Saturday, July 29, 2023

Bad guys shouldn't ruin our fun

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 25, 2023)

It frustrates me that we so often allow the worst people among us to dictate how we live our lives. We arrange society according to their whims and behavior. I'm not only speaking of traditional politicians but of freelance bad guys like those who caused the Draggin’ Main “Saturday Night Cruise” event to shut down early.

Recently, a shooting incident between motorcycle gang criminals in Red River, New Mexico caused officials there to end their Memorial Day weekend Motorcycle Rally early as well. They later announced the incident has put a permanent end to the event.

It's time to stop letting bad guys steal our fun, whoever they are and however they interfere. Shutting down events because people who won't control themselves cause problems lets them "win". It doesn't stop them from doing the things they do. They are who they are and they don't change to suit you. Catering to their lack of civility only interferes with everyone else's plans and enjoyment.


You are allowing them to rule you as surely as if they were holding an elected office.

I'm still convinced good people vastly outnumber bad people. Stop letting a disgusting-- and frankly, worthless-- minority direct society and establish which rules the rest of us will be subjected to.

I get it, though. Officials are probably scared. Scared of what might happen once you've been reminded that bad things happen randomly and arbitrarily. They're afraid to not be seen taking decisive action of some sort-- even it it's utterly useless. Canceling events won't prevent bad things from happening. It's always too late to shut the barn door by the time something has happened. It's pointless anyway.

Neither is this a justification for not scheduling events at all.

If you are an official, don't end the whole event for everyone. Don't surrender to your knee-jerk reaction to shut things down at the first sign of trouble. Those who are scared are free to leave. Give those who aren't frightened away the option of going on with it. Yes, it's "at your own risk", but that's true for everything about life. Some of us only pretend otherwise until we are reminded.

Each of us is always, one hundred percent of the time, completely responsible for our own safety. Nothing can change this apparently uncomfortable truth. It's an inescapable part of being human. Embrace it and move forward with life.
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