A few days ago, the guy who played Bozo The Clown on TV in Arkansas during my childhood passed away. I vividly remember watching the show. I even more vividly remember thinking “this is cheesy” even in my not-fully-developed brain. The wacky hair. The obvious scull cap. The goofy “no right answer” questions he’d ask the kids, like “Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?” or “How smart is your mother, 100 or 45?”
Back in those pre-historic days, a tape recorder served as an entertainment outlet for my siblings and me. The first “comedy” tape (using the term very loosely) we ever made featured several Bozo parodies. But watching the tribute segments and reading the obits, I have a newfound respect for Gary Weir, the Arkansas Bozo for more than 25 years. He clearly enjoyed the work, and made sure that the kids felt special.
There’s a lot to be said for giving your all at your job, and focusing on your customers instead of yourself… even if your role is to be the clown.
“Give your product an appealing name”
“Make sure the product photo doesn’t look like dog poop”
Oh wait, guns DO kill people. Especially semi-automatic assault rifles that have been modified with a legal “bump-fire stock” that allow shooters to fire up to 100 bullets every minute. And even more so when there are 23 weapons in the possession of a single person, allowing him to rain down bullets indiscriminately upon an unsuspecting crowd, slaughtering 58 and wounding hundreds.
Yes, more stringent background checks probably wouldn’t have helped in Las Vegas… but they would have in Aurora, CO, Charleston, SC and Washington D.C., and other cities that have experienced this hell. So would banning large magazines, outlawing bump-fire stocks, instituting mental health screenings and terrorism watch list bans, and shutting down online sales and gun shows. And if you believe that a nationwide registry wouldn’t have raised a few red flags when one man purchased 33 semi-automatic weapons and a mountain of ammunition over the course of just 11 months, then you’re delusional at best. How about biometric trigger locks while we’re at it? I’m just spitballing here, trying to save the lives of innocent people who were just trying to enjoy a concert, or a movie, or attending church services, or going to kindergarten. (As well as the lives of hundreds of kids who die from accidental shootings each year, and perhaps some of the 21,000+ people who use a gun to commit suicide.)
There’s a huge gulf between “I own a handgun and a hunting rifle” and “I own weapons designed to mow down dozens of human beings in the shortest amount of time possible”… Can we find some common ground in that chasm? Use some common sense? If not, these massacres will become even more common.