Friday, July 07, 2006

Put the gun down, and nobody gets hurt

A little serendipity...or synchronicity for you.

Last night Jenica and I watched "The Interpreter" with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman. Near the end of the film (SPOILER AHEAD!!!) Nicole Kidman's character, Sylvia stands poised with a gun pointed at the head of the man responsible for the death of her entire family, as well as genocide in her home country. It is her opportunity for vengeance.

Early on in the film, Sylvia tells Keller (Penn) about how the people of her country deal with vengeance. The person who committed a murder or was responsible for someone's death is thrown into a lake to is up to the family of the deceased as to whether or not they will be rescued. If they die, vengeance is theirs, but the grieving process will go on until their own death. If they rescue the person, then their grief is ended.

Keller reminds Sylvia of this as she stands, ready to "drown" the man responsible for so much violence. He tells her to put the gun down. She replies that she can't--that she doesn't know how. Keller draws his gun and points it at Sylvia and says, "This is how it's done". And then he slowly takes his gun and puts it down.

On the way to work today I was listening to another excerpt of Jim Wallis' "God's Politics". He was talking about how a decisive attack on global poverty would be a far more effective way of dealing with the threat of terrorism, since there is a strong connection between abject poverty and how well terrorist cells can recruit. Poverty is one of the breeding grounds for violence. If we truly wish to see peace, we must work at eliminating poverty.

Violence is definitely the shorter, easier way to react to 9/11 and other terrorist attacks. It is not the best long term solution however. Eliminating poverty is a far longer reaching solution. And the Western nations who hold the biggest guns need to lead the way in showing the rest of the world what it looks like to put the gun down.

They always say that in action movies..."Put the gun down and nobody gets hurt."

Nothing like stating the obvious, eh?


  1. I watched that movie twice in the theatres. The first time, I was so deeply affected by it that I sat rivetted in my seat for five minutes afterwards while everyone was getting up and leaving around me. That has only happened to me once before in a movie.

    Great post, Mike.

  2. Good job. I agree. Those with the "superior" powers should be the ones leading the way in those far reaching problems as you mentioned.