These mass shootings will forever elicit comment from me. The subsequent reactions and conversations, dangerously foolish, are just too near and dear to my heart, and they are in need of the type of course correction that only a pilot, like me, (hero, really) can offer.
This post will address two ideas that I read and viewed that I believe are pointed enough and popular enough to be worth public comment.
First up: Trevor Noah’s homily about how Neil Degrasse Tyson’s tweet contained things that Americans uniformly are “trying” to prevent, things which Mr. Noah believes are incongruous with mass shootings, as he doesn’t see Americans uniformly “trying” to prevent mass shootings. First question: Mr. Noah, are you going to become one of us or not? More to the point, Mr. Noah, do you see how that question operates? To be clear, at one and the same time it demonstrates that you are not one of us, while it indicates that you are invited. In other words, you’re not helping.
More in response to Mr. Noah’s outsider-yet-insider point: We’re the best. So, no, I won’t be trading that in for whatever you’re selling. It ain’t happening. It’s a non-starter. It’s moot. It’s untenable. No, thank you.
Even more: In a more academic and logical breakdown of Mr. Noah’s assertion, I submit the following. While “we” are trying to end medical mistakes, and trying to end disease, and trying to stop car accidents, we certainly do not try to end these things using the same methods twice. Put another way, past governments and other governments have removed their citizens’ abilities to wage war. This ends badly for civilizations, not just individuals. We’re talking long game, Mr. Noah. (Again, are you with us?) And so the mass shooting problem remains–but not for lack of trying.
Moreover, it strikes me as odd that we’re even in another situation where the government is trying to take weapons from its constituents. Do civil servants really lack all capacity for creativity, or is it just me?
Secondly, I read a piece which was an effort to keep afloat the fact that Latinos are afraid and have a rough time living in America. (The title of my post, btw, according to internet translate help, reads “Do not be afraid.”)
Long story short, I refuse to be afraid. When I become aware that some sensation of fear approaches, I admit it and seek to conquer it as quickly as I can. Need examples? Learned to build a fire. Learned to swim. Learned to sleep outside in any weather. Learned to sleep away from my parents as a kid. Learned to canoe. Learned to sail. Learned to tie knots. Learned to sew. Learned to shoot a gun. Learned to shoot a bow. Learned to sharpen a knife. Learned to read. Learned to write. Learned to dive. Learned to pass tests. Learned to become strong. Learned to play sports. Learned to drive. Learned to fly. Learned to fly at night. Learned to fly in combat. Learned to quit. Learned to not give up. Learned to try again. Learned to trust friends. Learned to swing a sledge hammer. Learned to trip pipe. Learned to untangle a pressure washer hose. Learned to work among low-skilled immigrants. Learned to read Hebrew שָׁלוֹם. And Greek Χριστός ἀνέστη! Learned to hablas espanol poquito. “Es viernes, y el cuerpo lo sabe!” And Amharic አመሰግናለሁ. Learned to serve. Learn(ing)ed meteorology. Learn(ing)ed leadership.
Do you see?
You’ve demonstrated poquito bravery by telling the truth, but overall–and I’m going to be blunt here–it seems like you arrive and then hold still. Porque?
Hmm. No entiendo. Yo aprendería.