Seriously Syria

January 20, 2014 | Posted in Philosophy | By

I love Facebook. The funny, the serious, the important. The levity, the camaraderie, the learning. To me, it’s like the Great Cosmic Water Cooler where we all stand around and talk about what’s on our mind. As far as I know, no one’s changing anyone’s minds here, but it is enlightening to have civil discourse regarding the really important stuff.

Today I’m watching all the posts regarding guns and how they make the US such a violent nation. Rather than just accept what I was being told, I went to find the statistics on my own and, yes, the internet was filled with countless evidence showing the US as being off the charts with 9.2 deaths per 100,000 citizens. When it comes to gun death violence no one comes close to us. Wow, according to the graphs we really are a violent nation. But the truth is, I find myself saying, “Really? Do these people really think I’m this stupid?” 

syria-crisisLet’s just say I’ve decided I don’t want to live in this God forsaken country where I’m going to get killed by an assault weapon any moment now. If America is really more violent than the rest of the world, where should I live? Show me the statistics for gun related deaths in, say, Syria, a country that doesn’t make the list of the top 100 most violent countries in the world.

I wanted to find out why the Middle East isn’t considered violent when it comes to guns. I wanted the statistics for the countries where only the Assad’s of the world have guns. Guess what? No statistics. I did find one that said, “Cars (not guns) are the biggest killers in the Middle East.” Hmmm. Really? Do these people really think I’m this stupid? Apparently they do.

In my search I did find a map that showed the United States as having the most heavily armed citizens in the world. Eighty-eight guns per 100 citizens. For me it begged the question, “How many mass graves filled with innocent people between my home and downtown Phoenix?” The answer? None. So I expanded my search only to find that mass graves filled with our citizens are actually pretty much few and far between. Mostly east of the Mississippi. Caused by the last REALLY serious fight we had in this country. Slavery. Fortunately the good guys won that battle and we stopped filling mass graves (with names like Gettysburg) a few weeks before a nut case killed Abraham Lincoln. But I digress.

Gun violence is real. Twenty beautiful babies were murdered in Newtown a month ago. Thirteen in Columbine. And in between these two tragedies, a crazy gunman took out 77 teenagers at a camp in Oslo, Norway, a couple of years ago. So Norway and the US are out in my quest to find a new home. Where should I live? How about the Middle East and North Africa? Their population is comparable to ours, 305 million in 2005. No reported statistics for violent gun deaths. None. Only that cars, not guns, are the biggest killers.

I feel like we’re children fighting over a favorite toy.

The reality is we citizens of the U.S. are good people and our argument shouldn’t be about whether or not we should be disarming peaceful citizens. We should be concerned about the unreported statistics regarding our neighbors next door in Syria.

Ours is now a global family. Our politics. Our economies. Our triumphs and our defeats. Here’s the latest gun massacre:

106 people, women and children, in Homs this past Tuesday. Can we talk about teaching my peaceful friends in Syria to find a way to disarm their belligerent bully (called their president) before we talk about finding a way to disarm me?