Opinion: Who Still Enjoys Rights In the USA?

Remington Write

Hint: Probably not you unless you want to carry a gun in public

St. John, The Divine aka St. John, The Unfinished and aka St. John, The UnwelcomingPhoto byTammy Remington

Look, I get it. I don’t live in such a bubble that I don’t see that even the last 72 hours in this country have brought another almost unbearable number of mass shootings. And to her credit, the young lady who was overseeing the metal detector just inside the massive doors of St. John, The Divine was pleasant and patient.

Not that any of this security theater is new but let's not kid ourselves. If anyone really wanted to bring a gun into the Cathedral they could do it. However, in keeping with appearances one then is required to check in and the cranky fellow at the desk inquired the purpose of our visit.

So remember if you decide you must take in the glories of the world’s sixth-largest church by area and either the largest or second-largest Anglican cathedral you will be required to check in first and state the reason for your visit.

With all that in mind, the Cathedral is a breathtakingly beautiful space with a fascinating history. For example, there was the time that bad boy French wire-walker, Phillipe Petit walked his highwire inside the nave of the Cathedral. Oh, also, the Cathedral is only about two-thirds finished so the race is on with Sagrada Família. Any bets on which world-famous cathedral wins?

That's 177 feet above our headsPhoto byTammy Remington
One of the many chapelsPhoto byTammy Remington

I suppose one upside to those various gatekeepers is that even on a lovely Sunday afternoon there weren’t very many people sharing the vast space with us.

Security is serious at The CathedralPhoto byTammy Remington

Stunning as it was, I won't be returning to the Cathedral any time soon. To be fair, it’s not just the Cathedral caught up in the general madness. It would appear that the only people who still have rights in The Greatest Country in the World are (white) men who own guns. The rest of us have to twist our lives into pretzels to accommodate those men’s rights.

Years ago, we tried to go over to the Museum of Natural History on Thanksgiving Eve to see the inflation of the Macy’s Parade balloons. I’d done this a couple of decades ago and it was more fun than the parade. Not any more. As soon as we turned the corner onto Columbus Avenue we could see how people were being herded into viewing pens similar to the stupidity of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Nope. We turned right around and left.

Will Joe Q. Public finally get so sick of all these security precautions that he just stays home? Wouldn’t that be great? Golly, Macy’s CEO, sure sorry to see that no one showed up for your stupid carefully choreographed advertisement to kick off The Shopping Season.

I propose we all just stop doing anything that requires us to take off our shoes, go through metal detectors, have uniformed people wave wands over us, wait in long lines to have our bags checked, or have any other security theater nonsense thrown at us. We quit.

Sure, yes, we’ll miss those winter holidays to the Bahamas, but hey, they’ll be underwater soon anyway.

Here's a radical thought: we could start organizing our own events that don't require insane amounts of security to attend. We could even have free participatory events along the lines of what those whack jobs in San Francisco once had in mind for Burning Man, bless their millionaire hearts.

But, come on, we have Zoom and Instacart and who needs to put themselves through the grief of dealing with a world that’s gone completely bonkers? If enough of us just quit putting ourselves through all the stupid security theater required to attend concerts or other events, at some point — hey — we can crash the economy. Talk about power to the people.

See? There’s always an upside.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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