Parkland: The Real Cowards

By Ikenga Chronicles February 28, 2018

Parkland: The Real Cowards

— Vitus Ozoke

I hope that at some point people will stand up in defense of Deputy Sheriff Scott Petersen, the beleaguered School Resource Officer at Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida. Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and the National Riffle Association have viciously attacked and characterized Petersen as a cowardly villain for failing to put himself in the line of fire during the terrorist mayhem that cut short the lives of 17 school children and their teachers in their classroom a fortnight ago.

Irony meets hypocrisy when a conspiratorial murderous gang of the Republican Party and the NRA sells military caliber assault weapons to a mentally deranged 19-year old and expects a pistol wielding school resource officer to put himself in the line of fire to confront him. That is utterly ludicrous!

Somebody is a coward alright; somebody is a villain from the pit of hell. But that person, in this instance, is not the relatively unarmed and outarmed school resource officer. Cowardice lies with a Republican Party that does not have the liver to stand up to NRA gun merchants. Villainy is a badge of shame that must be permanently stamped on the chest of the NRA.

Americans are courageous. Americans will rise, and have countless times risen, to stare down evil and meet the call and challenge of heroism. Todd Morgan Beamer was an American passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked on September 11, 2001. Beamer was one of the passengers who tried to reclaim the cockpit from the terrorists, leading them to crash it into a field in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The hijackers were headed for the Whitehouse.

Beamer’s is just one of the several and innumerable stories of American heroism. Neighbors have taken bullets for neighbors; teachers have chosen their own death over the slaughter of their pupils; husbands have used their bodies to shield their spouses from cascading volley of gunman bullets. Heroic accounts have never been, and will never be, in short supply in American discourse.

So, for a president who has never saved a fly his entire life to call a police officer a coward requires a redefinition of cowardice. A president who lacks the balls to confront the evil that is constituted in the NRA takes hypocrisy to another level when he vilifies a police officer as a coward. It is hypocrisy on steroids for a Republican Party that would rather focus on the politics of reelection than the calamity of gun violence to attack a police officer as cowardly for failing to die by the gun. And hell freezes over when the NRA gun profiteers cast a police officer as cowardly for failing to get in the line of NRA gunfire. What alternate universe are these freaks from?

Look, would it have been great if Officer Petersen had put himself in harm’s way to save the school kids? Absolutely! That would have been the ultimate American heroism. If Officer Petersen is a coward for failing to do so, let ordinary and morally credible Americans make that call. But to have the likes of Donald Trump and the Republican Party who have, by their ideological lousiness, refused to rid American streets of assault weapons, to be the ones at the top of Mount Courage, is as deeply sickening as it is utterly laughable.

In the end, the greater cowardice is the active enabling of death by Donald Trump, the GOP, and the NRA, not the inaction of an outarmed school resource officer. Who takes a knife to a gunfight? Who takes a pistol to an AR-15 gunfight? May the souls of the innocent Parkland kids and their teachers rest in the peace of the Lord… Amen