For What It’s Worth

“Something is happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”; what prophetic words from the Buffalo Springfield back in 1966. The song, “For What It’s Worth” was covered by Tupac under the title, “I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto” in 1997. Tupac’s cover reinforced to one and all that things hadn’t really changed that much in the thirty years separating the releases. There was still “a man over there with a gun, telling me I got to be beware.”

Now, nearly sixty years later, we continue to question why is that man over there with a gun, and why should I have to beware? Why can’t I just live my life peacefully, raise my kids and spoil my grand-kids without having to worry if that “man over there” isn’t one of the “good guys with guns” but one of the monsters that prey on the unsuspecting?

There can’t be a more unsuspecting portion of the population than our children, and there shouldn’t be. Kids should be free to dream their dreams, worry about math tests and if Susie or Johnny really likes them. Children shouldn’t have to worry if this is the day that society’s failures catches up with them and ends their dreams. Most importantly children shouldn’t have to be charged with protecting themselves from something that in most societies plain doesn’t exist.

Demonstrations are being held all over the country protesting the latest killings of innocents. While the protests go on, more and more innocents are led to the slaughter because the people that take an oath to “preserve and protect” abdicate their responsibility. Elected officials at all levels know that what’s going on is wrong, that the killing of innocents is indefensible. Still, they offer their pablum excuses, and hide behind a law that was enacted when the most skilled riflemen could only fire four bullets a minute. They continue to cower to appease the NRA and gun lobby in spite of the overwhelming disapproval of the public to the current state.

The AR-15 like the one used at Uvalde can fire up to 400 rounds a minute if equipped with a bump stock. The police found 142 spent cartridges inside the school at Uvalde and 173 live rounds. The police found over 1650 rounds of ammunition at the school in various locations indicating that the shooter was well prepared for maximum mayhem. It also indicates that a gun dealer never asked, “What kind of deer are you going after that you need over 1,600 rounds to stop?” Would the gun shop owner have questioned the purchase if the shooter had revealed that he was hunting “dears” not deers? Probably not.

The rate of fire of the assault weapons that our legislators can’t keep out of the hands of harmful people is important, but so is the response time of those charged to protect us. You know, the “good guys with a gun.” Some of the innocents were calling 911 and pleading with police to help them. Telling police that some of them were still alive, the children described the horrors they were confronting. Meanwhile, the “good guys with a gun” cowered in the hallway waiting for reinforcements. An executive decision had been made that an infinite number of children were not worth the life of just one police officer.

We are at a point now that even the stupid get it. If the police are this afraid of the population, then the population should not have guns. That’s how I’ve lived my life for lo these many years. Don’t own a gun, don’t need one. I shouldn’t have to worry about being shot at a routine traffic stop any more than the police should have to worry about stopping me. It’s time to deescalate our society and let the police just worry about the “bad guys” not all of us. If we disarm, maybe the police can too. Think Barney Fife.

Doubt I’ll still be here in another thirty years, but if so, I’m going to be mighty disappointed if “there’s a man with a gun over there.”

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