Post count: 1473

so two quick responses

1.everyone of these killers is mentally ill in the everyday sense. The problem is the law only blocks a mentally ill person from buying guns when the have bene ADJUDICATED mentally ill, which almost never happens (at least not until after an event like these shootings). Red flag laws were a middele ground on this issue.

2. South Africa and Israel — both war zones, so to speak. In the US you can LEGALLY buy an AR15, 1,000 rounds and drum mag without background check. In fact, the GOP and (Mancin) are resisting this change right now in Congress.

Very true on the mentally ill. This is why, IMHO, they need to step on some people’s rights and deny firearm sales to people who may not have been adjudicated mentally ill, but also expand it to include people who have some red flags. Yeah, I’m sure some people will be denied a firearm; however, if it will cut down on this happening every so many news cycles, then they should go for it. Worst case is that they set up some form of appeal process. That way, if someone can convince some legislative body that they aren’t an actual whack job, then they get their firearm, but they have to jump through a few extra hoops, and convince people they’re ok. That is far from a perfect plan; however, I feel it’s closer to a compromise than anything else I can imagine, and in order to cut down on the killings, there’s gonna have to be compromise and some people are gonna have to get their toes stepped on.

I don’t see hardcore bans working. That will just make some people dig in deeper. Conversely, something has to give way. I’m tired of watching a new whack job every so many news cycles. It really feels like the “crazy” is starting to become more frequent. It used to be a couple times a year. Now it’s a couple times each month. This can’t remain the status quo.

On South Africa and Israel, IMHO, both get too much negative press, and that includes the network I was with.

With South Africa, it was really bad for awhile; however, it was always very pleasant when I was there. I would have no issue with living in Cape Town. (Background: Under Apartheid, the ANC, along with Nelson Mandela were considered a terrorist organisation. My first time going to South Africa, I went with someone who has grown up in Durban, and when I started he was signing in the UK Studios. On the flight down he gave me a little history about South Africa. His comment was: (humorously), “We used to have a problem with terrorism here, but we solved it by voting them into office”. It was actually a humorous way to give me a bit of a laugh on the fourteen hour flight from Heathrow.)

All in all, the people in South Africa were all very nice, and oddly, it was one of the rare places where pretty much all of the South Africans I encountered all really loved Americans. They hated the British, I guess because of the colonisation thing, but there was so many things themed “American” it was scary.

The mall, at the time, was the largest mall in the Southern Hemisphere. It was huge, including a theatre with twenty auditoriums, pretty much all playing US theatrical releases, and you had to work very hard to find a restaurant that would run more than $10 per person. They did have one amusing screw-up, actually at my go-to coffee shop. They sold breakfast and lunch items. On the breakfast menu, they had one item referred to as the American Breakfast. It was close, but they got it wrong. I imagine it was the British influence that caused the errors. The breakfast did come close to what you would get at a Denny’s, with three main exceptions. The first was, they did have bacon, but it was proposed like you would see it in the UK, or undercooked by US metrics. The serving was that they did have sausage, but it was Blood Saugsage, another UK thing. Finally, the biggest mistake, in my opinion. The American Breakfast was served with Baked Beans. In the US that is summertime cookout food. Baked Beans are served for breakfast in the UK. All in all, though, always a pleasant time and affordable, even though I was on Per Diem. The one thing that took a day or two to get used to was steakhouses. All of my co-workers, regardless of where I went, they always wanted to take me out for “American”, like people here would go out for Chinese or Italian. They loved steak houses there. The difficulty was that castle in South Africa are mostly for milk, as the climate and vegetation made cattle tough and chewy, so when you order steak, it’s never cattle. I was told that it was whatever the restaurant had available, so it was usually either Springbok, Kudu, or Zebra. That made sense, as when you would buy biltong in the stores, it was generally the same three; however, on occasion they would have a wildcard. Whew.

With respect to Israel, granted it can get dicey there. At that location, we had the satellite uplink for broadcast, the main control room. A small studio, and the main tape library. So the station really ran out of Israel. (UK has some weird broadcast laws.) We would fly into Tel Aviv, drive to our hotel in Jerusalem, and then head south everyday as we worked roughly a few miles off of the Gaza Strip. I must admit, I was a like anxious going to Israel for the first time, but that eased fast.

The thing I see with both of those places is, while there can be days of violence, just like here, all of the other days are pretty much peaceful. Wanting to really see all of the old city the first time I was there, and knowing it’s a maze within those walls, I accepted an invite from a Palestinian who took me around and I was able to see all four quadrants of the old city, including the Muslim Quarter, which I probably wouldn’t have done had I not had a Palestinian escort. It was a cool day and towards the end of the day we stopped in his family’s shop in the Muslim quarter. They’re really big on serving tea in the Muslim area. Again, everyone was incredibly nice.

This leads to my reason for this long-ass tangent. The thing is, in all of my times in these areas that get really bad press, I never had a single negative encounter. My reasoning is that those places are just like the rest of the world views the US. The only time any of us make international headlines is due to some tragic event; however, like here, those days are divided by a ton of days that are very peaceful. This is where the media is fucked up, on all sides. Peace and Harmony are not good for airtime sales. No one wants to tune into the news to watch me drinking tea in a shop, or sitting at the bar in the hotel. As a result, the only time we are made aware of those countries are during times of unrest, and in my opinion, that presents an inaccurate view into those countries. (People on the inter continents are convinced that the US has a Columbine-level event that occurs daily. It may be bad, but it isn’t that bad. That’s how I view those areas.

Any older peeeps may remember when one of the hotbeds of terrorism was Northern Ireland and the IRA. For a while, it felt like a few businesses were being blown up daily; however, fast-forward to now, and people travel to Belfast without hesitation. There was a time when most people wouldn’t go near Belfast. U2 made a career out of that turmoil.

So, a bit verbose; however, I can honestly say I’ve never had a really insecure day at any time or location when I was bouncing around the planet like a pinball being smacked around almost weekly.

Sorry for the diatribe. I’m talked / typed out. I’m sure I’m missing something, though. No worries. It’ll l

That said, on violence, I feel that we are guided by media about where to place our outrage. No media, IMHO, is exempt from that. They need to make money to stay on the air. I also feel that this problem, the news media driving stories part, is a global thing. The way things are reported about the US in foreign media makes me understand why the rest of the planet places our actions alongside other Susie governments, like China and Russia. That’s one point that I don’t see changing anytime soon. Violence sells.

I’d rather have a beer bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.