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
For those who like the creepy or macabre, there’s video of Aaron Alexis walking around the Navy Yard with a Remington 870 shotgun.
I don’t see how we avoid a government shutdown. The Democrats are not going to negotiate on a bill that’s already passed Congress and has already been verified by the Supreme Court. ObamaCare is the law of the land. The Democrats are not going to back down or cave on this issue. President Barack Obama said that he is not going to negotiate with the good faith and credit of the American government. I think this is the stance he should’ve taken years ago. Instead, he capitulated, waffled and negotiated. I believe this has emboldened Republicans to believe that they only need to bluster in order for Democrats to go and cower in the corner. This time, it looks to me like Democrats are going to hold strong. There’s a significant fraction of the Republicans in the House who don’t believe in negotiation. Therein lies the impasse. There was a ridiculously cute story in the Washington Post this morning. Some reporter went to Westchester, Ohio, which is in John Boehner’s district. The reporter walked around and talked to a bunch of his constituents about the imminent government shutdown. Nobody knew anything. It seemed as if nobody knew that there was an imminent government shutdown. One gentleman said, “they’ll work it out – they always do.” I think this guy is 100% wrong. I think we are in for some significant badness.
By the way, in case anybody was noticing, the Senate voted to restore funding to ObamaCare. Is anyone surprised? Continue reading News Roundup – Government Shutdown, Iran, Marital Secrets
Had a great dinner with Linda Monk, constitutional scholar and great friend.
Another shooting. It is so crazy. I would say, “Something would happen in this country if there were…” But we’ve seen almost every scenario imaginable. We’ve seen a shooting in the middle of an army base. Fort Hood. We’ve seen a shooting in the middle of a elementary school. Sandy Hook. These horrors simply keep happening. Aaron Alexis, someone with mental illness, opened fire and killed 14. The Washington Post has several great articles. There’s one about the anatomy of the shooting with exactly what happened inside of building 197. Then there’s more and more background on the shooter, Aaron Alexis. As I’ve mentioned before, I think we have to approach this problem from two separate vantage points. First of all, we have to do a better job of taking care of mental illness in this country. Secondly, too many people have too many guns (recent study shows that more guns equals more gun violence). Gun ownership is a privilege. If you had a run-in with the law in Seattle which seems to suggest mental illness, you really shouldn’t have a gun a decade later unless you’ve proven to be mentally stable. I guess the biggest question that remains unanswered is how did this gentleman, Aaron Alexis, pass a background check? How was he allowed on a Navy shipyard?
Oh, by the way, I didn’t talk about the election that was going on in Colorado. Colorado voters who were infuriated over their representatives’ having the audacity to pass a bill that limits gun violence, had a special recall election. Basically, the NRA decided that they did not want two progressive state Senators and signed a petition to have both senators removed. Yes, the actual details are more complex, but that’s basically what happened. There was a special election which included many special caveats, like no absentee ballots, which seem to always benefit the conservative candidates. The bottom line is that two progressive senators are out and 2 NRA stooges are in. DKos has more – 1) Core Democratic groups (Latinos, African Americans, youth voters, single women) have the worst voter performance, and 2) Republicans will do everything they can to prevent our people from voting.