Ever walk into an elevator with someone you think might be packing a handgun under their coat? What if you know they have a pistol? It changes more than the vibe or the atmosphere. It takes a lot of trust. Just look around and see how people react when a police officer walks into a coffee shop or apartment hallway. They carry lethal force on their belt and they have the authority of the state behind their willingness to use it. It changes the way people see and interact with them.
Well we have a guest here in Victoria right now – a bunch of guests. And they’re all packing. Navies from six countries, and some eight thousand sailors have descended on our little town. And the USS Ronald Reagan is the largest and the meanest, I think. Supported by several submarines, and nuclear missile enabled, this is a machine that’s packing serious heat. And it’s manned by thousands of soldiers willing to serve, protect and attack on command – and who generally don’t demonstrate any understanding of the history or impacts of colonization, gendered violence or racialization. But they’re committed to our protection, right?
That said, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer size and cost and capacity of this titan of the ocean. A modern titan.