Don’t shoot me. I’m only the piano player..

The title of Elton John’s sixth album came from a comment John made after Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers jokingly pointed his index finger at the singer as if holding a six-shooter, something politically incorrect today.

We in the news business often shout, “Don’t shoot. I’m just the messenger.”

This country is currently extremely divided and apparently some people don’t like what they see on television news or read in the newspaper.

This country has been divided before.

Often violently.

One of my distant relatives picked up his musket and joined George Washington in the Revolutionary War. That war, which lasted eight years, arose from tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government which represented the British crown.

“Taxation without representation” I remember my history teachers’ lecture saying.

The Boston Tea Party came about because of the Tea Act and may be one of the reasons I am drinking coffee as I write this now instead of tea.

Kansas became the center of disagreements during Bleeding Kansas.

“What we need is action,” I believe is what John Brown said. Those actions resulted in a series of Border Wars.

Today we still argue if slavery was indeed the principle behind the war or if it was the rights of states to govern themselves which resulted in 620,000 deaths.

One of our current political hotbeds, abortion rights, led to the death of George Tiller here in Kansas during a Sunday morning worship service in a church in Wichita.

I understand why some of our readers don’t like the news.

Sometimes we don’t like printing it.

But, no matter which side of the fence your political views are on, things are happening and we’ll continue to print them.

Elton John’s “Don’t shoot me. I’m just the piano player” was his best album to date when it was released in 1973.

The hit song “Daniel”, we learned years later, was about a Vietnam vet who returned home to the farm after the war, couldn’t find peace and decided to leave for Spain.

When Elton was writing the music to Bernie Taupin’s lyrics, he chopped off the last verse because he thought the song was already too long.

It just shows the impact of few words. Here at the newspaper we choose our words carefully.

Contact Tim Horan at

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