Friday, February 27, 2015

Living in the Alternate Universe

Some time ago, I stopped watching TV news when I was on vacation.  I left my laptop at home, and wasn't even tempted to turn the radio on.  Too much bad stuff going on, and after all, I was going on vacation to get away from it for awhile.  But every now and then I give in and turn on NPR when I'm in the car, mostly after a few days away from it all.

This is how it went this past week:

After four days without news, sometime around noon, the woman on NPR was excitedly telling us about what she was seeing at a real ISIS training camp.  She was breathlessly describing what an amazing, high-tech, state-of-the-art facility these horrifying murderers (my words) had built.  After a couple of minutes, I turned it off.

A couple of hours later, I was headed back to the resort, and I tried it again.  It sounded like the same woman (Do all NPR commentators sound alike?) explaining how to use cell phones as explosive devices.  Martha Stewart of the jihad.

On my way to breakfast before heading home this morning, and I gave it one more try.  This time it was an article about Wyoming's legislative efforts to get guns in schools.  Of course there were those who advocate that if everyone has a gun -- problem solved.  They ended, however, with a more moderate voice.  This voice of sanity suggested that it wasn't feasible to have armed officers in all the schools, but that the bill should allow anyone with a carry permit to carry into a school only with the permission of the school.

He then continued, "Of course, in an ideal world..."

Okay folks, complete that sentence.  Because I would have filled in, "... in an ideal world, we wouldn't need guns in schools."  Or, " an ideal world, guns would be kept out of dangerous hands."

But NO.

"In an ideal world, we could afford to have armed officers in every school."

It truly felt like I was living in an episode of the Twilight Zone, where I was on vacation in one world, and another bizarro world kept trying to break through.

Then I went to breakfast.  It is a lovely little place that has outdoor deck seating with huge outdoor heaters by each table and a lap blanket over each chair for those nippy mornings.  I overheard pleasant conversation about real estate and vacation weeks and golf and entertainment packages.  I thought about how far most of us are removed from the reality of war and weapons.  Just as none of us sitting there with blankets over our laps eating our eggs benedict really felt the cold of inadequate food or shelter, or what starving really feels like.

Or of a child caught in gunfire at school or at home watching his mother try to defend herself from his violent father.

No, we don't.  And that's why we find all this talk about ISIS technology and Second Amendment glory days so damned exciting.

Out of touch, and in charge.  Now that's the real story.

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