Another Parkland parent with a really bad message

I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, especially losing a child in something like a school shooting.  I understand that grief does terrible things to a person’s psyche, and in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, people can do or think things that make so sense to a rational and sober person.

One of the problems with today’s political climate is that rather than let these grieving parents alone, they are turned into activists and folk heroes, which exacerbates their emotional problems.

Rather than come back to a rational center (assuming they had one) they go further and further off into distraught la-la land.

Take the case of Manuel Oliver whose son, Joaquin was killed at Parkland.  Manuel has become an anti-gun/anti-NRA street artist activist.

His foundation – because now every parent starts a foundation after something like this – is called Change the Ref.

On a side note, this foundation thing makes me uncomfortable.   Trayvon’s parents have the Trayvon Martin foundation.  There is Newtown Action, Orange Ribbons for Jamie, Parkland Survivors, etc.  They all seem to take in huge sums of money.  Yes, these people can say they are not doing it for the money, but when they are the center of attention at lucrative fund raisers, is that what they tell themselves so they don’t feel like you are profiteering off tragedy.

So why is Oliver’s foundation called Change the Ref?  Let Oliver explain in a Tweet.

First thing, to an objective reader, it seems like this is a family of sore losers.  I know that sounds mean, but there is no evidence in this anecdote that they were ever proven right that the ref was biased.  They didn’t like the outcome and so assumed they were the victims of dishonesty.

How this relates to politics is that anybody who opposes their gun control demands has been bought – presumably by the NRA and the system is unfair.  By refs they mean elected officials.

This is the narrative being constructed: politicians who support gun rights are dishonest and have been compromised, while the anti-gun politicians are honest, unbiased, and pure and clean as the driven snow.

That’s wrong.  The vast majority of people who support gun rights do it because they honestly believe in it.  Moreover, this reduces the argument to “everyone who disagrees with me is a cheater and a bad person.”  We’ve already seen how this “everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi/Russian Bot/etc” has played out in political debate.  Hint: not well.

So where he and his side see Change the Ref as virtuous, to the outside it comes off as a sore loser accusing everyone on the other side of corruption.



16 Replies to “Another Parkland parent with a really bad message”

  1. You’ve hit on the general theme, established by Obama early on (or it may go back to Clinton and Obama merely refined it, I’m not sure): that anyone who opposes their policies is not simply an opponent, not even merely misguided, but in fact an evil person acting from evil motives.
    The whole essence of the “Resist” movement has been to push that “everyone else is evil” theory to a fever pitch. Why one would do this is unclear to me; do they honestly believe that such arguments convince anyone? Or do they expect to have a revolution and send us all to the Gulag? I suppose Bernie does, at least he uses the word “revolution” at every opportunity. Does Pelosi? Cuomo? Warren?

    1. pkonig:
      It goes back a lot further than that. Obama, Marx, etc… all had a very colonial view of wealth. Wealth, in their world is finite. If you have something, you had to take it from someone else. And, that may have been the case when land ownership/control was wealth. It is not the case any more, but some people are not capable of changing mindsets.

      How does this apply to your comment? It demonstrates a “top down control” of the world mentality. Those in power tell everyone else what to do. The anti-gun folks actually believe that gun owners take direction from the NRA, and they believe that because they look to their “superiors” for direction. MDA/Everytown/Change the Ref, are all top down organizations, and that mindset is prevalent. If someone is not following their dogma, it could not be because that person actually thought for themselves, it must be because they are being controlled by the opposition.

      It is sheep versus individuals. Pack behavior versus lone wolf.

  2. Or, put it another way, the guy didn’t teach his child anything about sportsmanship, giving the benefit of the doubt, being the bigger man, or not reveling in being a victim. (And, given they both got themselves ejected, I think we can also toss politeness and discretion onto the scrap bin as well.)

    And now he can’t, so he made a foundation that celebrates things that act like sand in the social gearbox lubricant.

    Sorry … pre-coffee. But this just looks like yet another celebration of it’s-all-about-me-ism and victimhood, and I’ve about had my fill of it.

    1. “But this just looks like yet another celebration of it’s-all-about-me-ism and victimhood, and I’ve about had my fill of it.”


  3. The core of the problem is turning people who have suffered a loss into celebrities. They get that hit of fame when they’re at their lowest, and chase it forever after. A few make something positive out of it — but most just become tools of the people who give them the most attention.

    Honestly, any “journalist” who shoves a microphone or camera in front of a grieving parent should be tarred, feathered, run out of town on a rail, drawn, and quartered.

  4. Hey, heard a blurb on the radio that. Chris Watts has been arrested in Denver for killing his wife Shannon and thier children. Any one else heard that?

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