As with all paintings it’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the artist uses of the colors he sees.
In part one we have applied a wash of Money with a ramble application of religion.
Now its time to dip our brush into more intense colors and forms. Let’s have a dart of “gun culture,” the Gun.
At the risk of turning our picture into naive art as citizens of the world, perhaps we should demand an end to the unimaginable suffering of victims and their families – the maiming and killing by guns of our fellow human beings.
The annual toll from firearms in the US is running at 32,000 deaths and climbing and this is a country at peace.
To absorb the scale of the mayhem, it’s worth trying to guess the death toll of all the wars in American history since the War of Independence began in 1775. The staggering fact, is that 212,994 more Americans lost their lives from firearms in the last 45 years than in all wars involving the US.
In the past decade in which the fear of terror has cost the USA hundreds of billions of dollars in wars, surveillance and intelligence programmes and homeland security. Ten years after 9/11, homeland security spending doubled to $69bn. The total bill since the attacks is more than $649bn.
One more figure.
There have been fewer than 20 terror-related deaths on American soil since 9/11 and about 364,000 deaths caused by privately owned firearms.
If any European nation had such a record and persisted in addressing only the first figure, while ignoring the second, you can bet your last pound that the United States would be warning against travel to that country and no American would set foot in it without body armour.
The historic lunacy of this position in the USA springs from the second amendment right to keep and bear arms, and is derived from English common law and our 1689 Bill of Rights.
The gun lobby is too powerful to challenge and that nothing will ever change. It’s no wonder that it is mostly seen as a matter of personal safety. The AR 15, the gun that Adam Lanza used to murder 20 children in Newtown, is now the most popular rifle in America.
International pressure may be one way of reducing the slaughter over the next generation. This has reached the point where it has ceased to be a domestic issue. The world cannot stand idly by.
You might ask why we did not use Gun as the wash to our painting. The reason is you have to buy a gun.
Our perception of danger is easily distorted by rare events like the Recent Killings in Paris.
You also might say that Guns don’t attack children; psychopaths and sadists and terrorists do.
Weapons may have saved the planet from a future too terrible to imagine.
The one that has and is changing the future is the Kalashnikov AK – 47. The 47 refers to the year of its commission 1947.
Invented by a gifted tank mechanic to save Russia’s Mikhail Kalashnikov, who died in Russia on 23 Dec 2023 aged 94.Russia not only distributes the Kalashnikov rifles all over the world, but also licensed its production in over 30 other countries, including China, Israel, India, Egypt and Nigeria.
It’s the most effective killing machine in human history – a gun that, on its 62nd birthday, is still killing as many as a quarter of a million people every year, in every corner of the globe.
It is believed that AK-47s have caused more deaths than artillery fire, airstrikes and rocket attacks combined. Responsible for more deaths than any other individual model of weapon in human history.
It has truly changed the course of human history in so many different conflicts that we hardly have time to discuss them.
It’s the tool that lets “freedom fighter” groups – or “terrorist” groups, depending on whose politics you follow – hold off entire armies of well-trained soldiers packing million-dollar weapons systems.
The average global price of the assault rifle was estimated at $534 in 2005, according to Oxford University economist Phillip Killicoat. Though in African countries the price of AK-47 is on average $200 cheaper.
In the U.S. it has jump from $600 to $1,500, as gun owners rush to buy genuine Russian weapons before they disappear from store shelves.
It was the US, which gave the Al Qaeda founder his first AK-47 to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
The image of AK-47 appears on the flag of Mozambique as well as coats of arms of Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso (1984-97) and East Timor. The Kalashnikov rifle is also present on the flag of Lebanese militant organization, Hezbollah.
Coins dedicated to Mikhail Kalashnikov and his creation were issued not only in Russia, but also in such a peaceful place as New Zealand, which marked the rifle’s 60th birthday with special two-dollar pieces.
The French newspaper, Liberation, named AK-47 the most important invention of the XX century.
Colombian artist, Cesar Lopez, has transformed a dozen of AK-47s into guitars, with then UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, getting one of the musical instruments as a gift in 2007.
There are more than a thousand types of dangerous guns in the world.
Our brush is now dripping in violence. However every man has the right to risk his life in order to save it.
Our next color should recognize this fact.
However to turn our painting of the future away from destruction and war to the possibilities of living together in peace we need to find a color that is common to all to wipe the earth terrorists of the face of the planet.