By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
There was worldwide grief and sorrow after the Paris massacres. And though few will admit, also a collective sigh because it was a terrorist attack in Europe, not here at home.
News of last Wednesday’s carnage was a shocker, but then again, no great surprise. A barbaric act on U.S. soil was inevitable; the only question being where and when. As it turns out, just a few miles up the road from where I was born; passing Redlands if en route to San Bernardino. There was no Inland Empire then, nor a city teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Everyone called it “San Berdoo,” home of the Orange Show and not much else.
Growing up in the country, which means most Nisei outside of Los Angeles, San Pedro and Terminal Island, firearms were as commonplace as a picture of the Emperor on a white steed. In our barn there was a .22 and .410 to ward off hawks and predators trying to make off with stray chickens. Not yet teenage, a young CR2S had difficulty with a slingshot, let alone a pump action BB gun, so shooting at jackrabbits was not a favorite pastime. Being left-handed with less than a 20-20 right eye prompted no interest in finding a covey of quail. [How an “Expert” rating was achieved with an M1 rifle in the Army is an unsolved mystery; although a 5% raise in pay was indeed an incentive.]
While pundits, talking heads and politicians regurgitate time worn rhetoric about guns, the carnage continues. Whether by mentally unbalanced or religious zealot, we’ve had 355 (any number over three) mass murders this year! [According to another measure, only four!] We’ve been subjected to so much mayhem, we need to be inoculated. But San Berdoo? Only sixty miles east, now that catches our immediate attention. No one says so out loud, but as sure as the sun also rises, he/she/it/they will strike again. Where/when/how?
But we won’t give up, right? Democratic resilience and all that jazz. Needless to say, we extend sympathy and understanding to the plight of Muslims, Syrian emigres and swarthy, un-American-looking guys with a beard. Ethnic profiling, remember?
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Meanwhile, thankfully, LGO (Life goes on.)
# And how better to return to normalcy than celebrate the retirement of Kobe What’s-his-name? I made a vow to stop watching Lakers games in 2003, after he allegedly bought his way out of a Colorado embarrassment. Will have to suffer through the inevitable paeans that will continue until season’s end; a small price to pay for the end of Black Mamba. Adding to the pleasure is the disappearance of Tiger What’s-his-name from prominence. And with OJ still in prison, yup, LG (Life’s good!)
# Since so many of you aren’t hooked up to TWC and restricted Dodger television, allow me to weave a Scully-like tale about our beloved broadcasting icon. Remember when he missed the final week of regular season broadcasting? The unexplained absence led to rumors about his health. To waylay premature retirement fears, he announced a return in 2016, which would be his last. When doing so, he playfully downplayed his medical leave as nothing more than having to “take care of a common male problem.” Well people, CR2S at your service, pro bono: I’ll bet the 88-year-old was taking Flomax and it was no longer helping his, er, flow. Ergo, time off to repair the plumbing problem. [I’m sitting here patting myself on the back, thinking where else can you get this kind of stuff?]
# Let’s take a look at Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro activities: It has succeeded to roil the waters of community discontent, but unfortunately nothing concrete. A legal advisor has been retained, a move that should have been made long ago. We all know nothing gets done without benefit of counsel. His first order of business will be to file a class-action suit. Injunction relief is being sought on behalf of Keiro Retirement Home residents, patients and families. They will be the primary litigants under a charge of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The claim will be for irreparable harm and damage — emotional, physical, financial — all of which falls into the general category of Elder Abuse.
At last (unofficial CR2S) count, almost 50% of KRH residents have signed on. Quite a surprising number since tenant activity in any protest form has been frowned on by executive fiat. All the more impressive when you realize the great majority of residents are Japanese-speaking and not familiar with the American justice process. Where this legal gambit leads is the question of the week.
So there you go, folks. Since the continuing Keiro saga is depressing a whole lot of people, let’s offer a couple of CR2S definitions of real Elderly Abuse: (1) Being so engrossed in writing this column, I completely forgot about Sunday’s Frank Sinatra 100th anniversary TV special (a real tragedy); (2) There were 13 obituaries in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, 9 of which were Nisei (a frightful figure).
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.