One of the “causes” which has been running around the frustrati blogs for a while is the Manning case. He painted as a “hero” and a “whistleblower” by them. That his “whistleblowing” was not so much a principled decision to expose wrongdoing, as it was a screwed-up idiot who decided to “get even” by doing an unfiltered dump of classified documents, gets glossed over or waved aside. More recently there is the Snowden case, where the initial revelations of a massive government spying operation on its own citizens turned out to be … not quite all that.
Tag Archives: safety
One of the constant statements you’ll hear from conservatives is how “regulations are stifling business and the economy.” Obviously, if only we could do away with them, it would lead to a major economic boom! It’s a line that draws sympathetic responses, because most of us have our own experiences with various regulations. I know I do in my work. A good part of my job is filling out various reporting forms required by various state and federal agencies. I’m also required to follow quite a number of regulations, and I receive annual – or more – inspections from them, to insure that I’m doing it.
Monday morning in Webster NY, a village to the east of Rochester, a house fire was reported. Firefighters responded, and walked into a trap, resulting in two deaths and two seriously wounded. The shooter killed himself after SWAT units responded, but in the delay, several other houses caught fire. Two families lost their loved ones, and others were homeless for the holiday. What makes this resonate so much is not just that they were firefighters. They were volunteer firefighters, and it’s something that strikes a major chord with rural areas.
One of the outcomes of the Newtown tragedy is that a national conversation has started about gun control, and reducing the levels of gun violence in this country. It’s sad that it took the deaths of 20 children to bring this front and center, but unlike previous tragedies it looks like this one has staying power. As I’ve said in a previous post here, we need not only have sensible regulations, we need to change how our culture views guns. The cultural change is going to be a longer term effort, but there are some sensible things we can do with the laws.
Back in the early eighties, a group of us on our way to a local bar happened to pass a gun shop. There in the window display was an AR-15, with a price tag of around $500. It caught our eye, and the price attracted a lot of comment along the lines of “that much?” Later on over drinks, the discussion wound around to why anyone would want to buy that rifle. Various uses were brought up, but quickly dismissed. Not so much because it couldn’t be used for those, but because another rifle or shotgun would do the job much better and cheaper. The consensus was that it was a vanity purchase. Were we “anti-gun fanatics?” No, it was because we knew that rifle intimately. We were all in the Army.