What Needs to Happen Now

High Octane Growler seeks to be a fun place to laugh and enjoy conversation about craft beers from around the U.S., but one of the goals of the show and community we’re building is also to bring smart, passionate, well-spoken commentary to the fore.

Whether in the form of multimedia or individual pieces from guest bloggers or Tommy himself, High Octane Growler is not intended to be a one-dimensional, one-trick pony.

We were a little too late to get in on the election, but that’s over. And there’s only the rest of our lives to come.

What I Want

by Tommy Hough

“I thought we were going to get somewhere. All we got was silence.” – Aurora, Colorado shooting victim

I would like to see elected officials remember they’re answerable to their constituents, instead of living in fear of the NRA.

I’d like to see leadership in this country, beyond platitudes, which endorses an agenda that eschews gun culture. I want to see guns go the way of cigarettes and handled with the kind of reverence and care other controlled substances are handled.

I want to see the end of automatic weapons in the hands of 20-year old boys who aren’t otherwise soldiers and who haven’t been properly trained to understand the real effects of 600 rounds of ammunition on flesh and bone and lives.

I want to see leadership which places a greater importance on love and listening.

I want a moratorium on new gun sales in this country (there aren’t enough?).

Mostly, I want to see our leaders step up and begin leading on the failings of gun culture. We’ve got a lot of damaged DNA in the American psyche.

Canada comes from a similar frontier heritage of firearms, and yet Canadians don’t seem to have weekly massacres by members of their own population. You want a world of the Hunger Games and a return to Wyatt Earp and the Old West? The NRA, Fox News, right-wing media and their minions in government are leading us there as fast as they can. We don’t deserve to be hunted like deer, murdered like lamb.

Gunshot wounds don’t magically heal, there’s millions of dollars and physical therapy which would bankrupt most families who don’t have the last name of Romney. But better than Obamacare perhaps coming through a covering a portion of a gunshot victim’s care is not being been shot at all.

A 15-year old girl who was shot at a mall not far from the High Octane Growler home base in Portland is fighting for her life with a bullet in her chest. She was Christmas shopping. This is not Afghanistan. Murder at the mall is not a reasonable expectation, a freedom from fear, or a component in the pursuit of happiness.

The pathological decadence of our firearms fetish is the epitome of a fundamentally flawed national personality. We didn’t have these sorts of events 40, 50 years ago, in part because public officials never would have stood for it, and because people didn’t have as access to the volume, caliber and abundance of weapons and hand-held killing machines as they do today.

And make no mistake, access to firearms enables behavior, whether that behavior is sane or utterly devoid of conscience.

Tommy Hough is a professional broadcaster and environmental advocate. He launched High Octane Growler in 2012.


Leave a Comment