someone vu u as the enemy ?




Quote:
And I know it doesn't have to be that way.

Anyway - this is a great speech.
He was a great writer-

Do u know who wrote it ?



Quote:
and I think more of a sincere humanitarian than his more famous brother.

Maybe; depending on how u choose to define it.
The Kennedys were not good Americans.
The ring of freedom -- personal freedom -- was alien to their minds.
The Kennedys held freedom in disdain.

He quotes Lincoln, hereinbelow, as follows:
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln,
"there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet;
and those who take such appeal
are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

I noticed on the Military Channel this morning that
Abraham Lincoln ordered the assassination of President Jefferson Davis
and the entire cabinet of the Confederate States of America
and sent a Union raiding party to execute the order.

The rebels intercepted the raiders and found out about Lincoln 's plot,
then retaliated, more successfully, against Lincoln.
Shud he have taken his own advice ?





Quote:

He made this speech the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Quote:
On the Mindless Menace of Violence

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.


Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 06:18 pm
Re: "The Mindless Menace of Violence"
Quote:
Were the victims in sufficiently humble n docile obedience
to the gun control laws ??


or were thay prepared to defend themselves ?

I would deduce that they were not prepared to defend themselves.
But I would ask- why should we have to live day to day in expectation of and prepared to defend ourselves against violence?

Quote:
How sad that forty years later - our country is still beset by violence.

With all respect,
and in all candor: what were u expecting ??[/QUOTE]
I was a little child David. I can't be sure, but I think I was expecting that I'd be living in a world that was safe for me to live in.
Quote:
I am confident that when that happened those years ago,
no one in America predicted that in 40 more years ( nor any other number of years )
that there 'd be no violence here.
There has been violence since the dawn of man,
and during all the millions of years of human existence ( depending on how u define human ).

Yes, but you have to admit that it all seems to have accelerated somewhat- and I'm talking about violence here in the US in the last forty years - I'm not talking about throughout history in all the countries in the world.

Quote:
By what reasoning wud anyone believe that it wud come to a halt in 40 years ??
No one even entertained the possibility.

By a child's hopeful and idealistic vision of the world. I guess I just hoped it would be different than it is. Maybe it has nothing to do with reason.

Quote:
Quote:

And I wonder if Americans know that people in other countries don't live the way we do in America-
afraid of our fellow countrymen (and even elderly women pushing grocery carts).

Do u know someone who is afraid of our fellow countrymen ?

Yes, ME! As a woman, I've always had to be somewhat afraid of what might happen to me in this country, and take precautions and be hyperaware of what was going on around me.
Quote:
I don 't remember ever running into anyone of that description.
Obviously, one shud be careful where one goes
and always be properly well armed to deal with such situations as may arise.

I have lived places where that is not the case at all - or certainly not to the extent that it is true here.

Quote:
Quote:
That's why I can't live here anymore.

U r leaving again ?

Yep - back to England. And with every passing day in which I read a newspaper, I am convinced that my children and I will be able to live a freer and safer existence there than here.

Quote:
Quote:
I am tired of viewing others and having them view me, as the enemy.

Did someone vu u as the enemy ?

Not me specifically - at least I don't think so. You've met me - that would be pretty silly wouldn't it Laughing - I think I'm about as far from anyone's idea of an enemy that anyone could possibly imagine. But I do think that people are so much more guarded and suspicious of anyone who is a stranger to them here - and I don't enjoy it. In England - you can sit at a table in a restaurant and within five minutes you will have made a new friend. It's just not like that here.

Quote:
Quote:
And I know it doesn't have to be that way.

Anyway - this is a great speech.
He was a great writer-

Do u know who wrote it ?

Well, obviously I THOUGHT Robert F. Kennedy did. Go ahead- burst my bubble- who wrote it?

Quote:
Quote:
and I think more of a sincere humanitarian than his more famous brother.

Maybe; depending on how u choose to define it.
The Kennedys were not good Americans.
The ring of freedom -- personal freedom -- was alien to their minds.
The Kennedys held freedom in disdain.

David - I don't define people by nationality. I don't even know or care how a good American differs from a good Nigerian. I just like good people with good ideas.
Quote:

He quotes Lincoln, hereinbelow, as follows:
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln,
"there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet;
and those who take such appeal
are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

I noticed on the Military Channel this morning that
Abraham Lincoln ordered the assassination of President Jefferson Davis
and the entire cabinet of the Confederate States of America
and sent a Union raiding party to execute the order.

The rebels intercepted the raiders and found out about Lincoln 's plot,
then retaliated, more successfully, against Lincoln.
Shud he have taken his own advice ?

WOW! Now that's interesting and something I hadn't heard before. Obviously he should have.
Quote:

Quote:

He made this speech the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Quote:
On the Mindless Menace of Violence

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.


Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
[/QUOTE]

I like it - don't you?

Today's not the day for me to talk about gun laws or lack thereof. A very accomplished young lady (whom I didn't know) was found shot to death on the street of a town I know intimately- her body dumped like a piece of trash. She was twenty-two years old and the president of the student body of UNC- Chapel Hill. I lived there and went to school there and walked there many, many times - and to think that this kind of violence has revisited a place like that and that someone like this promising young woman has been claimed by it - just makes me sick.

I understand that if she had been carrying a gun - she might still be alive. BUT SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT THAT!!! She should have been able to go about her life without worrying about being shot through the right temple by some maniac with a gun.

I am so sick of reading about the murders of innocent people in this country. It's not about guns for me - it's beyond that. It's just that violence seems to be everyone's answer to everything. And everyone seems so quick to take offense and react. And I do think that tendency seems peculiarly American.

It doesn't make me happy to think this. It makes me sad.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 09:13 pm
Re: "The Mindless Menace of Violence"
aidan wrote:
Quote:
Were the victims in sufficiently humble n docile obedience
to the gun control laws ??


or were thay prepared to defend themselves ?

Quote:
I would deduce that they were not prepared to defend themselves.
But I would ask- why should we have to live day to day in expectation of
and prepared to defend ourselves against violence?

We don 't do that.
I don 't do that; ( I have felt safe since the first time I armed myself at age 8 ).
Its like a motorist who does not drive in fear of getting a flat,
but he has a spare and a jack in the trunk anyway, just in case.



Quote:
How sad that forty years later - our country is still beset by violence.



Quote:
I was a little child David.
I can't be sure, but I think
I was expecting that I'd be living in a world that was safe for me to live in.

U were RIGHT; no one ever shot at U.




Quote:
I am confident that when that happened those years ago,
no one in America predicted that in 40 more years ( nor any other number of years )
that there 'd be no violence here.
There has been violence since the dawn of man,
and during all the millions of years of human existence ( depending on how u define human ).


Quote:
Yes, but you have to admit that it all seems to have accelerated somewhat-
and I'm talking about violence here in the US in the last forty years -
I'm not talking about throughout history in all the countries in the world.

That is an illusion.
Since gun control began getting repudiated and rejected in 40 out of the 50 states,
in 1987 in Florida, with the others following,
crime has PLUMMETED because it became too dangerous for criminals.
Interviewing them in prison, thay said so themselves.
Thay r not afraid of the police; thay r afraid of danger from armed victims.


Quote:
By what reasoning wud anyone believe that it wud come to a halt in 40 years ??
No one even entertained the possibility.

Quote:
By a child's hopeful and idealistic vision of the world.
I guess I just hoped it would be different than it is.
Maybe it has nothing to do with reason.

Lemme get this straight:
if someone had asked u what u were thinking,
in your childhood, the correct answer wud have been
that u were hoping that violence wud end all of a sudden,
within the next 40 years ?




Quote:
Quote:

And I wonder if Americans know that people in other countries don't live the way we do in America-
afraid of our fellow countrymen (and even elderly women pushing grocery carts).

Do u know someone who is afraid of our fellow countrymen ?

Quote:
Yes, ME! As a woman, I've always had to be somewhat afraid of what
might happen to me in this country, and take precautions and be
hyperaware of what was going on around me.

There was a scandal in the press a few years ago
of a woman who got hit on the head, and seriously injured,
by a demented bum in the street, wielding a cement block, or fragment thereof.
Maybe thay have no demented bums in England or in Europe,
or no cement block fragments.

When I walk down the street, I have no emotion of any kind,
unless it relates to where I am going ( e.g., a good meal with good friends ).







Quote:
I don 't remember ever running into anyone of that description.
Obviously, one shud be careful where one goes
and always be properly well armed to deal with such situations as may arise.

Quote:
I have lived places where that is not the case at all -
or certainly not to the extent that it is true here.

I understand that since gun prohibition has been in effect in England
violent crime has gone up like a skyrocket, because it is so much safer
for criminals, especially burglaries of occupied homes.
I 'm not sure if I have the statistical backup for that conveniently at hand.
I have no plans to live in the land of my grandfather.




Quote:
Quote:
That's why I can't live here anymore.

U r leaving again ?

Quote:
Yep - back to England.
And with every passing day in which I read a newspaper,
I am convinced that my children and I will be able to live a freer
and safer existence there than here.

Because of your intense fondness for England,
that is probably the best choice.
U o it to yourself to cram as much happiness into your life as u can.

Got an English job ?

When r u leaving ?

Wanna have dinner again b4 u go ?





Quote:
Quote:
I am tired of viewing others and having them view me, as the enemy.

Did someone vu u as the enemy ?

Not me specifically - at least I don't think so.
Quote:
You've met me - that would be pretty silly wouldn't it Laughing -

I think I'm about as far from anyone's idea of an enemy that anyone
could possibly imagine. But I do think that people are so much more guarded
and suspicious of anyone who is a stranger to them here -
and I don't enjoy it.

I usually think of it as just minding my own business.
I don 't usually suspect anything.





Quote:
In England - you can sit at a table in a restaurant and within five minutes
you will have made a new friend. It's just not like that here.

Thay r not supposed to do that.
Thay have a REPUTATION to live up to.
The English r supposed to be cold, reserved n distant, with stiff upper lips.
On the other hand,
I was uncharacteristically unNew Yorker 2 nites ago,
at a Friendly Ice Cream restaurant,
when I overheard a fellow chatting up his waitress across the aisle,
about the history of vampires, and I struck up a conversation with him.
( Its unNew York; I know, but I can do what I damn please. )
Now, I have a new email pal.



Quote:
Quote:
And I know it doesn't have to be that way.

Anyway - this is a great speech.
He was a great writer-

Do u know who wrote it ?

Quote:
Well, obviously I THOUGHT Robert F. Kennedy did.
Go ahead- burst my bubble- who wrote it?

Politicians, including the Kennedys,
do not pay their speech writers nor their speech editors,
to sit around idly, nor do thay tend to do their work FOR THEM,
as a general rule.




Quote:
Quote:
and I think more of a sincere humanitarian than his more famous brother.

Maybe; depending on how u choose to define it.
The Kennedys were not good Americans.
The ring of freedom -- personal freedom -- was alien to their minds.
The Kennedys held freedom in disdain.

Quote:
David - I don't define people by nationality.
I don't even know or care how a good American differs from a good Nigerian.
I just like good people with good ideas.

I was trying to make the point
that Americanism = FREEDOM: l 'aissez faire free enterprize libertarian individualism.
The Kennedys do not support that.
In that sense, regardless of where thay were born, thay r not Americans.
Thay have been very anti-American.





Quote:

He quotes Lincoln, hereinbelow, as follows:
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln,
"there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet;
and those who take such appeal
are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

I noticed on the Military Channel this morning that
Abraham Lincoln ordered the assassination of President Jefferson Davis
and the entire cabinet of the Confederate States of America
and sent a Union raiding party to execute the order.

The rebels intercepted the raiders and found out about Lincoln 's plot,
then retaliated, more successfully, against Lincoln.
Shud he have taken his own advice ?

Quote:
WOW! Now that's interesting and something I hadn't heard before. Obviously he should have.




He made this speech the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Quote:
On the Mindless Menace of Violence

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.


Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.


Quote:
I like it - don't you?

Tho I HAVE put some philosophical utterances up on my wall,
this one wud not be my choice.
I have some significant problems with it.
I 'll exegesize it tomorrow, when I have more energy.


Quote:
Today's not the day for me to talk about gun laws or lack thereof.
A very accomplished young lady (whom I didn't know) was found shot to
death on the street of a town I know intimately- her body dumped like a
piece of trash. She was twenty-two years old and the president of the
student body of UNC- Chapel Hill. I lived there and went to school there
and walked there many, many times - and to think that this kind of
violence has revisited a place like that and that someone like this
promising young woman has been claimed by it - just makes me sick.

That does indeed sound very sad.
This is how the Earth has always been.
We live in a violent universe.
Life is full of adventures and some of them r bad.

Perhaps u can take some solace
in the fact that when people die, frequently, thay don 't mind,
and have even objected to the efforts of people ( e.g., medical personnel )
who have rescued them from the jaws of death and brought them back.



Quote:
I understand that if she had been carrying a gun - she might still be alive.
BUT SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT THAT!!!

That is not the history of the world.
Even in your beloved England,
thay had Jack the Ripper.
That 's just the nature of the environment.





Quote:
She should have been able to go about her life without worrying
about being shot through the right temple by some maniac with a gun.

Chances r that she probably did not worry about it.





Quote:
I am so sick of reading about the murders of innocent people in this country.
It's not about guns for me - it's beyond that.





Quote:
It's just that violence seems to be everyone's answer to everything.
And everyone seems so quick to take offense and react.
And I do think that tendency seems peculiarly American.

From my observation,
this is NOT everyone 's answer to everything.
It just happens once in a while.

David
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 10:25 pm
Quote:
Quote:
I was a little child David.
I can't be sure, but I think
I was expecting that I'd be living in a world that was safe for me to live in.

U were RIGHT; no one ever shot at U.

Yes, I was one of the lucky ones.

Quote:
Quote:
By what reasoning wud anyone believe that it wud come to a halt in 40 years ??
No one even entertained the possibility.

Quote:
By a child's hopeful and idealistic vision of the world.
I guess I just hoped it would be different than it is.
Maybe it has nothing to do with reason.

Lemme get this straight:
if someone had asked u what u were thinking,
in your childhood, the correct answer wud have been
that u were hoping that violence wud end all of a sudden,
within the next 40 years ?

Laughing Laughing David - I don't know - but I do know that I was horrified and afraid every time I heard of another person being shot or murdered- so I certainly hoped that it might stop at some point (I don't think I put any specific time limit such as 40 years on it though).

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

And I wonder if Americans know that people in other countries don't live the way we do in America-
afraid of our fellow countrymen (and even elderly women pushing grocery carts).

Do u know someone who is afraid of our fellow countrymen ?

Quote:
Yes, ME! As a woman, I've always had to be somewhat afraid of what
might happen to me in this country, and take precautions and be
hyperaware of what was going on around me.

There was a scandal in the press a few years ago
of a woman who got hit on the head, and seriously injured,
by a demented bum in the street, wielding a cement block, or fragment thereof.
Maybe thay have no demented bums in England or in Europe,
or no cement block fragments.

You're getting defensive now. Maybe they do - in fact I'm sure they do- but I'd guess that my statistical chances of encountering a violent demented person wielding a cement block would be smaller in
England, or for that matter, in any other European country than here in America.
Quote:
When I walk down the street, I have no emotion of any kind,
unless it relates to where I am going ( e.g., a good meal with good friends ).

You're lucky. I don't know how to explain it. I think it's the way the news is saturated with violence over here that has an impact on my peace of mind. But when I was walking in the woods in England, if I heard a twig snap, or if my dog startled, I'd assume it was an animal or the wind and I'd just keep walking, without feeling at all afraid.
The other day I was walking in the woods here and it started getting dark and Pearl was acting really weird, straining at the leash and looking into the trees and I felt so nervous. I felt endangered. It was probably the same thing - an animal (there are deer all around here) or the wind- but I felt that there was more of a chance that it was something else and that I might be in danger - so I walked out of the trees and across the frozen lake, just so I'd be out in the open in case anything happened.

I hate feeling afraid like that. Maybe it's not rational - but it's the way I feel here. And as I said, I think it's because of the daily occurrences of violence, especially against women, that are reported in this country.

Quote:
Quote:
I don 't remember ever running into anyone of that description.
Obviously, one shud be careful where one goes
and always be properly well armed to deal with such situations as may arise.

Quote:
I have lived places where that is not the case at all -
or certainly not to the extent that it is true here.

I understand that since gun prohibition has been in effect in England
violent crime has gone up like a skyrocket, because it is so much safer
for criminals, especially burglaries of occupied homes.
I 'm not sure if I have the statistical backup for that conveniently at hand.
I have no plans to live in the land of my grandfather.

You should try it - you might like it Laughing (just kidding - I know you're a New Yorker through and through).


Quote:
Because of your intense fondness for England,
that is probably the best choice.
U o it to yourself to cram as much happiness into your life as u can.

Yes

Quote:
Got an English job ?

Yes
Quote:
When r u leaving ?

July
Quote:
Wanna have dinner again b4 u go ?

Okay - but I don't want to talk about guns. You can tell me about Lincoln and his plot to have Jefferson Davis assassinated.


Quote:
I think I'm about as far from anyone's idea of an enemy that anyone
could possibly imagine. But I do think that people are so much more guarded
and suspicious of anyone who is a stranger to them here -
and I don't enjoy it.

I usually think of it as just minding my own business.
I don 't usually suspect anything.[/QUOTE]
Laughing Laughing
Quote:

Quote:
In England - you can sit at a table in a restaurant and within five minutes
you will have made a new friend. It's just not like that here.

Thay r not supposed to do that.
Thay have a REPUTATION to live up to.
The English r supposed to be cold, reserved n distant, with stiff upper lips.

That's a myth.

Quote:
On the other hand,
I was uncharacteristically unNew Yorker 2 nites ago,
at a Friendly Ice Cream restaurant,
when I overheard a fellow chatting up his waitress across the aisle,
about the history of vampires, and I struck up a conversation with him.
( Its unNew York; I know, but I can do what I damn please. )
Now, I have a new email pal.

See, isn't it fun? Just think if we were all like that all the time - think of how many new friends we'd all make. Maybe THAT would lessen all the senseless violence in our country.


Quote:
Anyway - this is a great speech.
He was a great writer-

Do u know who wrote it ?[/quote]
Quote:
Well, obviously I THOUGHT Robert F. Kennedy did.
Go ahead- burst my bubble- who wrote it?

Politicians, including the Kennedys,
do not pay their speech writers nor their speech editors,
to sit around idly, nor do thay tend to do their work FOR THEM,
as a general rule.[/QUOTE]
In other words, you don't really know that he DIDN'T write it....
Quote:

Quote:
Quote:
and I think more of a sincere humanitarian than his more famous brother.

Maybe; depending on how u choose to define it.
The Kennedys were not good Americans.
The ring of freedom -- personal freedom -- was alien to their minds.
The Kennedys held freedom in disdain.

Quote:
David - I don't define people by nationality.
I don't even know or care how a good American differs from a good Nigerian.
I just like good people with good ideas.

I was trying to make the point
that Americanism = FREEDOM: l 'aissez faire free enterprize libertarian individualism.
The Kennedys do not support that.
In that sense, regardless of where thay were born, thay r not Americans.
Thay have been very anti-American.

I don't think they were anti-American - I just think maybe they had a different view than you of what constituted a more peaceful and less violent America.


Quote:
Quote:
I like it - don't you?

Tho I HAVE put some philosophical utterances up on my wall,
this one wud not be my choice.
I have some significant problems with it.
I 'll exegesize it tomorrow, when I have more energy.

Okay - get some rest.


Quote:
Quote:
Today's not the day for me to talk about gun laws or lack thereof.
A very accomplished young lady (whom I didn't know) was found shot to
death on the street of a town I know intimately- her body dumped like a
piece of trash. She was twenty-two years old and the president of the
student body of UNC- Chapel Hill. I lived there and went to school there
and walked there many, many times - and to think that this kind of
violence has revisited a place like that and that someone like this
promising young woman has been claimed by it - just makes me sick.

That does indeed sound very sad.
This is how the Earth has always been.
We live in a violent universe.
Life is full of adventures and some of them r bad.

Perhaps u can take some solace
in the fact that when people die, frequently, thay don 't mind,
and have even objected to the efforts of people ( e.g., medical personnel )
who have rescued them from the jaws of death and brought them back.

I hope you're right about that.


Quote:
Quote:
I understand that if she had been carrying a gun - she might still be alive.
BUT SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT THAT!!!

That is not the history of the world.
Even in your beloved England,
thay had Jack the Ripper.
That 's just the nature of the environment.

Yes.

Quote:
Quote:
She should have been able to go about her life without worrying
about being shot through the right temple by some maniac with a gun.

Chances r that she probably did not worry about it.

I'm sure she was very worried, in fact, out of her mind with terror- the last few moments of her life.


Quote:
Quote:
It's just that violence seems to be everyone's answer to everything.
And everyone seems so quick to take offense and react.
And I do think that tendency seems peculiarly American.

From my observation,
this is NOT everyone 's answer to everything.
It just happens once in a while.

Yes, but it happens moreso here than in other places.

Hope you have a good night David- Rebecca
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 11:26 pm
Re: "The Mindless Menace of Violence"
aidan wrote:
That's why I can't live here anymore. I am tired of viewing others and having them view me, as the enemy. And I know it doesn't have to be that way.


Really, aidan? You're leaving the country because of the violence, or your perception of personal danger - or both?
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 05:42 am
I'm leaving this country, because I've found another place where I enjoy living more.

And a very real part of why I enjoy living more in England is that I do feel on a day to day and minute to minute basis- safer. I feel that there is more of a community spirit and people are more caring of each other - even strangers- and less likely to be violent toward one another.

This is very important to me, as I do enjoy spending time walking outside by myself- every single day.

And so, when I can do that without feeling afraid for my personal safety - I feel more at home and much freer in terms of what is available for me to do and still stay safe.

I don't think David gets it, and I don't know if you'll get it either Roger, because you're both men- but as a woman in this country- there are things I don't allow myself to do (such as walk alone after dark or in certain isolated places) that I DO allow myself to do other places.

When I first moved to England I liked to walk up on the moors- but there was a steep hill to climb to get up there and not many people wanted to go with me. I told someone that I wished I could go up there more often and they asked me why I couldn't. When I explained that I didn't think it was safe to go alone, they said, "Of course it is - as long as you take a mobile - so that if you trip and sprain your ankle you can summon help - nothing will happen to you up there." They were amazed that I thought another person might come along and hurt me.

But that was my conditioning from being born and raised female in this country.

I guess you might be able to understand if you thought about always feeling that you had to have someone with you when you go on a bike ride- even if you prefer to ride alone. Not because you might get in an accident- but because you're not safe to be alone because someone might come along and decide it was their mission that day to hurt you.

Wouldn't you rather live somewhere you could do what you loved every day without being constantly reminded every time you picked up a newspaper that you might be taking a stupid and lethal chance with your life?

That's how I feel here. I don't feel that way in England. I feel much safer and freer-and so do both of my children- so yes- that's a big part of why we've decided to go back to live there.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 07:13 am
Aidan, you didn't have to go that far - Canada is pretty safe. Although I would love to live in the Uk, myself - don't think I could afford it! Ireland is gorgeous and Scotland and Wales are close seconds. The countryside in England is beautiful, but I'd NEVER live in London.

What parts were you in before and where are you going this time?

I don't blame you one bit for your fear/feelings - there IS a lot of violence around.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 07:20 am
Mame - Canada is too far north for me. I have loved what I've seen of Canada - but I told myself when I lived in Maine that though I love winter in some aspects - I can't take more than six months of it a year. Laughing

I've moving back to Somerset. Same job - same friends - maybe even same house.

As cities go - I love London. If I wanted to live in a city - I'd live there in a second. But I have no desire to live in a city anymore. I love the countryside.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 07:22 am
Hmm.

This is inherently subjective of course...

But as a woman who has spent time in both America and England, I have felt safer (in some places) here in America.

The parenthetical is important. America and England are both large enough that there isn't some universal truth that applies to either of them. I have spent much of my time in the Midwest -- Minnesota, Wisconsin, and now Ohio -- and in each of those places I felt very safe in terms of the community. I have felt that I could go out on walks safely, felt that strangers would help me if I needed help, etc.

I lived in L.A. for a while and didn't feel as safe there. Nor did I in a suburb of Chicago -- people were more insular. Good fences make good neighbors.

Here, I feel very very safe. I'm lucky enough to live in a great community.

In England, I lived in a suburb near London and spent a lot of time in London. I was often on edge there. (Both the suburb and London.) I saw a lot of violence, screaming matches in public. At least three times I tried to figure out if I should intervene (twice a man screaming at and apparently threatening a woman, once a man chasing after and hitting a child) and after watching the studiously impassive faces of people walking by, decided it would be too dangerous for just me to do something. (I did lock eyes with one of the screamers, I think -- I remember doing something because I couldn't stand not to but not as much as I wanted to.) I've never seen anything like those public displays here in America. Not saying, by a long shot, that nothing like that happens more in England or that it doesn't happen here. Just my experience, FWIW.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 07:56 am
soz, where did you live in London? My daughter lived in Deptford, near Lewisham. We stayed in Blackheath when we visited her. I thought that was a cute place.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 08:05 am
I lived in West Ealing. Pretty nondescript, but I loved the access to London.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 08:09 am
Everyone has differing perceptions and experiences. It seems ours are almost always different from one another's Soz- no matter what the subject - so I'm not surprised that you perceive this differently from me as well. Laughing

But I think if you were to read the newspapers here and compare them to British newspapers over a period of a year - you'd see why my perception might be different than yours.

I read British newspapers for three years. I've read American newspapers for the past six months. I'd have to say in the past six months, I've read about more random violence occurring in all regions of the US than I read about in three years in England.
It seems to be a daily occurrence here, while in England it is more of a shocking exception to the rule.

That's a big factor in how my overall perception has evolved.

But it doesn't matter to me how anyone else sees it or feels about it. Not to be rude - but I'm simply stating how I feel about it and what I've decided my solution for my family is in response to the way that we all feel. (And yes, my daughter has said she does feel safer knowing she can go to school or the mall or church without getting shot- she reads the newspaper too).
My son has stated that he feels England is less inherently racist. That's another subject - but it's also important to me (seeing that I put him in the situation of being interracial) that I provide a place for him to live if I can, where he feels more comfortable.

I don't think people who choose to live in America are wrong in any way. I can fully acknowledge that what they're doing must be what they've decided is right for them.

I'm just doing what we've decided is right for us.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 08:49 am
Somerset is beautiful and has a great music festival scene (I'm almost jealous).

I wish you all the best, Rebecca - and you have my respect for doing something about a situation you're not entirely happy with. There's a lot to be said for peace of mind.

....just be sure to stay off the local cider :wink:
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 09:31 am
Yeah Endy - there's a funny story about that CIDER! The first parent teacher fundraiser I went to in England was at my daughter's school and was being held to raise money for one of the school secretaries who had breast cancer and couldn't afford a drug which was still in the trial stages and hadn't been approved by the NHS.

So they had a quiz night. And as at all fundraisers there was a raffle. Well I ended up winning the raffle and winning a big jug of cider. That was in October or something- I had never had cider and didn't even think about drinking it - I just put it on a shelf.

On New Year's I had a party and saw this cider and thought - "Someone will drink it" and I put it out. Someone asked me if I'd tried it and I said no I hadn't and they gave me a sip of theirs. It was AWESOME. My neighbor saw me drinking it and said, "Be careful with that stuff - it'll creep on you."

It definitely did. My limit is two pints of beer or three glasses of wine - I don't know how much cider I had but at the point I was trying to open a screw top bottle with a corkscrew- I got cut off by those who were still in attendance. The next day they told me what I was trying to do and I didn't believe them. They showed me the bottle cap that I had tried to puncture with the corkscrew. That's the last time I had cider. Laughing
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 10:37 am
aidan wrote:
Everyone has differing perceptions and experiences. It seems ours are almost always different from one another's Soz- no matter what the subject - so I'm not surprised that you perceive this differently from me as well. Laughing

But I think if you were to read the newspapers here and compare them to British newspapers over a period of a year - you'd see why my perception might be different than yours.

I read British newspapers for three years.

Did u read THIS one ?

I will hi lite the significant language,
as it concerns the danger of crime.


London TIMESONLINE September 8, 2007
Wouldn't you feel safer with a gun?
British attitudes are supercilious and misguided
Richard Munday
Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets,
we pride ourselves on our severe gun laws.
Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree,
we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins.
Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist
calls for more gun controls?

The short answer is that "gun controls" do not work:
they are indeed generally perverse in their effects.
Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a harsh gun ban
policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would
have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus.
It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson,
founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make
things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants;
they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides,
for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."


One might contrast the Virginia Tech massacre with the assault on Virginia's
Appalachian Law School in 2002, where three lives were lost before a
student fetched a pistol from his car and apprehended the gunman.
Virginia Tech reinforced the lesson that gun controls are obeyed only by the law-abiding.
New York has "banned" pistols since 1911, and its fellow murder capitals, Washington DC
and Chicago, have similar bans. One can draw a map of the US, showing
the inverse relationship of the severity of its anti-gun laws, and levels of violence:
all the way down to Vermont, with no gun laws at all,
and the lowest level of armed violence (one thirteenth that of Britain).

America's disenchantment with "gun control" is based on experience:
whereas in the 1960s and 1970s armed crime rose in the face of more
restrictive gun laws (in much of the US, it was illegal to possess a firearm
away from the home or workplace), over the past 20 years all violent crime
has dropped dramatically, in lockstep with the spread of laws allowing the carrying
of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens.

Florida set this trend in 1987, and within five years the states that had
followed its example showed an 8 per cent reduction in murders,
7 per cent reduction in aggravated assaults, and 5 per cent reduction in rapes.
Today 40 states have such laws, and by 2004 the US Bureau of Justice
reported that "firearms-related crime has plummeted".

In Britain, however, the image of violent America remains unassailably entrenched.
Never mind the findings of the International Crime Victims Survey
(published by the Home Office in 2003), indicating that we now suffer
three times the level of violent crime committed in the United States;
never mind the doubling of handgun crime in Britain over the past decade,
since we banned pistols outright and confiscated all the legal ones.

We are so self-congratulatory about our officially disarmed society,
and so dismissive of colonial rednecks, that we have forgotten that
within living memory British citizens could buy any gun - rifle, pistol, or
machinegun - without any licence. When Dr Watson walked the streets
of London with a revolver in his pocket, he was a perfectly ordinary
Victorian or Edwardian. Charlotte Brontë recalled that her curate father
fastened his watch and pocketed his pistol every morning when he got dressed;
Beatrix Potter remarked on a Yorkshire country hotel where only one of
the eight or nine guests was not carrying a revolver; in 1909, policemen
in Tottenham borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by (and were
joined by other armed citizens) when they set off in pursuit of two
anarchists unwise enough to attempt an armed robbery.
We now are shocked that so many ordinary people should have been
carrying guns in the street; the Edwardians were shocked rather by the
idea of an armed robbery.

If armed crime in London in the years before the First World War
amounted to less than 2 per cent of that we suffer today, it was not
simply because society then was more stable. Edwardian Britain was
rocked by a series of massive strikes in which lives were lost and troops
deployed, and suffragette incendiaries, anarchist bombers, Fenians, and
the spectre of a revolutionary general strike made Britain then arguably a
much more turbulent place than it is today. In that unstable society the
impact of the widespread carrying of arms was not inflammatory, it was
deterrent of violence.

As late as 1951, self-defence was the justification of three quarters of all
applications for pistol licences. And in the years 1946-51 armed robbery,
the most significant measure of gun crime, ran at less than two dozen
incidents a year in London; today, in our disarmed society, we suffer as many every week.

Gun controls disarm only the law-abiding, and leave predators with a freer hand.
Nearly two and a half million people now fall victim to crimes of violence
in Britain every year, more than four every minute: crimes that may
devastate lives. It is perhaps a privilege of those who have never had to
confront violence to disparage the power to resist.







Quote:




I've read American newspapers for the past six months. I'd have to say in the past six months, I've read about more random violence occurring in all regions of the US than I read about in three years in England.
It seems to be a daily occurrence here, while in England it is more of a shocking exception to the rule.

That's a big factor in how my overall perception has evolved.

But it doesn't matter to me how anyone else sees it or feels about it.
Not to be rude - but I'm simply stating how I feel about it and what I've decided my solution for my family is in response to the way that we all feel. (And yes, my daughter has said she does feel safer knowing she can go to school or the mall or church without getting shot- she reads the newspaper too).
My son has stated that he feels England is less inherently racist. That's another subject - but it's also important to me (seeing that I put him in the situation of being interracial) that I provide a place for him to live if I can, where he feels more comfortable.

I don't think people who choose to live in America are wrong in any way. I can fully acknowledge that what they're doing must be what they've decided is right for them.

I'm just doing what we've decided is right for us.

Because of your fondness for England,
u shud go there to enjoy its delights, such as thay may be.


The same as anyone can get hit by lightning or a car in any city,
the great probability is that u will NOT
either be hit by lightning nor by any car,
nor be victim of any crime,
neither here nor there.



YOUR WRITINGS PROVE THAT U WILL BE HAPPIER THERE.
THAT IS ENUF.
DO WHAT MAKES U THE HAPPIEST.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 11:32 am
aidan wrote:
I'm leaving this country, because I've found another place where I enjoy living more.

And a very real part of why I enjoy living more in England is that I do feel on a day to day and minute to minute basis- safer. I feel that there is more of a community spirit and people are more caring of each other - even strangers- and less likely to be violent toward one another.

This is very important to me, as I do enjoy spending time walking outside by myself- every single day.

And so, when I can do that without feeling afraid for my personal safety - I feel more at home and much freer in terms of what is available for me to do and still stay safe.

I don't think David gets it, and I don't know if you'll get it either Roger, because you're both men- but as a woman in this country- there are things I don't allow myself to do (such as walk alone after dark or in certain isolated places) that I DO allow myself to do other places.

When I first moved to England I liked to walk up on the moors- but there was a steep hill to climb to get up there and not many people wanted to go with me. I told someone that I wished I could go up there more often and they asked me why I couldn't. When I explained that I didn't think it was safe to go alone, they said, "Of course it is - as long as you take a mobile - so that if you trip and sprain your ankle you can summon help - nothing will happen to you up there."

They were amazed that I thought another person might come along and hurt me.

I 've never considered this b4,
but I guess that with the English being so cold and aloof all the time,
thay probably have a permanent rape rate of ZERO per year, right ?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 11:35 am
What is the English vu
of the American Revolution, Rebecca ?

Did u teach that in school ?

R thay still in a state of denial ?
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 01:00 pm
aidan wrote:
That's the last time I had cider. Laughing


Me, I can't remember the last time i had cider -


Get it? Very Happy

.
Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 02:00 pm
OmSigDAVID wrote:
aidan wrote:
I'm leaving this country, because I've found another place where I enjoy living more.

And a very real part of why I enjoy living more in England is that I do feel on a day to day and minute to minute basis- safer. I feel that there is more of a community spirit and people are more caring of each other - even strangers- and less likely to be violent toward one another.

This is very important to me, as I do enjoy spending time walking outside by myself- every single day.

And so, when I can do that without feeling afraid for my personal safety - I feel more at home and much freer in terms of what is available for me to do and still stay safe.

I don't think David gets it, and I don't know if you'll get it either Roger, because you're both men- but as a woman in this country- there are things I don't allow myself to do (such as walk alone after dark or in certain isolated places) that I DO allow myself to do other places.

When I first moved to England I liked to walk up on the moors- but there was a steep hill to climb to get up there and not many people wanted to go with me. I told someone that I wished I could go up there more often and they asked me why I couldn't. When I explained that I didn't think it was safe to go alone, they said, "Of course it is - as long as you take a mobile - so that if you trip and sprain your ankle you can summon help - nothing will happen to you up there."

They were amazed that I thought another person might come along and hurt me.

I 've never considered this b4,
but I guess that with the English being so cold and aloof all the time,
thay probably have a permanent rape rate of ZERO per year, right ?


David - I told you- that cold and aloof characterization is a myth...at least in my experience.
But I don't know what the rape statistics are for here and there - it'd be interesting to compare.

I'd read the article you posted on-line when I was trying to find facts to back up my perceptions and so I did know (and actually was surprised to learn) that violent crime statistics were higher per capita in the UK - ASIDE FROM MURDER. I'm going to look further into that, because that did surprise me...

But yes, I appreciate that I do love living in England, so I may be inclined to look at it more positively (with rose colored glasses perhaps) although I will say that the feelings I describe about having to feel more self-protective in the US are real. I had that instinct ingrained before I ever set foot in England. It took months for me to loosen up and shake those off because I realized they were in large part unnecessary there.

I appreciate your good wishes for my happiness too. Thank you.

Endy - we should crack open some good ol' Somerset cider when I get back Laughing Then we could both remember the last time we had cider.
0 Replies
 
 

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