Saturday, December 15, 2012


What happened in the Sandy Hook Elementary School defies imagination. Tragedies do not need spin. The avalanche of comments lead to what Thomas Mann called "knowledge-sickness."  The media feed the outrage and miss the sorrow.  President Obama was dignified, and refrained from rhetoric which in this case would be alien to the wounded heart.  No doubt the hounds of demagogy will not let go, while families will be in hiding, trying to come to terms with irreparable loss.

The debate over "guns in America" will be unleashed again. Arguments pro and contra will have a free ride. I find myself that weapons are too easily acquired in the United States despite the often mild checks and balances which differ from state to state.  Few are inclined to confront the constitutional right to bare arms.  One doesn't deal with a "freakish" phenomenon here, but with a socio-cultural pattern which is part of the American DNA. There is no way that this reality will ever be rolled back.  Besides, in this "culture" of gun availability it is equally remarkable that there are actually less incidents than what could be expected, given the normality of weapon possession.

I am personally hostile to this constitutional largesse, but I realize as well that even in case further controls of the "buyer" of guns might be considered, the situation will remain unchanged.  Lincoln, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Reagan, the kids in Chicago and Newark, the Mexican illegals at the killing border pay the price . Meanwhile the "vigilante" strain is encouraged. American mainstream movies  upgrade this undercurrent of self-defense and gratuitous violence.  Sundance is the refuge of art, but Hollywood has turned into a money machine, which by the way is a bigger success story in China, India or Mexico than in the States. Those clients are targeted because they have no appetite for "effete" movies made in Europe.  It is a sad state of affairs wherein money prevails, creating a toxic narrative, be it in movies, rap or in the more political sophisms of the National Rifle Association, which is a state within the State and a lobby almost nobody dares to attack.

Nothing will change. The voice of Mayor Bloomberg will not find a chorus. The President spoke the right words and alluded to a communality of approach, regarding this arms proliferation.  Let us not forget that there is also a market for rifles and attack weaponry, which is too easily accessible. Unfortunately this sociological nightmare is here to stay, protected by legitimate rules which are enshrined in the American psyche since 1776.  Politicians might argue, but in the end "the right to bare arms" will prevail and other deranged individuals will find a way to inflict a new coda to this last "successor--tragedy" in a series world-wide.  Here, as in Russia after the Moscow theatre and the Beslan school shootings, or in Norway after the Brevik massacre, the flags are half-mast but the saddened self-restraint of most will not stop the madness of a few. There might be a tightening of rules and individual controls, but all this will be nothing more than an ineffectual sandbag and not a levee.

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