"I am an instrument in the shape
of a WOMAN trying to translate pulsations
into images
for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind."


Planetarium
written by Adrienne Cecile Rich




Monday, April 23, 2007

weed out violence

"the passions that incline men to peace, are fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them." - thomas hobbes

joining the media bandwagon is completely not my intention today. what i really want to hear is the human side of his story, because i feel he is the victim in all this.

he killed 32 people and eventually took his own life. most of the news stories about him are about how much of a textbook psychopath he is. he was withdrawn, quiet, and has violent tendencies as shown in his writings, and was bullied in middle school and in high school.

aside from him being south korean, i do not know much about his life. from my point of view, he is the biggest victim in all this, and many people do not see that. what a sad life he lived to be bullied throughout his childhood and teenage years.

this massacre has led a global uproar in the regulation of guns and gun ownership. friends, gun control is not the root of the problem. gun control is only one branch of the large roots of violence in society.

the biggest problem is society's tendency to violence. this is not just prevalent in america; there are underpinnings of this root in our own philippine soil. take a look at the recent "hostage-taking" of 30 children. no, not just that. take a look at the everyday local news, the police, the hashish that we call a government.

when we teach our children that "the only way" to combat [insert pressing issue here] is to take up arms, we teach our children that violence is the way out. as i see it, using guns is only one form of violence. there are many more out there.

we are violent towards others when they are different from us. we highlight the word different here. by simple definition, when you are not one of us, then you must be different. a different religion, a different belief, a different race or nationality.

this is not to say that violence is only using firearms, nay. violence in my definition is any form of attack on another with intent of hurting or inflicting pain. the physical means is what many of us are more familiar with, but there can also be emotional means, or others.

bullying, then, is a form of violence on the children also by other children. kids bully other kids because they know that this one kid is different and can be kicked around like a puppy, not in the literal sense of course. bullying can be through physical means, or even verbal. there's no truth to the saying that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. harsh words will always be branded in our minds. believe me, i've been a victim of this.

violence is prevalent and we see its symptoms. see it in the movies, the games, the wars. yes, the wars.

cho seung-hui and the other 32 people dead in the massacre is only a consequence of this long and deep root in a violent society. it is an outcome that will happen again, and most probably in a larger scale, unless we pull the root from the soil. cho is a victim of a violent society, and so were the 32 people he killed.

so gun control is only cutting a branch. how do we weed out this root? we have to learn to embrace differences and be tolerant of each other no matter how different one may be from another. we do not have to be sympathetic to each other. acceptance is the key word.

and when we cannot accept another? resolutions should be in means that would not hurt another. in other words, peaceful.

these are simple rules in a social contract, theorized and written about by philosophers for many centuries, but still people fail to understand.

"...the only way whereby anyone divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for the comfortable, safe, and peaceable living amongst another..." - john locke

3 Comments:

  • At 4/24/2007 5:20 PM, Blogger leia mused…

    I actually sort of agree with you. When I read the files of the news, I was sad - I was thinking what could have possibly gone through his mind that he did something so violent and cold-blooded. Naalala ko yung lines na "I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life".

    I wonder what could have happened had someone reached out to him instead of just judging him.

     
  • At 4/25/2007 12:01 PM, Blogger tina mused…

    everyone is right in their own way.... and everyone has a reason why he/she did something so horrendous.

    for one the guys reason might be because he was bullied the rest of his life and his only solace was the gun...

    yes.. we must not judge him..nor condemn him for he too was a victim...

    and i agree about violence is not just about guns.. but its inflicting or causing others to hurt in any given way.. emotionally, morally and physically.

     
  • At 4/27/2007 10:02 AM, Anonymous pam mused…

    i saw that sa news. :(

    all i can say is, no one really knows what happened. but i pity them. both sides.

     

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