a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
—BBS = “Barney’s Bullet strategy” (i.e., eliminating mass gun violence)
Last week I broke the mold in terms of genre here at a mystical möbius with a “dystopian thought experiment.” It reflects my frustration and a recognition that the well worn 2A/guns debate has reached a dead-end.
The knee-jerk response of Republican leaders and many 2A/gun enthusiasts to any initiative to reduce gun violence is: “It’s a gun grab!” Obviously, BBS totally neutralizes that. If the gun-space is a no-go for reform talk, why not try the adjacent bullet-space?
I’m naturally finding intersections between BBS, the mass-gun-violence problem, and January 6, 2021. Given last week’s primetime hearings, it would have been difficult not to relate BBS to some January 6, 2021 issues. Militant antigovernmental White nationalists probably won’t support ‘accountable bullets.’
My hope was/is that my provocative, wildly tongue-in-cheek proposal would elicit bold, out-of-the-box ideas with regard to minimizing the carnage of gun violence. I had various experiences in the conversations that occurred on it last week. I’ll report on that in a moment.
BBS was designed to open a discussion space that encourages new ideas. The hope was to stimulate reflection and communal conversation that would somehow increase the set of the adjacent possible from which actual, new, so-called, “shovel-ready” solutions might emerge.
Additionally, the design is meant to foster awareness of the power of a shared commitment to the common good. If we can share the belief that humans have the capacity to possess nuclear weapons and not use them, then a commitment to severely limit the number of bullets allowed to enter public space is possible.
As I processed the idea, I intuited some larger, darker dystopian implications. This dark-tangent might be conceived of as a cautionary tale via comparison with a New Testament theme. I’ll return to this, hopefully, before we finish this week.
The first problem with any kind of control scheme is how to enforce the rules being created. Without effective enforcement, regulations are futile/(harmful?). So, this is where a reminder is needed, that the technology of bullets inlaid with nano-chips that are networked on the internet of things would be a total game changer. Enforcing anything like BBS would require very sophisticated technology.
‘Praxis’ is a term that refers to the relationship that exists between action and the idea it expresses.
This week I encountered a variety of experiences while discussing the BBS approach in the Facebook groups in which I participate.
Conversation about my WordPress piece in a clergy Facebook group in which I participate was sparse. Certainly, there was nothing like robust participation from either side on it. However, they’re busy with schism right now; so, yeah.
I observed in the related discussion that I could find on my senators’ Facebook pages that partisans have great difficulty loosening up enough to experimentally consider thoughts and understandings outside of their own. No news there, I imagine, i.e., thinking about the Overton Window, confirmation bias, party conformity, and all that. I want to think that whenever there is any openness whatsoever, then the potential of the scheme beyond it’s immediate goals, e.g., reducing gun violence and ending mass-shootings, will potentially be seen.
In one philosophy group on Facebook in which I participate, a step or two needed in the process surfaced in a very civil exchange. The sheer number of bullets already being held [perhaps a trillion] helped form a bumper of sorts for the thought process. It became clear right away that a way would be needed for BBS to narrow the set of bullets for which to account. Maximally, only the bullets that enter into the common space would be targeted for accountability and required to have chips.
My thesis beneath the piece is the notion that the scheme could/would appeal to those on both sides once they saw the potential of such a commitment. It started there, and as I said, something larger (and dark) emerged. We’ll have to consider that next week.
*Political technologies* and Jan. 6 hypocrisy
With this post Senator Marshall inadvertently indicates that he actually does understand the potential danger of reckless political rhetoric. Yet, he gives DJT a pass — I note that Marshall has yet to clarify that DJT‘s Big Lie is a big lie; and that DJT reasserted The Big Lie last Thursday in response to the hearings.
Next week: Barney’s bullet and unintended consequences. [this post ~850 words (3-min. read)]