A Serial Knifing
When commenting on freshly-minted current events such as the Pennsylvania high school “Knife Massacre,” it’s probably prudent to tread lightly, since blood and passion are a volatile mix and any attempt at exposing the philosophical nakedness of others or in tapping into irony is invariably met with the charge of indecent political opportunism. Fortunately, I am beyond caring at this point.
Without reaching up for the low-hanging clichés that broil on the tip of one’s tongue, (those analogies involving the futility of gun regulation at ending lawlessness) I suppose it is safe to say that when a Heart of Darkness is determined towards mayhem, any household item can become an instrument of vengeance or malice. Indeed, a lawnmower blade or ball peen hammer are adequate enough tools to get one’s point across if you are bound and determined to extinguish life; and even a turkeybaster can do a number on someone -- given enough force and perseverance.
The problem, as always, rests with the “wild card” of the human condition -- which can bless or curse on a dime and can wax angelic or irrational as the mood permits. Being free and moral beings, a conscious reduction to the “animal regions” of our organism is always a distinct possibility -- despite the multiplicity of laws or the altruism that attends our best intentions. When a man’s virtues give way and the rawness of his unrestrained will leaves him with hands that are caked in the blood of others, perhaps only a scant few will offer that “they saw it coming” in their post-mortem wrapup of a troubled life. And certainly only God himself was aware of the true extent of that seething malevolence.
The outlawing of every tool that might be ferociously wielded by the human imagination, all as a means to insure some abstract calculation of public safety, will prove to be an endless and unprofitable endeavor. One might as well excommunicate man from the public square. There is no guarantee to life; and to attempt the impossible will forcibly render the quality of our lives far less than free -- thus making our final state more wretched than the first.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed at www.stubbornthings.org and on Twitter.