Dystopia & Gun Control – The Critical Question Not Being Asked

I fully support an all out ban on civilian ownership of handguns and military style assault weapons… beginning with the immediate ban on sales of all amunition needed to use these weapons. I support it in spite of the statistics anyone can point to the contrary. Here’s why:

Like many of you I read arguments pro and con on government placing far more severe restrictions on gun ownership in the US. I also read the radicles on facebook and blogs who espouse their position, and back them up with statistics and “facts”.

Today an old high school classmate who I am ‘facebook friends’ with (which has nothing to do with being friends with him <- an old post worth revisiting from time to time IMHO!) posted a story about a mom who defended her kids and home from an intruder by shooting him with her gun. He then asked “Tell me again why this woman shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun to defend herself.” [Note: It was a .38 Revolver – not exactly the kind of military style assault weapons being discussed nationally now]

I will publicly take my stance on this issue, and lay out for you my reasoning on why I cannot engage in this dialogue with anyone like him.

The premise of their arguments presupposes that the world will continue to be as it currently is, or will only get worse.

I cannot support an argument to support the status quo when the status quo is one that seems to be creating more disturbed people like the ones who have terrorized innocent people (and children especially), and makes it incredibly easy to obtain the resources to do so.

So I must ask:

Is this really the best we can do?

Now I must dive into my work, how this relates to teens and those who are helping to raise them:

This notion of “it’s a tough world out there and you must fend for yourself” is part of a growing movement in the last 15 years towards a dystopian view of our future.. an outlook that permeates much of youth culture and much of their beliefs and values.

It shows up repeatedly in everything from Harry Potter to Hunger Games to Dragon Tattoos to Vampire-mania… It is evident in parents who will sacrifice their kid’s emotional, mental and even physical well being to force them through a soul-sucking 3 year process of cramming them into every AP, Honors, Community Service, Extra-Curricular, summer internship, etc process of uber-competiveness to position their kids at the top of the college admission world… they do this because they believe their future is bleak without it and thus their mental, emotional health is worth sacrificing for the hope of their survival..

It is evident just in listening to how many youth feel so negative about the world they are inheriting…

They have come of age in the Post 9/11 world, the post Inconvenient Truth (Global Warming) world, enhanced by the crisis of 2008 that slapped Americans in the face and has left many of the younger generation clamoring for hope.

It is no wonder they look at their future so bleakly… and it is no wonder that they have so little interest or faith in the adults in their lives to make it better…

So I ask again:

Is this really the best we can do?

I think not!

I couldn’t do the work I do if I felt that it was too late to save our plant, save our world and save ourselves from ourselves. 

For this reason I find the idea of continuing to pump more and more military style assault weapons into the world is insane… literally, insane.

It may take 50 years to remove the threat of handguns and assault rifles from our society… and if we believe we can create a better world in 50 years, then this is an essential step. AN essential step. Not the ONLY essential step.

So for this reason I cannot engage in asinine arguments with people about handguns and assault weapons. It is a waste of time.

I begin with the same kind of thinking I teach my clients to begin with:

Imagine you are already living in the world you want to be living in. Presume it is possible. Then ask, “what was the first step we took to get from where we were to finally being here?” … then ask “and what next?”… then ask again and again until, the answers of what the actions are that we must take, become evident. 

If you are a cynic you will conclude that the only option other than your Dystopia, is Utopia – something that can never happen with humans as flawed as they are… you may even use that as your argument to dismiss everything I have written above.

If you are like me though, you will say that given all the variables, an evolved human species is capable of so much more and so much better than this… and whatever we can do to help raise our youth to be so evolved that they do create a far more balanced, stable world, should be amongst our highest priorities.  

Giving them a world to live in where they don’t have to be worried about being killed in their schools is a good start… giving them schools and an education system that actually helps  them evolve is too… but dare I get ahead of myself…

Jeffrey Leiken

California 2013


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