His contempt was brimming, and I could see that he thought my question was exceedingly philosophic and not based in reality. I seemed to have struck a nerve: Americans try to put their guns and their gun violence into a philosophical question when they really just have more guns than anybody on the planet. Please don’t bother me with such a question. You can debate your high handed philosophy — all by yourself.
Though he was an invited friend in my house, he was agitated by my simple question. He was touched and anguished by the horror that he had just witnessed on American television. His comment was out of character of any Japanese person, and I could tell that he was quite indignant being asked my simple question.Today, I sit across the table from a friend and young philosopher. She speaks to me with better English than I can speak to her in French. I respect her and her understanding of world & human behavior. She is a mere 22 years old and is well-versed in French, English and American literature. I am impressed with her depth and breadth of knowledge at such a young age. She has quizzed me on my understanding and thoughts on and of American literature and philosophy. Alas, I have fallen a bit short! It is the second time in two years that I have sat across the table from her and discussed American violence.Today, yet , another travesty — the Sandy Hook massacre, dozens of little children and teachers dead.I muster the voice to ask her what she thinks of America and its propensity for gun violence? She hesitates and is a bit reluctant to express her opinion — but I can tell that she has one.I press her, and with some hesitation she tells me that we are just a “Baby Nation.”
Tell me again?
And she states, ”You are just a BABY NATION.“America is a Baby Nation. You have just finished fighting the Indian’s and you are still scared and frighten.
I ask, what?
She tells me: “Historically you have just arrived on a new continent and have just finished fighting the Indians, and you are still afraid. You hide your fear by saying it is a Second Amendment right and patriotic but really, you are still afraid.“You have just finished fighting the Indians. You are not capable of being rational. In Europe we have spent hundreds of years creating freedom and understanding individual rights. You are babies in this logical progression. It will be a long time before you can understand rational/irrational behavior.“You are a beacon of freedom, but look at your history of crazy gun violence. You need your guns to make you feel safe. From a European perspective, you are a ‘frightened people,’ and your guns make you feel safe. In Europe, we do not have guns and very few people die from this sort of violence. It will be a long time before you can overcome your fear. You arrived on the North American shore with guns to defend and protect you from others. Why do you think that you could put them down in the course of a few generations? You have a long way to go before you are not frightened. You need your guns to make you feel safe.”Maybe in a few more generations, you will come to understand that it is more than guns that make you feel you have power.”