Every time some lost soul with writhing snakes in his head does something wretched with a gun, as happened in Uvalde, we’re immediately buried in loud, public non-sequiturs: howls to DO SOMETHING! Even though the somethings called for have no chance of ending the behavior we so much want to prevent. The Uvalde tragedy is no exception, as we’ve already seen.
Most are familiar with the sorriest examples in this go round. There’s President Clouseau using the death of children as an occasion to retail left-wing talking points, the second time in recent days he has chosen scoring political points over the opportunity to comfort suffering Americans (see Buffalo). There was the foolish Beto’s foolish stunt. If ever there was a lost ball in the high weeds, it’s Beto. And the predictable Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr slamming the table in red hot indignation because we haven’t, well, haven’t what he didn’t specifically say beyond suggesting that gun control laws are magical. The other usual suspects said the usual time-worn and unhelpful things.
The clamor is the usual mix of ignorance, stupidity, political demagogy, and plain virtue signaling. The Bible teaches us that despair is a sin. But despair can be hard to resist when we’re constantly confronted with the unserious ways serious subjects are dealt with. Too much rant and not enough reason.
Comes now Gabe Kapler, manager of the San Francisco Giants, to add yet another off-the-wall reason to disrespect America and its national anthem. Kapler says he will no longer stand with his team for the national anthem until he “feels better about the direction of our country.” And this just in time for Memorial Day. Nice goin’, Gabe.
Along with the usual anti-gun rant, Kapler’s lament is that, according to his peculiar lights, America is no longer the home of the brave and the land of the free. This is because the police officers first on the scene at Uvalde did not immediately confront the shooter and actually held back parents who wanted to do what the cops weren’t doing. The behavior of the first officers on the scene must and will be given a thorough going over, and blame may ultimately be assigned to a mistake that cost lives. I’m willing to wait until we know what needs to be known about this. But to extrapolate from what might turn out to be tragic nonperformance on the part of police officers to conclude that America is now a country of cowards is preposterous. First responders, including police officers, and civilian Americans, do incredibly brave things every day. Pay attention, Gabe!
Kapler doesn’t need much excuse to demonstrate how America fails to meet his high standards. In 2020 he protested the national anthem, taking a knee with several other Giant players to object to “racial injustice and police brutality.” What his feelings were or are about criminal brutality he’s never made clear.
Kapler fits nicely into what we have learned to call the “corporate culture” of one of the most politically progressive sports teams around. The Giants are big supporters of Black Lives Matter. The team “proudly” played what some have come to call the black national anthem during opening day pre-game ceremonies at Oracle Park. I’m sure Gabe stood for that. The team is so up-to-progressive-date and with-it they even boast at least one woman team coach. Perhaps the thinking (if you can call it that) is that a batter getting in touch with his feminine side will have a better chance of catching up with a closer’s 100 mile per hour hummer with the game on the line.
The question of how to protect America’s children in schools is a profound one, and has nothing to do with more futile gun control laws. If we ever find a way to stop, or at least slow, the slaughter of innocents, it will have to be with clear and honest thinking, not with the clown show antics of the lineup above.
Also not helpful are elected public officials who identify as Republican and conservative who play into the gun control lobby’s attempt to make the National Rifle Association and its members boogey-men for horrific crimes that have nothing to do the group’s policies. Less than optimal timing led to the NRA’s annual convention being held in Houston this week. At least four important Texas politicians – Governor Gregg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, and Senator John Cornyn all canceled speaking engagement at the convention. Their unconvincing excuses ranged from “prayerful considerations” to last minute scheduling conflicts. Shame on them. The real reason in each case is more likely a sudden drop in testosterone levels.
Others answered the call. Texas Senator Ted Cruz called on conventioneers not to “react to evil and tragedy by abandoning the Constitution or infringing on the rights of our law-abiding citizens.” Former President Trump seconded this and added, “the existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens.” Outside the hall, the usual Pavlovian protestors hammed it up, including drafting young children into their sorry act. The aforementioned man-child, Beto, was also there. He has little sense or substance, but apparently a large travel budget.
In America the guns have always been here. But the mass shooters are, historically speaking, new. It’s going to take a lot to learn to keep them and the innocents separate. To do this we need a lot higher level of national conversation about this than we are burdened with after every tragedy. It’s way short of the total answer, of course. But in the case of schools we could start by NOT LEAVING THE DAMN BACK DOOR PROPPED OPEN.