The Bullet

This week, I learnt that bullets are branded.

An object that is designed to kill as many human beings as possible, is imprinted with a maker’s mark.

This bullet found at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was manufactured by a Serbian ammunition company. Proud makers of the finest machine gun bullets. Guaranteed performance with a quality reputation spanning decades.

I remember floating through a state of numbness, and this particular piece of information sliced through the fog. Bullets are proudly branded, like every other manufactured thing. Of course.

How (the fuck) did we get here?

The horrific events of the last few days have prompted one question to be uttered repeatedly, over and over again.

How did we get here?

The answer is mainly, it’s just business. Someone tends a set of books and grows their bottom line, another person or group gets the short end of the stick.

I wondered who the bullet messaging was targeted at. Is it the dead man in whose body the missile comes to rest? Or is it the soldier who exhausts them at the rate of hundreds per minute?

I imagine that marksmen and hobbyists might be a bullet maker’s equivalent of a wine connoisseur, ticking off performance measures in clipped, peer reviewed brunch discussions.

Perhaps they are the cultured audience with the fine nose to appreciate bullet craftsmanship for maximum velocity, frictionless projectile travel, or whatever morbid performance indicators they fancy.

Perhaps some of these. Except that a machine gun bullet is better compared to crack cocaine than wine, and in place of witty ‘drink responsibly’ signage, you’ll find only cold death.

And yet here we are with bullets that won’t stay quiet.

Here we are with killers who advertise their killing accomplishments.

Reality is mind boggling.

It’s possible that bullets are branded for traceability, as anonymous bullets may create problems of their own.

It’s possible that the need for organization has been shamefully adjudged to outweigh the guilt of murder.

The world is a cold and chaotic place.

Lives are lost, profits are made, and human nature relentlessly pulls the boat of society toward murderous systems of humongous greed. And so you must continue to paddle against the current.

For the sake of the lives that were lost, and for those that are yet to come.

You must continue to paddle.

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Provocateur

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