Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
You’ve probably heard about that third-grade baseball program in Neosho, Missouri, that’s selling raffle tickets to give away an AR-15 to some lucky gun nut. You know – for the kids.
And if you believe the fake news, the organizers aren’t canceling the raffle in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting. In fact, tickets are selling even better since the story went viral this week. Take that, innocent children gunned down in your classrooms.
The unreal thing is that the people of Neosho, or at least the ones selected to appear in man-on-the-street interviews, don’t get what all the hubbub is about. They are befuddled by the extreme reactions they’ve been hearing about, how it’s fricking insane to raffle off the kind of gun that just killed seventeen kids in six minutes. How doing it in the name of a youth baseball program is not just tone-deaf but almost sociopathic. How basically sticking a thumb in the eyes of the survivors of the shooting is cold and … almost sociopathic.
One gentleman I saw on the news report yesterday, who might have been a city official – maybe even the mayor – declared that “we have different norms here.”
This is the crisis in America now. Two different sets of “norms.” Two different codes of morality and responsibility. Two mutually exclusive ways of life and even thinking about life. You know, they have different norms in Iran and we’re all up in their grill over it. So I ask you: Why can’t we objectively declare that moving ahead with the raffle of an AR-15 after Parkland is as evil as flogging someone for vandalism or adultery? Why should we respect the plainly un-respectable?
This is just one more demonstration that it’s impossible to communicate – to listen to – people from “the other side” who demand to be taken seriously when their positions are irrational, selfish, and destructive. The next time someone tells me I need to “hear them out,” I’m going to repeat over and over: They raffled off an assault rifle in the name of children after the Parkland massacre. They raffled off an assault rifle in the name of children after the Parkland massacre. They raffled off an assault rifle in the name of children after the Parkland massacre. They raffled off an assault rifle in the name of children after the Parkland massacre …