I was looking forward to focusing this week only on the wonderful show “A Tribute to Guy Clark” my wife and I attended Friday night, but then the horrible mass shooting in El Paso occurred the next morning.

My thoughts about both subjects are shared this week.

Guy Clark tribute

A big thank you to the Aransas County Historical Society for bringing “A Tribute to Guy Clark” to Rockport last Thursday and Friday. Only one show was initially planned, but quickly sold out. A second show was added.

Music means different things to different people. I have to admit I didn’t know much about Clark, or his music, prior to attending the tribute.

I knew he spent his formative teenage years in Rockport, and that he passed away in 2016, but that’s about it. I saw him perform here several years ago, but basically dropped in just to get a picture for the paper.

The tribute, featuring Verlon Thompson, the long-time partner with Guy Clark as a performer, and Shawn Camp, who worked alongside Clark later in Clark’s career, was an eye-opener for me.

Clark’s style of music isn’t my favorite, but listening to the personal stories about him, as told by Thompson and Camp, as well as the stories behind the music and lyrics, changed my whole outlook about the man.

Before we knew it, three hours had passed.

To say we were thoroughly entertained, and impressed by the pickin’ and playin’ of Thompson and Camp, would be an understatement.

I wanted to buy Clark’s biography Without Getting Killed or Caught, but it was sold out when I went to buy one after the show.

I just ordered it off Amazon. If you’re interested in Clark and his music, and the impact Rockport had on his life and music, I’d suggest you do the same.

I’m looking forward to learning more about him.

That night I was mentally transported to a simpler time in our history, only to be jolted back to reality the next morning.

Mass shooting in El Paso

It sickens me that almost immediately certain media and most if not all the Democratic presidential candidates, and others in that party, blamed Trump, or inferred if Trump weren’t president, 20-plus people would be alive today.

As a society we must come to grips with the twisted belief any one individual has that type of power over another person’s actions.

The 21-year-old sick soul who took the lives of 20-plus innocent people is the one to blame.

If we can’t first accept that as fact, we can’t come close to dealing with the numerous social ills we face as a country.

The constant labeling Trump as a racist, by the same media outlets, politicians and anti-Trump folks, is what makes Trump a racist in the minds of those who despise him.

Without the proof that Trump is an actual racist, are not the media outlets and politicians who incessantly cry “racism” at every turn, because of their hate for the man or another not-well-hidden agenda (i.e. – the desire to regain power at all cost) equally to blame, if not more so, than the president they claim is a racist?

Identity politics is a real cancer on our society and will continue to grow until eradicated.

If the real issues, which have led to the rise of mass shootings, aren’t honestly investigated and acted upon, the carnage will continue.

The sanctity of life is not what it once was in our country. The dehumanization of individuals, in just about every facet of our lives, must be addressed if this problem is going to go away.

The fact we are even discussing, as a society, the right to kill an unborn child in the third trimester, or even after birth, shows how far we’ve digressed in valuing human life, or choosing who should live or die.

Violent video games, the anything goes social media landscape, the demise of the nuclear family and drop in church attendance, gun laws, who is sitting in the White House, or any other issue by itself, can’t singularly be blamed for any individual mass shooting resulting in senseless deaths.

Politicians speak up and point fingers almost immediately, yet they accomplish little.

The realization we can’t legislate morality is coming to life before our eyes.

Politicians, and most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, are great at pointing fingers, but doing little to solve issues.

Add the absence of God or any higher being as centerpiece of families with a mother and father contributing to the healthy upbringing of their children, to the list of things that has brought us to where we are today.

When it comes to the guns commonly used in mass murders, and their availability, I personally don’t see a need for someone to have such weaponry.

However, banning such guns will not keep them out of the hands of those who are determined to get them.

Right now anyone can obtain any illegal drug he or she wants, and there are strict laws on the books banning their use.

Crossing our border illegally is illegal, yet it’s done all the time and lawmakers have proven themselves incapable of addressing the serious issues we have at our borders.

How can the most powerful country not address this issue, but Canada and just about any other country can?

Blaming our current president for the El Paso mass murder, or blaming any previous president for a mass murder that occurred while he was in office, is simply too easy.

The only thing blaming Trump or anything else accomplishes is it gives everyone permission to not look at themselves in the mirror.

Everyone thinks they know the answer, and it usually involves blaming someone else, or changing someone else.

It’s time to look in the mirror.

God help us, and please carry in your hands the families of those who needlessly lost their lives at the hands of a single demented individual.

Government is not the answer, and never has been the answer when it comes to moral dilemmas.

That should give us all hope.

Our collective hearts must change.

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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