Fear TV -> Fear Based Life -> No Life

Over the millennia we have been risk takers and adventurers. Today, we’re a people of fear. We live in fear, thrive on fear. We fear our neighbors, all strangers, and most of the people we know and work with.

Fear is a vital part of our ability to survive. Lacking fear can lead to a quick demise. The problem with fear mongering, and fear television, is our brains do not separate fact from fantasy. It’s all the same to our brain. Eventually it becomes how we see the world.

Fear sells. Fear gets ratings. Fear generates conversation. Fear makes the news. Fear keeps oppressive governments in business. Fear is real, and we are tuned into fear.

Scrolling through the offerings on my television this morning, I became aware just how entrenched we are in fear. Here is an overview of Fear that was available at 11:00 today:

Ever Wonder why your world is so scary?

“The Predator, Dead Man on Campus, Flirting With Disaster, Warning Sign, Stakeout, 16 Shots, The Others, Jeepers Creepers 2, Fallen, Psycho: The Shocking Truth, Psycho Brother In Law, Reeker, Fatal Attraction, Paranormal Lockdown, Air Warriors, Codes and Conspiracies, Homicide City, Monster Quest, NCIS.”

Full nineteen different channels of Fear Television. And many of these just for this hour. Several are repeated through the day, and into the week. I imagine that by 11:00 AM, one has had their fill of talking heads, the weather, and politics. Fear is all that is left.

Sure bad things happen, people die in horrible ways. These instances are the exception and not the rule. Talking to your neighbor does not make them a psychopath. Smiling and saying hello to someone at a store your frequent does not turn that person into a stalker intent on homicide.

Living a fear based life, is not living, it is existing. Quit saturating yourself in fear, and start saturating yourself in life. The more people you meet and become friends with, the safer you are, the safer your neighborhood, the safer your city. Save your fear for real possibilities, not every day life.

Guns, Mass Murder, and Suicide; Acceptable Fear

The question is not who kills people, the question is who kills people with what? If guns are banned, another method will be used to kill innocent strangers such as were used in the mass murder via Sarin Gas in the Japan Subway System a few years back, and Jim Jones using cyanide in Kool Aid a few years before that.

Guns are only one device used for killing people and not really that effective in accomplishing mass murder. What guns have going for them is availability and simplicity.

The bigger question we should ask ourselves about these repetitive mass murders is what is the price we are willing to pay for our right of freedom? What price is acceptable, allowing deranged people to kill other people, and the killing is tolerated because eliminating guns would further erode our already greatly reduced personal freedoms?

One the extreme side of protectionism there are people who value personal safety above all else. They would be perfectly happy allowing camera and microphone monitoring into their homes 24 x 7 if it would guarantee their safety. They eat right, exercise on a regular basis, and never do anything that would be considered a risky behavior by an average adult.

On the other side, we have Gang Bangers, Red Letter Motorcycle Clubs, Drug Dealers, Prostitutes,  and Extreme Sports risk takers. Their values are quite different than the first group, and personal safety is not their highest priority. Most of the people in this group with the exception of extreme sports people, will use violent behavior to protect their way of life. Lifestyle of freedom reigns supreme and will be protected over an individual or group.

Which group would we identify with, when our personal safety is at risk? Do we want to be safe. Do we want to live without fear. What price are we willing to pay? Is our personal safety worth everything or is complete freedom worth more?

Is taking away freedom to provide more safety the right thing to do? Is it correct to legislate which weapons are acceptable in America and which weapons are not? To a large extent this is already been decided. The average American does not legally own any weapon outside what would be considered a hunting or sporting weapon. I do not own legally or otherwise any weaponry typically associated with the military in a war type environment.

Everyday we pay other people to take total control their daily life. Individuals and businesses take over our individual safety needs. Our insurance agents, Bus and Taxi Cab Drivers, the local Police and Fire Department, our Doctor. They all take charge of our personal health and welfare. Our children are taken care of by their Teachers, and School Bus Drivers. Maybe a Family Member, Sitter, or Day Care Center takes responsibility for our children’s safety after school and before us.

Up until a century ago, it a given that an individual living on one end of America could not pack up a few belongings, and travel across country without facing a large amount of personal risk. This is still true today if one chose to hitch their way meandering across the country. It is not a normal part of a safe life style to wander about in any inner city. Travel into some other countries, and one is likely to disappear without a trace.

There is no answer to the mass killings we see today except to compare them to almost any time and anywhere before the 1900’s. A time when one undertook great personal risk to travel too far away from home. Far being as little as a few miles in some circumstances. In those days public protection afforded strangers today did not exist as we know it today.

More regulation or more gun control will not make us safer. Nor will restricting certain types of weapons, and sizes of ammunition clips. Safety can only be legislated so far. After that it is up to us individually. At present, the only thing that will halt mass murder in America is time.

Eventually we will be sickened by people being murdered to change our cultural mores, ethics, and thinking. We should not feel the need to have one or more assault rifles next to our bedside, and pistols under our pillows. We will not need the false comfort of having multiple weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition about us. We will as a people grow tired of living in fear, and start living in life instead.

America is entrenched in groundless fear of fear itself. We are drenched in fear daily by the media, and indirectly by our own government. We fear our neighbors. We fear teen age boys who dress and act differently than we think they should. We fear strangers. We fear anyone who is not us. We fear murky, unnamed heads of unnamed states trying to impose their way of life on us by force. We fear those things we can not see. We fear the stranger in the black car, or the brown van. We fear dogs.

We fear the boogie man. We fear the Devil. We fear ourselves. Until we decide to tame and manage our totally irrational fear, mass killings and suicides will be a part of the network news. We live in the most peaceful and safe time the world has seen in our known history, and we still choose to cling to fear.

What for? Are we happier living in fear? Is fear the control method of our modern life? Do you enjoy being afraid?