Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Read SF Giants Manager’s Important Words — Do It Today #MustRead

with 20 comments

Tonight, I read an exceptionally well-written article about gun violence from former Milwaukee Brewers player and current San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler. He explored this topic through the issue of a moment of silence on the field before every major league baseball game, and points out that’s not enough.

Here is the article:

And a relevant quote:

When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.

This particular time, an 18 year old walked into a store, bought multiple assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, walked into a school with an armed resource officer and its own police district and was able to murder children for nearly an hour. Parents begged and pleaded with police officers to do something, police officers who had weapons and who receive nearly 40% of the city’s funding, as their children were being murdered.

We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately following this shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers. We were given thoughts and prayers. We were told it could have been worse, and we just need love.

But we weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free. The police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children. They blocked parents trying to organize to charge in to stop the shooter, including a father who learned his daughter was murdered while he argued with the cops. We aren’t free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills.


When I see something as well-written as this, whether I agree with it or not — and here, I obviously do agree with it! — I try to pass the words along.

I realize there are people who regularly read my blog who will not appreciate this post. But I urge you to read Gabe Kapler’s words anyway, in the same way I read George Will’s writing or Max Boot’s, because while I don’t often agree with either Will or Boot, I appreciate how they use language to make their points.

One, final word: Gabe Kapler articulated all of this better than anyone I’ve yet seen. Read his important words.

Read them NOW.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 27, 2022 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

20 Responses

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  1. There was a time from this side of the Atlantic I could see the folk-memory impacting as to why Americans carry guns freely. I even heard BBC correspondents in their personal essays or comments to us ‘at home’ compare the atmosphere in a small American town favourably to the vandalism they encountered in the UK.
    That was more than ten years ago.
    These days?

    The part of me that reads politics, social forces throughout history, and in particular my kind of adopted Nation; the USA ‘gets it’. Perceives the tides and emotions at work within a very vocal and aggressive section of the Right. I can even second-guess a type statistical argument the pro-gun lobby would use.

    The part of me which is father, grandfather and feels that with freedom must come responsibility does not.

    Tragedy upon tragedy.


    May 28, 2022 at 6:04 am

    • It is, Roger. It definitely is.

      I don’t want to take anyone’s guns away. But I do want people to use them responsibly. I also want there to be no “0 down” deals to buy a gun. (Seriously, you can buy a gun with zero money down? Really?)

      Barb Caffrey

      May 29, 2022 at 2:30 am

      • In the UK if found carrying a knife you will find yourself in trouble with the police…. knife crime amongst children and youths is a source of death and injury and of high concern.
        No one speaks of the rights to carry a knife.


        May 29, 2022 at 2:35 am

      • You know, that hadn’t occurred to me before. But when you go into a building, these days, that has anything to do with the government, they’ll take anything remotely resembling a knife off you. I remember going into a courthouse once in Illinois where they took the nail file part of the nail clippers and snapped it off, claiming it could be used as a weapon.

        Now, I thought using a ballpoint pen as a weapon would be more deadly than the small nail file on most nail clippers. That said, “rules (were) rules” and the small nail file had to go.

        Barb Caffrey

        May 29, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      • Somehow the scenario of someone holding a hostage while waving nail clippers and screaming:
        ‘Stand back or I will ruin their manicure,’ doesn’t quite strike me as a likely circumstance.🤔


        May 30, 2022 at 10:29 am

      • LOL Yeah, me neither, Roger.

        Barb Caffrey

        May 30, 2022 at 8:04 pm

  2. I agree that the officers on scene behaved heinously. Restricting human rights isn’t an answer to tragedy though. And he’s factually wrong about “…weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings.” He’s also factually wrong about “…the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place.” If you want links, I’ll come back and post them.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, the more that comes out about what happened in Uvalde, TX, the worse it gets. If all of this stuff is true, the very least that should happen is that the department be disbanded and every single one of those officers barred from ever being in law enforcement again. I’d prefer crucifixes outside the school with all the officers hanging from them. Public execution might remind some people why they’re given responsibility and that abdicating such responsibility has consequences.


    May 28, 2022 at 11:24 am

    • Kamas, I’m glad that you are following along, and that you read Gabe Kapler’s essay.

      There are other countries that have problems with guns and mass shootings. Most of them aren’t considered First World countries, though.

      My guess is that Gabe Kapler hadn’t thought past the First World countries. Australia, the UK, Canada, they have strict laws, and that seems to have helped them. (I say seems because I’m not there, and sometimes statistics tell only part of a story.)

      Doesn’t Central America sometimes have troubles with mass shootings? (Mexico does, too, IIRC.)

      And I’m with you regarding the police in Uvalde.

      One of the members of that department was recently elected, I think, to the Common Council (or another elected office with similar responsibilities). He won with 70% of the vote, but has not yet started his responsibilities.

      My guess is that he will never take a seat on the council, and that him and probably every other officer will be shunned unless/until they can prove they acted with some degree of competence.

      I can’t say I would blame the Uvalde citizens, either, if they do that. (It’s peaceful, nonviolent, and gets the point across nicely.)

      Barb Caffrey

      May 29, 2022 at 2:52 am

      • Australia’s homicide rate for 1996 was 1.95 per 100K residents, which was actually down 16% from the year before. The Port Arthur shooting took place in 1996. The homicide rate rate there remained steady until 2003, peaking in 1998 @ 2.05/100K. In 2002 it was still 1.89/100K. Unless it took them an extraordinary amount of time to get the guns off the street it doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect. In fact, gun related homicide and suicide there fell at about the same rates as non-gun related homicide and suicide rates over the same time periods. The Australian National Firearms Agreement may have had an effect, or it may not have. The data is so ambiguous that you can’t really tell. And it hasn’t stopped people from using arson as a tool to murder people either, it just doesn’t get as much attention.


        May 29, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      • That’s all true, Kamas. One of my friends is an Aussie and he told me he did not think the law had done much.

        Barb Caffrey

        May 30, 2022 at 8:04 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    From Barb XX

    Jack Eason

    May 30, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    • Thanks, Jack! I appreciate that.

      Barb Caffrey

      May 31, 2022 at 4:24 am

      • I like your post .. I am not offended by your post .. Your post speaks volumes of truth about the sad state of affairs with our government. But I ask you, even with all our government’s more than obvious shortcomings and inefficiencies and corruptions in high places, would you really rather be living under a Putin-style regime or an authoritarian Viktor Orban – style regime or a Cuban Castro regime or a Syrian dictatorship-style regime? Those kinds of regimes have very strict gun laws… very strict, indeed.


        May 31, 2022 at 6:27 am

      • No, Putin would be much worse, John. The folks protesting there — as there are Russians angry and upset with Putin — often get put in jail. They also have a very fine constitution, but they don’t go by it.

        What I think needs to happen is this: The politicians need to start talking to one another. The US looks like a bunch of bumpkins at best after all this stuff goes on, and it does not help when some politicians grandstand and then don’t try to fix anything.

        Granted, a fix won’t be easy. But there has to be something positive they can do.

        Otherwise, what are they getting paid for? (And here, I blame the Senate for sitting on their hands. The House has done its job and passed a bill two years ago that’s still in abeyance as the Senate has done diddly-squat. And most of the reason they’ve done nothing has to do with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is like a big wet blanket.)

        Barb Caffrey

        May 31, 2022 at 5:13 pm

  4. I believe you are speaking of the iconic “Addison Mitchell McConnell III” a very wealthy man with a lot of power to stand in the way of anything that is good for America but who is, for some unknown reason, very much respected and loved in the hills and hollers of Kentucky.


    May 31, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    • Yes, that’s him. He could use his power for good, but that does not seem to be what he’s doing at present. 😦

      Barb Caffrey

      June 1, 2022 at 2:19 pm

  5. Nor ever has he as far as I can tell .. I remember when his entire agenda was to make sure that Obama was a one term president. His entire agenda for four years. I guess during that time everything else was put on hold. I thought that was kind of petty.


    June 1, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    • It was.

      I also remember very clearly when he refused to even give Merrick Garland, then Obama’s choice for a Supreme Court vacancy, a hearing with the excuse of “there will be an election later this year” (it was at least nine or ten months away at that point), but then rammed through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination before the 2020 election even though there were only a few weeks remaining.

      When asked about why he did that (both waiting with the Garland situation and then ramming through Barrett’s nomination), he was honest (in his way) and said, “Are you kidding?”

      So, it’s obvious. He’s all about the power and he does not care who knows it. 😦

      Barb Caffrey

      June 2, 2022 at 4:36 pm

  6. Well, the man is old now so ……


    June 2, 2022 at 6:04 pm

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