On Saturdays this space normally features a WordPress reblog but I wasn’t able to find a post regarding a story from earlier this year that deeply affected me. I’m posting an update regarding this story instead.
Earlier this year there was a very disturbing story involving a 17-year-old youth playing in a recreational soccer league that was intended to give suburban kids a chance.
While playing the goalie position, the unnamed youth reportedly pushed a player attempting a corner kick. After justifiably drawing a yellow card the youth protested the call and shouted at the volunteer referee who had made the call.
As the yellow card was being written, the youth suckerpunched the referee, Ricardo Portillo, 46, in the side of the head. By the time police arrived Portillo was curled on the ground in a fetal position and complaining of nausea and back pain. The referee was rushed to a hospital and slipped into a coma later that evening. Within two days Portillo was dead from brain swelling and injuries resulting from the punch.
On Aug. 5, 2013, the youth plead guilty as part of deal reached with prosecutors. The deal prevented the youth from being tried as an adult, only about three months before his 18th birthday. Under the deal the youth will serve a maximum of just over three years in a juvenile prison, although a juvenile parole board could decide to release the youth earlier.
The juvenile court judge also ordered the youth to maintain a picture of the victim in his cell and write a letter to the man’s daughters every week to remind him of the pain he caused the man’s family.
Again, that’s three years in a juvenile prison for a guilty plea on a charge of “homicide by assault.” Sad.
What we need: Laws that prohibit or restrict assault weapons, handguns and high-capacity magazines.
Canada, a gun-loving country, has gun control a lot like this. Citizens are allowed to own all the rifles and shotguns that they want. This just in: The universe has not imploded in Canada. You’ll no doubt be amazed to know they have lower rates of gun violence and murders than the United States.
Today I attempt a short bit of logic to rebut the nonsensical sound bites offered ad nauseam by the NRA.
The Second Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
–The version ratified by the U.S. Congress
Yes, there was more than one version. In addition to the one above there was a version ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State. Capitalization and a comma differed between the two versions. (Source: Wikipedia.)
I have two points to make. Since I’ve talked about this before, I’ll be brief and do it using less than 600 words.
I recently made the point that unbalanced power, control and influence is a bad thing. That kind of inequity leads to extreme positions, injustice and unfairness. This opinion is based on the principle that power corrupts.
The NRA is the most influential lobbying group in the United States. Wikipedia says the NRA has 4.3 million members. But what groups exist to counter the NRA? To offer opposing points of view? To provide a little balance? I found one called the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Wikipedia says they have less than 28,000 members.
It’s my opinion that when it comes to gun control there are many statements thrown about that sound like truisms at face value but are actually logical fallacies. Groups like the NRA use this to create confusion and misunderstanding to their advantage.
In this post I’ll ponder some of these nuggets of debate and offer my take. It’ll be a pistol-whippin’ good time.
Continue reading →
I don’t get the party scene. Somehow I got through my youth without ever having the urge to attend one. All I know about them is what I’ve seen in movies. I don’t get the appeal.
But I do know this. If I was a woman living in today’s world I wouldn’t accept and ingest a drink from anyone without vetting how the drink was prepared. Ever.
Once again I find the lowest common denominator of human behavior prompting me to call for bystander laws with more teeth.
We live in a world where young people think it’s not only acceptable but fun to do things like date rape women. A world where roommates think they can stream a young man’s private sexuality from within his own home right onto the internet. These young people don’t know the difference between right and wrong. No big surprise there – they’ve learned from the best.
It seems to me there are two kinds of criminals. One variety is the sociopath. The other new emerging variety is the overly “me” oriented idiot who thinks “if it feels good do it” and views other human beings as personal consumables to be expended in the name of fun. I’m not sure which kind of criminal is worse.
Normally I generally feel that most people deserve second chances after most mistakes. But anyone who rapes a person they’ve drugged needs to be made into an example. Our society needs to send an unequivocal signal that certain behaviors will never be tolerated and will result in extreme and unwavering punishment to those who engage in them.
Will that happen? Somehow I think not. We’re compromising our way into oblivion. The road to hell is paved one brick at a time.
Human behavior needs an airlock but unfortunately we don’t have the wherewithal do that to ourselves.