One thing this war has revealed is that we're entering a strange new world. Only the U.S. has the technology and trained forces to fight a truly "modern" war. But that doesn't make us as all-powerful as it may seem, because countries worldwide are now doing the unthinkable--developing nuclear weapons.
Countries that run their governments according to ancient religious doctrines or outdated political ideas, and countries torn apart by tribalism and infighting, now have the power to destroy--not the world (not yet, anyway)--but the part of it their bombs can reach. It's like giving a loaded gun to an infant, but it's too late to lock it away in a drawer now.
In the early hours of this war, a primitive car bomb set by Kurdish fundamentalists killed more people than had so far been killed by U.S. military weapons, an example of tribal infighting and religious wars going on right next door to the most sophisticated fighting the world has ever seen.
It's not just that some countries hate the U.S. or Western culture. Perhaps they even have legitimate grievances against the West, but it's more likely that our technology makes them feel powerless and having the bomb helps alleviate these feelings of helplessness.
But do they have the sophistication to go along with this powerful tool? No matter whether you're for or against gun control, everyone knows it's necessary to be trained in how to use a gun. Having nuclear weapons is a responsibility for which few countries are trained or prepared.
In the 50's, after the nuclear bomb helped win World War II for the West, we said it was vital to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. Now we know that's impossible, so we need to try to educate the world instead--in the most important kind of gun control there is. When we look at the world today, which is filled with religious fanaticism, tribalism, racial hatred and isolationism, the task seems impossible.
Law enforcement officials all know that the teenage years are the most dangerous, when it comes to breaking the law. Once demographics shift, and a majority of the population ages, crime rates go down, irregardless of the type of policing that's been done. We live in a selfish, adolescent world. Will we grow up in time?
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