What to say? What to do?

What to Say? What to Do?

Elise is very angry at how the nation has treated the murders of women by a loser unable to attract them. I wondered what to say about it, and finally decided I had nothing of use to say.

The fact is that these mass killings are with us for the forseeable future. It's not a question of guns; in Iraq, they use bombs made with homemade explosives. Such weapons are not hard to make, out of chemicals readily available anywhere and too useful to ban. We are, in a sense, blessed by the guns: we read in America on rare occasion of the death of five of a dozen, rather than fifty or two hundred.

Because the killings are always the product of the unstable and strange, it's impossible to predict where they will occur, or when, or why. Indeed, giving weight to the meaning is almost pointless. It's only accidental that these minds' hatred and rage settled on X instead of Y. No amount of education or reasoning would have persuaded them to hate Y instead of X, and certainly not to hate nothing at all. You cannot teach them that womens' lives matter, or that anyone's does.

Once I would have said: "The lesson here is that women must be prepared to defend themselves; they ought to want to seek the training, and they ought to want to seek the tools." I have decided that, too, is a fool's errand. In Iraq, for example, there remains a problem of female servicemembers being raped. Rape is usually described as 'a fate worse than death,' and for good reason. When two people have sex, even if one of them sincerely does not wish it, chemicals in the brain cause a bonding with the other. Thus the raped cannot escape the memory of the rapist or the rape. The torment cannot end, does not end for many years, I have understood from those I've known who've suffered it. Yet time and again, women who were trained to arms, required to carry them everywhere, taught to kill as well as anyone could be taught, and well aware of the danger, did not use their arms, nor make themselves prepared to use them in those moments where the danger was most likley.

Some women are suited to killing, but many are not: many, and very good women, would not kill even to save themselves from death or a fate worse than death. I don't think that's a flaw in them. So, while I absolutely believe in the right of women to bear arms, and have trained many myself in their use, I know this is not the solution that will take away the problem. It can help some women, but it will not help all of them. Neither does that fact mean that there is something wrong with those it will not help.

I will certainly say to those who can bear arms that they should, always and everywhere. Be prepared, even though it is unlikely in America that you will ever encounter violence of this sort: but if you do, you may be the only hope. To those of noble heart, be ready to lay down your lives at any moment in the defense of the weak and the innocent. Evil exists. We must be ready to die at all times, in our souls and hearts as well as otherwise.

Those of us who can must be likewise ready to kill, that we may defend those who are not. It is important to do this, and to do it while remembering that those who are not able may be better than us. If you can remember that their gentleness and kindness may make them better than we are, you serve them humbly: ordinary people, who mean no harm.

If there is more to be said than this, I don't know what it is, unless it is prayer. Perhaps you know.

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