Jun 142016
 

pulse-orlandoWow, what disturbing news I woke to Sunday morning. We’ve been there in the past, and we’ve been to the Plaza Live where Christina Grimmie was killed, as the Orlando Gay Men’s Chorus performs there. So far, we’re not aware of any friends or acquaintances who were involved, but it is a tight enough community, I’m sure we at least have friends of friends who are.

This will all be kind of a random collection of my thoughts on this, so be understanding if I’m more incoherent than usual.

First, let’s clear up something about the role the shooter’s religion played, and whether this was an Isl?mic terrorist act, or as one “friend” on Facebook called it, Jihad. According to FBI Director, James Comey, the shooter came to their attention a few years ago when some folks at the Court House where he was working security, contacted the FBI after he made claims about being part of Al-Qaeda. They determined he was just making the claims in anger, and as something a threat. Kind of like kids who claim to be in a gang, when they aren’t.

Of course, we all know now about his call to 911 claiming loyalty to the leader of ISIL, and mentioning the Boston Bombers. The Boston Bombers claimed to affiliated with Al-Qaeda. So, why does this matter? Well ISIL and Al-Qaeda are mortal enemies. He basically pledged allegiance to two diametrically opposed groups, Shi’a Hezbollah and Sunni ISIS. I think this shows the guy was either stupid, or too consumed by his rage to consider what he was saying, he just wanted to seem like a big guy on a big mission. I believe this takes all wind out of the sales of those trying to make this some sort of international terrorist event. It was not. Continue reading »

Dec 062015
 

Suddenly, everyone’s a warrior in the war against terror. That is of course only the terrorists attacks that 1. Don’t involve white male American terrorists, and/or 2. Aren’t likely to actually happen in the first place. Take inspiration for the protection of the homeland from some Facebook posts from early this morning. Here you’ll see the batshittery we’ve devolved into in this country.

It started with this fairly incoherent post, which I mostly just ignored after assuming the person who wrote it was either high, drunk, or both.

FB!

So, I’m sure you can understand that, right off the bat, I’m a little concerned. I’m still trying to figure out what are the “…very wages of defense…” and especially the part about, “…that I as well with just cause and overwhelming belief in Liberty and Justice for All so solemnly swear, amen.” Of course that whole part about “liberty and justice for all” applies, in his mind, to only white, straight, male, Christians who believe exactly as he does.

But it gets better. Out fearless defender of everything righteous and holy that is Uhmerika is out-right inviting the jihadists to come to his house so that he can personally kill them.

But what I enjoy is how they are all big talk until it’s time to put up. Invite them to go sign up, and you can see the vitriol that follows that invitation.

FB2

Apparently, this person actually believes the terrorists are going to come riding down main street in Kings Mountain any day now, and he and another friend are prepared to take them out just as the partisans took out the Nazis in WW2…because that’s who defeated Hitler…the partisans.

Naturally, this person and another, go on to explain how their age and current physical condition prevent them from serving or they’d definitely go sign up. Well, physical condition is pretty much something one can change and improve, and there are no age restrictions with some of the contractors I know providing “support services” to the war on terror. But that wouldn’t actually cross their minds.

FB3

When you get to the part about “God given ability that seems to kick in and kick ass…” part, you have to start wondering about whether this person should be allowed to own a gun, but I’m pretty sure he owns several, and lots of ammunition…for the imminent and certain attack of the jihadists on Gold Street in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. For those of you not familiar with Kings Mountain, and more specifically Gold Street, there is an important landmark the city built a few years ago right at Gold Street and one of City’s main streets.

Gazebo2

Now I love my hometown, and lots of the people who live there were great positive influences in my life. I’m not making fun of my town…it’s a small southern town that was too dependent for too many years on textile manufacturing, and a lot of good folks there are doing the best they can to bring it back. What I am making fun of is the belief that a few people there have that they need to be concerned that a terror attack in Kings Mountain is imminent. It is a town that has welcomed Cambodian and South Vietnamese refugees in the past. Some live just down the street from my mother. I don’t know if there are Muslims living in that community, but if there are, I fear for them, because people like this will eventually go instigate a situation so they can feel all brave and manly and heroic.

I try to muster feelings of sympathy for people who suffer from this kind of mental pathology, but I just can’t anymore. It’s tiresome, and it is embarrassing coming from people in a country that was once able to build the greatest industrial power the world has seen. From a country where each generation used to get smarter and richer than the previous generation. It’s people like this who are cowardly, and need an enemy to hate and blame for their misfortune. And they are people who are too lazy to learn and understand the very real issues we face today, and demand that our leaders deal with them. They’re barricaded in their homes with guns and ammo on their laps just waiting on the terrorists to show up at their door (if Obama doesn’t come by first to take their guns), tuned in to Fox News taking their cues from an Australian media mogul with an agenda all his own.

I also no longer have sympathy because these are the kind of ammosexuals who demand that every single person be permitted to have any type of and as many guns as possible, and who all believe they are responsible, sane gun owners. One doesn’t have to read too far in these posts to think this guy’s neighbors need to be the ones living in fear, not all the jihadists converging on Kings Mountain.

Five Year Old Shoots and Kills Two Year Old Sister

 Crime, Featured, Society  Comments Off on Five Year Old Shoots and Kills Two Year Old Sister
May 012013
 

This story, just based on the headline, is a sad enough story. According to a story on UPI from Cumberland County Kentucky (where else), “Caroline Starks, 2, was shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother while he was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he’d been given as a gift.” Young kids can get their hands on lots of things they shouldn’t have, but that’s not the case here. And that’s what makes this story all the more sad.

Apparently the boy was playing with his own rifle, given to him as a gift. OK. so let’s start with, “Who the hell gives a five-year old his own gun?” Even if his parents had given him a gun safety lesson, there are reasons, even if they took a driver’s ed class, we still wouldn’t let a five-year old drive a car. Five-year-old’s “play” with things. That’s what kids do. My nieces, at five, turned a dishwasher box into a playhouse. There is almost nothing kids that age don’t see as a potential toy.

It couldn’t get worse, could it? You betcha, thanks to NRA and the deep pockets of the firearms manufacturers in this country. The gun was made by Keystone Sporting Arms, and branded as Crickett Firearms. This Crickett rifle is target marketed to young people as “My First Rifle,” and includes a cartoon cricket character as a mascot. It’s even sold in different colors to appeal to kids, including a pink model…apparently for girls.

Image from Crickett website Continue reading »

The Crazies of Guns

 Constitution, Faux News, Featured Video, Media, Politics, Television  Comments Off on The Crazies of Guns
Feb 152013
 

Some time has lapsed since the horror that was the Newtown shooting, and now there have been even more gun deaths, and five people were shot accidentally on “Gun Appreciation Day,” hastily thrown together by the gun nuts. I grew up hunting with my Grandfather and other friends. I know my away around guns, and believe they are something that responsible people should have for sporting purposes, but extremists have gone entirely too far with the rhetoric, and their arguments that every person should have totally unfettered access to any kind of gun. So I want to put my spin in the discussion and dissemble the arguments that I keep hearing circulated.

funny-christmas-cards-second-amendment-christmasFirst, let’s cut right to the chase on the primary argument that seems to be implied by nearly every gun nut out there. They seem to think that any regulation whatsoever results in them having their guns “pried from their cold dead hands.” I’m tired of hearing this. None of the laws I’ve heard proposed make anyone surrender any guns, and nothing that’s been proposed includes the elimination of all gun sales. We have always had regulations for the sale of guns, and there are still plenty of guns in circulation.

As a society, we have, for nearly the entire life of the Republic, recognized that many things we are entitled to as rights, can still be reasonably restricted to make sure we can all get along. You have a right to free speech, but can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. We live by the principle famously attributed to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

So stop already with the claim that any regulation would somehow prohibit you from owning a shotgun for shooting quail, or even a handgun. It’s just not true.

The other continuing meme that Obama is preparing to take all our guns is beyond ridiculous. His base has been in favor of stricter gun control for the entire time he’s been in office, but up until Newtown, his Administration had never touched the subject.

I’m also tired of the argument that the Constitution provides carte Blanche for gun ownership. Let’s take a look at the language of the Bill of Rights. Amendment I famously begins with the prohibition, “Congress shall make no law…” The founders clearly gave thought to the wording of these original documents. They proscribed the making of laws that regulate some of the rights they believed we inherited, and they used very specific language to do that. They did not, in Amendment II, make any statements limiting the authority of Congress to regulate the ownership of guns. I believe, given the wording of other Amendments, had the people of the time intended for gun ownership to be completely without regulation, they would and could have written it right there in Amendment II. Continue reading »

Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting

 Crime, Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting
Jul 232012
 

I haven’t been posting anything really in a long time. I’ve been writing so much for work, that even though there are lots of things I want to write about, I just haven’t been able to find the motivation. However, there are a couple of stories lately I would like to share some thoughts about, and one is the horrible event at the movie theater in Aurora, CO this past weekend.

Here is my primary thought. To everyone who was actually touched by this calamity, my prayers are with you and your families.

My second thought is, everyone else needs to just take a breath, and let’s bring some sanity to the discussion. We all want to know why. We want to understand how this person came to this place. We want to assign some motivation, some identifiable cause. We want to blame someone or something so it will look like we can control these situations. We want these answers because we want to be safe. We want to know how to identify this person in the future, or how to create circumstances where this can never happen again.

There are already those taking to the airwaves and the internets to blame Hollywood’s violent movies, gaming violence, guns — both the lack of regulations and the lack of a gun-toting savior, our mental health system, troubled youth, social media, normalization of gun violence, lack of prayer in schools, gays, abortions. I’ve heard criticism of parents who brought children to the movie premier, midnight openings, and once in a while, even some mention of the alleged shooter.

We search for meaning in madness, and don’t take the time to simply grieve. I understand that very basic human compulsion. But “why” will drive you crazy. Has everyone in the entire country forgotten what it’s like to be around a two-year-old, … Why? Because I said so. Why? Because I’m in charge. Why?….” Sometimes there’s just no good reason anyone can articulate for some of the things that happen in this world.

In my Sunday School class were doing a study from a book called The Psalms for Today by Beth LaNeel Tanner. Coincidentally, This past Sunday’s lesson was “Learning to Live Without Fear.” Appropriate for the time, no? This coming Sunday’s lesson is on Psalm 13, and the Chapter is titled, “Living In A Broken World.” The first five verses of the Psalm are, in the American Standard Version:

How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou forget me forever? How long wilt thou hide they face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Jehovah my God; Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Let mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; Lest mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved.

You see, even David didn’t have all the answers. Sometimes he cries out to God for some sign, for some deeper understanding. The Rabbi in Ecclesiastes often has the same response. They don’t understand why some things happen in this world, yet we desperately want those answers. However, the rhetoric we’re getting so far is not going to do anything to heal anyone, nor the nation, nor the world.

In her book, Dr. Tanner talks about how the Israelites often, for protection, carried a Psalm rolled into an  amulets. We Christians wear crosses and many wear St. Christopher necklaces. Dr. Tanner writes, “We have become a society where fear sells everything from the latest weather forecast to new cars. Much of our economy is fueled by tapping into our fears. If we own the right things, we can protect ourselves and our family from harm, and that will make us happy. We have replaced amulets with things that supposedly will keep us from harm and offer that ever elusive contentment.”

We have this overblown fear when things like this happen that is out of proportion to the real danger. It’s been noted that, while nothing takes anything away from terror and pure evil of this event, the 12 people killed here represent merely one-half of the total number of people killed by guns on an average day in the United States. John Mueller writes: “International terrorism generally kills a few hundred people a year worldwide—not much more, usually, than the number who drown yearly in bathtubs in the United States. Americans worry intensely about “another 9/11,” but if one of these were to occur every three months for the next five years, the chance of being killed in one of them is 0.02 percent. Astronomer Alan Harris has calculated that at present rates, the lifetime probability that a resident of the globe will die at the hands of international terrorists is 1 in 80,000, about the same likelihood that one would die over the same interval from the impact on the earth of an especially ill-directed asteroid or comet.”1

Let’s take a look at some of the rhetoric up to now. Not surprisingly, the krazy kristian kooks have taken to the internets will all sorts of bullshit. Continue reading »


  1. As quoted on American Broadcast Network’s 20/20, Feb. 23, 2007. John Mueller was commenting about his book Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (New York: Free Press, 2006). These statistics apply to the world in general and not war zones such as Iraq. 

Guns, Booze, and Tennessee Legislators

 Featured, Legislature, Politics  Comments Off on Guns, Booze, and Tennessee Legislators
Oct 122011
 
TN Rep Curry Todd

TN Rep. Curry Todd (R-Collierville)

Not too long ago the Teabagger crazy in the Tennessee Legislature decided it would be a good idea to roll back restrictions on where a person shouldn’t carry guns.  So Rep. Curry Todd decided it would be a good idea to introduce a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring guns into bars. Because, you know, guns and drunks are always a successful combination…if your wish is to clean up the gene pool.

Unfortunately, Rep. Todd forgot about another law in Tennessee making it illegal to be in possession of a fireman when intoxicated. It also appears he forgot about the law against driving drunk because he was caught doing both. According to the Associated Press:

Police say in court documents that the Collierville Republican was pulled over in Nashville late Tuesday. He allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer. A loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special was found in a holster stuffed between the driver seat and the center console.

I’m betting Rep. Todd’s next bill will be a repeal of the laws making it illegal to be drunk and packing, and who knows, he might just try to repeal the drunk diving law, then he won’t have to worry about it.

As is usual from the Republican Teabaggers, there’s been no comment.

UPDATE: Well, here’s the mugshot. Definitely someone I want armed.

News Roundup-April 25, 2008

 Crime, Education, Gay Issues, Places, Society, St. Petersburg  Comments Off on News Roundup-April 25, 2008
Apr 252008
 

0424inpool405.jpgDrive-in Pool?
Nicole Renee Carlin had a few too many last night, and proceeded to drive her SUV into a pool. She asked the homeowner to not call the police. When he did, she ran. Guess what, she got caught.

Pinellas Woman Finds 8 Foot Gator in The Kitchen
Here’s something to give you nightmares. A 69 year old Pinellas County woman heard a noise in the kitchen and went to investigate. What she found was an 8 foot gator that had apparently gotten in through a screen door and an open sliding glass door. It had walked through the living room and down a hall to get to the Kitchen.

Brooksville Basketball Coach Acquitted of Exposing Himself
Apparently last year Antonio Vasquez was at a park in Hernando County. He met a cop pretending to be new to area, and looking for friends. The cop initiated the conversation, the two went for a walk, and as they walked by a public restroom, it was the cop that wanted to go in, “because his leg hurt.” Then strangely enough, the cops recording equipment got garbbled, yet he still arrested Vasquez claiming the guy exposed himself and made lewd gesture. Score one for a jury smart enough to understand the precept, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Cops love this stuff. It’s so much easier and more fun that solving real crimes.

How to Not Get Away From a Bank Robbery
60 year old Stephen Ray Mulligan decided to rob the regions bank on S. Dale Mabry yesterday afternoon. This is just across the street from Britton Plaza. As he walked out of the bank, the dye pack exploded covering his white t-shirt, white ball cap and jeans. He dropped the money and headed off right down the main drag, Dale Mabry Highway, on his bicycle. Needless to say, police arrested him five minutes later.

Priest Floats Away with Party Balloons
Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua Brazil on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute under a canopy of hundreds of helium balloons. It was a fund raising effort for a spiritual rest stop of truck drivers. Unfortunately, the winds took him out to sea, and now he’s missing. I’ll watch for updates.

Attention Treehouse Club Members-Project Mayhem Temporarily On Hold, That is All
A Sarasota man was cleaning out his 13 year old daughter’s treehouse. He came across a bedsheet with a bit of surprise. They found a sawed-off shotgun, a carbine rifle and a pistol as well as two folding knives, earplugs and 343 rounds of ammunition, according to a sheriff’s office report. The girl is not suspected.

Apr 122008
 

In Florida
Well, we already had the “shoot first, ask questions later law” passed here. Now your employer can’t ban you from taking your gun to work. I guess at least it has to be in a locked car. The Senate passed the measure last week, and it’s on it’s way to Gov. Crist for signature. So along with take your daughter to work day, we can have a take your gun to work day.

Durell Peaden, a State Senator says it’s all about protecting the Constitution.:

The second thing they wrote about in that constitution was the right to bear arms,” said Sen. Durell Peaden, a Republican from Crestview, Florida. “It was what was dear in their hearts.”

If that’s the case, why doesn’t Durell take the matter to the Supreme Court. Oh, they do exempt Schools, Nuclear Power Plants, and Homeland Security offices. Let me explain something to you Durell, if you claim to have passed it because of the Constitution…well, the Constitution doesn’t exempt certain locations. You just shit and fell back in it. Liar.

On Airplanes
Feel safer knowing the pilot of your commercial jet might be packing? Well you shouldn’t. On March 22, pilot James Langenhahn was stowing his Heckler & Koch USP .40, issued to him by the Department of Homeland Security under the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, while his co-pilot prepared to land the plane. As he was placing the pistol, locked in its holster, into his flight bag, it discharged a single shot which exited the left side of the plane, doing little damage.

Now what the Reuters report doesn’t go on to tell you is that this was caused by another idiotic policy developed by someone at Homeland Security who clearly knows nothing about gun handling safety. The policy requires that pilots remove the guns from their belts and lock them up using a government-provided combination padlock before leaving the cockpit with a ring through the key guard, a requirement that pilots say creates unsafe conditions.

“The pilot was trying to lock his gun and remove the holster in an airplane going 300 miles per hour in preparation for landing and the padlock depressed the trigger,” said a federal flight deck officer who declined to be identified. “TSA knew this could happen but didn’t get rid of the requirement.”

…Said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. “TSA’s got these pilots taking off and putting on their guns 10 times a day. It’s a recipe for disaster and that’s why no other agency does it.”

Our friends at Homeland Stupidity found out that:

Pilots have been unable to criticize this arrangement publicly because the TSA had classified it; however, a group of federal air marshals met with the TSA last year to recommend that pilots carry their pistols in the same way that air marshals do, not to mention everyone else who carries a firearm safely. “We said, “Just use the same procedures you use for your own air marshals,” said one federal flight officer. “How hard is that to understand?” The TSA took no action on the recommendation.

Mackett goes on to say that the TSA’s requirement has also resulted in numerous guns being lost or stolen. “But, TSA can’t continuously ignore standard procedures pr oven over thousands of other law enforcement officers and then blame the pilot when it goes wrong.”

News of the week ending Nov. 9, 2007

 Crime, Places, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on News of the week ending Nov. 9, 2007
Nov 092007
 

Another Grow House in Polk CountyTBO.com
It seems this was attacked by three people when he stepped outside of his garage. The three men went the man’s house and attempted to steal some plants he had growing inside. Vigilant neighbors had called police about a disturbance. The cops arrived and arrested the three burglars, and of course the homeowner for his little home-based business.

Man Shoots Himself-Blames GangTBO.com
A 19 year old Palmetto showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. When the police showed up, he first stated he’d been shot by a Latino street gang. Antwon Stuckey later changed his story admitting he accidentally shot himself. Seems he was on probation, so being in possession of a gun was the best thing for him to be doing.

Rapper Hides in Ladies Room – Tampa Bay Times
A local rapper, Black Rain, who does a song called “Gun Shine State” ran to the ladies restroom in a club in which he was performing last week when someone fired a shot. After determining he couldn’t fit through the bathroom window, he waited a while, then slipped out after everyone had left.

It’s Me, It’s Me, It’s Ernest TTBO.com
Like the character Ernest T. Bass on the old Andy Griffith show, Joseph David Steele of Tampa violated a restraining order obtained by a neighbor, threw bricks through her windows, kicked in her door, and shoved her. He was arrested on a violation of the order, but I’m sure will be back on the streets in no time. Unfortunately, Ernest T. was pretty harmless, this guy probably isn’t.

Nov 052007
 

According to a report on MSNBC, a New Jersey 2nd grader got a one-day suspension from school because he drew a stick figure picture where the person in the picture was holding a gun. He later told his mom it was a picture of a water gun.

This is about as idiotic as the authorities in Boston a while back with the Cartoon Network terrorist incident, and the infamous traffic counter terrorism alert.

Did someone from Boston government go over to Dennis Township in New Jersey? I mean this isn’t the only incident of stupidity in the New Jersey schools. Some months back, four kindergarten students were suspended because they were playing cops and robbers with their thumb and forefinger as guns. Wow! They’re certainly on the road to a life of crime up in New Jersey.

VA Tech Shootings-My Perspective

 Crime, Culture, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on VA Tech Shootings-My Perspective
Apr 232007
 

Let me start by extending my heartfelt sympathy to the students and staff at VA Tech, and the parents and friends of all those killed and injured in that horrible string of events. It is something that will certainly give us pause, and hopefully cause us to once again reflect on the fragility of life.

I’ve waited to write about this until some of the dust settled, and I saw how it all played out on the national stage in the media. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised at what has gone on. Once again, all the talk is about all the things that can be done to prevent it from happening again. I’ve seen ideas from the reasonable to the absolutely absurd, but we tend to be coming down more on the side of the absurd and ridiculous. Newt Gingrich, after blaming it all on liberals and the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill (go figure), has decided this would never have happened if all the students on college campuses were armed. (Remember, this is a guy considering a run for the Whitehouse.)

The pundits have gotten on the 24 hour news channels to spout off about how they could have easily seen this coming … about how Cho’s writings and behavior made it clear it was going to happen. On NPR’s Sunday Edition, English Professor and Commentator Diane Roberts has a compelling piece reminding us that some of the greatest authors, including the Bard himself, used some pretty horrific story lines. She cautions against having teachers police the imagination of students. Please listen to the short essay here» It’s a voice of sanity midst the chaos.

Everyone is up in arms about how he purchased bullets on eBay.  So what, bullets have little value without the guns from which to shoot them. A few people are clamoring for tighter gun control, the NRA and other gun lobbies are wisely laying low for now, but they’ll charge to the front lines when legislation is proposed, and little will change. We can only hope. Certainly, given that Cho had been adjudicated “unstable” should have prevented him from purchasing guns … on the other hand, I’ve seen lots of people that could legally purchase guns that shouldn’t be permitted to own them.

This is a tragedy to be sure, but does it really merit the incessant analysis by pundits on 24 hour news channels? I’ve seen studies showing that even after this event, students remain significantly safer on a secondary or post secondary campus than in the communities in which they live. This is much like everyone’s fear of plane crashes. They are certainly headline grabbing when they happen, but even on the day of a plane crash, usually more people are killed in auto-accidents. They just don’t get the press. 

The night after the shootings, I was flipping channels. Larry King was reduced to interviewing some VA Tech student who thought she might have heard gun shots that day. I suspect most of the hand-wringing is the result of the fear mongering brought on by the need of the news networks to fill up their 24 hours, and this makes for good ratings. So, throw on the pundits and the ex-FBI profilers, of which there have been many, along with a horde of “mental health professionals” (now there’s an oxymoron…I’ve only met one of those that wasn’t in great need of some mental health services themselves), and they all contend they could have predicted this would happen, and if we read and analyze everything everyone writes, observe how people dress, all this can magically be prevented…we’ll lock ’em up before the crime is committed, ala “Minority Report.”

But alas, I find myself not the least surprised by all this. The Republicans still play to their base on social conservative issues, but they know it’s becoming less and less politically feasible to side with the krazy kristian kooks as they become all the more crazy, so fear becomes the political currency of choice. More and more people could care less if gay people get married…they are in some places, and lo and behold, the sun still rises. But we can all feel fear, and we can be made even more fearful with the right words and constant haranguing about all that’s wrong today, and all the dangers that await us just outside our door.

Look, life isn’t always pretty. We are never going to be totally secure, despite thinking the government can protect us. Shit, the government can’t even efficiently purchase toilet seats, and you want to trust your life to them? What a bunch of wimpish idiots we’ve become. There are tons of reasonable things we can do to make the world more safe: seat belts; x-raying bags and metal detectors at airports, background checks for gun purchases; prison for people rightfully convicted of evil acts; traffic lights; building inspections; airplane maintenance. None of it will prevent a plane from crashing some day, someone getting killed in an auto accident, or someone getting murdered somewhere. I, for one, more fear my government intruding increasingly into my life than I do the risks of daily life. Locking down college campuses, policing the thoughts and writings of people, attempting to SPOT terrorists using pseudo science is feel good bullshit that does not increase security and safety, and only inhibits the living of life.

Sure, we can make ourselves secure. We could build bunkers and hunker down without venturing out of the house or driving. We can filter our air and drink only bottled water, and never interact with the world around us….is that life you want to live?

I am sorry this kid went crazy. It’s not a hard thing to do in today’s society. Maybe he just never made the adjustment to our society, or maybe there was just a chemical imbalance that no one took proper notice of. But we don’t rush out and change our entire post-secondary educational system and the rest of society because of one nut…and we certainly don’t arm college students Newt. The answer is simple, love deeply those around you and let them know it, help the people around you, give a shoulder to those that hurt, and get on with living life…with all it’s hurts, risks, excitement, boredom, love, hate, tears and joy.