As I enter my 31st year of coaching, I am continually amazed at the abuse adults inflict on children in the name of sport and camouflaged in the guise of the tired and pathetically old "it's all about the children."
Of course it's not. In many cases it's totally about the adult ego. Football games in 35-degree, rainy weather, triple headers for 10-year-old baseball players - really? Children do not make those decisions or establish those goals.
Year after year we witness men in leadership positions use that authority to dominate and sometimes sexually abuse children, in either case leaving an emotional scar for a lifetime. In a demented interpretation of the term "leader," those men are the role models of the epidemic of bullying.
Likewise, I am sickened to the core by the fanaticism and justification of murders of hundreds of people in the name of protecting Second Amendment rights. The fact remains that society as a whole will continue to endure mass murders because of a few skillful lobbyists who sell fear and paranoia. Yes, more will die in the future directly due to a lack of basic human courage on the part of spineless legislators in a neverending re-election campaign and a media that cannot prevent itself from sensationalizing a horrific crime that serves only as motivation for the next tragic incident.
Within a week, child abuse and mass murder parallel in the news
The Penn State saga will continue for decades, as has the image of killings at Kent State in the early 70s. This is yet another disgusting child abuse story similar to the Catholic Church crimes against adolescents.
However, (a subject for another day) there is an age at which politicians, religious leaders, and athletic coaches should retire. The reasoning and clarity that brought them fame in their 50s and 60s is not in any way similar to the biological challenges that we all must face as we all age into our 80s and 90s.
But the welfare of a child pales in comparison to the industry and revenue generated by big college football. NCAA to the rescue!! They are extremely proficient in punishing, yet impotent in preventing and changing the culture which they in and of themselves create.
Reasonable and educated people clearly understand the rights and responsibilities of hunting and the shooting sports. What is unclear and unreasonable is the intransigence of the fanatical fringe who cannot come to a common sense and rational agreement on the excesses of killing tools. They would like us to believe the intellectually vacant position that restricting a person from purchasing an assault rifle with the capability of firing 100 bullets in minutes will severely restrict their rights to own a hunting weapon.
According to numerous law enforcement officials, we live in the gun running capital of the East Coast, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Much of those products end up as forensic evidence throughout East Coast cities. Recently, I was in the Safeway in Reston. After providing photo ID and signing several forms, it took me 15 minutes to purchase Sudafed. Additionally, I cannot board an airplane with excess of 4 ounces of shampoo.
However inconvenient, I understand the routine security measures for the protection of our community. In the most fundamental comparison of reason, how can one justify unlimited restrictions on mass killing tools?
He who has the gold makes the rules. It's all about the money; selling killing tools or tickets to a game. It's all about money and temporary power.
Regrettably, I need to use the word "HE". It is all about he; him or the man. If there is any single issue that should politically unite and empower women, it is that most all of these horrific decisions and acts of terror devoid of the most basic human decencies, are dominated by men.
As history has shown, humans have a propensity for killing each other. Whether it was the millions buried in the catacombs of France, the horrors of Nazi Germany, the frozen tundra of Russia, or the jungles of Cambodia, we have annihilated each other by the millions.
Our American civilization has thrived through one simple word - education. But we have a ways to go. We must employ that intellectual prowess and continue to evolve the human condition. Our society has become very proficient at punishing and displaying outrage. We know how to publicly humiliate and punish the purveyors of these horrific crimes. We men, however, simply lack the courage to prevent them.
John at PinkmanBaseball.com and on Facebook