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This kind of hatred rivals that of the shooter - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

This kind of hatred rivals that of the shooter

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Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 9:54 am

If you missed it, a top legal executive at CBS, Senior Vice President Hayley Geftman-Gold, posted this on Facebook about the mass murder in Las Vegas: “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered (alluding to Sandy Hook) I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic (to those gunned down in Las Vegas) because country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

The woman was fired by CBS with an apology that said in no way did her views reflect those of CBS or any of the people who work there, which is a nice sentiment but a total lie. Geftman-Gold thought she could get away with saying she wasn’t sympathetic to the 58 people murdered and 550 wounded and injured in the machine gun shooting in Las Vegas since most country music fans are Republican, thus gun toters, thus voters for Donald Trump, because that was what she was hearing around the CBS water coolers.

I can’t even begin to get my head around the hatred and loathing east and west coast liberals have for garden variety Americans, stereotyping those who listen to country music and wishing they were dead because of the traditional American values they hold. These same people accuse Donald Trump of being a racist, but this is bigotry and hatrred at its highest level.

CBS was correct in firing this hate-mongering bigot, but it’s likely there would be no one left in the hallways of their New York studios if they somehow ferreted out all who share similar sentiments.

Like most Americans it’s impossible to get my head around the Las Vegas shooter. Nothing about this makes any sense, except to frame it in terms of evil stalking the world. There is a fair amount of predictability. Second Amendment rights advocates on the right are defending their turf and anti-gun zealots on the left are screaming for more stringent gun laws. Over the past few years we’ve acquired a unifying defense against this sort of violence because it is typically a Middle Eastern terrorist, an anti-government nut job or someone suffering from some sort of mental breakdown. Like the Bernie Sanders supporter who opened fire on the Congressional baseball practice, this mass killer doesn’t fit our stereotype. He was older, very rich and by all accounts normal.

It makes us feel even less secure in our ability to compartmentalize this stuff.

On Sunday I will observe the one-year anniversary of my heart attack. I’m not sure if it calls for a cake, but I’m pretty sure I will utter a prayer of thanks. Actually it is a day a week or so later that I should really observe, since that is the day a year ago that a blood clot passed through my stent. My survival of an 85 percent blockage in my main left artery isn’t all that unusual in this day and age of cardiac emergency care. Having a blood clot move through a new stent and not cause immediate death or damage to the stent is another story.

I share now a common saying that people who miraculously survive car crashes, bouts of cancer, weird accidents and other things that can snuff out a life say. It is this: “God surely has something more for me to do.”

Here’s the deal with that saying. It ought to apply to perfectly healthy, unscathed people. The problem is that way too many people are either ambivalent to the needs of people and community around them or they figure they have time in the future to do the things that they were actually created to do on a daily basis. If 100 percent of the people in any given community committed to understanding that God has something more for them to do by way of simply allowing them to breathe another day, a whole lot of great stuff would happen.

As it is, we’re running on maybe 10 to 20 percent of the people actually doing stuff for those around them and the rest existing in neutral. Before my heart attack I’m pretty sure I was among the 10-20 percent of doers. And I’m not completely sure why, other than the fact that I like to see stuff get done. I’ve always existed in a constant state of busy, which at some level likely contributed to my heart attack.

I was sort of born into a family of doers. If there was a need in our community, they were like the little boy who stuck his finger in the dike. They plugged in whereever they were needed.

I really didn’t need a heart attack to understand my role in the universe, but having had one, I’m now gifted with a little deeper understanding of the precious nature of life and the fact that there are many, many things left to be done. One of the greatest lines in Broadway history comes from the musical “Mame” where Mame is challenged with the question of why she embraces life despite the tragedies that have befallen her.

“Life is a banquet,” she said. “And most S.O.B.’s are starving to death.” To embrace the post heart attack sentiment of God having something more for a person to do, the most important thing is to simply take a seat at the table.

My five-year-old grandson started biking as a four-year-old with an Easter gift I bought him. Except it wasn’t a true “two-wheeler.” It came with training wheels. Somehow in late summer he blew a tire and it took me until last week to get a new tube and fix it. Since I removed the rear tire, I removed the training wheels and Sunday we were daring to ride on two.

I’m pretty sure the afternoon was why I didn’t croak from the heart attack. “Head up, eyes forward!” I yelled as he bobbed and weaved on the side street near his house. “Watch out for your sister!” “Watch out for the fence!” “Atta boy, pick yourself up, you’re all right!” It took about a half hour before he was balanced and ready to ride further and faster. I tightened his bike helmet and we pedaled a short distance on the city street to the relative safety of the bike path where he immediately crashed head-on into a yellow post meant to prevent motorized vehicles on the path.

He popped up, grinned and said, “I’m good.”

Yes. Yes he is. And so am I.

I’M A PLUGGED in junior high grandparent. If you haven’t yet, check out the success of the football teams, volleyball teams, cross country team and band. Wow!

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