Christmas is over for another year. I hope all out there had a very Merry Christmas and you are on track for a Happy New Year. Me personally, I am looking forward to 2013. 2012 started out with a little bit of promise, took a dive at the beginning of spring, but by the end of the summer, things were looking pretty good. Going into 2012 all is looking pretty good.
My wife and I are still pretty healthy, we both are happy in our jobs, and we are not living on the street. Our kids are all doing well. It’s all good.
Something that seems to happen every so often is that someone sets an emergency of some sort and then ambushes the responders. Usually it involves a law enforcement response, but of late, fire and EMS folks are the target. They latest has happened in Webster, NY, ending with the death of two of the responding firefighters and the wounding of two more. Several homes were destroyed, and as it turns out, the killer also, apparently, killed his sister. The shooter was a convicted felon who was not permitted by law to have firearms. Meaning, he was, according to the law, not supposed to have them and he could not purchase them legally.
So how much has to be said for those out there that say “Ban assault weapons/ high capacity magazines/ guns”? When are you going to get the idea? If someone wants one, they are going to get one. People who are not supposed to have them can obtain them at any time they truly want to. It happens all of the time. I’ve been to some neighborhoods in America are better armed than some Third World countries and many of those folks were not supposed to be able to buy or possess firearms.
A piece of paper is not going to fix the problem. No more than restraining orders help domestic violence victims. No more than Prohibition stopped alcohol consumption in the 1920s. No more than the “War on Drugs” has worked.
There will also be calls for arming responders, better training, and more gun control. In this particular case, there was a determined person bent on killing someone by taking them out from a distance (sniping). Arming the firefighters in this case would not have prevented this tragedy. The shooter in this case planned an ambush. It takes a totally different mindset to prepare for an ambush- even then it is hard not to be taken by surprise. In this case, and unless we are willing to go through a wholesale change in the way we train and educate our firefighters and medics, there is no way humanly possible to avoid what happened Christmas Eve. And more gun control is going to work about as much as more control on illegal drugs, domestic violence, and drunk driving.
Allowing responders to ‘carry’ is a new (well, not so new) idea. Again, there is a mindset that you have to have if you are going to carry a weapon with you while on duty. Kelly Grayson over at his site has blogged about it. Frankly, most of the people I work with do not have that mindset, further, I don’t think they are capable, despite all of their bluster about owning firearms and shooting. And then, even if we do say “arm our responders”, there is a tremendous amount of training that goes into that idea. So who’s going to pay for it?
I don’t have an answer. I wish I did. Unfortunately, no one else has had much of an answer either, other than knee-jerk reactions that will do nothing more than to satisfy their MTV-era crave for the quick fix.
The NHL lockout…
…continues. The owners have put forth an offer and it is being reviewed by the players association now. I hope they take it. I am pretty sure that if they don’t we are not going to have a hockey season this year, which really sucks. It seems that there are a few personalities that are driving the lockout. To a degree I think that Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr both are culpable, but I think a lot more lies with some of the owners who seem to be driving the “take it or leave it” stance on a new CBA.
Maybe they will have it sorted out by next season.
The Fiscal Cliff
I admit it, I am a biased voter. Regardless of my intentions, it boils down to “what is best for me and my family”.
At this point, I am getting a little concerned.
I know that the spending habits of our nation’s government cannot be sustained. I know we cannot tax our way out of it nor can we cut our way out of it.
And maybe ‘going off the cliff’ is the best thing.
But hear this. Our system of government is based upon the ‘compromise’. Many years ago, people came to this land because of the ‘all or nothing’ king back in the old country. You can look at many examples in our history of that concept of compromise. And people still come to this country today for the opportunities that are born out of compromise.
Something for some people in Washington to think about. Compromise is not such a bad word. It is the way we have gotten things done in this nation for so many years. Now, it seems, from my vantage point, that a group that is “sticking to their principles at all costs” is perfectly willing to drive this nation off of that cliff. To make a point. And damn the consequences.
Radio around the Triangle has sucked for a while. The demise of WRDU 106.1 as a classic rock station was a bad blow. Of late, though, something has changed at WRVA 100.7 (The River. Exactly where did that name come from?). Someone has changed the programming a bit, and for the past week or so I have not had to change my radio station, except when I just wanted to listen to WFNL 570 AM (our local 24/7 comedy station. So whoever is doing the programming at WRVA- good job!