Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on Connecticut

Yes, the Connecticut shooting is a tragedy, I won't deny it.  I'm bummed about it.  I have nephews about the age range of the children who were killed.  But a lot of issues bother me about this.

How many people are murdered every day and we don't hear a thing about them? Where is their over the top news coverage? Is it because one person went on a rampage that make his/her victims more tragic? Or because they were children? Or is it because there isn't a name to the shooting suspect that we can pry into their past to determine what kind of sick monster is responsible?  Or isn't murdering one person as sick and tragic to attract this type of news coverage?  And I can't for the life of me see why the media is digging into and reporting on the shooter's life.  In my opinion, he deserves no press.

And speaking of the news, every time something like this or any crisis, such as hurricanes or other natural disasters, etc. happen, the journalism is almost as frightening as the event.  All speculative journalism should be banned.  This "would have, could have, may have, should have, unconfirmed sources", etc. style of "news reporting"  does nothing but deepens fear, cause greater anxieties and is a catalyst for spreading less than factual information.  Until something is fact, it shouldn't be reported.  One has to wonder if it is done more for ratings or "we were first to report" than anything else.

Of course, there is the gun issue.  The incident has people screaming for gun control.  It isn't a secret; I'm a big pro second amendment person, so I will naturally disagree.  In this incident, the guns were basically stolen from his mother, the legal owner.  So, as I always do ask, what is the percentage of all gun crimes committed are by those who legally own guns?  .5%?  1%?  2%?  Do we want to ban cars because a minute few drive drunk and kill someone?  No.  The majority are responsible enough to own guns or cars to use them in a responsible manner.  Let's say we ban all guns and even manage to get them out of the hands of those who illegally possess them (which would be more of an undertaking than legal gun owners).  Then what stops some individual from setting fire to the school?  Or obtaining information to build a make-shift bomb?  Or hi-jacking a school bus full of kids and running it over a cliff?  Or running his/her car at 60 mph into a group of people?  Or poison?   Guns used in this manner are just another means to a horrific end.  Granted, guns may present an easier and quicker means to an end, but doesn't mean that end may not occur without them by some delusional, but driven individual.

And then the argument that we need greater psychological testing to legally obtain them.  Tell me how that would have prevented this?  Mom may have passed, but obviously not the son.  And how much would this cost the taxpayer?  And how would this have stopped Connecticut?

Also, what has any of this have to do with conceal/carry unless you are arming teachers (in this case) which I don't agree with.  That would probably be a bad idea in a lot of schools.  The kid wasn't a legal owner and didn't have a C.C. permit.  Why are the two subjects even in the same breathe?  If he was the owner and had a C.C. permit, I could see the connection and argument.

Unfortunately, there are going to be people out there that are going to cause some sort of mayhem and we probably will never know who they are until they strike.  How many preventative measures to how many different scenarios will it take until everyone feels safe?  The possibilities and costs would be endless.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Public Service Announcement

Last year, I was in Missouri and unbeknown to me, I had a head light out. I was pulled over by a county trooper for it.  I was kinda shocked as I check these things frequently due to a retired ubermechanic father's influence.  As it was evening, one of the first questions was "have you been drinking"?  Yeah, I had had two glasses of wine earlier.  Sobriety test.  On the way back, I was pulled over 2 more times for the headlight (within minutes of each other at 1 AM in Pekin and Bartonville) and asked the same question.  The next evening on my way home from work, I was pulled over in East Peoria (enroute to buy new headlight and to "Henry's Garage" to install it).  After the usual license/proof/why I pulled you over spiel, I get "have you been drinking?".

The reason for this post, you ask?  It is the holiday season.  You might have a glass wine/cocktail/beer or two at a gathering, company party, etc.  You know what sucks?  Jumping up and down on one foot rubbing your stomach counterclockwise while touching your nose reciting the alphabet backwards in an outer Mongolian dialect in a 12 degree blinding snow storm on the side of the road at 1 AM.  Ya look like a trained circus animal trying to score snacks by doing tricks.  Not because you are drunk, but because your license plate light is out.  Don't want to increase your chances of getting pulled over after a mug of 'nog this season?  Check your car's lights...all of them: brake, tail, head, back-up, license plate, side marker, hell, I'd even check my dome light.

Now, before the negative comments start to fly: I DO NOT CONDONE DRIVING DRUNK OR BUZZED.  Most of us probably have thought we are OK at one time or another and most likely were not.  Don't, just don't.  Be smart, Be safe and have a joyous holiday season and don't screw your and someone elses because you took a chance.