With common sense is that it isn’t” Samuel Clemens once famously quipped, and few could argue the veracity of that sage, if jocular observation in today’s world. Certainly there is no shortage of would be advisers eager to weigh in on the source of the problems faced in America today, each one of those advisers bringing an opinion to the table shaped by their current environment and, sadly, political leanings. Two quotes come to mind here: The first, from Herbert George Wells’ classic “The Island of Dr. Moreau: “I suppose everything in existence takes its color from the average hue of our surroundings” and, the next from a lesser known author, Ryan Aslesan, “….countless Americans who still believe the fanciful promises of Jackasses and Elephants” I include these references as a more sophisticated way of quoting the age-old aphorism; ‘opinions are like a-holes; everybody’s got one’. The seeming dilemma posed by the above truths certainly draws no closer to resolution with each new round of horrific mass shootings – these events shock our sensibilities to the core and leave us demanding accountability – more on that thought later, suffice it to say that we inevitably look for some sort of systemic failure to blame as an explanation for the senseless violence and tragic loss of life, and, failing that, we turn towards our government and demand they take action to protect us, our children, our way of life. That last recourse ends up being as successful as you might expect from the current pack of hand-wringing ninnies occupying the seats of power. Perhaps the most difficult reality Americans must face in the current governing of our nation is that, regardless of which side of the aisle you sit, the folks who are supposedly representing you and your interests are in actuality, representing interests and factions far removed from what the majority of Americans wish for. The problem is rampant in our entire system of government and, while not as up-front visible as, say government corruption in Mexico or South America, the truth is our representatives are chiefly concerned with the following, in this order:
- Staying in power (because we are not as corrupt as all that)
- Securing enough money to ensure #1 above, and….
- Staying on the right side of the organizations that can ensure #2 above.
OK, I can hear you all crying “surely that’s not the case across the board”!!! To those of you who so say, I sadly refer you to Mr. Aslesan’s take on Jackasses and Elephants. Bob Dylan summed it up best when he wrote: “It might be the Devil or it might be the Lord, but you’re still gonna have to serve somebody”. So, if you, like I, are fed up with trusting our government to ‘do the right thing’, we have to stop and ask ourselves why we are trusting them since it’s apparent they are not in the Capital to represent our interests at all? I quote a most astute American gentleman whose name I sadly, do not know who summed up the crux of our dilemma perfectly in these few, biting words, delivered to Congress (the aforementioned hand-wringers) during the latest round of debate over ‘finally taking action to toughen up our country’s gun laws”
“We are the FIRST taxed, LAST remembered and FIRST punished when something like this goes down – when will you start representing the MAJORITY of Americans?” I capsulized the gentleman’s points somewhat here, but it seems he has distilled the SUM of all the problems down to a fine point – one that I maintain he could build a party platform on! You can view his full brilliantly conceived and eloquently delivered statement here: https://www.facebook.com/Americanvoicesthedailycaller/videos/654950131503876/
So, what, exactly am I advocating for here? I am advocating for common sense – the kind of “horse sense” that seems to be so lacking in current society. While I am certainly not a “pried from my cold, dead fingers” type, I am sick of hearing people scream about weak gun control laws as the root cause of the gun violence epidemic in America today while never once pausing to ask the perhaps more germane questions such as: how does a teenager get a SINGLE firearm into school, let alone, sackfuls of them? Or, why don’t the local police agencies, when warned in advance about an individual who may become a threat, ever seem to take notice? To me, these are far more important questions than why don’t we have stricter gun controls? I don’t own a firearm and never will (unless my government forces me to own one by declaring ownership illegal, thereby ensuring only law-breakers will have access to them), and I am not a fan of the President’s ideas about arming teachers – that strikes me as only a proliferation of the problem, so I can only suggest this approach in my exasperation with the whole mess:
And, finally the promised clarification on accountability: Quick disclaimer, here; I offer this in the full understanding that when you point your finger at someone else, there are always four pointing back at you, but, it’s high time we stopped doing the same things over and over and expecting different or better outcomes (the textbook definition of insanity, BTW) and stopped looking to our elected officials to look out for our own interests ahead of theirs when it’s clear they have not done and will not do anything of the sort, no matter which animal’s pin shows up on your suit.
This is a maxim I’m sure my friend Laura Benjamin-Lollar would post, if she hasn’t already done so on her own wonderfully inspiring and informative blog:
“I used to view the chaos and injustice and cry out; why doesn’t somebody DO something?!?!?! Until I realized that I was somebody”