Friday, March 01, 2024

This Is Missouri, and Andy Reid is Part of the Problem

Andy Reid was once a bad football coach. Then he lucked into his Kansas City Chiefs drafting the greatest quarterback God ever created and the rest, as the cliche goes, is history. At the team's last Super Bowl parade on Valentine's Day, bystander Lisa Lopez Galvan was murdered and 22 other individuals wounded. Offering his condolences at the NFL combine on February 27, Mr. Reid missed the boat when 

In his first press conference since the tragic shooting on Feb. 14, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach offered their condolences to the families affected.

I want to share my condolences for the Galvan and Lopez family for their loss of Lisa, and for the people of Kansas City. She was a personality there, and a very good human being, first of all. We’ll all miss her, as I know her family will....

Stop, Andy, stop- oh, no:

Just a positive word on Kansas City: That’s not what Kansas City is all about,. And for our youth of America, that we gather together and make this great, you’re our future and as great as we can make this place, we want to do that. So we can turn this, which was a negative, into a real positive. With just a little togetherness and love we can fix a lot of problems.

If Reid had simply offered condolence, his would have been an appropriate remark. But he didn't leave it at that, adding "that's not what Kansas City is all about."

Yes, it is what Kansas City is about, though not by choice.  The pro-gun safety Everytown has found that the State of Missouri has only the ninth strongest set of gun laws in the country and 244 gun deaths per 100,000 residents in a nation of 144 gun deaths out of 100,000 residents. 

The alleged Super Bowl assailant, 23-year-old Lyndell Mays

was wounded in the shooting but was released and booked into the Jackson County Detention Center. However on Thursday morning, he did not show for a bond review hearing because he had been taken back to the hospital.

The murder suspect still has no legal representation for his case. His hearing has been continued for March 4.

Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker stated that an argument took place at the Chiefs rally, and Mays was the first person to pull out a gun. The prosecutor stated that multiple others pulled out firearms, including Dominic Miller.

Peters-Baker stated that it was Miller’s gun that fired the bullet that struck and killed Lopez-Galvan.

Two teens face gun-related charges as well as resisting arrest in the shooting. Another person was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm but was said to not be involved in the shooting.

Kansas City police chief Stacey Graves said the shooting appeared to be the result of an argument between two groups of people.

Detectives stated that Mays was involved in some kind of argument and pulled out a firearm, later determined to be stolen. Mays then proceeded to chase one of the people in the group while pointing his gun at the person. At that point, others also drew out their guns and pointed them at Mays, according to the document.

Mays then was seen in surveillance video chasing an unarmed person and firing his weapon. He was then struck by gunfire and fell to the ground.

Mays admitted to law enforcement at the hospital that he pulled his gun out first and fired.

“When asked why Lyndell Mays advanced on them to begin with, he replied, “Stupid, man. Just pulled a gun out and started shooting. I shouldn’t have done that. Just being stupid,” the court document stated.

(Mays and another man have been charged.)

Mays now has been charged with Felony Murder, Unlawful Use of Weapon, and two counts of Armed Criminal Action. He has not been charged with illegal possession of a weapon or with bearing a concealed weapon. because he appears to have legally possessed the weapon and concealed carry is permissible in Missouri. Lovely.

If Reid wanted to be constructive, he need not have been overtly political by calling for stronger gun laws. Very much respected and popular in much of Missouri, he asserted the need "to fix a lot of problems" and whatever that means, it is not apolitical. Reid could have been overtly political- not partisan- and called for gun safety. 

That could have been accomplished without calling for gun legislation by simply decrying the proliferation of weaponry on the streets of Kansas City or of Missouri or of the nation (his choice).  Failing to do that, and going beyond merely expressing appropriate sympathy for the victim's family and other loved ones, he remarked "with just a little togetherness and love we can fix a lot of problems."

Kumbaya, my Lord. "A little togetherness and love" will "fix a lot of problems" made no sense when John Lennon wrote "All You Need is Love," utopian nonsense which became "an anthem for the counterculture's embrace of flower power philosophy." 

That was in 1967, before the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; the Iran hostage crisis and the rise of terrorism; the Reagan-led evisceration of government as a force for good; the hard drug culture and the concurrent explosion in violent crime of the '80s and '90s; the counter-productive wars in Iran and Afghanistan; the election to the presidency of a proud practitioner of sexual assault.  And Andy Reid calls for "a little togetherness and love." It was pie-in-the-sky then, less realistic now, and encourages us to wish our problems away.

Kansas City itself, except for the individuals involved in this incident, is not responsible for the crime(s) committed at the tail end of the parade. Nonetheless, contrary to the statement of the grossly overrated Kansas City head football coach, this is what Kansas City is about. It's what Kansas City is about because it is what Missouri is about.

It's tempting to say this is what America is all about. Yet that would be approximating the Andy Reid perspective in which we won't call out evil, merely say that "we can fix a lot of problems" wherever they are, as if all are equally dire and we all bear equal responsibility. 

Any professional athlete and coach can comment on current events if he or she wishes. But anyone choosing to do so should seek solutions, not feign concern with empty platitudes.


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