Happy end of the world

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE – And a happy end of the world to you. This seems to be a bigger end of the world than your typical end of the world. I hadn’t realized the Mayans had such a powerful lobby.
No one seems to know exactly when this is going to happen.
Some prophesies give it another couple of days. I’m going with today. It’s another one of those days that is all ones and twos. This year 12-12-12 seemed to be a more important day to people than any of the other triple repeating days were during the past 12 years.
Maybe the end will come the second the solstice hits. I’m not sure what time that is and I’m not a big enough believer to go look it up.
To demonstrate how little I believe, I’m having a big party tomorrow.
Don’t bother dropping by. We’ll be in Scottsdale with our family, which is where we always like to be for ends of the world.
Why am I so fixated on this particular end of the world? Maybe it is because so many friends are. They don’t necessarily think it is the end so much as that something will happen in their lives.
Maybe the boss finally will realize they are the perfect person for that promotion.
For me, it is an opportunity to take a look at the state of affairs in this world. If you think everything is fine, quit reading this and turn to the pages that tell about the fiscal cliff, school shootings and turmoil in the Middle East.
We have become a nation of cliff hangers. We can’t make a decision until we reach the cliff. And if there is a way to postpone that cliff another few months, we’ll take it.
We have lost the ability to negotiate. Now we fight to see who can intimidate the most.
The bigger we can make that cliff, the more we can scare the other side into submission.
 And it doesn’t work because a bigger cliff always looms ahead.
Political observer Jon Stewart calls it “Cliffapocolypsemageddonacaust.” My spellchecker currently is freaking out.
Looking at problems as a cliff is not a good way to understand anything. It seems to me that the environmentalists and the peaceniks on the left got it started back in the 1960s. The Democrats have been sweeping them out ever since.
Now the Republicans have the tea partiers to contend with. As long as they insist on their way or no way, we will continue our brinksmanship and get nowhere.
As for the recent mass shootings, they are becoming commonplace --the massacre of the week. And I’m sad to say I am without answers. Gun makers and gun sellers have the drop on America. They have become too powerful to stop.
Other countries, even wild-west Australia, have found solutions.
But nothing has worked here.
 Assault weapons were outlawed for a time but now they’re back.
There’s not much that can be done. We live in a gun culture where it is macho and patriotic to own lots of guns.
The gun industry has been of no help in policing itself.
It blames the media, film makers and game makers. It wants controls placed on them in order to eliminate violence in our culture. They are big on the 2nd Amendment but not the 1st Amendment.
Being libertarian in my thinking, I would support gun rights even if there weren’t a 2nd Amendment. But I do wonder at times about the 2nd Amendment.
It appears to me to approve of muskets for civilians in a militia.
I’m not sure what the founders would say today.
I wish the media would not headline violence but they are businesses and they want to make a profit so they do a lot of polling.
And violence seems to be what the public wants.
Jay Miller is a syndicated columnist based in Santa Fe.