Following a controversial NFL season which featured a number of players refusing to stand for the National Anthem, it would be easy to dismiss the thoughts of any and all professional athletes. To be fair, they are like most folks in that they’re entitled to their opinions, but people shouldn’t put too much stock in those opinions. After all, they play a game for a living; they don’t spend their time studying the issues sufficiently to fully grasp what’s going on. As I said, they’re like most folks in that regard.
However, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson made a point recently when he argued the problem with things like school shootings are due to cultural issues, not political ones.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson urged America on Monday to take a look at its culture after the Florida school shooting, arguing that “people suffer” when faith is taken out of the public square.
Watson appeared on Fox News to discuss a Facebook post he made after the shooting in Parkland, Florida. In that post, the NFL player urged Americans to “take an honest assessment of our culture in its totality and how it relates to this tragedy and others like it.”
In his interview with Fox, Watson gave a moving testimony about the importance of faith and culture in helping to prevent these tragedies.
“Every time there’s an instance like this, something really horrific, we talk about respecting life,” Watson told Martha MacCallum. “And while that’s very important, we have to look at our culture as a whole. We incarcerate our young men at alarming rates, vote for things that create the disintegration of the family, murder 60 million of our unborn since Roe v. Wade — we’re really a culture that gravitates toward violence.”
Watson asserted that the shooter must be held accountable for his actions, but also argued that questions need to be raised about how our culture could breed the hate and violence that leads to such shootings.
While I’m sure Watson and I may disagree on a number of specifics, I do think he’s making a good point.
School shootings have been around for years, but they were isolated events. It wasn’t really until the 1990s when school shootings reached numbers similar to what we see today. At some point during the 20th century, things shifted, and some folks suddenly seemed to think shooting up a school was a viable plan.
Something is wrong, and it’s not access to firearms, particularly modern sporting rifles. Those have been around for decades, before mass shootings became as common an occurrence as they are today. Hell, they were less common back before the National Firearms Act was passed, a time when anyone could own full-auto weapons without even a background check.
It’s not the access to firearms.
Like Watson, I can’t help but think it’s a cultural issue somehow, and it’s something we need to delve into and a debate we need to have. Unfortunately, we can’t have that debate right now because anti-gunners are too busy trying to shut down the Second Amendment.
Watson gets it. The anti-gunners? Not so much.