Cheap Seats 2018
Parkland - 03/07
By Rich Trzupek
Seventeen lives cut short is a tragedy. Of course it is. Every school shooting is a tragedy. So is every shooting. So is every murder. So is every untimely death caused by gang violence, drug abuse, motor vehicle mishaps and a host of other causes.
On its face, it appears that the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida has generated an unprecedented amount of public outrage. We have angry students and parents at a town hall, denouncing a US Senator and NRA spokesperson as “murderers.” We have companies severing connections with the NRA. We have the President of the United States attempting to placate the mob with new legislation.
So, what makes Parkland different? Why is it that this particular school shooting has gotten so much attention, and such emotional – sometimes borderline violently emotional – attention?
Sadly, it’s not our first school shooting. Nor was it the most deadly. That dubious distinction belongs to the Virginia Tech massacre, where the mentally troubled Seung Hui Cho claimed 32 victims during his shooting spree, before turning his gun on himself.
What makes Parkland different is that it happened under President Trump’s watch and there are millions of Americans still seething with anger over the results of the 2016 election. They are constantly, desperately looking for ways to vent that anger, preferably in the most righteous way possible. If you can’t be righteously furious over seventeen deaths at a high school, what the hell can you be righteous about? As cynical as it sounds, Parkland is the gift that keeps on giving as far as the left is concerned.
To cite just one example among a plethora, Director Rob Reiner wasted little time blaming Parkland on President Trump, declaring that the Prez is an “ill sociopath.” Presumably Rob has run into some healthy sociopaths during his career? It’s Hollywood after all.
If people like Reiner were sincere about wanting to prevent untimely deaths of young people, there’s a whole universe of causes that would do far more to potentially save the lives of many more youths than screaming about unworkable, ineffective and counter-productive gun control dreams.
Send a few bucks to the American Cancer Society, for example. According to the latest National Vital Statistics Report (which is where all the stats in this here piece originate) cancer claims over 2,300 victims between the ages of 5 and 24 every year.
Perhaps you’re thinking that I’m comparing apples and oranges. Shootings aren’t a disease, at least in the conventional sense. Fair enough. How about motor vehicle accidents? That’s the leading cause of death in that 5 to 24 age group, with over 13,000 killed per year.
Suicide? Surely suicide is preventable and treatable. Worth a little bit of Hollywood’s time and attention? Should be, there’s over 5,000 young lives to be saved there. Drug abuse? Over 3,000 deaths per year.
How about straight up violence? Gun violence claims over 3,500 young lives per year, but since the majority of those deaths are related to gang violence and occur one or two at a time, the press and the left doesn’t pay much attention to them. Parkland was a very dangerous place to be for a very short amount of time one winter’s day, but Englewood in Chicago and so many other urban disasters like it, are very, very dangerous places to be every day. Don’t those kids matter?
And lest you hold to the notion that guns are the problem, consider that over 500 kids per year are murdered without the use of a firearm. The problem isn’t the weapon, it’s the violence, poverty and despair that moves people to using weapons of any sort. Until we can fix that, it doesn’t matter how many guns we get off the street or not – the violence will still come bubbling forth.
The left often pays lip-service to supporting institutions that have traditionally been the bulwark standing between civilized behavior and chaos. It is no coincidence that institutions like the traditional family unit, fathers who stay involved with their children, religious education and worship, etc. are being tossed aside at the same time violence continues to grow in America.
And no Mr. Reiner, that’s not the president’s fault, nor is that the NRA’s fault. It’s the fault of a soulless elite that claims to be concerned about the plight of the young, but really only cares about appearing more virtuous than everyone else.