There's No Murder in Baseball
by E. O'Neill
When the game is tied in the bottom of the ninth with one out and a runner standing on third, it's perfectly acceptable for the batter to make an out if it gets the runner home safely. It's known as a "sacrifice" and it has determined the outcome of many games. Managers examine the situation, determine the likelihood of "success", and the choice to sacrifice the possibility of a runner on first as opposed to the winning run crossing home plate.
We're faced with decisions that regard sacrifice constantly. When we take a longer route to avoid traffic we sacrifice gas to gain time. We've determined that the time gained is more important to us than the cost of the fuel we burn. Buying fresh oranges by weight will leave you with rinds going in the trash. You were aware of the cost and loss before you bought the fruit. You made the necessary sacrifice to gain fresh O.J.
The batter that hit the ground ball and drove in the winning run was not murdered upon being thrown out at first. The orange peels tossed in the trash were not tragically slain when they were ground into the juicer. Their fate was sealed when the choice was made. Those choices didn't produce victims, but very calculated outcomes. They were deemed expendable resources, making them worth the sacrifice. Allowing the sale of semiautomatic weapons to private citizens is a choice with a very predictable result.
So, in the wake of yet another mass shooting that involved military-style rifles, let's take a moment to reconsider the choices that brought us here, the people responsible for the decisions, and most importantly, those sacrificed by those decisions.
This subject is not merely "topical", but "evergreen". Mass shootings are now overlapping with funerals. Families and communities are being destroyed by AR-15 rifle rounds at a rate that reached the level of alarming twenty tragedies ago. Lawmakers seem to think that this is an acceptable trade-off. While most sane Americans would agree that this happens far too often, legislators are of a different opinion. They are in a position to react to this epidemic but believe the right for an eighteen-year-old to own a military-grade rifle is worth the lives sacrificed. And, when the senator from Texas says that we live in the "safest country" on the planet while Texans are providing DNA to be matched with slaughtered children, one has to wonder if there's a disconnect between the senator and his dwindling constituency.
There are ways to reverse the trend. The vast majority of Americans support some form of background check for gun purchases. It may be the very least that we could expect from Washington, but all attempts have been stonewalled by the right. Gun shows need to be reconsidered as well. To rent the conference center at the local Super 8 so a collection of unlicensed "pharmacists" could sell a car-load of prescription meds from card tables is nuts. But guns?! No problem. And special interest money has to be eliminated. All this does is give us a running monetary total of what our political leaders feel lives are worth.
Voting is where the change starts. Both at a state and federal level. Know who your representatives are, as well as where they stand on the issues. You may need to rearrange some priorities. You may need to vote for the gun-safety candidate, instead of the one promising a new sports arena. In other words, you may need to make a sacrifice to get change. But, the outcome will be so much better.
About the Author*
E. O'Neill is a New Jersey native that watches the world but rarely participates. His work has been rejected by some of the biggest names in publishing, and accepted by the most discerning. He stands behind every word he writes (even if it's on shaky ground), and stays in the left lane as he kicks up dust on the fast track to mediocrity. He's working on a plan.
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Gabriel H. Sanchez is an author, poet, actor, editor, and publisher from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, on the border with Mexico. Gabriel is the author of "Once Upon a Bad Hombre," "The X Series," "The Martian Ones: Tales of Human Folly," and "The Fluid Chicano." You can read more about him and his other projects at gabrielhugo.com or on his Facebook page: @gabrielhugoauthor.
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