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The question on all of our minds is, “How did we get here?”

The brutally honest and tragic answer is, “Voluntarily.”

We volunteered to establish, foster, perpetuate and rationalize this insanity. We are not innocent, passive victims. We are the designers and custodians of this NKC—National Killing Culture.  We maintain and feed the NKC, while we lie through our teeth about our intentions and pretend to illuminate our dark hearts with thoughts and prayers.

A society is what it tolerates. We not only tolerate the NKC, we cultivate it.

A society can be rightly judged by how it cares for and protects its children. History’s judgment will be as harsh as it will be incredulous. “How did 21st Century America get there?”

Voluntarily. And in many cases even enthusiastically. That’s not only a moral abdication, it is Pure Evil Itself. We have the capacity to prevent much of this. We simply do not have the courage to do it. We are cowards.

We failed 19 little children and a dedicated fourth-grade teacher in Uvalde on Tuesday, just ten days after we failed 10 innocent citizens in Buffalo. Sadly, you and I both know that the countdown has already started on the next mass slaughter. We will of course have our thoughts and prayers at the ready. I mean, after all, we’re civilized, right?

Confront this. Don’t turn away, don’t change the subject, don’t “whatabout?” me, don’t deflect, don’t prattle on about “the price of freedom,” and, at least for the moment, stop French-kissing your gun.

Confront this.

We failed 19 babies. We failed to protect them, because we lacked the will to protect them. We failed to protect them in an environment in which they should be eternally safe and secure—their school.

They were slaughtered so horrifically that DNA samples were required to identify them. Babies.

Which brings us to The Subject One Dare Not Mention. And, certainly, “Now is not the time,” to talk about it.

Of course guns kill people. Of course they do. Please stop with your dishonest deflections.

No, guns don’t pull their own triggers, so please spare me that eye-roller. But this is a matter of purpose and efficiency. We are talking about a class of weapons that is designed to do one thing—kill as many people as possible in as little time as possible. These armaments have no other utility. They work very well at schools and supermarkets.

And this has not one thing to do with the Second Amendment. This is about common- sense constraints, regulations and procedures that do not violate anyone’s Constitutional rights. It is true that these measures would not prevent all of these massacres, but they would prevent many of them.  So is your “logic” that because we can’t stop ALL of this that we shouldn’t try to stop ANY of it? If so, I’ll just get out of your way and let you continue to embarrass yourself.

Again, this has not one thing to do with the Second Amendment. And I and others are just not willing to continue to watch this inferno in the name of defending your “right” to dress up and play Army.

No, guns aren’t the only problem. But they are a major contributor to the problem. And many of you continue to deny that guns play any role whatsoever.

You tell me it’s about mental health. You’re not wrong. But you oppose mental health funding.

You oppose background checks. You support untraceable weapon sales.

You oppose supporting troubled and needy families.

But you’ll screech endlessly about what is and what is not an “assault weapon.” Please stop. That’s a distinction without a difference. We all know what we’re talking about. Meat grinders.

You want to tell me guns are not the problem? I’ll roll with that in some vague esoteric way.

But our cultural WORSHIP of guns certainly is the problem. We love guns. We love guns more than we love people. That is undeniable, and is reflected in every trait of our national identity.

You tell me guns are not the problem. But then you tell me the solution to the problem that you say doesn’t even exist is…more guns. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

No. You never do. And your fairy-tale gaslighting never stops. That wasn’t a massacre, despite all those little bodies. That was us paying “The price for freedom.”

That wasn’t an armed insurrection, despite what you think you saw, you know, with your own eyes.

That wasn’t an attempt to overthrow our government, despite the admissions and confessions of the very people who were trying to overthrow the government and went so far as to prepare a Power Point presentation that laid out in detail how they planned to do it.  

What was the one emotion that Tuesday’s tragedy did NOT evoke?

Surprise. Was ANYONE surprised?

That was just us being us.

And didn’t you really know most of the story instantly? Troubled background. Family problems. Social maladjustment.  Misguided testosterone. Signs everywhere. Signals on social media.

And easy access to killing machines.

The formula never really changes.

Nor does our response. What’s that old definition of insanity?

We’re all asking the question, “How did we get here?”

The answer?


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for an excellent antidote to the insane excuses I scrolled through at the end of an article in Newsweek this morning. Every country has mental illness, every country has young men struggling with fragile masculinity, every country has video games, bullying, social pressures, and yes, even social media.

    Only ours has unfettered access to guns which can fire multiple rounds in a fraction of the time that it takes to understand what is even happening. We have to ask ourselves—who asked for the relaxation of rules on these weapons? Who asked for the change in minimum age to purchase these weapons? Who asked for the elimination of background checks, training courses, common-sense regulations?

    Who profits? A tiny group of special interests.

    Who mourns? All of the rest of us.

    Who loses? Our society and our nation.

    This insanity cannot continue.

    Thank you, sir.

    1. Thank you for your response. The difference in all the scenarios is GUNS. And I know I didn’t ask for any of that.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.