Monday, December 17, 2012
A special place in hell...
Having worked in law enforcement and at times as a first responder, I still can't even begin to imagine what these people went through...however, I can relate and I believe have a somewhat keen understanding of the second guessers and Monday morning quarterbacks who can't even wait for the youngest of the young to be laid to rest before they begin spouting their bifurcated political drivel. One side begins the volley with the "guns are the problem," diatribe, immediately followed by the tried and (un)true, "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Tell that to the children...I don't want to hear it...
One of my favorite people in the industry (although we've never met) is Marcos Breton, a columnist with our local rag, the Sacramento Bee. He wrote almost immediately after the tragedy, a thoughtful and insightful piece which clearly showed respect for the victims and families, yet also offered a scathing indictment of the problem...NOT the same old back and forth, but clear cogent advice as to how we as a nation can begin healing and at the same time, start to take more responsibility for ourselves and our families. Marcos summed it up nicely within the first few paragraphs with, "can't we simply agree that there are some people in our society who should not have legal access to guns and ammunition?" The entire column, a must read, is attached...
I'm not sure how much better I can say it than this column, but as you know, as always, I'll give it a shot. Since when is requiring someone to understand the responsibilities inherent in owning and operating a firearm...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? IT IS NOT! Since when is starting a nationwide firearm registry in order to document who has a firearm and whether they are responsible enough to own one...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? IT IS NOT! While we're at it, since when is limiting the amount of ammunition and capacity of magazines on firearms...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? You got it...IT IS NOT!
Here, I'm not going to get into the age-old debate about how criminals don't care about laws and they will simply ignore the limits and requirements of any new law...nor am I going to remain static when people start whining about how "we don't enforce the laws we already have on the books." Again, we get nowhere when the debate stoops so low. That's old news. I'm also not going to go the "we need better mental health treatment," route. Though undeniably true that mental health "treatment" is vital, it gets us only so far...first things first...those children's classmates, teachers and families should be the first ones to receive this type of assistance...and of course, the first responders.
Nope, what we've got to do...is see to it that, as much as humanly possible, we take steps to insure that monsters like Adam Lanza have a "more difficult" time gaining access to all types of firearms and ammunition (don't even get me started on body armor)...and while we're at it, let's also do our best to keep bows and arrows, spears, knives, hell, even sharp spoons out of the hands of scum like him.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Let's get started, shall we?
I DO want to help us all find better ways to make our country's "new" economy work better for each and every one of us. "What the hell are you talkin' about? New? Ain't nothin' new...the rich keep getting richer and nothing will ever change?" Hello Buck...of course you are correct, in your own monosyllabic, borderline psychotic way, but even you, even you can't deny we have had (and are continuing) a fundamental shift toward a more collective, redistributive type of government. Right or wrong, I have pledged to help others (including myself) find better ways to deal with the change.
Of course, the ultimate goal (now) is to spend more time in the "receiving" line, as you do in the "contributing" line. "Oh my God...how cynical? What is wrong with you? Sore loser!" No, I don't think so...I signed up for a program where if you work hard, and are RESPONSIBLE, you receive (either tacitly or not) a "leg up" in the game, so to speak. In other words, play by the rules and you have a better chance for ultimate success. There was never a guaranteed outcome. Today, I think we are headed that way...under the guise of fairness. However, I believe that when we erode motivation for responsible behavior, it wanes...AND it is very, VERY difficult to ever get it back.
So, what do people (like us) do to maintain any sort of "edge" for responsible behavior. If you're like me, it's not as if you can become irresponsible overnight. But there are many things you can do to NOT contribute to (or at least not further reward) irresponsible behavior. We will talk about these things on a regular basis (at least) for the next four years. Yes, it is certainly "walking a tightrope," to continue to be responsible yourself without rewarding the irresponsibility of others, but it most certainly can be done.
But first things first...the fiscal cliff. Much of what we will do, or at least what I'll recommend we should do will depend on what occurs over the next month or so. Of course, I believe the answer is staring us in the face. GIVE THE PRESIDENT WHAT HE WANTS...COMPLETELY!!! "What?!? You can NOT be serious!" Yes, Buck (and nice John McEnroe impersonation, by the way), I am deadly serious. He won the election. The people have spoken. As I've always said, Americans as a whole love freebies...well, at least until they see they're not really "free."
So yes, give the president all the economic, tax, and spending fixes he wants...and whatever happens will be his to own. I know, I know...many say it will be the 90's all over again. Fake prosperity, fake surpluses, a compliant (complicit) media...initially? Maybe, but I believe most of us will be able to see through the charade. Just like the "stimulus," (I mean, how do you throw a TRILLION dollars at a problem and have zero quote-unquote "stimulus")...just like the stimulus, it will be very clear whether it works (or not). Many of the (same) folks also say, it will throw us into a recession...no, no it won't. So, let's get started, shall we? What? Too many words?
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