With all eyes in the nation glued to the events unfolding in Boston last week, one of the great pitchers in Boston Red Sox lore, Jonathan Papelbon, found himself in the national news as well.
And it had nothing to do with his exploits on the diamond as one of baseball’s best closers over the past seven years.
Now a Philadelphia Phillies closer, Papelbon was asked by a reporter to give his thoughts on what was transpiring in Boston. His reply was certainly not what the reporter was expecting, as Papelbon said, “Today’s day and age has gotten so crazy. Shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. You got all this stuff going on; it’s just a little bit insane for me, man. I’m not sure how to take it.”
Take it from me – a Major League Baseball player should do his best to stay out of the news for voicing opinions the press and national media will immediately seize upon and try and give legs.
Even so, what Papelbon said is true.
And in our increasingly leftist-dominated, totalitarian climate of discourse, where the mainstream media serve as little more than 24/7 marketers (cheerleaders) for whatever policy is pushed by the Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee, Papelbon’s slip of the tongue was like throwing fresh chum to the sharks.
We do live in a crazy age, one punctuated by the left’s attack on your Second Amendment rights. State legislatures controlled by Democrats in Connecticut, Colorado and New York were quick to capitalize on recent mass shootings as a casus belli against law-abiding citizens’ right to own a gun.
President Obama has surrounded himself – whenever possible – with the parents of murdered Newtown, Conn., children, as a way to drum up sympathy for his gun bills and always have a visible backdrop of grief to play upon people’s emotions.
Leftists like Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and their allies have decided that only the state should have guns – thereby having a monopoly on violence – because they feel the people of this country aren’t capable of using guns in a constructive manner, only a destructive manner.
Sadly, we no longer live in a country where rational political debate is possible. Before the two Chechen terrorists were captured, members of the mainstream media were actively pushing (with no evidence) “right-wing extremists” or “tea party members” as the perpetrators of this attack. A writer for Salon.com even went so far to write, “Let’s Hope the Boston Bomber is a white American.”
No apology is forthcoming from the outlets that broadcast or published these views. No accountability is held for reckless journalists, either.
With biases such as these, it’s impossible to even try and consider the other side’s opinion and engage in any dialogue.
To the left, Papelbon’s admission that “Obama wants to take our guns from us” translates to the type of image they have of gun-rights enthusiasts. Primarily a white male – most of the time Southern or easily classifiable as a “redneck,” worried about the federal government coming and depriving them of their rights.
To the left, pseudo-intellectuals or those with the right Eastern Establishment credentials (a degree from an Ivy League school) always know what is best for America, and Papelbon’s brand of free speech, they demand, is exactly the kind of divisive talk that must come to an end.
One of my former Atlanta Brave teammates, Mark Wohlers, has become an outspoken advocate for gun rights via his Twitter page (be sure to follow him here) and quickly became the target of activist-writer Jeff Pearlman.
Pearlman recently wrote on his blog this about Mark Wohlers and his defense of the Second Amendment (just insert Jonathan Papelbon’s name wherever he writes Mark’s):
I am Twitter friends with Mark Wohlers.
I’m uncertain whether the phrase “Twitter friends” actually exists. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Regardless, we’re Twitter friends. I follow him. He follows me. The above image is from his Twitter feed. Good times.
I’m guessing Mark Wohlers doesn’t know who I am, even though I covered the Majors during much of his career. However, I know who he is. I know because, as the gun debate heats up in this country, men like Wohlers (they’re most always men) suddenly feel the need to make themselves heard. They are not just store keepers and farmers and lawyers and electricians and retired ballplayers. No, they are gun owners. They loathe Obama, value personal liberty and damn well won’t just sit back and watch as we liberal folks take away their Second Amendment rights.
The thing is, men like Mark Wohlers often see themselves as the victims. They’re the ones being marginalized; they’re the ones being suppressed by the government; they’re the one clinging to the last morsels of patriotism.
Pearlman, his writing dripping in sanctimony, shows you the political left’s attitude toward anyone voicing concern with a push for gun control and what that will mean to both personal freedoms and to notions of liberty (the ability to defend oneself from tyranny).
They believe they know better than you do as to how you should be protected.
Jonathan Papelbon was right to speak up about the threat of the Obama administration coming for your guns, for if he played for the Rockies in Denver, or the Mets or Yankees in New York, the Democrat-controlled state government there would have already done much to erode his rights.
Professional athletes are in a position where they have access to a media whose members are highly cognizant of the fact that they must publish quality sound bites/stories to sell advertisement space and “create” stories where they don’t exist.
My hope is more athletes will begin to speak up as Papelbon did. Your time in the majors goes by in the blink of an eye; your constitutional rights could be gone just that fast if we aren’t careful in defending them.