But for the World Trade Center and more recently, the Boston Marathon bombing, we are used to reading tranquilly of awful violence in other places. We seem to assume that Americans are somehow, entitled to immunity from such events. But the world has many folk interested in teaching us otherwise.
We are a violent society, with our guns, criminals, drunken drivers and such simple gratuitous violence as the presently popular “knockout game” on the streets of our cities. We are importing more violence with the hordes of Central Americans pouring over our border from very violent places. And we have abandoned the precepts of Christianity that once led most of us to deplore violence, leaving us only with government policing to restrain such acts … and force is governments’s stock in trade.
But more than a rising tide of violence that like lobsters in a cookpot, we ignore until it is too late, we have been ignoring the technology of violence that we have created. Our President famously uses drones to kill people at will. Why should not others imitate him? Airliners are being shot down in a growing number of places via proliferating missiles; why should our airspace be insulated from that? We are told that what can happen, will happen and it seems wise to believe that.
Our government fears developing violence in the United States; it has laid in enormous quantities of guns and bullets in most of its various departments and it is training its military to fight in American cities as one response to its fear. And it desperately wants to deprive citizens of their guns. Where then will be the restraint on government violence?
We are, if history is any guide, a very violent species; we need no top predator because we do the job ourselves. We in North America have now long enjoyed a respite from that, one denied most other places. It seems likely that, given the tools now at his disposal, Murphy has noticed. It seems the part of wisdom to keep that in mind as we enjoy our peaceful lives …