After the Newtown massacre several bloggers and commentators, referring to us as individuals, questioned what kind of country we had become. CNN covered the grief spectrum. MSNBC speculated on the politics of the Second Amendment. I don’t watch FOX but read enough to know they projected the steady stream of think-tank jargon. After the fact, all we knew was what someone else wanted us to know. The appeals for change were numbed with sympathetic hand wringing, focus redirection and ‘common-sense’ reasoning.
Who’s the boss? For sure, it’s not you or I. We get to decide what to fix for dinner and what the kids will wear to school. And then, we’re really steered in these seemingly mundane choices. It is interesting who makes us do what ‘they’ want.
‘A’ is the grade for the .20%. They are the elites and plutocrats, like CEOs, bankers, conglomerate executives and established religion. Professional athletes, entertainers and their ilk are dispensable and ride the good life until they fall out of favor. Anyone with an ‘A’ score makes over $1M a year, with the elites and plutocrats well in excess of that figure. Plutocrats actually compromise a stratospheric grade this scale will not plot. It is they who have the final word. They are the true ‘deciders.’
‘B’ can be scored for the rest of the top 1% or .80% of the population. Their earnings exceed $750K per annum with enviable benefits’ packages. They are the movers and shakers, lining the sides of boardroom tables. They lobby the message to those crawling their way to the top. They work the system.
‘C’ are the sales people who adeptly use manipulative language and emotional appeal to make you do what you’re told. This income group, between $250K and $500K, is often irrelevant to their own personal wealth and holdings. They pummel us with their big clubs through policy, law enactment and human desire. They set the price you will pay, with either punitive compliance or financial pillaging or both.
‘D’ people, over $100K, live an affordable life style but watch their dollars. They cling to their middle class values. They are the band-wagon-jumpers-on, the law-and-order troupes, the tithing crew and the morally just. These worker bees in the nice suits don’t know, and wouldn’t believe, they are next in line to be trounced from the safety net.
‘E’ people are a wasted pool of talent and promise reliant on fair-minded employers to pay them decent salaries and to let them work forty hours a week. Time off, unless their unions have contracted for better conditions, is as deductible as income taxes. There is not a white picket fence in their future, unless the landlord lets you put one around your apartment balcony. It has taken over thirty years, but they’ve been weaned from middle class standards through economic imbalance. Still, many refuse to accept their efforts to get ahead as meaningless frustrations of fighting the new reality. They believe in honor, integrity and hope. They still trust!
‘F’ are the working poor, undereducated masses, pensioners dependent on social security and aid recipients in any category. This group has no benevolent uncle, lottery win or scholarship award to alter their position. The Cleveland bus driver who clocked the mouthy rider is part of this group. They know hard work, struggle and poverty. They are not the popularly-degraded bottom feeders of society. They are Americans.
The overdue debate for gun control the forward-thinking people wanted has been had. The report card makes it easier to understand how bullets tearing apart children and teachers can turn citizens’ repulsion into the opportunity to sell more guns. By the time the media numbing process was over, the NRA’s hard-hitting approach for gun rights was ready to launch. And the people bought more guns!
Doing what is right is hard. As a nation, we talk about our generous, thoughtful and free-thinking nature. Yet, we meet atrocious acts of violence with self-absorbed willingness to take the easy path. Money is our god and motivator.
Read the Second Amendment. It was never a ‘right’ to own an assault weapon.