And here, in the Bahamas, some of us discuss, seriously, that Bahamians should be allowed to carry handguns. We happen to live in that part of the world which was founded on the concept that it is some people’s god-given right to sail across an ocean, map out other people’s lands, eradicate those people, resettle those lands, import other people, and make fortunes out of the process.We are the broken men and women who are struggling to create civilizations out of that history. But we cannot, because we were created out of a philosophy that sees human life not as something sacred, but as something expendable—something that is less important than profit, or than massacre. The genocide and enslavement on which the “New” world was founded have left a legacy in which massacre is enacted again and again, and presented to the world as freedom.
And here in The Bahamas, we believe that nonsense. We believe that true freedom consists of the right to kill other people. We believe that some people are “bad” and others are “good” and the “good” people have the right to arm themselves and eradicate the “bad” people. We ourselves are always the “good” people. Who, then, are “bad”?
Every country has, along with its core civilities and traditions, some kind of inner madness, a belief so irrational that even death and destruction cannot alter it. In Europe not long ago it was the belief that “honor” of the nation was so important that any insult to it had to be avenged by millions of lives. In America, it has been, for so long now, the belief that guns designed to kill people indifferently and in great numbers can be widely available and not have it end with people being killed, indifferently and in great numbers. The argument has gotten dully repetitive: How does one argue with someone convinced that the routine massacre of our children is the price we must pay for our freedom to have guns, or rather to have guns that make us feel free? You can only shake your head and maybe cry a little. “Gun Crazy” is the title of one the best films about the American romance with violence. And gun-crazy we remain.