Recently, our governor called for a special session of our legislators to adjust a ban they enacted, which prevents public entities from requiring anyone from wearing a mask. Our governor, faced with the reality of our children going back to school shortly, during the surge of the coronavirus fueled by the delta variant, felt it important to do something to protect our most valuable resource. This wisdom, from on low, is just one of several legislative actions our duly elected keepers of the government hardly worked at to put in place during their biannual legislative session a few months ago.
News headlines have announced that three children have succumb to the effects of the coronavirus. I won’t go into very many details here about all that’s occurring in our state with our politicians that positions us as far from a good light as many of us wish to be, because this piece isn’t primarily about our state. It’s about what I perceive to be a detached attitude pervasive in our political leaders across America when compassion is most needed.
Wherever you may reside on the globe, you have some level of awareness about America’s affinity for guns. Death from gun violence seems as American as apple pie and baseball. Since the Columbine school incident April 20, 1999, when twelve students and one teacher were murdered in a school shooting and attempted bombing, over 300 people have died in school shootings. It was shocking to America that twelfth graders Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had perpetrated such a horrific act. Since Columbine, there have been 231 school shootings. One would think that statistics like this would incentivize most of our law makers around the country to speedily draft legislation to address gun violence squarely in its face. Of course, there are many more instances of gun violence in our great country that have added to the abysmal picture of slain bodies and disrupted families and communities, which doesn’t seem to make that much of an impact on the powers that be to do something.
I was watching an old black and white western movie the other night, High Noon, starring Gary Cooper. As I watched it, I thought of how Hollywood has promoted the romanticized notion of guns playing an important part in the lives of people. Not only guns, but the unbridled instances of violence that accompany their presence in society.
Now we find ourselves deeply buried in an onslaught like none other I’ve seen in my lifetime, the coronavirus. I know people are fatigued by the absence of normality that has overtaken us all during the last year and a half or so. People are fighting over many of the recommendation medical/scientific experts are saying we need to have in place to keep everyone safe. Mask wearing is front and center of what’s being politicize to the point of insanity. The public refrain loudly proclaiming that no one has a right to tell me to wear a mask makes little sense. Some parents would be just fine with not having their kids wear a mask while attending school. It’s that sentiment that caused many of our legislators to ignore the governor’s wishes and refuse to amend the ridiculous law they put in place. Fortunately, a circuit judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the mask-wearing ban.
In the face of death, the health and safety of our most precious resource falls prey to craziness. There’s a famous quote attributed to the preacher John Bradford who died in 1555, “But for the grace of God go I.” I for one believe this is a truism that has kept us from the looking into the face of death countless times.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.