Over the past several months the news has been full of stories about police violence and protests against it. Ferguson, and Michael Brown. Cleveland and Tamir Rice. New York and Eric Garner. There have been protests around the country, and a lot of discussion about not just police racism, but racism in society as a whole. We can point to the amount of use of deadly force by police around the country, often as a first resort, not a last. The protests and discussions have finally made it clear that “Things aren’t right,” even though they haven’t been all along. People are fed up, and they have every right to be. The protests are a first step. They’ve called attention to the problem, made it clear that it’s not just a “fringe issue,” and that action is required.
Tag Archives: community
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.
Almost two years ago, after Representative Giffords was shot, I wrote an article about the reactions by the “gun rights” advocates. Their solution always seems to be “more guns.” Since then, we’ve seen more mass shootings, including 7 this year. Every time, the gun rights advocates pull out the “if only” card, and try to use that to block sensible discussion about guns, gun control, and reducing gun violence. Yesterday, we had the 7’th shooting incident, a horrific one that cost the lives of twenty young children in an elementary school. Today, we have the “gun rights” idiots in full voice with their solution… more guns. They have a fantasy, you see.
One of the experiences you gain as you grow older is that you attend an increasing number of “calling hours” at funeral homes. Elderly members of your, or your friend’s, family pass on, and you go to pay your respects and offer your condolences. One of the facets of that is that you’ll hear at least one person (and usually more) make a comment about how nice a job the funeral director did on the deceased, that they “look so nice.” I was reminded of that when a co-worker was discussing the goings-on in one of the groups in a nearby town. There was a lot of pushing done to “beautify” the main street, and arguments over whether a pavilion should be built on a local beach, or its placement. I said “Well, that’s nice, but all they’re doing is dressing up a corpse.”