Shooting Buffalo

brown bison

Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

Where I used to live in Oregon, there was a ranch about fifty miles north that had a herd of buffalo (bison). They advertised hunts and people from around the world would come there to shoot buffalo. After they shot them, they would take home the head, cape and whatever other parts of the animal they wanted to. When they returned home, I’m sure they told their friends about it and their friends were probably wowed. “Way to go,” they probably exclaimed.

The only problem with this scenario is that buffalo are like cattle. They stand in the field and stare at you. A person can walk up to them and easily shoot them from fifty or a hundred yards. They will not even move…there is no sportsmanship required at all for the hunt. 

It reminds me of the politicians today who stand with the violent mob and say it is okay to loot, deface property and burn down buildings. They think it is okay to topple statues instead of letting the people of their cities and states make an informed decision on the matter. They go along with the crowd when the crowd says, “Defund the Police!” I even heard one political operative say yesterday that social workers should be sent into domestic disturbances instead of the police. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The only problem with this scenario is that the elected officials who say those things are only standing with the violent mob. It takes no courage whatsoever to agree and placate those voices that want to enact change by violent methods. As a mother of a former police officer, I know firsthand that the most dangerous call a policeman can respond to is one involving domestic violence. Really, send in a social worker to deescalate the situation? When I hear this lunacy coming from our elected officials, I just shake my head. Doesn’t anyone remember the French Revolution? No one was safe, not even the people that agreed with the violent mob. The mob eventually came for them also. So when our elected officials are praised by their likeminded peers and are admired for their stands condoning the violence, remember they are just shooting buffalo. No skill, wisdom or courage required!

Courage

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Have you ever wondered what is wrong with the human race? How can we continue to hate and hurt each other? You’d think that after a while (several thousand years) we would have learned our lesson…apparently not. The killing of George Floyd this week and the subsequent riots (notice I didn’t say protests) are an indication of the hatred and malice that exist in the human heart. 

When I watch the events taking place on the streets of some of our major cities, I just shake my head. I am saddened by the lack of leadership within the ranks of the rioters and it makes me miss some of my heroes. Take Mahatma Gandhi, for instance. He helped liberate his country from English colonialism. His philosophy of non-violent protest changed an entire nation. It took a lot of courage and character to react non-violently in the face of senseless violence but he became the Father of modern India and an example to the whole world.

Gandhi influenced another of my heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. He also believed in non-violence and through his preaching and example, he was able to lead this country out of the dark ages of racial segregation. It took courage and character to  stand toe to toe with the police but he and his followers were able to do it. They received the respect of the majority of Americans who wanted the insidious doctrine of racial segregation legislated out of existence.

If we want to honor the memory of George Floyd and every other American who was killed unjustly by a police officer, we must behave in a way that commands the respect of the people. The vast majority of Americans were appalled by the murder of George Floyd and were more than anxious to see the perpetrators brought to justice. However, the burning, looting and wanton destruction of property have elicited a different reaction to this tragedy. 

Now, all the American people can see are violent protests and angry mobs pillaging and looting. The tragedy of George Floyd is being obscured by the riots and the spotlight that should be on his death has now been shifted to the angry mobs. Make no mistake, it doesn’t take courage to torch a car or loot a business. It takes opportunism, greed and disrespect for the property rights of others.

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. threatened the status quo. Their courage in the face of evil was a shining example of how society could be changed by the practice of non-violent protests. The agitators who are leading the violent protests will not change society; they will only leave a wave of destruction in their path. Nothing will justify their behavior and they are certainly no example of courage or character. 

Image by truthseeker08. Courtesy of Pixabay.