Thursday, June 22, 2017

Promoting Logic, Not Lunacy

The recent shooting of a Republican congressman has sent me back to my high school days, especially since some utterly confused people have either 1) stated publicly that “the congressman got what he deserved” or 2) blamed the victim (the congressman) for the crime (the would-be assassin’s attempt to murder said congressman). I have scratched my head over and over, trying desperately to understand exactly why these illogical stances have surfaced, gain traction, and continue to get media air time. I have come to the conclusion that this event just demonstrates how these people’s brains have been short-circuited – by what, I will not attempt to answer in this blog (maybe the next one).

My lifelong schooling in logic began many moons ago in high school, where I was taught by a rather strict nun to think of FACTS first, and then to proceed to deduce and induce my way to a logical conclusion. The goal of all logic, she once taught me, was to ascertain truth. Hopefully, truth would serve one best when trying to gain wisdom, which was the approach to life that would be most beneficial for each and every individual on the planet. (Note that this beloved Catholic sister never appealed to the Almighty instead of logic; she assumed – and even today, I would not dare to refute her – that since God created us, He also created the logic that leads our brains to TRUTH.)

Let us examine what this dear sister would NOT assume in the way of “facts”:

Lunatic "Fact" One: The congressman posed a threat to the baseball about to be thrown to him at second base.
Lunatic "Fact" Two: The man who shot the congressman gave no warning that he was about to “defend” the poor baseball about to be caught by the congressman.
Lunatic "Fact" Three: Therefore, the congressman had no time with which to argue with his assailant that the baseball “deserved what it was about to receive.”
Lunatic "Fact" Four:  The assailant also overreacted on the baseball’s behalf. A gun wound is hardly necessary to defend a poor ball thrown at a leather glove.
Lunatic "Fact" Five:  Therefore, the poor man was confused about the nature of the baseball’s “injury,” and did not deserve to be shot and killed.

"Wait a minute…! Hilarious and ludicrous,” you say?

I would reply, “Sad.” This is precisely the type of spin that most of the media is putting on this shooting. Now, you will rightly ask me to define “spin,” and I will call it what it is: A deliberate fabrication of the events to serve a less-than-truth-seeking purpose. It is, for all intents and purposes, a lie.

Instead of the fanciful “explanations” recorded above, let us examine some true facts:

Fact # 1: The congressman was practicing for a baseball game, and was getting ready to catch any ball thrown to him (one of the objects of the game, according to the Major League Baseball Association).
Fact # 2:  At no time did he address his assailant or provoke him in any way.
Fact # 3:  The assailant was never in any danger of being smacked by a ball delivered by the congressman (there were chain-link fences to make sure this was true).
Fact # 4:  The one who fired the gun and who shot the congressman was in no direct danger whatsoever – until he put innocent people like the congressman in danger of death.
Fact # 5:  Witnesses stated that the gunman had been sitting for weeks in the lobby of a local YMCA (where he had no membership and never attempted any interaction with the desk attendants or members), with a clear view of the baseball field where he later made his murder attempt.
Fact # 6:  Another congressman reported that the assailant directly asked him, “Are you Democrats or Republicans?” prior to the man’s opening fire.
Fact # 7:  This obviously (unless anyone has taken Mindreading 101 in college and can prove otherwise) points to some sort of political assessment on the part of the man, who shortly thereafter produced a gun and started firing at the clearly-identified Republicans.
Fact # 8:  The assailant continued to fire at innocent human beings until he was taken down by police.

Friends, in any court of law, this would be an open-and-shut case. The congressman had never seen the man before in his life. The lawmaker had never injured or threatened the man. Furthermore, the congressman had been duly elected to represent his constituency, and to present their ideas before Congress. How does that merit the murder attempt perpetrated by James Hodgkinson?

Friends, please read what I am about to explain very carefully. More and more in the past years, I have been painfully aware of the growing belief that “if I express an opinion, it need not make sense.” Pundits of this mantra consistently ignore logic, almost as if logic were too old-fashioned to steer the world. But ignoring logic will not make it go away – and there are consequences for banishing logic from our discussions. 

Please contemplate the following:

Logical Thought # 1: If you support the gunman for attempting to murder the congressman for his speech alone, then what logic or reasoning can you use to criticize a murder attempt on your life for a similar situation – say, you like the color red, and a gunman believes that you are endangering the environment by not loving green?

Logical Thought # 2:  If the congressman “got what he deserved” by supporting his constituents’ views, then why didn’t the gunman target the constituents? Why didn’t the man form an army to “take down” all the people who had voted the congressman into office?

Logical Thought # 3:  It seems that celebrities and the media are blaming the victim for Hodgkinson’s illogical and murderous response to Trump’s agenda. Scalise entered the House of Representatives several years before Donald J. Trump even announced he was running for president. In what way is Scalise tied to Trump’s agenda? If you happen to be at a grocery store that you like, and you favor meals-made-from-scratch over food-in-a-box, how does that make you worthy of death? 

In the final analysis, if you banish logic from your life, don’t expect logic to come to your defense, should you feel endangered. Search out the lunatics.

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