My heart goes out to those affected by the LA massacre.
The need for gun control, clearly a euphemism focused on men, has never been greater and of course the US should get rid of guns but it won’t do it until it grows up.
Humanity as a whole has an immature psyche but the immature male archetype of the warrior often leads to violence. The questions for me are how do we help people grow up and develop into mature adults and how do we help society grow up? How do men (in particular as we are responsible for the vast majority of violence) move beyond the adolescent state that is so damaging?
Bill Plotkin in his ground breaking book, Nature and the Human Soul, describes late adolescence as the “Wanderer in the Cocoon”. The idea of a wanderer, a person who hasn’t got a clear path or a map, someone who is aimless in life wanting and waiting to find some direction seems to encapsulate this stage of the development of the psyche. Being in a cocoon adds to the frustration, being unable to leave and be fully free, tied into a way of being with boundaries that are desperately restrictive and increase the level of angst seems a fairly good analogy.
The warrior archetype, described by Robert Moore as one of the four key archetypes of the male psyche – the other three being king, lover and magician, like all archetypes can go wrong. They can develop poorly leading to immaturity and damage to self and others. The violence inflicted by men – and yes it is almost always men – is largely driven by this archetype in a poorly developed form.
But humanity as a whole fails the test of maturity, so it is difficult to put 100% of the blame for acts on an individual. The US has consistently refused to reduce access to guns. Trump is backed by the gun lobby and in turn backs them. As alluded to in the opening lines, the link between guns and men is both real and euphemistic, just like an immature man wanting a flashy car. The oppression of women and black people in the US (and elsewhere too) is part of humanity’s immaturity. The drive of capitalist greed which destroys our environment is part of humanity’s immaturity. I could go on.
The question is how and when will humanity in general and men in particular grow up and what can be done to accelerate this?