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There's been lots of talk in the media about banning guns and so forth since the Colorado shooting. That's nonsense, even assuming we could collect every gun (and they likely outnumber American citizens) in this country, because the bad guys are certain to not turn in their weapons. But really, this is only a symptom.

Something is fundamentally wrong in the USA: Switzerland is 2nd in the world (next to us) in gun ownership, yet they have one of the lowest murder rates in the world, about 1/6 of ours. It's clearly not the guns that are the problem, but rather something about how our nation treats mental illness, deals with violence, engages in debate, and so much more.

We have - by a wide margin - the highest citizen-incarceration rate in the world. In the 1980s, we purge our mentally ill onto the streets. Ours is a fractured and sick nation.

Our culture is painfully divided between 1) fanatical religious types who feel it is God's will to do things like bomb healthcare providers, and 2) progressives who cannot even understand why the "followers of Jesus" - a man who preached love and understanding - can spout such hatred that even politicians running for high office feel they must say things they don't believe in order to get the vote of the radical right-wing. This only proves to the religous right that "teh leebrals" are wrong-headed. The two sides are incapable of talking to one another.

Meanwhile, we're imprisoning people left and right for such minor offenses as smoking pot three times. People with mental illness are not identified and treated. Poor folks live in desperate hopelessness where selling drugs is the only bright spot. And everyone else is so terrified of losing an income and health care that they remain wage-slaves to jobs they despise.

Solving those problems is HARD. The US doesn't seem to be a nation that has patience for long-term fixes; politically, our will is shorter than two years.

What can be done for our country? How can we cure our ills? We're doing it wrong, people.



Jul. 23rd, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
"Solving those problems is HARD. The US doesn't seem to be a nation that has patience for long-term fixes; politically, our will is shorter than two years."

God; so much truth!

Ok, I was all set to write a dissertation on WHAT TO DO, then decided not to, at least not yet. I think this needs some serious thought on the matters.

Sadly, I think even what I'm imagining would be enough to send the libertarians into screaming hissy fits....

But-much more spent on mental/emotional health, and much more spent on gun tracking (not banning, though-but even the tracking will have the libertarians in flames) to flag purchases which look disturbing, for starters.

Much more spent on infrastructure, to get local jobs going, in order to get local economies going once again.
Legalize MJ and tax it, or at minimum make it available by scrip.

I honestly don't know what the hell to do with the Religious Right. I'd like to take a stick and beat them all, sometimes, for their bigotry, racism, misogyny, etc.
The only good thing about them is their incessant rules will drive the second/third generation from them much faster than anything we can do, and they will die out.

The only upside I can add is that it took the better part of 30 years to screw up the country this badly, as far as the political structure is concerned; if it takes much less time than that to fix it, I will be very surprised.

Yeah, that sounded really positive. What I mean is that it's going to have to be done one step at a time, and it's going to TAKE time, and it's always harder to pull up against gravity....

And I STILL managed to write a long post!