What we call normal living – II

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I read that gun/ammunition sales are on-the-up in the USA.  Massively.  I wonder why “freedom” requires the mindset to kill anyone threatening “freedom”.

Is that “freedom” at all?

The Cold War was all about who had the bigger phallus nuclear weaponry.   Mutual self-assured-destruction was the phrase I grew up with.

As well as cartoons of children “taking cover” under kitchen tables if this mutual self-assured-destruction commenced.  Always struck me as amusing that kitchen tables would keep us all safe from a nuclear holocaust (allegedly).

Over here in the UK we had the “three minute warning” – 180 seconds from being told I would become melted flesh to becoming melted flesh.

I know I talk about living in the moment a lot – but even that is a big ask!

So here we are with another “crisis” on our hands.  And I see the “kitchen table advice” much like this increase in “guns/ammunition sales”.   It saddens me that the country claiming bragging-rights over church attendance sees no irony in the genetically-hard-wired-right to kill others “to bear arms”.

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Our political, medical and scientific leaders are all suffering exposure to this virus and are self-isolating.  The “frontline” public faces steering us through this time are absent.  Yet there is a consistency: stay home to slow this infection – take personal responsibility for yourself – keep yourself (and all of us) safe by staying on your sofa.  Our freedom and safety is to be found on our sofas!  The USA finds it in guns.

Mindset again.

Just as going to church is a mindset that has nothing to do with anything other than social expectation and hierarchy.  Just as church attendance numbers have nothing to do with the moral health of any nation.  Just as knowing the bible verse by verse has nothing to do with “why” the bible.  Just as needing to be armed to the teeth is a personal prison (it seems to me) rather than personal freedom.

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My job is payroll and accounts.  The UK government’s very fast response with financial support for huge swathes of our society AND my company’s hard-wired passion for our temps – who are individual human beings – got this quote from one:

“You are transforming lives.”

Lives that each have a story of family, friends and financial commitments.  A story that is of safety-assumed-expected – and the fear of that safety stripped away right now.

Our government is not perfect – in “normal times” it’s regularly shredded for its self-serving incompetence.   Our Prime Minister (currently recovering from the virus) was deemed a clown – a Trump toyboy.

Yet the leadership shown by “this clown” has been decisive and all-embracing.  And yes, there are ALWAYS opportunities for sniping – for finding fault – for not being personally recognised and helped in my own personal circumstances that don’t “fit” exactly.

But I – and many others – are blown-away by the speed and far-reaching support being offered to millions of us ordinary citizens who can feel normal-safe again.  We don’t choose guns.  We choose safety that is each of us accepting we are connected by more than immediate family, immediate locality or even national boundaries.

Mindset again.

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I would prefer to transform lives rather than take lives.  I choose freedom that does not require guns over the fortress mentality that does.  I prefer not to go to church and  “get” the bible over sitting in a pew each Sunday and popping into the local gun-shop on my way home (and seeing nothing weird in that).

I prefer a government that is moving mountains and STILL treating us like the grown-ups we are.

And I will forgive that government for not being able to answer immediately every question in every case and in every circumstance.

Because I can’t either.

But that doesn’t mean I would ever want to have the equipment AND mindset to blast holes in anyone who crossed my boundary uninvited.

That isn’t freedom. 

That is a different normal mindset.

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