Balance

Guns vs Beauty

Maybe for some it’s a tough question.  What is more important:  the right to bear arms, or the right to grow up and go to school without being shot?  What would we prefer:  the right to own a gun or the right to live in a peaceful, civilized society?

What’s the better vision:  the vision see filenameof the gun enthusiast – arming elementary teachers and principals so they can exchange gunfire with deranged intruders as the kids (hopefully), take cover from the hellfire of bullets, or the alternative vision of doing everything possible to avoid this scene?

Does the right to own a deadly toy – and that’s all it is, an adult toy with consequences – take precedence over the right to dwell in a nonviolent society?

It may just be me, but if you need an assault weapon to have a good time, or to make you feel manly, maybe something better is missing from your life.

Some claim that our societal decay is caused from a lack of god in the schools, or from too much violence in movies and video games, the latter being consumed by an increasingly disconnected audience.  But maybe what it comes down to is just a lack of appreciation (or education) for quality, with less attention or funding given to music or the arts or literature.  In other words, everything that leads to a better, more cultured, society.  Maybe part of the reason a movie or video game doesn’t succeed without graphic violence is simply a lack of a life-affirming alternative, as well as having minds that haven’t been prepared to appreciate something of higher quality.  Maybe guns would hold less interest if our society became obsessed with beauty.

Does this smack of elitism?  I think it just smacks of what is better.  As we age our taste buds mature.  We may still appreciate a hot dog or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but usually learn to prefer lobster or some other gourmet meal as we evolve beyond childhood – unless we never experienced higher quality meals, then we wouldn’t know superior alternatives existed.  The same goes for music (one must be exposed to classical or jazz to acquire a taste for it; and then pop tunes just aren’t enough), and literature (literary works being so much more satisfying once popular, page-turning genres are exposed for how meaningless they tend to be).  I’ve shot guns.  I’ve hunted in the woods and experienced the camaraderie between hunters, and found the enjoyment fleeting and the machismo shallow.  Shooting a gun has always felt like an expression of anger, and nothing more, as an amazingly creative world awaits exploration.

What’s more valuable:  an expression of anger or one of beauty?

Want to be a man?  Evolve.  Pick up a book and expand your mind.  It’ll mean so much more in the long run.  Or listen to Beethoven or Miles Davis and enjoy a sound that is so much more uplifting and powerful than the blast from a gun could ever hope to be; or go to a museum or art gallery and see what we are capable of – of what we can create over what we destroy; or cook a healthy, balanced, beautiful meal to make your body feel good; or refuse to see the next violent, blockbuster movie and spend your money on a foreign or independent film that challenges who you think you are; or leave your rifle behind for a camera as you hike through the woods and maybe see the world through a different lens.  Hell, be a man and go see a ballet, if you dare, if you are manly enough to enjoy what is beautiful.

23 thoughts on “Guns vs Beauty

  1. Pingback: Violence in our society | Bell Book Candle

  2. These are brilliantly expressed thoughts about life and what it’s all about. i have read through three of your entries, and they all interest me. I’m teaching a class right now where we read and watch movies and discuss what defines a man and what it takes to be one nowadays. There is so much to discuss about women – we constantly do – in our country at least, but I believe men are having tough times too finding their role in life.

    Thank you for visiting me so that I could find you and read this. I will be back.

    • Thanks so much, I really appreciate your comments. You are right, of course, the false information of what constitutes a man gets piled onto us from an early age. It took a long time of sloughing off the past for me before I could fully evolve into what I now see is such a better, more meaningful life. Please feel free to use my text however you please. I’d love to be a fly on a wall in your class to listen to the discussion – well, it would have to be in English…:) I enjoyed your blog as well and will visit again.

  3. OK, we’ve had our first talk and reading and watching and talk. They really loved you – most of them! There are always some that do not understand or tries to be funny (not very mature), but the greater part of the class understood and we had an interesting discussion. Boys as well as girls saw the problems and the way society contributes to this. “Billy Elliot” was a good movie in the context and I will most certainly do this combination again in my other class with 19- year- olds. Thank you again for letting me use your text – and – I think I saw your little fly on the wall…listening!

    • Very interesting; it shows how times are changing; kids growing up today seem to be much more open than in the past, though it doesn’t surprise me of the few that don’t get it. Thanks for letting me know – now if you could just tape the discussion and put it up on you tube…:)

  4. So, I’m back with a short report on the last session this year concerning these issues. Another good discussion and new ideas and questions – this time I think they all got it. They are ready to fly – nineteen. The most common thought was that the US and Sweden are not much alike concerning guns and weapons. No one in this class (25 persons) would dream of handling a gun – ever. Young people here do not have to attend military service anymore and they often dream of careers in computers and ingeneering instead. Some are footballers and entertain unbelievable dreams of becoming a new Zlatan Ibrahimovic, earning huge amounts of money. But, mostly they are nice young men and women – trying to find their own way in life.

    They all admire you for standing tall with your ideas, and some even sent their hugs to you… Again I’m grateful for being able to use your texts – thank you! Have a great summer!

    • Thanks for letting me know. The differences on guns between the US and Sweden are amazing to me. Kids here get bombarded with the imagery and romance of weaponry, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that gun ownership and the subsequent violence is such a huge part of our culture. That none of your students have any desire to be a “gun enthusiast,” as so many do here, tells me a lot about my own country, and it isn’t good. The other difference between our countries is that I had to google Zlatan Ibrahimovic to figure out who he was…:). And tell them thanks for the hugs. With the way the gun debate is going in this country, with politicians afraid of the NRA, I’ll need those hugs.

  5. I really want to repost this on WordPress, but it doesn’t look like your “Share this” tab is activated. Would you mind checking it?… Thank you for these courageous and beautifully-expressed messages — as well as for the video.

    • Thanks for the kind words and letting me know about the share oversight, Julie. I’m a bit WordPress challenged so am not sure I’ve fixed it. The only thing I could find was a WordPress button under sharing called Press This, which I’ve added. Not sure if that is the same thing as Share This. Let me know. Thanks.

      • Thank you for activating share abilities. I was able to “Press This” only with my primary blog, despite my efforts to share it on my “nonharm” blog. However, I was able to “Reblog” using my nonharm blog, which falls under the umbrella of my “selfcarehabits” blog. So your post basically got super shared.🙂 … which is a very good thing. If the above is confusing, please disregard and be assured that this great post got reposted.🙂

  6. Pingback: Guns vs Beauty (Reblogged from JamesKenneyHill.com) | Self Care Habits

  7. Reblogged this on Nonharm and commented:
    “Does the right to own a deadly toy – and that’s all it is, an adult toy with consequences – take precedence over the right to dwell in a nonviolent society?” — James Keeney Hill under jameskeeneyhill.com

    via Guns vs Beauty.

    I found this post to be impactful and in alignment with my beliefs and values.

    Thought I would share it. — Julie

  8. Pingback: Guns vs Beauty (Reblog from JamesKeeneyHill.com) | Nonharm

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