Thursday, December 20, 2012

Guns, constitutions and hypocrisy

Each of us has a responsibility to protect the rights of others. That responsibility is not often made clear in societies where personal freedom is paramount. In no small manner was that right to protect usurped in the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union had more to do with the corruption and greed of those that ruled. The responsibility to each other gave way to ensuring the best lifestyle for the individual at the expense of country and culture.
The very same attitude is at the crux of gun control in the Republic of the United States. In the coming months we will hear the arguments about the right being enshrined in constitutions. The reality is that the right which is being debated is band aid/patch work to the original. With that there must be some wisdom applied to understand that amendments are very much time/circumstance oriented.
In other countries such as Belgium, the constitutional talks there had left them without elected government for months. This was due to language protection. Although there has been little violence over the course of the decades long conflict, the fact remains that the constitution was in need of change. Similar to Canada during 1982 and has always been on a slow burn of political discussion.
At this very moment Egypt is dealing with its constitution. Syria had a public vote during 26 Feb 2012 which resulted in an 80% agreement to change the constitution. Of course that was shot to hell as rebel and government forces clashed.
Even with these constitutions, which spell out the responsibility of the people, the reality is that constitutions are only documents invented/shaped by our ideology. As we know, ideology can and will evolve. As ideology evolves so will culture. Overall, the culture of the world has been changing and the control of weapons is one area that has an urgent need of evolution.
It is true that weapons will always be apart of life. A pointed stick or a rock is always available, as are knives, and let us not forget the most deadly weapon – our minds. At debate is the availability of weapons. This fact is very evident in conflict zones. There are so many weapons in East Africa that no one really knows where they all are or how many. This is how we get 12 year old children being experts on how to maintain and operate a wide variety of small weapons such as rocket propelled grenades.
In the past five years we have seen great efforts to curtail the weapons trade industry. There has been some success but there still is a long way to go. To that end I understand the reality of war and come to terms with the fact that a total ban is just not possible (yet).  In addition I know that education is a frontline issue in this conflict as well. Still, the curtailing of weapons is needed.
As shocking as such events are, the average person is numb to the vastly more devastating carnage taking place. Thousands of people are being killed by the very governments that speak out against such violence. This is the hypocrisy of world politics. Until that is changed more innocent people will be victims, never mind constitutional change. First live up to the current standards we have set because at the moment we are doing a very poor job of that.

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