Hello and welcome to the very last Friday in February 2018!
I make a solemn promise, here and now, to not mention Nick Nolte any more than necessary over the next several hundred words (subject to change). As many of you know I am on Snapchat (@oohaw94) along with several other social media platforms. Matt, my long-time friend and best man to be at my wedding, is also on Snapchat. He has two daughters of the teenage age range and naturally they are on Snapchat as well. I occasionally communicate with his youngest daughter regarding softball and general life advice. His oldest daughter I rarely interact with but I will sometimes tap through her ‘story’. As a person who is seen as quirky and unorthodox, I hold no candle to his non-softball playing daughter in those categories. I’m not saying anything bad or negative about her, but her Snap threads and stories tend to be off the page a bit which is more or less why the app was created.
In this vein, I was tapping and reading through one of her recent threads. I came across one where she was wanting to participate or organize some sort of protest for gun control or gun violence. The frame was gone in ten seconds so I may not have gotten the full gist of her ‘Snap’. Guns in general have been a hot button topic in the news and coursing through social media as of late in the wake of the school shooting down in Florida this month and the Vegas concert shooting from October last year. Earlier this month I wrote a piece about people demanding easy solutions to very complex problems/issues (in case you want to go read through and see the scenario I suggested); it snaps together like a pair of Legos on this topic.
To my friend’s daughter I would pose the following questions: With this protest idea, what do you expect to happen or what do you hope to accomplish with your protest? Again I am not bashing her enthusiasm or dismissing her desire to bring about a positive change. Because I would say to her or anyone who is trying to put forth this kind of movement, if you are trying to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence, then I tip my hat and bid you to continue. But if you are doing this in the hopes of throwing legislative ‘paper’ at the problem, then I would say “Don’t waste your time.”
Hold on before you wrench the train off the rails with a passionate speech about the tragedy and needing change and other raging arguments with good intentions but supporting with very little in the means of a realistic plan to combat the horrific events that seem to be happening more and more these days. New gun legislation is a noble thought but in reality means nothing to someone with horrific intentions. If someone truly has evil intentions in their heart, they will find a way (see Timothy McVeigh and his trailer load of fertilized fuel). Truth be told, there are untold thousands of guns in circulation that no one can account for – not even the government. So if you turn off the ‘legal’ gun spigot, those looking to do ‘bad things’ will still find one or more guns somewhere else.
I wish I had an answer to this problem but realistically I do not. As weak as it sounds, the best we can do sometimes is to be aware of our surroundings and try to tune in to those around us. Granted not everyone is a psycho (even though it seems like it some days) but in most of these cases, people noted seeing warning signs from the perpetrators. Those who saw ‘red flags’ didn’t think there would be any serious repercussions from those who seemed on the outside looking in. Also, in today’s ‘look at me society’, it’s difficult to tell who is really troubled and who is just being a drama queen for attention. Again I have no answer for this trend but based on recent events, maybe groups and peers will try to communicate better to diffuse similar situations from escalating like this. I’m not saying everyone is going to be chummy and love one another but in most situations communication is the foundation to working toward solutions.
I will clumsily fall off the soap box now. Have a grand weekend!
For those at the FBI who may be interested to discern why I Googled the things I did; I looked them up for this piece to make sure my reference information was correct on dates, names and other generic facts. For the kids of today who were too young to know what the Timothy McVeigh reference was – Google him, read and educate yourselves. Guns are not the problem, fertilizer is not the problem, swords are not the problem, planes are not the problem – they are merely instruments in the hands of a person. From there the instruments are innocent and powerless to overcome the will and intentions of those who use any of them against their fellow man/woman/society.