Here’s wishing you and yours the best holiday season: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or just Happy Holidays. I wish the best for you: happiness, love, safety and the ability to share peaceful times with friends and family. Please reach out to those who are lonely this time of year. It’s one of the best things you can do.
Now, on a more somber/bizarre note: Am assuming that we’ll all still be around for the last Weekly Beat message of the year, since the Mayan calendar ends on Friday, and we’re all slated to become non-existent on that date of the end of the world. My goodness, what humans will believe, if given the chance!
In this supposed season of peace, I would be remiss not to use my own personal soapbox to decry the propagation of guns in America. The events in Newtown, CT were too horrific for me to think about for very long, and yet I’m reminded of it constantly in the media, and we all will be for a long time to come.
Over the past couple of days five people have been gunned down in New Orleans alone. This is not acceptable. We must do something about our violent culture, and we must opt for some form of gun controls.
The cultural damage has taken place over many years, with the proliferation, acceptance and promulgation of violence in the media. I’m certainly not for censorship, but why do we allow our children to become so inured to violence and its results? Shooting someone is no video game. Shooting a gun at another is meant to maim or kill. Period. Why is this acceptable in American culture.
I do hold the media responsible, but the National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful organizations in this country, and I believe that its long-term marketing efforts have had a major negative impact on Americans’ acceptance of guns in the culture. In fact, they’ve convinced the over 300-million Americans who now own guns that it’s unpatriotic not to own one, as being against gun ownership constitutes treason and is contrary to the US Constitution.
I’ll have to repeat it here, and I’m probably preaching to the choir, but here goes: the NRA and the NFL are two of the greatest marketers in this country. They have both had a profound effect on American culture, and neither of them are promoting the public good. They are promoting their own interests. Okay, so call me unpatriotic when it comes to the Second Amendment (so repeal it already; this isn’t a Nazi Germany or a third-world country where we have to be afraid of a dictator or evil takeover of government). And please, tell me the NFL’s extreme marketing clout isn’t having a serious impact on promoting sports versus academics in this country. We are a dumber country because of the undue emphasis placed on sports, particularly football, in high schools and universities.
Obviously, I’m being very simplistic here, but all I’m saying is that Americans need to determine what is good for all, not for the weapons manufacturing lobby and owners of football teams. They need to give back to us, our children, and our society.
How about we hold both entities’ feet to the fire and make the NRA educate our youth on the dangers of guns, advocate for the banning of (at a minimum) assault weapons; and make the NFL contribute serious money to academic (non-sports) programs in our high schools and universities. We have to see measurable results over time, not just lip service. We need the same kinds of commitments from these organizations on righting the wrongs they’ve created in our culture as we did from the cigarette industry.
Once that’s done, then I’ll shut up.
In the meantime, cozy up for the holidays, be sweet to your loved ones, and you’ll hear from us next week.