Gorilla-Cincinnati-Zoo

Addressing the 400 Pound Gorilla in the Room

Harambe. No doubt that name is familiar to most readers by now. For those not yet caught up on the news: [CNN] Gorilla Killing: Mom calls 911. This is certainly a tragic event, but not so much that a gorilla was slain as it was that a parent was so distracted that a child was able to enter into the pen in the first place. No doubt that is going to make some people irate, so let me make it clear; it is more tragic that the boy was able to slip his mother’s attention and enter a gorilla’s pen than Harambe getting killed.

Here’s what is most frustrating: 1) we all know the name of the gorilla, not the young boy; 2) somehow ‘white privilege’ entered the conversation; 3) zookeepers have to defend the choice to save a human; 4) some journalists don’t want to blame the parent; and 5) no one has acknowledged God’s mercy that the boy lived through the ordeal. Think about that for a moment.

According to Rush Limbaugh, he believes he has nailed the reason for the disgust towards the zookeepers and I believe he is right; “… in this case there are people who think that gorilla’s life mattered more,” Limbaugh laments. This sentiment is indicative of where hearts and minds are when it comes to choice of human life or death: pro-life or pro-choice. Rush continues with another point that demonstrates why moral direction seems to be lacking. “By definition, these people cannot be familiar with Genesis, and if they were, they would dissociate themselves from it,” stated Limbaugh. “They have absolutely no such training, foundation, or awareness of the primacy of humanity on planet Earth as created by God. Such a mindset does not exist with them. It’s the exact opposite. Humanity is the problem.”

Frankly, I never thought I would see such disregard for human life as we do in these days. This is a remarkable time to be alive, yet tragic to see so many lives destroyed. And for the American public to care more for a gorilla than a child is itself tragic. The fact that mainstream news outlets don’t have the name of the boy anywhere seems to indicate the focus of their faithful readers’ interests.

But why shouldn’t the mother or father be held accountable? One journalist claims that, as a mother of a 3 year old, it is easy to be distracted by tasks, cars, hustle and bustle. That would be true if you were taking the troupe to a downtown carnival. But, in a contained environment like a zoo, I simply do not see anything that should take precedence over attending to your children. As a father of an 8 year old and 1½ year old, I think I can safely make this assertion.

There is also reason to believe that maybe, while the parent is texting or talking to a friend, the child was able to slip into the pen because of a failsafe that should have been in place. That would put the liability on the zoo. Regardless, we still have to wonder what the parent was doing.

As for the claims of ‘white privilege’ being responsible for the gorilla getting shot, I cannot even begin to give any reason. But some people will try to say anything that drives a bigger wedge between us. By all accounts, it appears as though the boy is ethnic. So we’ll just leave it there and shake our heads.

This could have gone tragically worse. Yet no one seems to be thanking the Almighty that He kept this boy from serious harm. Maybe this will serve as a wake up call for the parents. I hope for their sake it does – and the young boy. At only 3 years old, he couldn’t have weighed more than 30 pounds or so. Harambe was a 400-450 pound gorilla. You do the math.

What Rush Limbaugh points out, though, is that God put man over the earth. While we haven’t always been good stewards, we are the superior species of His creation. We have dominion over the animals. Never should there ever be any question as to whether a human life takes precedence over an animal. That is insanity.

Regardless of the final focus of fault, the parents should be thanking God that their child is still alive. We should all be supportive. Maybe, just maybe, this “wake up” call was to give the parents a better understanding of our responsibility as parents to see to the well-being of our children. Children are God’s gift to us, to be the benefactors of our wisdom.

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David Boarman

I am Christian, a husband and a father. Currently, we live in Oceanside, California (which is ironic in so many ways). We moved to San Diego in November, 2011 for a software engineering job. Beginning in November, 2014, I began a journey that has culminated in vast understanding of our natural, inalienable rights. I have converted a Facebook page (formerly for a bid as a presidential candidate). The FB page, Old Guard Federalists, is now about our rights - educate, learn and defend.

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