Don't twist tragedies to fit 'woke' world. Plus: Half out, half locked down. Gun biz can thank Joe

By Gary Abernathy

Tragedies should not be twisted to fit ‘woke’ narratives

The tragic shootings at three Atlanta spas last week resulted in solid reporting on five of journalism’s basics – who, what, when, where and how – but a lot of reporters got sidetracked tackling the “why.” Too many media outlets used a random act of violence as a flimsy springboard to another round of race-based melodramas. Spoiler: White people are guilty again.

The Atlanta tragedy launched an avalanche of tales stacked high with instances of White people demeaning Asians. There are dozens of examples from which to choose, but typical was a story from CNN headlined, “We asked Asian Americans about their experiences with hate. The responses were heartbreaking.” Multiple examples were provided: “A cardiologist at a grocery store almost had her mask ripped off. A young man was verbally accosted, and his White friend didn't notice. A retired woman was called a racial slur and blocked from exiting a parking lot.”

What I mostly gleaned from all the in-depth studies, personal profiles and sociocultural analyses is this: People can be jerks. In fact, being a jerk could well be called a systemic problem in America. It will never be solved, cured or obliterated. Too often, we conflate systemic racism, which is real, with every day rudeness. Just as often – and the terrible tragedy in Atlanta might be a perfect example – we take a violent act and imbue it with deeper subtext than merited.

If the Atlanta victims were targeted by a White man because of racism, that’s horrible. If they were targeted for another reason, that’s just as horrible, because they’ve still been senselessly murdered. Tragedies like the one in Atlanta and another in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday are heartbreaking enough. Let’s quit finding ways to make them worse just to fit a trendy “woke” narrative.

Half of America out & about, other half locked down

USA Today reports that “a growing share of Americans would feel safe resuming activities like dining out or flying within a few weeks of their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but 25% to 30% would wait until the nation reaches herd immunity, according to a Harris Poll survey for USA TODAY.” The story adds, “There's no doubt that Americans who have largely been confined to their homes the past year can hardly wait to bust loose.”

To me, such stories are just more evidence that we’re living in two different Americas. Most people I know – including me, extended family members and many, many friends and acquaintances – have continued living life as normally as possible over the past year. We go out every day, we shop, we eat in restaurants that are open. Yes, we wear masks when signs tell us to wear one, and we probably shake a lot fewer hands. We use common sense, but we don’t hide ourselves away.

What’s most amusing, at least in Ohio and other states I’ve visited, is having to wear a mask into a restaurant, then being able to take it off immediately upon being seated. It’s silly, as I think I’ve heard more than one comedian say, to think there’s a magic “safe zone” surrounding the table.

I’ve seen stories lately about grandchildren finally being able to hug their grandparents, etc. etc., after the Centers for Disease Control said recently it might be okay. What a shame that’s not been the case for some people, by their choice, and I’m glad it wasn’t the case for everyone. The harm being done, both physical and mental, by these draconian rules of isolation and lockdown are still coming to light. Here’s one just today, also from USA Today: “Stress is causing a spike in chipped and cracked teeth.”

Can’t we just take common sense precautions and get back to normal — as should have been the case from Day One?

Biden talks controls, but just sells more guns

Do people like President Biden enjoy promoting gun sales? That’s what they accomplish when they threaten more gun control.

The New York Times reports today, “Faced with the second mass shooting in a week, President Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill called on Tuesday for fast action to enact stricter gun laws…”

Newsweek reported yesterday, “Firearm sales often coincide with political developments, and the United States saw a significant spike in background checks after President Joe Biden took office. In January and February, the FBI processed more than 7,760,581 background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It's not a direct one-to-one correlation to sales but indicates interest in purchasing a firearm. Roughly 81 percent more checks were done in Biden's first two months in office, compared with President Donald Trump's.” Concealed carry permits have spiked too, various reports affirm.

The only thing gun control enthusiasts do when they rev up their anti-gun talk is sell more guns and ammunition. Despite what they may say, the gun industry probably appreciates them.

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