151 Band

Friday, July 08, 2016

We Never Learn

I woke up to the news this morning that 12 police officers had been shot and five were killed in the line of duty.  Apparently, a couple snipers took them out during a rally in the city of Dallas.  I watched the television with my mind racing but my heart saddened for this country and sad for all of the victims of gun violence over the last week.  It was one of those moments where I was almost speechless.  

The reactions have been predictable; some are blaming guns themselves as though they were/are self aware and that the only way to repair the damage is to increase gun control laws.  On the other hand, there are a few who are taking it in stride as though the events were merely casualties of freedom.  What is truly disturbing to me are the number of people who are trying to blame everyone; as though the guy down the street is responsible for shoplifting in Ardmore.  

No, we are not all to blame.  As a matter of fact the only people who are at fault are those who pulled the trigger and committed acts of murder.  Those people are responsible for the lives they took and should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.  And don't blame the gun culture.  The guns used by law enforcement to kill innocents were assigned to them appropriately and history indicates that these officers had been investigated for excessive force previously.  It isn't the "gun culture," but rather the "idiot culture" that has seemed to permeate the fabric of society.  

It's a lesson that we never seem to learn; we try to blame everyone but the individuals directly responsible.  It's as though we feel that every tragedy is a mandate for some massive legislative shift when in fact, it's simply an example of how idiots behave when left to their own devices.  There are no laws against being an idiot, but when that idiot breaks existing laws, they should be prosecuted appropriately.  It doesn't make sense to take away the freedoms of all just because of an idiot.  

After the events of this last week, the hope is that we pull our collective heads out of our butts and begin to work together to address the disease of our culture rather than treating symptoms.  Here are some suggestions from your friendly Gorilla:

1.  Contact:  We need more time in person with one another.  Socialization that transcends social media will begin the process of experiencing the world outside of our little Facebook bubble.

2.  Compassion:  We are all created in the "imago Dei," (image of God) and need to express a little compassion towards one other once in a while.  If we have more human contact, compassion will be a natural result.  

3.  Common Ground:  When interacting with those around us, it's important to find common ground.  Rather than looking for things that separate us or divide us, diligently search for aspects of our human existence that tie us together.

There are exceptions, of course, and sometimes we will be able to identify the idiots who will never learn and in the process, we'll teach ourselves how to deal with them.

Of course, these are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but it's doubtful.  

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Long Weekend Recovery

Independence Day weekend saw thousands of Oklahoma families hit the lake and campgrounds to enjoy a celebration of our nation's independence.  Some had fireworks, others had copious amounts of  alcohol to accompany said fireworks.  For yet others of us, we gathered with friends and family at the house; having a much more quiet and intimate celebration.  Either way, it was awesome to see people out and about enjoying the holiday.  

The long weekend came after what was decidedly a long week that was frustrating, shocking, disappointing, and it was capped off with a revelation that an Oklahoma City "icon" would be leaving.  The weeping and gnashing of teeth could be heard as far north as Nebraska as Oklahoma sportscasters announced with tears in their eyes that Kevin Durant was heading to San Francisco to play for Golden State.  

First, we had the weird results of the GOP primary, and then the news about Durant.  I suppose I was surprised at the sadness and mourning experienced by Oklahomans at the announcement that Durant was to take a two-year deal for around $50 million.  Two years; $50 million.  Oklahoma City is a good media market but there is no way we can compete with San Francisco; regardless of how many ferris wheels Kirk Humphries puts by the river.  We probably could have handled the salary, and there is no doubt whatsoever that the legislature would have made available even more tax breaks to the Thunder to keep him here.  But alas, his departure has caused great dismay.  

Take a breather for a moment and think about how Seattleites like myself felt when Clay Bennett and his band of boys took the Sonics from Seattle and moved them to Oklahoma City.  Perhaps now some Thunder fans will get an inkling of how we felt.  

Just remember OKC Thunder fans: The team could have been moved to Denton, Texas.

To top it all off, the FBI Director said that Hillary was careless with classified information but did not recommend that she be prosecuted.  In essence, they found plenty, but because her intent was not untoward, she should be allowed to go about her business.  To me, it's tantamount to letting a drunk driver off because he/she didn't intend to kill the innocent family, but rather it was nothing more than an accident and shouldn't be prosecuted.

We live in some seriously jacked up times.

When I was in the Navy, there was no way in hell that intent had anything to do with whether or not you were prosecuted for the mishandling of classified materials.  I suppose times have changed, but you can rest assured that if it were you and me under investigation for what Hillary did, our asses would be tried and hung long before it became public knowledge.  This once again proves that there are two sets of justice in this country:  One for the rich, one for the rest of us.  It's time to tip the scales and change things by almost any means necessary.

We will have a long time to recover from the events of the previous seven days and in November, it's time to take no prisoners.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black