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By Forrest Hershberger
View from the Handlebars 

Guns and Ghosts


November 10, 2021 | View PDF

Sometimes I’m glad ghosts and ghouls aren’t as rampant aas television networks say they are.

Quite honestly, if ghosts and other-worldly personalities could go in and out of dimensions that easily, the actual people who have gone on, what would stop those from the past from absolutely schooling us on how the world is being run?

Imagine all of the editors of history suddenly meeting the players in that particular chapter in time. Imagine getting schooled on what really happened compared to what we think happened.

The proverbial cigar room meeting is disrupted by a ghostly figure who clearly and without hesitation explains what really happened at that date. Arguments with the visitor are followed by a visit to the wood shed, real or otherwise.

The apparition leaves with “What is wrong with you men? We spent days making sure the documents were written for anyone to understand.”

There was recently a “misunderstanding” online about the President’s oath of office. This particular individual was convinced the President is committed to taking care of the health and welfare of the citizens of the U.S. The oath, nor the U.S. Constitution, requires the President to be responsible for the health and welfare of the country’s citizens or residents.

Somewhere in time, recent time, we have been given the idea that we can’t manage our own lives. We need the government for healthcare, fair wages, affordable housing and everything else down the line.

Reasoning like this reminds me of a comment by a Lakota elder I met a few years ago. The comment was in reference to some of the youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and drug and alcohol use. Her comment was they have lost their way. The more I look around, the more I am convinced that simple observation is not limited to a reservation. It is also a reflection of an Old Testament encouragement: without vision, a people perish.

The hard reality is we have lost our way. We look to the freedoms confirmed by the Constitution when it is convenient, and demand relief for hurt feels when they are not. We forget that success, as simple as taking care of family and keeping a job, is not always easy; never has been. Do we have a vision of being spoon-fed, or working sometimes two or three jobs to see a dream become reality?

Also, an online survey asked if guns should be banned. The knee-jerk reaction is no, or yes depending on your political persuasion. This survey follows the death and injury at a movie set directed by Alec Baldwin.

The story needs to dig into the irony of Hollywood’s voice. Movies of 90 minutes walking through soft grass and perfect sunshine don’t attract many. It isn’t even a good book by itself. Life has conflict, and Hollywood knows it. So, to say no guns and everything needs to be calm and nice is, well, unrealistic.

It occurred to me there is more than one fallacy. Write a movie of a war drama or martial arts and the stars will undergo weeks of specific training under the direction of a Tae Kwan Do instructor, Green Beret or whatever is most relevant. Why wouldn’t it make sense that actors are undergo firearm safety instead of hire a handler, a gun expert who is expected to be spot on every time?

Does the firearms manager have the authority to instruct actors in how to safely handle a gun, and scold them when actions could result in a careless death? Likely the answer is, or is implied, no. It is implied because it takes backbone to stand against the author of the ABC, “A Big Check.”

Maybe we do need a visit from the walking past. But then again, even Lazarus in the Bible, the one whose wealth didn’t stop him from hell, and he pleaded for someone on the other side to visit his family learend there are limited. He was told they have the prophets and the law. Likewise, George Washington or Benjamin Franklin showed up in a room, he would be dismissed as an experience of horror, not education. And what would we do with their viewpoint we don’t already have from their writings and other sources?

Firearms have their own irony. They take the blame when involved in a death, but are a right guaranteed by the constitution. So maybe the real question is if we want to live safely with limited freedom, or to acknowledge humanity isn’t perfect. and some people aren’t interested in improving themselves, which is the reason the Second Amendment was granted.


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