While a few local folks knew about it, it was a soft secret that The Sentinel became the target of a bizarre series of online and live threats last week, as a feller with some sort of vendetta against all flavors of normal – and a history of terrorist actions - decided to threaten and illicit fear among those whom he thinks ‘wronged him,’ both here and elsewhere in the village and county, using some sort of religious justification. For real.
While I was impressed by local law enforcement taking it seriously, weird threats and ‘Bizarro World’ folks making the public feel their violent bitterness has become almost commonplace. Such incidents question what society can do to keep these types of people from letting their mental instability and bullying become ‘ho-hum’ or even worse, acceptable.
I’ve suggested several changes to our office, from space lasers and Ninja training to security cameras. While my idea of rigging up a trap door is technically still on the table for fiscal year 2022 – sadly, they said ‘no’ to the shark tank and/or tarantula cage – we need to seriously deal with mentally ill folks, who often seem encouraged to do whatever they want, regardless of the actual impacts, if it supports a certain cause.
Over the years I’ve had to deal with violent folks in several areas, from radio and retail to bartending; Add some bourbon to an angry radical and see what gets broken, Bubba!
Honestly, I once had a loaded Glock aimed at my heart during an assault, and in spite of the rhetoric, it did not speak of ‘freedom.’ While the latest feller did not display a handgun, he bragged it up on video, with ‘ka-pow’ sounds to show how tough and super cool he is. For real, Neil.
Yes, America has a weapons problem/habit, with an overabundance of firearms, combined with growing mental health issues, the societal impacts costs us billions in domestic abuse, robberies, car-jackings and law enforcement responses. Is it okay to say that without risking getting shot?
Yet we continue to pay homage to all flavors of weaponry in a twisted Wild West ‘heritage,’ with some goofy legislators not stopping until kids can somehow hunt from the womb. But frankly, it’s still not clear if we can carry a ‘stun gun,’ mace or my very solid US Army-issued machete, which I’ve nicknamed ‘Buck Thornee.’
In truth, the argument of arming all the ‘good people’ to stop the ‘bad people’ from violence is subjective at best and criminal at worst (i.e.: Kenosha).
If we look to ‘higher ups’ for examples in a world of drive-by and school shootings, online threats, riots and insurrection efforts, we should just ‘heavy up’ with body armor - you know, like we’re speaking at a political rally. Or we call them ‘tourists’ and say it’s patriotic to instill terror and overturn society behind ‘thoughts and prayers.’
Now, about those (unbudgeted) sharks, maybe if we add dorsal fin lasers …