Head versus heart by Susan Grimsdell
I came across a sentence today that really stuck in my mind: “We are not rational beings”. This worried me, because surely what we need above all else is to use our brains, not our emotions, to solve our many and varied problems.
We all know that emotions are the things that get us into trouble, whether it’s falling in love with the wrong person or getting angry at the wrong time with, again, the wrong person, not to speak of making decisions based on what makes us feel good instead of what’s best for us. These can change the course of our lives forever and usually, I have to say, not for the better. In my long life, I would say, almost always, for the worse.
When we look at the problems in our society and the choices this government is making to deal with them, we realise the absolute truth of that statement about us not being rational. For example, we have some desperate, pressing needs in New Zealand and who’s going to start to meet them if not the government? It seems hospitals are crumbling away with mould, people are sleeping in sheds and garages, kids are going to school with no lunch, people are dying when there are drugs that could prolong their lives, mental health funding is pathetic, we even have babies being born in vans and taxis.
What would help with all these is money. Yet the government has recently decided to throw hundreds of millions, not at any of these issues, but towards gun owners, to buy their guns from them. This policy is a knee-jerk reaction to the incident where a fanatic opened fire in a mosque and killed 51 people. We all know, and experience overseas affirms this, that you will only get law-abiding people fronting up to hand over their guns. Bad types love their guns and no way will they part with them. We will never find or confiscate their guns and will never prevent any one of those people doing a copy-cat and deciding to mow down another lot of people in a mall, or a church, a music festival or anywhere, as they do in the USA. It takes one person with one gun. There are upwards of a million guns in our country.
So huge sums of money are going down the drain quite uselessly and pointlessly. Another Christchurch could happen tomorrow or at any time despite hundreds of millions spent on this expensive attempt to prevent it. When I read about hungry kids, about people not getting treatment in hospitals, about people sleeping on the streets, I get pretty mad that our government has set aside its rationality and gone with its emotion on this issue. But who am I to criticise – why would I think they’re any smarter than me!