Sunday, April 02, 2017
My Sunday Feeling
I was having lunch the other day with my preacher friend. We were talking about the recent abdication of the Arkansas Legislature on their earlier cretinous position to allow fans to pack guns at sporting events. They changed their-and I use this word in its most limited sense-minds not in the face of data, the objections of college presidents or moral suasion. No. They bowed to a power mightier than their masters at the NRA.
The Southeastern Conference.
Long story short. The Ledge passed a bill allowing folks with concealed carry permits and additional training to pack heat pretty much wherever they saw fit. Including college sporting events.
Now, unlike evidently the majority of the Senators who voted for this insanity, I attend a lot of ball games. I have coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball. I hear things being said around me inn the stands about the officials and the coaches. Most of it is not complementary. I have talked down a parent or two who thought their kid was being treated unfairly by me. I have seen drunken fans at college games almost come to blows. One of them tried to fight me in front of my house 3-4 years ago
2 years ago at an AAU basketball game I saw an exasperated African-America referee toss an elderly white fan toward the end of the game who wouldn't get off the ref's ass. The fact that the ref put up with it as long as he did was a testament to his professionalism. But I remember well the sheer hatred in the man's eyes as the young referee threatened to have him arrested if he didn't leave.
Dear God in Heaven. What if you injected a firearm into any of these scenarios? What possible good could have been the result?
This thing would have gone to the Governor if the SEC and the Sun Belt Conferences had not cleared their throats. Both conferences expressed reluctance to send teams representing their "member institutions" as they grandly put it to stadiums and arenas where some folks might be bearing arms. Indeed, ASU football coach Blake Anderson correctly labeled the bill as "a recipe for disaster." Coach Anderson knows. He deals with parents and fans. He knows that emotions can run high at the ball park
But money talks. And the SEC and the NCAA has more money than the NRA even. And if it's one thing the Solons on Woodlane Avenue understand, it's money.
My preacher friend understands it too.
"There was a time when politicians used to at least listen to what the church had to say," he said as he shook his head ruefully. " Now it's just money. Now the NCAA and the SEC are acting as the moral arbiters of society on these social issues involving sports. Because they have so much money. I just find it interesting."
Alas, some of the handmaidens of the NRA in the Senate were not eager to give up the fight. Yesterday's paper reported that Sen. Trent Garner of El Dorado referred to the right to carry a gun as a "God given right" which would presumably trump the concerns of the SEC.
I know my Bible a little. And unless Monty Python's "Book of Armaments" has recently been added to the Canon, I don't believe it confers such a right.
And tell that to Sen. Stephanie Flowers whose sister was shot and killed. She represents Pine Bluff, which has experienced more than its fair share of gun crime.
"Where I'm from, the God I serve does not tell me that I have a fundamental right to carry a gun," she said in response to Sen. Garner's dubious theology. "They are peaceable people, loving people. And the God I serve is a God of love. So don't tell me about no damn 'everybody gotta have a gun.' Go to hell with your guns. I'm voting for the damn bill."
My preacher buddy might have phrased it differently. Then again, maybe he wouldn't.
Or he might allow as how God moves in strange and mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.
Like through the SEC.