When one door closes, another opens. This is a lie. I know this for sure because I had a door slammed in my face and it’s been 6 months without another door opening. Let me tell you something, it’s cold out here.
When I was working in advertising, there was a phrase I learned about trying to sell the client an idea that the client clearly did not want to buy into. Here’s the phrase…
It’s tempting to think you can win over the client with charisma or win over the client with cleverness or win over the client with a really good cookie tray. It’s amazing, the power of snacks! But it never holds. The trick is to notice when the client has stopped listening and discipline yourself to stop talking. This is harder than it sounds. Especially when the momentum of all the work you’ve put into the pitch is flowing and you want the flow more than you want to take the time to recognize you’re bombing and the only way to handle bombing is to switch gears, mid-flow.
When I take a look around to notice how the the world is reacting to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I see a receptive audience. And then I see The NRA.
It’s tempting to call The NRA a terrorist organization, since they’re tactics are cold blooded. Even their spokesmodel, Dana Loesch, wears a diabolical facade. She’s presented as the perfect woman. She’s presented as the angry toy cruel men get-off on parading around. She’s the pretty-pretty white woman. But it’s a disguise, a costume, no different than the burka.
One school of thought is cruel enough to conceal beauty. One school of thought is cruel enough to exploit beauty. Either way, the cruelty is tactical. Beauty is a commodity. Once you understand the power of beauty, all you have to do is craft a pitch to sell a message your audience wants to hear. Some want beauty concealed to express humility in the presence of God. Some want beauty on the cover of a magazine, in a bullet bikini with AR-15 dildoes.
If you’re in charge, you know exactly what you’re doing and when confronted, you know how to land your lie on an applause line. If you’re in the audience, you’re so conditioned to accept the message there’s virtually no way to recognize you’re being used until someone like Scot Peterson comes along. If you’re angry about Scot Peterson letting down those kids but can’t shake feeling we let those kids down on a much deeper level, then you’re the biggest threat there is: you’re the person who’s starting to ask why…
Why did nothing change after Sandy Hook? Why did nothing change after Columbine?
Why would a school security guard with a cushy job who’s basically checked out on life suddenly decide he’s Rambo?
Why would anyone run into the line of fire of an AR-15?
But there’s a danger in asking the question. It comes with a consequence. It comes with a slamming door. Scot Peterson is about to lose everything. His livelihood. His dignity. The respect of his peers. The understanding of his family. Everything besides his life.
Because he was afraid.
Because he froze under fire.
Because he reminds the rest of us how weak we really are.
There’s a weaponized response machine designed to take down anybody who reacts in a way The NRA deems threatening to the status quo they wrapped up in the 2nd Amendment and began selling to America in 1871. Scot Peterson went off-script. He should be the king of the celebrated dead. His widow should be a national heroine in black chiffon. His children should be saluting a coffin on a horse drawn carriage. Instead, Scot Peterson is alive. This doesn’t serve the narrative. So cue the public shaming ritual.
Take Scot’s reputation.
Turn google into a nightmare.
Take his sleep.
Take his work.
Turn family and friends against Scot.
To get the world off his back, Scot Peterson will pray for a new tragedy. God is good. God is great. Scot’s prayers shall be answered.
The news cycle travels fast in 2018. There’s a good chance The March For Our Lives, created by the kids from Parkland, which is at the epicenter of everything holy right now, in one month from now, will get the same kind of coverage the kids from the South Side of Chicago get every weekend when there’s a mass shooting in their neighborhood.
You hear that?
That’s the sound of The Devil shrugging.
Americans have been trained by Reality TV to see themselves as the judging panel, waiting for somebody to react so they can judge the reaction. Scot Peterson was simply voted off the show.
On the other side of the door where the status quo holds court, where the world is welcoming, where white makes right, Dana Loesch is the reigning beauty queen, unbeatable in the bikini contest, the sash of an assassin, the crown of a killer, paraded around in a room filled with grieving families, where the grieving families are little more than a photo-op for emotional warfare because they’re not the real audience, oh no, the real audience happens to be on the other side of the TV screen, unseen, unheard, uncaring, sitting comfortably at home, far away from the tragedy, far away from the never ending trauma of never seeing your children grow-up, of never knowing what your children would have become, ignoring Parkland, ignoring Sandy Hook, ignoring Columbine, polishing, endlessly polishing and loading and reloading and shooting and shooting and shrugging.
Stop selling gun control. They’re not listening.