A bill in the Arkansas legislature was recently signed into law, allowing gun-licensed sports fans to carry concealed weapons into the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. I can tell you I would rather drink whiskey at a biker bar while wearing a pink tutu than go to a game in that stadium. No offense intended against bikers.

You might think from my statement that I am anti-gun. Not so. I’ve owned guns and hunted much of my life. I have no problem with responsible people owning and carrying guns wherever it is legal. I just don’t trust every person in a crowd (possibly drinking alcohol), watching a bunch of guys hammering each other for hours over the possession of an inflated pigskin, to be level-headed in the heat of the moment.

Ordinary men and women flood into that arena with war paint on, determined that their side in this conflict will destroy the opposition. Emotions run high, with blood-curdling screams heard when some reversal of fortune happens to one side or the other. Violence in the stands sometimes results from a passionate moment. And they call this a game?

Many years ago, I was a member of a health club in Houston. One morning after my workout, I entered the large dry sauna to “roast” my body for a while. It was designed to accommodate 20 or more people. There were ten or so men in the sauna when I entered. Normally, there are several folks in conversations with others, and greetings are exchanged when people each knew enters. One particular morning, I immediately noticed a pall that had descended upon the room. No one was talking, and heads were down. After a couple of minutes, I reasoned that some national or foreign catastrophe may have occurred, of which I was unaware. I quietly inquired as to what had happened. To my utter shock, I was told that the Houston Oilers had lost the previous night’s game.

I’m not anti-sports. I enjoyed playing football, wrestling, and running track in high school. I loved playing those sports! I also enjoyed watching others in my school participate in school sports, especially when I knew the players. I was never enough of a fan to later watch professional teams play on TV, nor did I attend live events. After school, I turned to outdoor-type sports like fishing, camping, hiking, and hunting. I always preferred to be a participant rather than a spectator, and loved the quiet solitude or sharing with close friends or family in a pleasant, relaxing outdoor location.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with spectator sports. At least you are watching live people participating in a real contest, not some poorly made TV drama or film that strays too far from reality. I do love movies and TV crime dramas and enjoy that particular escapism.

My point is that when you become so invested in a sport that it becomes an obsession to the point of deep personal angst or impulsive anger at the competition, at some point, you may become a liability to those around you. As a volunteer Vietnam veteran, having served three tours, I knowingly put myself in harm’s way for my country and family. Since that time, I have never knowingly put myself in a situation where I might be injured or in danger just for fun. In my world, alcohol and guns with high emotions just do not mix.

And in case you were wondering, I do prefer wearing my overalls to pink tutus!

Jerry Uncategorized

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