Guns, Drunk Driving, and Preventable Death Syndrome

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. But simply stated, I’ll rest on the following quote to preface my Blog Post: “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”— Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)

OK, let’s get into it! For every serial killer killed in the electric chair, thus purportedly saving countless victims and therefore 'justifying' (cough) the death penalty, probably a bigger problem are the thousands who die of heart attacks daily. Some folks consider electric chairs as tools of self-defense, as are guns to other people, but defending ourselves from shitty diets goes farther than those saved by gun laws and the death penalty. Seriously, I wouldn't own a gun, (or an electric chair for that matter), even if I could. And yes, I occasionally eat like a typical American.

For me, the point that begs proposing arises from arguments about Preventable-Death-Syndrome. Yeah, there's no such thing as PDS, and that in itself is a problem, metaphorically speaking. No one wants innocents killed by guns, but what, fat-saturated foods are OK? Is drunk driving, 'OK'? Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and the same model holds true for guns and shitty diets. Of course, we all know better, but that burger tastes soooo good!

But back to why I am writing this Blog Post. The 'Number Arguments' and statistics have always annoyed me.

IMO, gunaholism and alcoholism are cousins. One drink or gun is too many, and unmitigated access is not enough. If we disarm everybody, then fine, I can wrap my mind around conscience-oriented gun and alcohol control. But I will not get behind control via forcing solutions or imposing-harmony via legislation; getting to the source of why people are dying by guns, dying in drunk driving crashes, and dying by heart attacks and obesity due to consuming unhealthy food and lack of exercise, I can get behind.

In my speeches to DWI offenders, I always argue that "IF you love someone, THEN you will not harm them. IF you love yourself, THEN you will not place yourself in harms' way by getting behind the wheel of a car while impaired.” I argue the solution to safe streets is about the consciousness of love; it’s the only lasting solution to reducing impaired driving. I imagine some people might wonder, WTF does an ex-con know about love? Why should I listen to him? I'm not a Felon! You know, all that denial ego-crap people use to feel special and remove themselves from the matter of conscious love, AKA, conscience.

Replacing fear and loathing with loving our neighbors will go farther than legislating morality. The core problem is the absence of empathy. The presence of ego-centered fear bordering on paranoia, i.e., 'If we take away guns, we can't defend ourselves, and if we don't take away guns, innocents will be killed by guns' is ineffectual.

Gun homicides get far more attention in the popular press, but most gun deaths are the result of suicide. Making guns illegal will not stop someone from killing themselves. We have to quit ignoring the signs and giving cops guns to take guns away is pointless. We have to catch the problem of what leads to suicidal ideations before plans are formulated.

Maybe running away from home is a perceived solution and warning cry for help, an action taken to avoid killing oneself. NOT SEEING A WAY OUT is the problem. Using a gun is a more convenient way to die, it's easier and quicker, maybe even more humane than dying from an overdose, knife or jumping from a cliff or bridge.

The ownership and control of guns are among the most widely debated issues in the country, with abortion debates probably even upstaging school shootings at this time of American History. But wherever we fall on any side of these perplexing arguments, we have to keep our cool and never forget to love one another.

THOU SHALL NOT KILL has been a law or commandment in many traditions for thousands of years, but have people stopped killing themselves or others, even when GOD says it’s wrong? Yeah, maybe some people are alive because it’s illegal to kill them, but that doesn’t go far enough. Someone near and dear to my heart said that LOVE is what all of the laws hinge upon, and it is written, ‘God is Love.’

I am not trying to evangelize or promote God or religion. I’m just saying that if love is our starting point, then maybe we can then avoid grief as our ending point.

If you don't tell at least three people a day that you love them, you've probably wasted a day of your life.

I love you. Pass it on.