Etsuo’s Corner: baseball, guns, Japan

In this week’s column, I would like to share concepts and issues that I have contemplated recently. There been some topics in the news that have surprised me and made me think about the issue. In addition, in my personal life, I also have developed some opinions which I would like to discuss in this column.

Topic 1: Gun Control

Since I came to the U.S., I have heard news about mass shootings constantly. I knew there were many shootings and that many people in the U.S. are killed by gun violence, but the number of gun shootings I have heard about was far from my expectation. Especially, since in each major shooting, so many people were killed, and those shootings have happened in the short term.

Last year, there was a Las Vegas shooting and 58 people were killed. This year, I heard the news that too many students in Stoneman Douglas High School were killed. And last week, I heard a woman shot a gun and killed people at the headquarters of YouTube.

I was really surprised how many shootings happen in the U.S. and how many people have been killed so far. The most surprising occurrence was that President Trump stated, in order to prevent the shootings in high school, teachers should have guns.

I wonder why some people still think “people kill people” instead of “guns kill people.” For example, in Japan, if a gun shooting happens and even one person is killed, it will be big news because a shooting seldom happens. People do not have many guns, so it is difficult to kill people and shootings rarely happen. I often think if there is gun control, there will be less shootings in this country.

I know it is very difficult and guns sometimes seem to be one of the traditions and rights of U.S. citizens, but I hope some people who still think “people kill people” will soon realize that “guns kill people.”

Topic 2: My Road Trip

This semester, almost every week, I’ve gone to a track meet and experienced a road trip. In Japan, I lived in Tokyo and I used public transportation most of the time, so I felt the road trip was very “American.” Especially since Tokyo is a very small prefecture and many colleges gather in Tokyo. That is why I didn’t have to go on a road trip so often.

When I experienced the road trip at first, I felt this is very “American” and was excited. But gradually, I felt bored because the view from the bus always seemed the same. I sit there for at least two hours which made me so tired. In addition, I find that it is difficult for me to sleep on the bus. Sometimes, we left the campus early in the morning and I tried to sleep on the bus. But somehow, I could not sleep at all and arrived at the track field, which was terrible. Recently, I could sleep, but still, I am not accustomed with the concept of road trip.

I will try to enjoy two more road trips here though because if I go back to Japan, I can’t experience such a long road trip again. Maybe when I go back to Japan, I will miss these road trips.

Topic 3: MLB

Last week, I wrote about Shohei Ohtani, and that he will start his career in the Los Angeles Angels as both a pitcher and a batter. In the spring training, he was not good, and I thought he needs more time to adjust. Despite my expectations, he hit two home runs last week as a batter and started with a win as a pitcher, which made me excited. I think he will face more challenges, but I hope he will keep playing well.

It was pity that I can’t see any MLB games until I go back to Japan. Seeing the MLB games was so exciting and in the near future, I would like to come back and see them again.