All that other stuff

“I’ve been looking all over the place for a place for me. But it ain’t anywhere. It just ain’t anywhere.” — Syd Barrett

Our politics seems to have hit a single note these days and I would love to apologize for that. However, we’ve hit an existential crisis and we seemingly have any number of solutions that people are throwing out there. Then, there’s this guy.

For those not up on their twitter, the blue check mark by the name indicates that it’s a verified account. In other words, this guy is somebody. In point of fact, he is the somebody that’s claimed he was the one that shot Osama Bin Laden. He was a part of a whole seal team that went in and given that yesterday was Memorial Day I suppose we should treat him with some modicum of respect.

So, let’s take these shots seriously. Asserting that a mass shooter is evil is like saying water is wet. A mass shooter must be evil or disturbed to shoot a room of strangers. So, saying the problem is evil is not particularly helpful. How does one identify evil before it acts? Therein lies the question. Ah, but there is so much more here. Let’s keep going.

“Raise your damn kids and take them to church.” Well, based on statistics on church attendance, 41 percent of Christians in the United States attend weekly or more as of 2018. Believe it or not, that puts the U.S. at about the midpoint in the world. Most of the countries in front of them reside exclusively in Central America, South America, and Africa. Japan is the notable exception to that.

Of course, this is the percentage of Christians that attend at least once a week. It doesn’t count people that don’t identify as Christians. Poland comes in tied at 41 percent. Otherwise, every other industrialized country in Europe comes in below that. Well below that. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the United Kingdom all came in at five percent or lower. Obviously, someone needs to rescue those Godless people from themselves until everyone is smited in a mass murder. Oh, those countries don’t have those things? Shocking.

Of course, then we get to the parenting advice portion of the tweet. We should spank our kids when they deserve it and be good to our neighbors. I’m not sure about the spanking part, but clearly something is going on when 18 year old kids want to rush out and buy a military grade weapon. Something is missing there. So, I’m not tossing this sentiment away. We can reasonably debate the best way to raise kids, but I think most reasonable people would agree that an 18 year old (or anyone else) shouldn’t have access to semi-automatic weapons or enough bullets to take out an entire elementary school.

Now, we start to go off the rails when he tells us to throw this whole “woke shit” out of the window and fire all the blue haired teachers. I suppose he’s being literal with the blue hair and not just cracking down on older women that might be teachers. Perhaps, someone needs to define “woke shit” for me. After all, we’ve been barred from teaching about discrimination, mentioning the word gay, or most controversial topics in general. So, maybe the learned gentlemen can help us out there.

As for blue haired teachers, I think I might remember working with one over the years and it hasn’t been recent. I think she was an Art teacher. I don’t remember any of those kids turning into a mass shooter. I think he would be surprised at how many teachers are personally culturally conservative. Very few are the kind that would die their hair unusual colors and even fewer would even think to exude that kind of progressive agenda outwardly.

The truth of the matter is that we encounter the world and the whole gamut of options on a daily basis. Most of us deal with that compassionately. A few of us don’t. We tolerate all of our students because that’s what compassionate people do. We certainly don’t preach one way or the other. We accept. I suppose if that qualifies as “woke shit” then call me guilty.

I certainly don’t mean to pick on Mr. O’Neill too much. After all, he is a legitimate war hero and he deserves our respect. That being said, he is trying really hard to blame anything else for these tragedies except the one thing we know is at fault. It is the one thing that separates us from the rest of the industrialized world. There are bad parents, Godless heathens, and mentally ill teenagers everywhere. What there isn’t is easy access to guns. Let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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