Archive for children’s safety

OK to put Uzi in child's hands, but not OK to comfort kids with hugs

Share

guns 9 year old with UziImage via YouTube courtesy of The Independent

What possible reason could any parent have to encourage their child to use an Uzi? Despite how "mature" the 9-year-old who accidentally fatally shot her range instructor seemed to everyone involved, IMHO there is no justification for allowing her to shoot a sub-machine gun. I can hardly write about this, I am that outraged, angry, and stunned.

Instead, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

What an outrageous display of irresponsibility at this Arizona gun range. ( “Uzi accident is fatal,” Aug. 27)

I am not only talking about the girl’s parents or the gun instructor.

More to the point, it is the senselessness of voters in this country who insist that legally possessing a gun designed solely to rapidly kill multiple people represents 2nd Amendment freedom.

Ron Landesman, Los Angeles

..

Smoke was coming out of my ears while I read this article. In what universe does a sane, reasonably intelligent person show a 9-year old how to fire an Uzi?

Lord knows I’m no firearms expert, but even I know the recoil could be substantial if the shooter weighs about 60 pounds, the average weight of a 9-year old girl.

Benjamin Franklin famously answered a question about the new nation, calling it “a republic — if you can keep it.”

Has our country’s passion for guns overtaken our capacity to reason? And does that passion threaten our liberty? I think the Founding Fathers would be spinning in their graves if they saw how the extraordinary republic they created interprets the “right to bear arms” amendment today.

Danielle Karson, Pasadena

..

Kids cope by internalizing responsibility for terrible things that happen — even if it’s not their fault — in situations far less dramatic than this.

So I have one question: How will these children (and God only knows how many more) — who, at their ages, are cognizant enough to understand what happened — cope with the tremendous guilt for the rest of their lives?

David Fritz, Reseda

..

The tragic death of the gun instructor is puzzling on so many levels. First, why was he teaching a 9-year-old to fire an Uzi? And why were this child’s parents bringing her to a range to learn to shoot an Uzi?

We all know Arizona , like many other states, has issues with crime, illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but has it really come to arming children with Uzis? I sure hope not.

Marty Foster, Ventura

..

My thoughts are with the 9-year-old girl, her family and the family of the deceased. Having said this, among the questions I have are:

When are we Americans going to learn to divorce ourselves from this love affair we seem to have with guns?

How much more tragedy must we endure at the hands of guns?

Hugo Pastore, Torrance

..

When is it ever necessary in the U.S. for anyone under the age of 10 to use an Uzi? What is wrong with us as citizens? We should be howling in outrage.

Please, can we finally legislate control of automatic weapons? There is no need for them in daily life.

This was an avoidable tragedy on so many levels.

Susan Van Buren, Newbury Park

..

The mind boggles. Most parents would not allow their 9-year-old to cross the street by themselves, not to mention handling dangerous machinery.

What earthly reason is there for putting a fatal assault weapon in the hands of a child?

Is this how far the reach of the NRA goes?

Nancy Lazerson, Encinitas

..

If I have the facts right from your news article and your Op-Ed piece, then we are allowed to put an Uzi into the hands of a 9-year-old girl, but we are prohibited from hugging her when she realizes that she has taken a human life. (“Too litigious for hugs,” Opinion, Aug. 27) 

Wayland Marie, Riverside

Share

Rep. Louie Gohmer Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Trafficking - Implicates White House

Share

Louis Gohmert

According to HuffPo:

...[Congressman Louie Gohmert R-Texas] accused the White House and Congress of being "complicit" in the sex trafficking of undocumented minors on Monday.

So the White House and Congress, if Gohmert's confession is to be believed, are really responsible in the child sex slavery business. What could be more horrendous than child sex abuse?  Furthermore using children for some political gain is shameful. Are you listening, Louie?

car jack

To understand the congressman's accusations, you first have to understand a concept a "Jack" story. Think of an automobile  jack which you used to lift your car to change a tire. Each pump or thrust of the handle jacks up the car a bit higher.

To demonstrate this concept, in case I'm not as clear as I would like, watch this short commercial. It starts with a simple premise, "when your cable company keeps you on hold," and ends up with your dad being punched in the stomach over a can of soup.

Using that "Jack Story" logic of the ad, let's see how soft-brained, dim-witted Rep. Louie Gohmert (R. - Texas) uses that step by step reasoning to bring us to the conclusion that Congress and the White House are ensconced in the child sex slavery business.

It starts with Congress debating immigration reform. From there:

... the debate over comprehensive immigration reform is prompting undocumented minors to enter the United States illegally.

"When legal status and amnesty is talked about here in Washington, it becomes a magnet and draws people in.

"And for all of the children that are drawn in illegally, you know that some get sucked into sex slavery,"

Because of the talk of amnesty in this town and because we do not have a secured border, then this administration, and this Congress also, is complicit in helping lure people into sex trafficking,

Now Rep. Goober, or Gohmert, how can anyone question your logic? So perhaps you'd like to take a leadership role. Be the first congressman to head over to the proper authorities and turn yourself in and plead guilty to child sex trafficking. You've already confessed publicly. Why not do it officially? Don't you owe it to these child victims? To America?

As a parting comment, Louie, you're worse than just bat shit crazy. You're a self-confessed sex offender if you're to be believed. Throw yourself on the mercy of the court. From your past public statements, you'll have no trouble getting them to give you leniency if you plead insanity.

Share

Another school shooting, another study on gun access and risk of homicide, suicide

Share

shooting guns CT

An all too familiar news flash showed up in my inbox today: One dead, one arrested in shooting at Purdue University:

A lone gunman walked into a basement classroom at Purdue University Tuesday, shot and killed one person then calmly walked outside and turned himself in, police said.

And David just posted Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket.

When I opened my morning Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw this headline: Study takes new look at gun access and risk of homicide, suicide:

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded. [...]

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data. [...]

...Congress passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from spending federal funds on research that could be interpreted as promoting or advocating for gun control measures.

We are becoming way too accustomed to news bulletins about school shootings, mass shootings, workplace shootings, "accidental" (negligent) shootings, you name it. And we have seen study after study like the one above that tells us what an unnecessarily violent country we are.

What will it take for this country to wake up? What will it take for gun-toting gun zealots to see the need for common sense legislation that could save lives? WTF is so hard about that?

Share

Mandela v Mahony. A "stark, stomach-churning contrast."

Share

nelson mandela rip

mahony cover up
mandela mahony LATimes letters

I usually post letters that strike me emotionally one way or the other, but today I had to augment these with a screen grab of the images that were included with them. They hit home and deserve a good long look.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Mahony's sins," Letters, and "He made the world better," Mailbag, Dec. 7

Just imagine if the opinion section had had no words. Imagine if the only pieces on Saturday's page had been those two pictures, which stand in stark, stomach-churning contrast to each other in several ways.

At the bottom of the page was a small, black-and-white picture of Nelson Mandela in his former prison cell; he was captured by the camera with a look of compassion on his face. At the top of the page was a much-larger picture, in full color, of Cardinal Richard M. Mahony sitting outside, free as a bird, with his back to the camera.

Sometimes, pictures tell the story better than words.

Thomas Mann

Pasadena

***

I read both articles, and what a contrast they were.

The Mahony letters were all about a person forgetting his ethics and only thinking about aggrandizing himself, while the Mandela letters praised a common man who did the right thing to make a better world by his high ethics. Which one has won the respect of the world?

I am a Catholic, and I wish church leaders would keep Mahony out of the public's view.

Gloria T. Estrada

West Covina

Here are enlarged versions of the images above:

mandela mahony LATimes letters 2

Share