Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Knee-Jerks



image borrowed from bing


Knee-Jerks

“Responsibility is like a string we can
only see the middle of.”--William McFee


We have the right
to drive cars, yet
some idiots choose
to drive drunk.

Does this mean they
should take away our vehicles?

We have the right
to bear arms--even
Obama shoots skeet
at Camp David, yet
demented persons commit
mass homicides.

The answers have to be
found within our own
sense of responsibility.


Glenn Buttkus

January 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

Would you like to hear the author read this Flash 55 to you?

18 comments:

Claudia said...

it's def. about taking over responsibility - we can't shut away everything - though there are also things you need to put more restrictions on than others - and some people you have to protect from themselves at certain times - i think it's about trying to find a good balance

Brian Miller said...

what though of those that have none? perhaps we need psychological testing for those wanting a gun...maybe we just need to regulate how guns are sold...but then there is a black market for sure....i dont have answers, i dont know that any are easy ones....

bringingwordstolife said...

It is indeed all about responsibility - as you very well know it's not the guns that kill but the people holding them

Andrew Kreider said...

Great quote from McFee. I am amazed at how quickly polarized conversations on responsibility and rights become. We appear to have a society that thrives on knee-jerk responses of all stripes.

Forsberg21 said...

""We appear to have a society that thrives on knee-jerk responses of all stripes.""

Yep.....


Natasha Head said...

I think we, as humans, have to make a decision to lay down our arms. I've no solution, but I do not like guns. They are in my home, used for sport (don't get me started) locked up tight as the law dictates here...you know...to buy you the time to rethink shooting your better-half if you go loco...I understand the desire to defend yourself...to stop tyrannical governments from taking over...because you with an assault rifle could do that? Change is hard, change hurts, but haven't enough innocents lost out on this life because of them? Evolution...they have served their purpose...and the big boys have bigger toys to control us now. Sorry...I soapboxing...and probably losing a follower a second...but hey...that's what awesome writing makes me do

RMP said...

sense of responsibility sounds great, but not everybody has that particular characteristic. should it be part of our sense of responsibility to create and monitor laws that force people into a corner of responsibility?

SaraV said...

Thank you Glenn, so true--responsibility always seems to be the last thing people are willing to claim. Well done!

henry clemmons said...

I like the way your poems says what you want it to say and there is no doubt in your words. We can always trust your words come from you, no doubt. I always enjoy a visit here.

Rod E. Kok said...

Ah responsibility. Too many choose to ignore it over their perceived right to do what they want. Well written, sir!

Manicddaily said...

I think your comparison to cars is interesting, but cars are far more regulated than guns in the U.S. People have to take driving tests; bar owners can be liable for selling too much alcohol to drivers - even alcohol is far more regulated than guns. Speed is regulated on roads - people are not allowed to drive at one hundred miles an hour even not drunk due to the dangers they pose to others. (To me driving at extreme speeds is a bit like having an extreme assault rifle--though I have not thought this analogy through and won't stand by it - I am just using your car example.)

I'll also be fairly frank - and I know that views on these issues have a certain amount to do with where you live -but I think the pro-gun lobby is actually more knee-jerk in this country as they (and I am not saying you do this) but they jump to the idea that legislation is to take all guns away without paying attention to it, they will not allow existing legislation to be enforced, and they don't seem to even allow for discussion of the issue, or any statistical analysis. (The NRA tries to bar any tracking of gun violence.) My husband is an avid hunter, I have a very close relative in the military in Afghanistan, I have another relative just back from service in Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, my dad was in the military--but I don't think anyone is talking about taking all guns away - I guess I also don't think the problem is just with mentally ill people using guns, but an entire gun culture.

I know it is very different if you live in a city (as I do.) I am so very very glad that NYC has strong gun laws - as someone who walks everywhere, takes the subway every day - I just can't tell you what a relief that is. Agh. That said - you are a good poet! k.

AJ Walker said...

Interesting how you present this as almost a series of questions.

I like how you are able to say without really saying.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to delete this message if you feel it crosses the line:

The comparison to cars is invalid because you're comparing car accidents to gun murders. There is no comparison between accident and murder.

Adam Lanza did not accidentally murder those children and is gun did not accidentally misfire, accidentally murdering those children.

There's also no comparison to swimming pool drownings -
-according to the CDC most people drown in natural water locations (rivers, lakes, oceans), guns are not natural, guns are man-made, and guns are made to kill

-according to the CDC and FBI most drownings are accidental; most car crashes are accidental, and most gun deaths are homicides (intentional)

-according to the CDC and FBI nearly all swimming pool drownings involving children are accidents whereas, once again, the overwhelming majority of gun deaths are homicides

All gun massacres are intentional murders whereas nearly all car crashes are accidents

If believe that guns don't kill and you believe cars and knives and swimming pools are deadlier than guns then explain why the military is armed to the hilt with GUNS as opposed to cars or knives or swimming pools.

If cars are so deadly than you're saying guns fail to protect people which means means nobody needs guns because they're useless and we should all stick with cars for "self-defense".

Normally, pro-gun "guns don't kill!" people assert that guns are perfect instruments of violence. They assert that people with pistols and deer rifles will be able to defeat the largest best armed military on Earth should President X decide to take over the US. They also assert that a gun is a perfect self defense option, allowing anyone to defend themselves with complete success against any attempts at crime. When it comes to arguing for the utility of guns, pro-gun people are normally unanimous in assessing guns as very very very good at what they're supposed to do.

However, this changes whenever gun violence occurs and the question of gun control comes up (***duly note I personally feel gun regulations are futile....). Suddenly, according to pro-gun people, guns are completely ineffectual. According to pro-gun people, "guns don't kill! knives are more lethal! cars are more lethal! swimming pools are more lethal!" According to pro-gun people guns played absolutely no role in gun deaths (or at least criminal gun deaths. If someone kills a criminal trying to rob or attack them then the gun worked magically). The same guns which they assert are peerless instruments of self defense do absolutely nothing to increase the ability of madmen like Adam Lanza to wreak havoc. Without a gun the situation would have unfolded exactly the same only with some other instrument of death.

***You buy a gun legally, but the moment you leave the store the gun enters circulation: everybody who lives in your gun, everybody who visits your house has accesses to your gun, if you tell people you own a gun then all those people know you have a gun in your home and they have indirect access to your gun and could break into your home to steal it.

You're also saying it's perfectly acceptable to murder somebody for breaking into your home, which is a completely separate topic but nevertheless I'll remind you the US criminal justice system does not execute people for burglary and neither should you. Some countries in the Islamic world will cut off a hand but no criminal system anywhere on the planet executes people for burglary. You've lost your mind, you're entered the real of mental illness, when you think it's perfectly acceptable to murder people for stealing.

Rant over.

James Rainsford said...

Responsibility for any action always resides with the person, or persons who undertake it. Well expressed here.

Kim Nelson said...

You certainly wrote to a lively topic, didn't you? :-)
The piece works well. It is not dogmatic or preachy, just shares a point of view concisely and directly.
I happen to believe that semi- and automatic weapons and large capacity mags have no place outside of a war zone, but that is neither here not there in regards to the quality of this writing.

brandi said...

Gun Control: Knowing that your finger is the primary safety.

I own guns. I love guns. I grew up with guns. I appreciate that they are dangerous. I am ultimately responsible for my own actions.

Gun Control: Birth Control. Same fucking thing...Let's regulate how stupid fucking people breed first. Until then, I have to keep a gun by my bedside and on my person at all times. Why? Cuz people are fucking retarded. That is my theme for the day.

G-Man said...

I just love freedom of speech!
There will NEVER be a definitive answer to this problem.
The wheels on this monster have been spinning too long, it's tough to stop a runaway train.
Fantastic 55 My Friend
Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Matteo Spinetti said...

exact, but you could do a lot to avoid certain situations, such as having total freedom to purchase weapons, or total freedom to buy alcool is wrong. Too bad that the real owners are the millions of dollars in trade on these products. Then if they die innocent people,just do a proper mourning. This is the ideology of the businness.