The idea that material objects have the capacity to direct and control our behavior is so childish that you can see how nicely it fits into the state’s interests in keeping us as obedient children. But if the proposition be true, none of us has "free will" (i.e., we are but billiard balls reacting – without intention – to forces outside us). Vector analysis, employing laws of physics, would be sufficient to explain human behavior. If this is so, what moral justification would the state have to punish anyone for anything that they do? If guns were responsible for the mass-killings in Colorado as well as in Wisconsin, why should those who pulled the triggers be held responsible? Perhaps we could revert to the practice in early England when, for example, if a gate collapsed and killed a man, the gate was put on trial and, if found guilty, punished for its "wrongdoing."
But if guns have the power to cause us to do things we would not be inclined to do in their absence, wouldn’t the same logic apply to weaponry in the hands of the state? Perhaps it is the guns, bombs, rockets, aircraft carriers, missiles, bombers, and other inanimate tools of death and destruction that cause wars. Those who desire peace in the world should organize themselves on behalf of disarming the state; of taking from the military and police officers the tools with which they are driven by unseen forces to inflict violence upon others. Perhaps the power of inanimate "things" explains why the United States leads the world in the percentage of its population in penitentiaries: in the language of chaos theory, prisons may serve as "attractors" that draw men and women to be incarcerated therein!
Given the pervasiveness of the thinking that sees war and violence as the nature of human beings in society, should we be shocked to find occasional individuals emulating the behavior of those who engage in such activity at political levels? When soldiers who kill innocent people in foreign lands are rewarded with medals and accorded the status of "heroes," why do we not extend the same approval to the man who kills his neighbor? .. Why are serial-killers rightly condemned for their mass slaughters, while those who play central roles in conducting wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children receive the Nobel Peace Prize?