“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe redently weighed in on the Parkland, Florida school shooting, saying that politically charged conversations about guns, mental illness, and video games aren’t going to stop evil people from doing evil things.
Mike Rowe went on to write in a Facebook post. “Evil is real. As long as humans have walked the earth, people have chosen to do evil things. This is what happened in Florida. A nineteen-year old man chose to do an evil thing. He planned it. He executed it. He succeeded.”
Mike Rowe also said that while it’s important to find out the contributing causes of mass shooters, we shouldn’t absolve the killer of responsibility for his actions.
ROWE: Should we discuss video games and …
“Should we endeavor to know why? Absolutely. Should we discuss the impact of video games, accessible firearms, single-parents, no parents, powerful medications, social media, mental illness, bullying, or anything else we think might have encouraged him to choose evil over good? Without question.”
“But we should also stop confusing the influence of such things, with the root cause. Because nothing in this man’s past can possibly explain his decision to kill seventeen people,” Rowe added.
“If you believe otherwise, ask yourself why millions of other people with a similar past, don’t make similar choices.”
In the wake of the shooting at a high school in Parkland which resulted in the deaths of 17 people, Rowe said that while it’s important to talk about the guns, video games, absent parts, medication, and mental illness, we shouldn’t conflate those contributing factors with the root cause.
“People from horrible backgrounds often become the epitome of kindness,” he continued. “And people with every imaginable advantage, often go on to squander everything. The past does not equal the future.”
Mike Rowe offers sincerest condolences
“To the families of the victims I can only offer my sincerest condolences, along with my heartfelt wish that the man who killed their loved ones is removed from the planet with all due speed,” Rowe wrote.
Rowe, who also hosts “The Way I Heard It” podcast, went on to say that the acts of courage of students and teachers sacrificing their own lives to save others deserve more attention.
“As for words, I can only repeat what others have said, and ask you to remember those who confronted evil with courage,” he wrote. “People like Aaron Feis, the football coach who threw himself in front of the kids the killer was trying to murder. Beyond that, I’m afraid I can offer nothing but my weekly attempt to prove that goodness also walks among us, just as surely as evil. In numbers far greater than our newsfeeds would lead us to believe.”
- Fifteen year old Anthony Borges used his body as a human shield to protect 20 of his classmates. He was shot five times and remains in the hospital in stable condition. You can donate to his family’s GoFundMe page here.
- Thirty-five year old Scott Beigel, a geography teacher, was shot and killed while saving students from the shooter. He opened a classroom door to let students into the classroom and was shot when he tried to re-lock the door.
- Aaron Feis, 37, worked as an assistant football coach and security guard at the school. Feis threw himself in front of students to shield them from bullets during the Wednesday shooting at his alma mater (he graduated in 1999). He was shot and later died during surgery.
- Many teachers and faculty barricaded classroom doors, locked students into closets, and suspected a trap when the fire alarm was pulled. Their brave actions and quick thinking preventing many more deaths.
Mike Rowe: Guns haven’t changed that much
Guns, Rowe said, haven’t changed all that much over the years, but our perceptions of them and attitudes about them have, with calls for more gun control laws after mass shootings that put the onus on the weapon, not the person misusing it.
“I think most things are down to mental health. I think a lot of giant issues get missed because we confuse the cause with the symptom,” he said, adding that the basic issue behind shootings is “terrible judgment.”
“I think there’s something in there with gun control and the whole conversation around guns. We’ve had guns in our culture from the beginning, and it hasn’t become an issue, really. These mass shootings haven’t become a thing until relatively recent years.”
Mike Rowe: Gun control – personal issue
Gun control is a personal issue for Mr. Rowe. He made headlines in 2016 after taking to social media to explain how he awoke one morning to the sound of a drone hovering outside his bedroom window in San Francisco. While still in the buff, he grabbed his shotgun and went onto his porch with the thought of blasting the high-tech interloper.
But he hesitated and considered the big picture: He could be arrested for discharging a gun within the city, and the drone could be recording him for all the world to see as he stood there naked while pointing his shotgun. He lowered his gun, went back inside and eventually wrote about his dilemma on Facebook. The post went viral.
In the wake of that, I got a thousand questions about gun control,” Mr. Rowe said. “I’m absolutely in favor of sensible restrictions, but I don’t understand how the restrictions that we currently have are being implemented in a way that’s effective. I don’t understand how the restrictions we have would have stopped any of the recent tragedies in the headlines. It was really just a comment that said, ‘It probably feels good to pass laws in the wake of a tragedy, but it’s worth looking around and saying, ‘What are we giving up as a result?’
“Even though I didn’t pull the trigger and shoot the drone out of the sky, and even though I would have felt a lot more comfortable with clothes on, it was a great feeling to have the Mossberg 500 in my hands and looking up at a kind of intruder. And I’m not comfortable giving that away,” he said.
Mike Rowe – Society was different
Mike Rowe, like many Americans over 50, grew up in a different society. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, for many of us raised in rural areas, we saw guns in the back of trucks. We saw gun racks in trucks in our high school parking lot. It was a different time. It was a different society.
We grew up around weapons. We respected weapons, but we also respected adults. Today’s perception of guns have changed immensely. It seems after every shooting, liberals take aim at the need for more gun control. But the fact is no gun control law could have stopped this shooter in Parkland, Florida.
Students reported information about the shooter Nikolas Cruz to administrators. Students reported information on Cruz to the officials and the FBI. Students did their part – they saw something and said something. But where were the officials and the FBI?
Evil is real! No gun control laws will stop evil.
Resources: Washington Times, Daily Caller