Drinking that last drink at the bar last night was a bad idea.
Leaving your keys in the car while you ran into the Quick Mart for smokes and returning to your car being stolen turned out to be a bad idea.
Staying with your boyfriend who would order food for you, tell you where to sit, tell you where you were going, not letting you make any decisions until the day he gave you a black eye, that was a bad idea.
Having bad ideas is not new.
Having bad ideas as a human being is not exclusive to this time and space we live in.
This may sound crazy but human sacrifice was seen as a good idea once upon a time. The first born in almost all cultures around the world were commonly sacrificed to the gods in return for a good crop.
The idea was based on the observation of the cycle of plant life. Each year after harvest you select the best seeds for next year. Then in the spring, you plant the dead appearing seed in the ground and in a few weeks, a miracle happens when it spouts above the ground.
It’s alive again.
Joseph Campbell in his series, The Masks of God, details these rituals around the globe.
One of the first major cultures that relinquished that idea was the Romans. It disturbed them so much that they took it upon themselves to wipe out any culture that sacrificed children.
Take a look at history at what happened to the Carthaginians at the hands of Rome.
Slavery was once thought of as a good idea.
Now it’s on the pile of bad ideas that humans have had.
Yet people were convinced slavery was a good idea just like human sacrifice.
Why, or better yet how, did they convince themselves that bad ideas are good?
Today we are no different from our ancestors because there still remains bad ideas in our society.
We pass on bad ideas generation after generation never breaking from or with the stories we tell each other.
Many people have convinced themselves of a nihilist adolescent fantasy view of how the world and society works.
What am I talking about?
What is this fantasy?
The fantasy is that some of us believe they have the inherent right granted to them by the constitution of the United States of America to kill whom they want, when they want, with what they want at any time. That this right can never ever be abridged by anyone, by any government, by any power on this earth because it is a right granted to them by their God before the constitution was even written.
There God is cool with them killing those that are not like them, do not believe like them, are perceived to be taking from them, who do not cut their lawn according to community standards, who play music too loud, who talk to loud, who have pride they don’t deserve, who are too young to know better, who want more than what they are given.
A belief that you, cannot take away from my hands, the right for me to murder.
You do not have the right or the power to prevent me from killing with ease.
All based upon the premise, the idea, the story, that our government is constantly on the verge of needing to be overthrown because of its unreasonable treatment of its citizens. Anarchy versus anarchy?
Think about that?
Nihilists believe, in a belief that says, no matter what you do nothing will change.
The Adolescent comes to the world full of strict unbending belief in how the world should be not how it is.
Fantasy is a story, not the truth.
Has the world changed since 1776?
Do you know everyone back then urinated and defecated in a porcelain bowl and then afterward threw it out their back window into an open sewer?
Did you know they thought that only men contributed to the inception of a child that women contributed nothing? That women were nothing more than a container in which the child grew.
Did you know they thought that the Pacific Ocean was just on the other side of the Allegheny Mountains?
Now to be fair, they did know a lot about corruption and the abuses of the aristocracy over the general population which they could and usually did subjugate to poverty, starvation, random imprisonment and genocide.
The fear of an obtrusive and intrusive government into the private lives of a people was a pronounced reality that they were at odds with.
European governments transposed both crimes against the state and personal crimes, “sins”, of faith as being one and the same.
However, our founding fathers could see beyond 1776 into the future.
Yes, they could.
They weren’t focused on their navel.
They realized that societies change. They become more social. They learn more, know more in the future than we will ever know now.
That’s why they included in the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America a process by which the document can be changed. Yeah. Amended. That word amended means you can “update” the document to take into account any changes that the society in that future time will find itself in.
So our Constitution has been changed many times and not inclusive of the following.
It did away with the idea that owning a slave was an inherent right.
It did away with the idea that people could not drink alcohol.
It did away with the idea that only men could vote.
It did away with the idea that non-white races could not vote.
It did away with the idea that people 18 years of age could be drafted but couldn’t vote.
There is nothing special or holy about the 2nd Amendment.
You don’t have to believe me, there are many legal minds who you can find who will tell you exactly the same. If he was still with us you could ask the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist believers of the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia.
To change anything you need to have the will to do so.
It takes self-reflection to realize that what you believed in was a bad idea.
For some, they will cling to the idea, to the story, even when they can hear the screams and shouts of the dying.
Even the murder of children will not alter their stance and belief that they are standing with their rights given to them by their God, not any piece of paper in Washington can tell them different.
But you know…
There are bad ideas and good ideas.
And it just so happens the history of humankind leans towards supporting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.