Have we?

I mean, really, how have we made anything “great” again? Bombers, school shootings, a continued failing economy–where exactly has it gotten better?

I’m going to open myself up here. I’m about to sound like the biggest hypocrite out there, but try to stay on board until the end and you will hopefully see where I am coming from.

I like Marvel Comics anti-hero “The Punisher”. I like how he is violent and goes in and removes the bad guys anyway possible because he’s delusional. I mean, really, his family was killed by a mob attack in a public place, and they got in the way. He was left for dead, and when he finally felt healthy enough, he decided to go after all of the mafioso that were involved and, in his own brand of justice, “remove” them from society. But did he stop there? Hell no, he went after all the “filth” in the world, until he feels that he can finally rest comfortably knowing that there is no “wrong” in the world. But, we as the “reader” know that he will never rest, because, like the mythical creature, the hydra, where one limb is removed, one or more grows in it’s place.

The reason I like it, is because it is a “guilty pleasure”. It’s seeing the bad guy go down, like in every book and movie and TV show has shown us throughout the years. The only difference, is that it has become much more violent over the years, thanks to the real “bad guys” and the media, who have shown us what real terror looks like, and gets even more imaginative everyday.

A perfect example is The Punisher movie from the 1980s starring Dolph Lungren as The Punisher compared to the movie Punisher:War Zone, starring Ray Stevenson in the titular role, that appeared just short of when Marvel began it’s┬áline wide MCU movies that have come out since Iron Man.

When I was young, grade school age, my best friend was a boy named Charlie. He and I would play practically everyday on the playground in between our houses after school and on the weekend. We would also have some friends in the neighborhood that lived close by that would play with us, but, for the sake of this story, I’m going to leave their names out.

I went to camp during the summer one year like most kids who do Boy Scout or church activities would do (the exact year escapes me right now…it happened so long ago). After the week was over, I said my sad “goodbyes” to the friends that I made, and would never see again (so why were we all crying?!).

The next day, my mother sat me down and said that she had some bad news to tell me. Now, when I was a kid, that usually meant I was in trouble, because I was raised by certain people in my family that everything was my fault.

Don’t worry. I’ve let bygones, be bygones at this point. Let’s get back to the story.

So, my mother said she had some bad news. She said, while I was gone on my trip to camp, my friend Charlie went over to some of the other friend’s house, and they were playing with their family’s gun collection. When he was playing with one of the guns, it backfired, and killed him instantly.

You can understand I hope, at this point, why I’m leaving certain details out.

I didn’t know how to feel. I asked myself, “Why did mom wait until the next day to tell me this?”, or “Why were they playing with guns in the first place?” (I played with a gun once. It was a BB gun. I was terrified of it.) The weirdest part of it, I thought, was I faked crying because I thought that was supposed to do that, when really I didn’t have to. I could grieve when I was ready.

There was a funeral, and that was it’s own type of awkwardness, because when they were talking about his good friends, my name as well as the other friends he hung out with everyday, were left out. I was heartbroken. I look back on it now, and I assume that his family had either no idea we were friends, or were just following a pre-scripted funeral arrangement that the funeral home put together for them. I blame no one for any of this.

Since that day, I have had a sour taste for guns. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to have a badge for it for Boy Scouts, and it was super simple to get, I would have stayed away from them. And, since being out the program, I have not touched a gun since then.

So, how do I feel about guns? Do I believe that guns kill people? No. People kill people. Does there need to be some sort of stricter gun laws? Yes. Do I know how to make it stricter? No. I don’t. Am I okay with “conceal and carry”? No. I would much rather know you are packing a gun on you than not so I know where not to be at the time. Do I believe in the Second Amendment? For defensive purposes and for sport, yes.

Now, do I think we should be equipping teachers with guns to protect our students? No. People, even if they are teachers, have proven they can’t be trusted at all times. We have teachers being racist, we have teachers having sex with students, we have teachers bashing our officials, and we have teachers forcing their beliefs on their students, and I’m sure I’m leaving other atrocities out. My point is, there has to be other ways to protect our students.

How do we protect from bombings? I…don’t know.

How do we protect from “weapons of mass destruction”? I…don’t know.

But, right now I don’t know how we are “Making America Great Again”?

This was an editorial. Don’t get your panties in a wad. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on.