Wednesday, June 5, 2013

OPINION - "For your own safety"

This article is a bit of a rant, but I also consider it to be one of trying to raise public awareness. Not just for here in Australia, but for anywhere in the world.

I will do my best to avoid sounding like a hippie from 1969, raging about "the system, man" and "the corporations, man" but instead try to be as objective as I can.

You may have seen brief glimpses of the horrors affecting Turkey right now. If you haven't, take a look here, here and here before continuing.

What is happening there right now is nothing short of a triumph. A revolution. This is a country whose brave population have stood up as a whole and said "no, that's not ok." To do that takes courage, sacrifice and dedication. It takes a realisation that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and that it's not ok to simply "sit down and shut up" when your government starts opressing you.

This certainly isn't an isolated incident, what's happening to these people. Many countries do it. It starts slowly, with more rules, more restrictions. Perhaps a slow disarming of the population by removing the right to bear arms or the right to properly defend oneself. The government will impose more laws and give people less rights, all in the name of "keeping the people safe" but only serving to make the lawful weaker and the unlawful stronger. The resulting increase in crime and violence and the stamping down on revolutionaries are all skewed by the media (who is in the government's pocket in places like this) to incite fear in the people. The terrified population then turn to their governments, their authorities, to protect them from these scary things that are happening, and those same authorities use this to strip away even more rights, until there is nothing left but an unprotected quivering mass for a population, dependant on media and drip-fed information to know what's going on. In this weakened state a trigger will happen. Something will give way that incites drastic action. It must. It's the way of the human psyche.

Take what happened in London, for example. It started with the killing, by police, of Mark Duggan. He had been under investigation for illegal firearm possession. The police stopped a taxi he was in and, when he got out and ran, they shot him dead. The official statement from police say that he swung out of the car, drawing a firearm and took aim, and that is why they fired, but the taxi driver gave a sworn statement that all Mark did was get out of the car and run. This seems to be backed up by the fact that no firearm was found on his person when they examined his body.

This event was a catalyst that ignited a long-lasting feud between English police and the residents of some of the more impoverished towns, and it led to many aggressive outbursts towards police. Eventually, police attacked and beat a young woman whom they said 'provoked them' and the riots spread like wildfire. When the people saw that the authorities were being stood up to, it emboldened them to take action themselves.

This can also go other ways. After World War I, Germany was under extremely tight control from the rest of the world due to the Treaty of Versailles, and with the great depression hitting hard and a series of unstable governments, it left itself wide open for a dictatorship. The German people were scared from the aftermath of the war, they were unsure of the direction of their country because of the unstable government and they were desperate due to the financial imbalance caused by the great depression. When a country gets like this they look to a leader. Sometimes that leader is a revolutionary - some bold person who takes it upon themselves to be a leader to the people. Other times, it can be a radical. In the case of Germany, they turned to Adolf Hitler, and that did NOT go so well, as I'm sure you know.

While the scenario is well known to everyone, people choose to ignore it. This is known as "The Cassandra Syndrome", wherein people will know something to be true, and know that it exists, but actively choose to ignore its presence and do nothing about it. You see it all the time in scenarios like this, but also in things such as global warming, pollution, unethical legislation and corrupt world leaders. People are genuinely willing to sit by and watch utterly horrific things go on and not lift a finger because they are scared to be a lone voice, because lone voices are either ignored, or worse, silenced. It is because of this fear that these atrocities manage to take place at all. This concept has been used as the plot device of stories such as V for Vendetta, but other than that, rarely get comprehended by people.

People instead remain too frightened to act, and then, when boiling points are finally reached, it devolves, inevitably, into riots or dictatorship or even war.
The worst part is that many people will cajole themselves by saying "That won't happen to me. I live in a civilised country. I live in Australia, or America,  or England. We have rights here. We have choice. This is a democracy." but people who think that way are not seeing all of the things that are in plain sight. The rules. The police states. The people who disappear. They trust the media reports implicitly. They trust their politicians completely. They sit on their couches, eating their TV dinners, watching news programs that have their perspectives dictated to them by "elected officials" without ever realising that they are being spoon fed as their rights are slowly ripped away.

Australia, for example, is a country with rabid drug problems, increasing racial intolerance, terrible violence (for a 1st world country), huge networks of gang activity and violent crime... But what are people being arrested for? Crossing a road "improperly", or riding a bicycle without a helmet, or ordering a knife from overseas. These are the things that we are told are "important to control", and yet they instil a sense of fear in the people of what could happen to you if these things were allowed. They tell people that it's "for their own safety" and "for the greater good" but did you ever stop and think of why? Why are Australians not allowed to handle their own safety?

Many years ago Australians had their gun rights stripped from them for the same reason. It was for our safety. What the media and government didn't explain, however, was that gun crime in Australia rose by 67% in the first 12 months after Australians were disarmed. Why? Because the only people who still had guns were those who had obtained them illegally. Do you think that statistic was publicized? Of course it wasn't. What happened in Port Arthur was horrific. It was a deplorable act by a mentally deranged animal of a human being. Knowing that there will ALWAYS be people like that out there, however, is a fact that people need to take seriously.

If, fate forbid, someone ploughed a Hummer through a primary school one lunch time and mowed down 200 children before law enforcement was able to intervene, or before an evacuation plan could be executed, do you think cars would be outlawed? Of course not. Cars are needed. What if an organised group of 50 people all did that at the same time on the same day across the country? Do you think THAT would be enough to outlaw all cars? No, it wouldn't. One incident was the catalyst for Australia to be disarmed by its government, because its government had a regime it wanted implemented and it needed to make the people scared in order to make it happen. What's happened because of it? Have guns disappeared from Australian streets? Is gun crime eliminated? No. Not even slightly. But now it's JUST the criminals that have them and no-one else.

What about women who work late nights? What if, due to financial limitations, they have to work or live in a seedy neighbourhood? You'd think that's perfect justification for the woman to be able to carry some means of protection, wouldn't you say? Perhaps a tazer? Nope. Illegal. Mace/pepper spray? Nope. Illegal. A blade, perhaps? Nope. VERY illegal. It doesn't only apply to women, either. Barely a week goes by where you don't hear about innocent people being set upon by savage attackers for no reason other than sick pleasure. No pre-meditation. No forethought. No reason other than people wanting to hurt someone for fun. But if you train in and then carry a weapon to help protect yourself in this (increasingly likely) scenario, then you, yourself become the criminal.

It is rules and restrictions such as this which slowly build and build and build over time, quietly and subtly so people can't or won't notice, before you find yourself in something like Nazi Germany, or what Turkey is going through at the moment. But the people can and will fight back.

Be aware. Look and see. Don't just accept what is told to you, and question why. You are not free. Freedom is a choice, and most of you are, without fighting it, choosing to remain under the boot heel. Eventually that boot heel is going to come down. It is inevitable.

- CumQuaT

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