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Old 12-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
James Sawers
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Question Making Sense...?

There is a recent thread on "How Real is Violence?". I think the recent tragedy gives us all a very special and unfortunate vision of violence in our society and how very real it can be. If anyone has any insight into such things, please share.

Sense?

Sense
How can we make sense
Of some things?
Sandy Hook, Cologne, Virginia Tech,
Dunblane, Columbine, and
Bath School and Red Lake High School
A fraternity of tragedy
The list can go on
And on
A testament to what?
How evil we are?
How helpless we are?
How stupid we are?
Logic and reason fail
Faith takes a severe beating
We look to others
Authorities, experts
People of education
And influence
But nothing satisfies
No answer is good enough
How can such things happen?
How can people treat
Other people like that
Especially children?
Mental illness and evil
Have always been with us
But some things...
Some things just
Strike to the heart


Last edited by James Sawers : 12-17-2012 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: Making Sense...?

Jim, I don't write as eloquently as you...

I can't explain violence... I can't explain why the markings on the Mayan calendar remind me of the markings on an Oreo cookie.

practice hard
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
Jim, I don't write as eloquently as you...

I can't explain violence... I can't explain why the markings on the Mayan calendar remind me of the markings on an Oreo cookie.
As good an answer as any, I guess......good with milk....
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Re: Making Sense...?

Tragedys happens everywhere and they happened long before now. Today media not only brings these tragedys to the population but they cram it down everyone's throat before during and after the event.

We aren't going to make sense of these events because they are senseless acts. Sure, in the instances where they can talk to the individual or when the individual leaves a note explaining their actions we can know why they did what they did but to unerstand them is not possible, IMO.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

If I understand correctly O'Sensei's invention (if that is the right word) of Aikido involved more than just the promotion of various martial techniques, but also a philosophical mindset that reached out to hopefully change the world via love, peace, harmony through budo (roughly).

How would such a mindset reconcile with what happened in Conn? That is, if Aikido was more a part of more people's lives, whether or not they actually practiced on the mat, would this have had any kind of effect on the outcome in Conn? What kind of practice or process could people have used under such an attack?

Or, if someone has a gun, then Aikido is just worthless??

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Old 12-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Making Sense...?

I think that the unfortunate thing is that whilst these very public events are tragic the every day reality of homicide continues almost unnoticed. Was quite shocked to read this in the huffington post, by way of our local print media. U.S. Shooting Deaths Since Sandy Hook Top 100

Treading carefully....From what I know of self defence stats it seems most homicides are between those known to each other. The availability of self defence tools in these situations then becomes somewhat counterproductive. It doesn't stop evil or intent to commit acts - but maybe there are strategies to limit the scope by limiting the tools.

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Old 12-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: Making Sense...?

Change takes place when it is noticed that a change is needed. Society can see that a change is needed. Sadly, society doesn't recognize what needes to change.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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Re: Making Sense...?

Thanks for everyone's response. Guess I was asking too much, expecting too much, that some kind of answer may be readily available.

Jim.......Perhaps 2013 will be better.........
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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Re: Making Sense...?

Unfortunately you can't stop crazy. You can treat it, you can reduce it's impact by limiting access to means, if the right person is in the right place you can shut it down, but you cannot expect to fully protect or prevent it. For most of us making sense of crazy is a self indulgent rabbit hole it distracts you from doing more useful things, because crazy is crazy and the motivations are...crazy.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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Re: Making Sense...?

Immediately after the "Montreal Massacre" (6 Dec 1989) a politician said something true. Then Minister of Justice for Canada was asked if he was going to tighten up gun laws in Canada while on news camera... The cops were still picking up brass at the university... His response included "You can't legislate sanity."
He was replaced within two days by a new minister who did enact new firearms law.
You can't legislate sanity.
Interesting article in the December 2012 issue of the Atlantic "The Case for More Guns" by Jeffrey Goldberg.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #11
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Immediately after the "Montreal Massacre" (6 Dec 1989) a politician said something true. Then Minister of Justice for Canada was asked if he was going to tighten up gun laws in Canada while on news camera... The cops were still picking up brass at the university... His response included "You can't legislate sanity."
He was replaced within two days by a new minister who did enact new firearms law.
You can't legislate sanity.
Interesting article in the December 2012 issue of the Atlantic "The Case for More Guns" by Jeffrey Goldberg.
In the same sense "You can't legislate against sickness", or even "You can't legislate immortality". That doesn't mean that societies should not care for the ill, or throw the elderly onto the streets.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: Making Sense...?

As a professor of forensic psychology, please remember that you cannot "make sense" of what another person thinks, feels, or does utilizing your own frame of reference. You must utilize theirs.

This is an explanation, never an excuse.

Be grateful that some things don't make sense.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #13
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

I remember many years ago when I was in basic training, I was awaked around 2am by a scuffle going on at another bunk across from me (we shared 8 men rooms, then). Four guys were subduing and carrying away one of the trainees, one guy per limb. Never saw the guy again. He had a reputation as being somewhat "crazy". He told me once that the reason he joined the army was to learn how to kill so that he could then be an assassin for the mob. He used to stroke his weapon (M-14, then) and talk to it.

I doubt that any criminal organization would actually hire this guy, but my point is that sometimes it does not take conflicting religions or philosophies to make someone do something like Sandy Hook, just someone who is "crazy", which I am defining as someone who would do something like this.

As others have mentioned, you cannot legislate against crazy. Perhaps invest, as a society, in better mental health practices, would help........but, there will always be that outlier that we can't control or predict, then what?

So, a gun in every classroom? As a teacher friend of mine once said, and I paraphrase: "Believe it or not, teachers did not go into the teaching profession to carry weapons". Individually we can take some measure of control and do something, even if it it just an extra dollop of awareness. As a society, what? There does not seem any likelihood of a consensus here. Still, is there any practical measures that can be taken?

Sorry, just my frustration and total confusion about this.......

Jim........
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:55 AM   #14
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Re: Making Sense...?

I still think that "you cannot legislate against crazy" is a cope out. You can't legislate against sexual urges either, bur rape is generally severely punished. When this is not done, things tend to break down - see recent events in India. It is irrational to be the only unarmed person in an armed society. The brave way out is a total legislation against the infantile and unhealthy obsession with firearms - the alternative is for everyone to be armed.

But who would want visit such a place?

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #15
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
I doubt that any criminal organization would actually hire this guy, but my point is that sometimes it does not take conflicting religions or philosophies to make someone do something like Sandy Hook, just someone who is "crazy", which I am defining as someone who would do something like this.
This makes me think about the causes of many larger conflicts in the world today. Us cold-war products tend to think that wars, insurrections and the like are normally ideological in nature; now I'm thinking that the period where that was true was a historical blip. Nowadays the phrase "sectarian violence" gets slapped on every conflict between people who are (at least nominally) of different belief systems, which ignores the fact that in many (most? nearly all?) cases the religion is less the motivation and more the label du jour for another flavor of identity politics. India's BJP, for instance, a so called "Hindu nationalist" party, has always struck me as being much less about the former and much more about the latter. Identity politics is crazy, pretty much by definition, but it's a very human craziness, one into which most of us fall in various ways and degrees. And identity politics itself can become the label for even simpler human vices such as greed. The military junta in Myanmar isn't about ideology, and the various warring factions in the DRC aren't about various flavors of nationalism. They're just a bunch of crooks.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #16
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
The brave way out is a total legislation against the infantile and unhealthy obsession with firearms - the alternative is for everyone to be armed.
Yes, you can legislate against firearms. Already have. Lots of laws on the books.

But, how to you legislate against "infantile and unhealthy obsession"?

Perhaps the problem isn't just what one holds in their hands, but its what they hold in their hearts and minds?

Any thoughts anyone?

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:45 AM   #17
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yes, you can legislate against firearms. Already have. Lots of laws on the books.
The attitude should be that civilians are not allowed firearms. There may be exceptions but the general rule is no firearms. I don't think that US has such law.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
But, how to you legislate against "infantile and unhealthy obsession"?
You state that this is the case by law. You apply the law. This should go hand in hand with an educational effort on a similar scale. This is easy.

The difficulty is to have the will to do it.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #18
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yes, you can legislate against firearms. Already have. Lots of laws on the books.

But, how to you legislate against "infantile and unhealthy obsession"?

Perhaps the problem isn't just what one holds in their hands, but its what they hold in their hearts and minds?

Any thoughts anyone?
Thanks, Lynn. This is sort of the direction my OP was looking towards, but with an Aikido twist. That is, can/does the philosophy/practice of Aikido have anything to say in regards to this? It seems to me that aikido-off-the-mat should have some kind of response, no? It may not be a definitive answer, but if Aikido is also a way of life as well as a practice, then how does this way speak to this issue?

Thanks....Jim

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
This is sort of the direction my OP was looking towards, but with an Aikido twist. That is, can/does the philosophy/practice of Aikido have anything to say in regards to this? It seems to me that aikido-off-the-mat should have some kind of response, no? It may not be a definitive answer, but if Aikido is also a way of life as well as a practice, then how does this way speak to this issue?
IMHO, there are many people who practice the physical art of Aikido who have not incorporated or integrated the philosophy into their psychology or sociology, much less their spirituality.

Since Aikido is a paradigm shift about accepting the conflict in the world, but not returning or responding in kind, it does illustrate that we need to work on the resolution of our own ego pain.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #20
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, there are many people who practice the physical art of Aikido who have not incorporated or integrated the philosophy into their psychology or sociology, much less their spirituality.

Since Aikido is a paradigm shift about accepting the conflict in the world, but not returning or responding in kind, it does illustrate that we need to work on the resolution of our own ego pain.
Yes, the first part is so true. I have had conversations with aikidoka who had no idea of the philosophy behind aikido, never mind incorporating it into their spiritual life.

As for working on the angst of the world, or at least a nation, that may be too big a bite to take.(?) Has anyone heard anything of applying aikido philosophy/practice to architecture?

In response to David S's post, as someone who was born and raised in Britain (till 11), I can understand your perplexion with America's obsession with guns, and, as someone also raised and living in the States, I can understand some people here's odsession with guns, too.

If you take out the people who want guns for personal self-defense and/or hunting, and also take out the criminal class, you are left with those who want assault weapons with large clips. The short of it is that these people just do not trust the government and want the gun option if the government turns "bad". Just part of the (some) American psyche.

Still, we are stuck with this current reality. So, what are our options?

Last edited by James Sawers : 01-03-2013 at 05:50 PM.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #21
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
Still, we are stuck with this current reality. So, what are our options?
IMHO, we are only stuck with the reality we accept.

Reality is an internal perception not an external social norm or government regulation.

Don't confront what we are obsessed with, but the process of obsession itself.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #22
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, we are only stuck with the reality we accept.

Reality is an internal perception not an external social norm or government regulation.

Don't confront what we are obsessed with, but the process of obsession itself.
Ah, confront the disease itself, not just the symptom,,,,,

So, the answer is to make a better world to live in, such that the symptom (obsession with guns) does not need to manifest itself.....(?)

Sure, I'll start right now.......Guess this is one good reason to practice aikido and incorporate it into our lives.....still.........

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Old 01-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #23
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
Ah, confront the disease itself, not just the symptom,,,,,
Yes agreed ... to understand and control the gun/weapon, understand and control the mind of the person holding/using it.

Fight the person, not the weapon.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #24
James Sawers
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Re: Making Sense...?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yes agreed ... to understand and control the gun/weapon, understand and control the mind of the person holding/using it.

Fight the person, not the weapon.
Yes, makes sense..........However, in the meantime while I, or society, learn to control the gun (over use) mindset, I think I'd like to have a kevlar vest, or psychic equivalent, as a fallback option, just in case.

Thanks.......Jim

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Old 06-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #25
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Re: Making Sense...?

Nice! So refreshing when everything makes sense.
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