Now people, if you know me at all, and by that I mean if you have met me just once or read one of my blogs you probably are aware that I have these pesky little things called opinions. Well in all reality we all have them, but mine are maybe just a little bit “more peskier” (yes I put that in quotes, Ms. English Teacher Wantabe, because I know that is grammatically incorrect) than most. Or maybe I should be a little bit more honest and just admit that my filter has a faulty filtery thingamajig that allows me to share my opinion a lot more often and much louder than most people, and that makes my opinions “more peskier”. I would apologize for this, but the apology would be more of a “Sorry not sorry” type thing.
So anyway, I am writing todays posts in part because, well I have an opinion about something pretty much in the news every week lately. And I just need to share my thoughts. Not because you asked, but because I want to. And just to be fair to my blog, I am going to link it to entertainment as well.
Recently, and by recently I mean like for the past 20+ years, we as a country have seen an increase in gun violence all over the great old U.S. of A. In all reality no place seems safe anymore. Shooting s are occurring outside of daycare centers, in grade schools, high schools, playgrounds, parks, movie theatres and even churches. Seriously, people we have a problem. A serious problem. I don’t have the solution to the problem. But, we as a country need to find one.
In the last month we have had at least four incidents occur on college campuses. COLLEGE CAMPUSES, people. You know that place where young people come to learn and grow and develop as vibrant productive members of society. College campuses are my second home. I love working on a college campus. I love to encourage people to thrive on college campuses. My job calls for me to constantly be encouraging people to live on college campuses. I do this, not because my job calls for me to, but because I honestly believe that living on campus enhances the collegiate experience. I know it did for me, and I know it has for so many people that I have had the privilege to work with. On a college campus you get to learn who you are and open your mind to the differences that bind as a larger community. One thing you should not have to learn on a college campus is how to avoid getting shot.
So why are we experiencing these shootings on college campuses, as well as so many other places. Well if you listen to some of the media types out there you might believe that the entertainment industry is responsible for it. No seriously, that is what the people over on that “alleged” news network that believes themselves to be fair and unbalanced, would have us believe. Really that is what they want to claim. Today I was in a public area where for some unknown reason (okay I’m pretty sure the reason is known, just not confirmed to be that the people running the establishment were right wing whack jobs) they had FOX NEWS on. And they were discussing the most recent college shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. Anyway the blonde bimbo dujour, (no I’m not being judgmental, her name is Elizabeth Hasselbeck and she is a confirmed bimbo with blonde hair, if not blonde roots) is claiming that part of the problem with these shootings is that college students of today were brought up with all of these violent video games that allowed people to shoot things. The issue is not guns the issue is that today’s youth were exposed to too much violence on TV and on the big screen and in video games and so they don’t know any better.
Yep that was part of her message. So, the first point that I need to make is her tile of “Blonde Bimbo Dujour” is confirmed. Secondly. WTF? No seriously WTF? Today’s generation of college students were exposed to too much violence in entertainment, because other generations weren’t? Ummmmm wrong.
My generation grew up watching Scarface, The Godfather, Rambo, Lethal Weapon and so many more movies with gun violence. We were playing Atari, you know the game that came with a control pad and a gun so we could shoot ducks. My generation were told to go outside and play cops and robbers, and use sticks for guns. We watched Star Wars and saw Han Solo shoot a guy in a cantina for looking at him funny. Our TV heroes were Starsky and Hutch, Mannix, Kojak, Jim Rockford, and Charlie’s Angels (the real ones who had guns in their silhouette logo). See we had violence too. We had tons of violence in our lives. We had wars in our lives, we had tragedies in our lives. In fact those of us that were born in the sixties had these things called assassinations that really occurred. JFK, MLK, Malcolm, Bobby. All lost to gun violence. We knew about guns. We had exposure to it.
We also had these things called parents. At least I know I did. My parents were my parents. At no point and time in my young life did I ever refer to Mike Sabolo or Del Sabolo as “my friend”. They were Mom and Dad. And I know that I speak for all of my siblings when I say we also had this thing called a healthy fear of our parents. I would never have told my Mom the things I hear kids say to parents today. I knew what a slap from Delta felt like. I never rolled my eyes at my dad…well okay I did, but only after he left the room, and more typically than not the house or subdivision. My parents taught me right from wrong. They taught me that life was going to be full of “no’s”. That I wasn’t going to get everything I wanted. Hell, I wasn’t going to get half of what I wanted, and if I didn’t like that. Too bad, keep whining brat, and you won’t get half of what you need either. Okay that part isn’t true. I always got what I needed, and sometimes that was a good hard swat across the nether regions. I learned life lessons from my parents and one of those was that just because I was pissed at one person, or a group of people, or life in general, throwing a fit was not the answer. Pouting was not the answer. And a gun was certainly not the answer.
Now, before it sounds like I am blaming the parents of these shooters, I need to clarify. That is not my intention. I don’t know the parents of these shooters. They may have raised their kids in a way similar to my parents. They may have worked hard to instill respect and rules in their children. In fact let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they did. And I’d like to believe that they taught their kids that fake violence on a screen was just that fake violence. I know my parents taught me that.
So if that is not the problem, what is the problem? I wish I knew. I just know it is not too much violence in entertainment. The shooter in Carolina that shot up the church didn’t do it because he saw The Kingsmen and thought wow that church shooting scene was cool, and I’m bored I think I’ll go do that. No, he did it because he had hatred in his heart and he had a gun. The guy who shot all of those innocent little kids in Sandy Hook, didn’t do it because he saw a television show where someone shot a bunch of kids and thought I’m bored, what can I do today? He did it because he had a mental disorder and a gun. The guy who shot up the community college in Oregon didn’t do it because he was bored playing his Xbox and decided to go shoot someone for real. He did it because he was mentally scarred and had a gun. In fact the only common trait in all of the shootings that have occurred over the past few years is that the shooter had a gun. Wow, how intriguing. Could it possibly be that the gun is the issue?
Oh, but hold it we know that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” And to all of my faithful readers out there that agree with that, I have bad news for you. But, it’s time I told you the truth. On that one issue you are an f’ing idiot! Yep I said it. You see you are trying to fight an argument that no one is making. I don’t think that guns kill people, just like I don’t think I’m fat because of food. But I also know that if I didn’t have so much good food I wouldn’t be as fat as I am. I also think that people with guns kill a whole lot more people than people without guns do. And I certainly think that people with semi-automatic weapons kill a lot more people than people without semi-automatic weapons do.
The simple fact is if the kid who shot the innocent bystander in the quad on the college campus in Nashville this morning had not had a gun, but instead had a knife or a pair of brass knuckles, or no weapon at all, the chances of anyone dying in that quad would have been reduced greatly. I don’t care if the kid had just watched every damn Rambo film the night before, or had played the most violent game of Mortal Kombat. He did not shoot anyone because of that. He did it because he had a gun. Plain and simple.
I’m not advocating for taking away all guns. Those horses are running free and that barn door can’t be shut. I’m saying it shouldn’t be so damn easy to get a gun. I don’t want a gun, but I know that if I did, I could have one within a matter of minutes. How scary is that? I mean I’ve watched a lot of violent movies and television.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “Now, people…” although I agreed with the request to write about gun violence. It’s time, already. However, if you’d like to join, and prefer to NOT write about guns, or violence, we’d love to have you.
Also? It’s Time to Talk about Gun Violence.