Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was playing in a Cleveland, Ohio park with a toy gun. Someone called 911 and reported that a “juvenile” was pointing a gun at passersby and that the gun was probably a toy. Two city police officers named Loehmann and Garmback arrived on the scene in separate cars. Critical information had NOT been related to them: they were not told that Tamir was a child, nor that Tamir appeared to be playing with a toy gun. It appears, however, that within two minutes of arriving on the scene Officer Loehmann had taken out his real gun, aimed, opened fire, and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
It is unclear to me how anyone, including a trained police officer, can assess a scene in under two minutes. It is unclear how a grown man can not recognize the difference between a child with a toy gun and a threatening adult. It is equally unclear to me how anyone with a conscience can ever again sleep at night after shooting a child to death. Yet two “independent experts” in police shootings stated that this police shooting was justified and/or reasonable.
In South Carolina, a female high-school student refused to leave the classroom, and security was called. The so-called “school resource officer,” Ben Fields, confronted the girl, grabbed her, and then turned over her desk with her in it, throwing her on the floor in the process. He then dragged her out of the classroom while choking her. Of course, everything was caught on a cell-phone video. Another student, who complained about her classmate’s treatment by calling out “Stop! What are you doing to her?” (or something along those lines), was then arrested for interfering. The security guard has since been fired – but was this the best way to handle a teenager?
America is simply too violent. It seems the only way we try to resolve a dispute is with a gun. Shoot first and asked questions later. It’s as if we live in the Wild, Wild West with Wyatt Earp and John Wesley Hardin, who once shot a man for snoring. Where is Wild Bill Hickok? We have to have a better way of resolving our differences.
Continue reading Violence in America
I think that choosing a president is serious business. We need serious, thoughtful people to run the country. In order to figure out who is serious we need these candidates to be asked good, solid questions. Fluff is for those goofy reality TV shows.
1. “Sen. Santorum, you won the Iowa caucus 4 years ago and 10 other states. But you failed to beat Mitt Romney for the nomination…. Has your moment passed, senator?”
2. “The president is reluctant to label these terrorists Islamic extremists, but you’ve said you have no problem with that label. But then comes the hard part, here is the question: how afar are you willing to go to root out this problem here at home? Would you put mosques, for example, potentially under surveillance? And keep in mind that conservatives are increasingly concerned in this country about religious freedom.”
3. “Gov. Perry, you were in charge of the 12th largest economy in the world and you recently said that 4 years ago you weren’t ready for this job. Why should somebody vote for you now?
4. “There is an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance. How do you get Americans who are able, to take the job instead of a hand out?”
5. “Many think that America has lost its can do spirit and that it’s not the nation that it once was. Ronald Reagan was confronted with a similar atmosphere and he said that it could be morning in America again. JFK said it was a new frontier. FDR said that we had nothing to fear but fear itself.On this level, Carly Fiorina, can you inspire this nation?”
6. “Gov. Gilmore, you ran for the White House once and lost. You ran for the Senate once and lost. You haven’t held office in 13 years. Similar question. Is it time for new blood?”
7. “How would you describe the Democratic frontrunner in two words?”
8. “Gov. Pataki, four years ago this month you called it quits for a race for the White House in 2012.Mitt Romney declined to run because he believed that the party needed new blood. Does he have a point?“
Continue reading 8 Really Dumb Questions From the First Republican Debate
I have been looking for a different take on gun control for a while. Most of the arguments on both sides are old and stale. Australian comedian Jim Jefferies has a different take. I kind of love it.
Australian comedian Jim Jefferies was the victim of a home invasion once. He was tied up and beaten, and his girlfriend was threatened with rape. So you might think he’d sympathize with the idea that Americans want guns to protect their families. Quite the opposite — he does an excellent job of summing up why so many foreigners are baffled by America’s gun culture:
In Australia, we had the biggest massacre on earth, and the Australian government went: “That’s it! NO MORE GUNS.” And we all went, “Yeah, all right then, that seems fair enough, really.”
Now in America, you had the Sandy Hook massacre, where little tiny children died. And your government went, “Maybe … we’ll get rid of the big guns?” And 50 percent of you went, “FUCK YOU, DON’T TAKE MY GUNS.”
He continues with a blistering smackdown of the idea that Americans seek guns to keep their families safe:
You have guns because you like guns! That’s why you go to gun conventions; that’s why you read gun magazines! None of you give a shit about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door.