A couple of years ago a story doing the rounds was of an airline pilot who had ‘snapped’ at his neighbour’s terrier dog’s incessant barking, and drowned the poor animal in a bucket of water. Certainly an extreme reaction by any stretch of the imagination but one that appears to be an increasingly frequent occurrence in today’s hectic & stressed life.
I suspect we all know, or know of, of a pal who gets a little too feisty after a pint or two, the ranting driver only one-traffic light mishap away from committing physical road-rage or the ex-partner secretly stalking their ‘ex’ online and, perhaps, on the street? I even found myself arguing with the owner of my local chippie t’other night as a later-arrival received their haddock, chips & curry sauce before me! Are we all only a step away from drowning pets? Possibly. Possibly not. Or do we need to worry about a Michael Douglas/Falling Down character producing a gun and popping a cap at us all? Hopefully not, as in the UK at least, the chances are they don’t own one. Yet.
In most cases anger stems from a desire for retribution: someone has done, said or implied something that you’re not happy about and you feel a bit of payback is due. And get this, whilst we condemn those who get angry and lose it, it’s entirely justified when that someone is us! Either way, aggressive retaliation seldom makes any sense and certainly fails to right any wrong, perceived or otherwise. In fact, two wrongs and all that.
Cross someone in the US however and you do so at your peril. An estimated 310,000,000 firearms (virtually one gun per person) goes some way to explaining why there’s been more than a thousand ‘mass shootings’ in the last five years alone. When an individual on their weekly grocery shop can pick-up a semi-automatic rifle at their local Kmart you just know there’s no going back. Long may we resist such lunacy.