You know, as much as I love writing about the Syracuse Orange, sometimes I want to write about other stuff. Movies. Pop culture. News stories. A stupid conversation I overheard at the coffee shop. Whatever it is, this Friday column is my place for it. Don't like it? Want me to "stick to sports?" Touch noogies.
The inaugural #StickToSports column was supposed to be really fun. I was going to talk about the Pacific Rim trailer, The Walking Dead's resurrection, the Clockwork Century books and whatever else popped into my brain.
Then this happened. And how do I not talk about that?
You know what the first thing that popped into my head when I logged on this morning and saw the news? The Big Lebowski. Specifically, the scene in which The Dude is introduced to Jesus Quintana by way of Walter.
At the expense of seeming like I'm making light of the tragedy, bear with me. I mean no such thing.
After Jesus taunts Walter and The Dude suggestively, Walter's only response is to remind Lebowski of Jesus' supposed-crimes by saying, "Eight-year-olds, dude." It's simplicity says more than any insult or argument that they could lob back at him. Nothing trumps that reality.
In the wake of this tragedy, a lot of people are going to say a lot of things. There will be discussions about guns. There will be discussions about gun control. There will be discussions about health care. There will be discussions about fault. There will be discussions about safety. There will be discussions about "America."
And in all of those conversations, whenever someone tries to give the usual defenses of current gun laws or turn this into a 2nd Amendment issue, there is only one thing you need to respond with.
You want to disassociate yourself from the Aurora movie theater shooting because it was mostly adults? Alright. You want to disassociate from the Javon Belcher murder-suicide because he's rich or black or mentally-troubled? Guess that's your thing.
You want to disassociate yourself from an elementary school shooting in which more than 20 people are dead, most of them children?
Nope. You're not allowed.
I believe in the universe. I believe that the fact that this horrific incident happened the same day that a man in China went on a "stabbing spree," injuring but not killing 22 schoolchildren, is no coincidence. I believe that the universe is telling us enough is enough. I believe that in the rights of American citizens but I do not believe they need to include this. (And we can have a discussion about why something like happens in our universe another time as well).
I know what I'm inviting by writing all of this but I don't really see what else there is to say.
Want to blame video games/violent movies/violent TV/The Internet? Most countries is Asia and Europe have more violent video games, movies and TV than us and, per capita, don't even come close to the gun-related homicides we have.
Even if you don't want to admit that it's part of the problem, you have no choice but to admit that the gun control discussion needs to happen.
If you're still here next week, we'll talk about the Pacific Rim trailer. I swear.