Amer­i­can Dream, Plan B

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - OPINION - DEVIN HOUS­TON

The first days of October 2017 brought heart­break and Hurt. Another sense­less mass shoot­ing and the death of an Amer­i­can rock icon. What was as­ton­ish­ing to me was that I was more up­set over the death of Tom Petty than I was the shoot­ing.

Don’t get me wrong. My heart goes out to the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims. But the shoot­ing it­self wasn’t shock­ing. It’s hap­pened be­fore, not just once, but many, many times. Another Mys­tery

Man de­cides to do Some­thing Big and be­comes The Crim­i­nal

Kind. The usual plat­i­tudes of “thoughts and prayers” are made by our lead­ers to con­sole us but

You Don’t Know How It Feels. The usual cries for more gun con­trol go out again, only to pro­voke another dis­tract­ing ar­gu­ment between fac­tions that goes nowhere and we Break­down again.

The Wait­ing for ac­tion con­tin­ues and the sen­ti­ments Won’t Last Long.

I Need to Know the an­swers but I don’t. You Tell Me. Guns will al­ways be a part of Amer­i­can cul­ture. No laws can be passed that would keep guns from the hands of Shadow Peo­ple who have No Sec­ond Thoughts in caus­ing harm. Per­haps we should ob­sess less about our guns and just con­sider them tools in­stead of Makin’ Some Noise about our need to be Rebels. When it comes to own­ing guns, some feel Too Much Ain’t Enough. Maybe a Change Of Heart is needed. Let’s con­cen­trate on mak­ing the guns we have safer. Manda­tory classes on gun safety in­clud­ing train­ing as to what to do or not to do if your home is in­vaded or you see a pos­si­ble crime. All guns should come with some kind of tam­per-proof lock as stan­dard equipment.

We can start pro­fil­ing “strange” or “weird” peo­ple but who de­fines them and what do we do with them? Put them in a sort of Zom­bie Zoo? Maybe we would Feel A Whole Lot Bet­ter but it’s The Wrong Thing To Do.

I re­ally don’t Scare Easy, but at times I just want to go to my House In The Woods, Change The Locks, put up some Walls, and be­come a For­got­ten Man.

I’ll yell from the door­way to oth­ers: “Don’t Come Around Here No More!” Or maybe we could

be like the Two Gun­slingers who tell each other, “I Don’t Wanna Fight” or “No More.” Per­haps more aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues would Make It Bet­ter; it’s ei­ther that or we head

Straight Into Dark­ness. When A Kid Goes Bad he be­comes

one of the Lost Chil­dren, even a Refugee. Giv­ing par­ents more re­sources to guide their chil­dren and keep them from mak­ing bad choices would be a ma­jor in­vest­ment in the fu­ture. It is never wrong to be Ac­cused Of Love.

Per­haps We Stand A Chance if we can help some­one not be­come A Wasted Life. Even The “Losers” de­serve Sav­ing Grace.

I can’t help but feel, though, that we will be Fooled Again.

Money Be­comes King in Wash­ing­ton and any leg­is­la­tion that hurts the in­ter­ests of the pow­er­ful won’t be Built To Last. We will be told it’s Time To Move On, that mass shoot­ings are the price we pay for free­dom from tyranny. We will for­get this shoot­ing just as we for­got all the oth­ers. Then we are back to Square One.

Again. I can’t help but think: I’m

Al­right For Now, but what about the next con­cert or sport­ing event I at­tend? What if one of my friends or fam­ily is hurt in the next shoot­ing? Beyond a Shadow

Of A Doubt, another mass shoot­ing will oc­cur some­where again. When it does, I hope we Won’t Back Down. Rest in peace, Thomas Earl Petty, Free Fallin’ into the Beau­ti­ful Blue. Your songs helped make a Beau­ti­ful World. You kept me Run­ning Down The Dream.

— Devin Hous­ton is the pres­i­dent/CEO of Hous­ton En­zymes. Send com­ments or ques­tions to devin.hous­ The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

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