A recent archaeological find shows that violent atrocities among humans predates agriculture. This insight into the less-pleasant aspects of human nature reveals a useful lesson for us in the 21st century.
The scene was a lagoon on the shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya. The time about 10,000 years ago. One group of hunter-gatherers attacked and slaughtered another, leaving the dead with crushed skulls, embedded arrow or spear points, and other devastating wounds. . . A woman, pregnant with a 6- to 9-month-old fetus, was killed by a blow to the head, the fetal skeleton preserved in her abdomen. The position of her hands and feet suggest that she may have been tied up before she was killed.
Humans have been killing each other before recorded history; since before even the development of agriculture. Such ancient killings apparently include murdering a bound and heavily pregnant woman, as the Lake Turkana incident shows. Violence is in our species DNA, and that fact won’t change anytime soon – no matter how hard one may wish to the contrary.
Fast forward to today, and we can see that a certain percentage of the population is unwilling to obey our laws and instead chooses to engage in violence towards their fellow humans. Sometimes the motivation is purely financial, as there are people who would rather commit a robbery than work to earn an income. Other criminals are motivated by a sadistic desire to inflict harm for the sake of inflicting harm. Still other acts of violence are committed by those who have a misguided political agenda or mental illness that drives them to harm others.
When the pregnant woman at Lake Turkana was being slaughtered 10,000 years ago, there were no guns around. Indeed, the concept of a gun would not exist for many thousands of years. Yet there was great violence and death, because that willingness to harm other humans (especially vulnerable ones such as pregnant women) is a sad part of human nature. Hopefully, we can all one day recognize that it is human nature, not an inanimate object like a gun, that is to blame for such violence. Maybe then we can do a better job at treating each other in a decent manner.
Until that time (which will sadly likely never come) when there is no violence between humans, I will continue to keep and bear arms for self defense and defense of my family.
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