Tag Archives: CRIME

More Whys About Guns…

I’ve been trying to make sense out of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and while none of these mass shootings make sense this one has a special element about it. The law seems to have allowed the shooter to have his gun near by.

With all the regulations regarding air travel that came out of 9/11 I’m shocked that you can travel with any form of firearm in any form of manner. Remember when you couldn’t even board a plane with a toenail clipper in your pants pocket?

As I understand it, the law permits one to travel with a firearm if you lock it and the ammo in a solid case and store that inside your checked luggage. You can’t carry it on to the plane with you and store it overhead, it must be secured in the cargo belly of the plane.

Continue reading More Whys About Guns…

Income Tax Prison

When I was 18 years old, a senior in high school, and working part-time on the school’s maintenance crew for $.50 cents an hour I filled out my first income tax return. It was what was known as the “short form” and I made a mistake.

I used the chart that was provided in the instruction manual and mistakenly took the personal exemption not realizing that the exemption was already figured into the chart. Thus, I took two personal exemptions. Even though my income wasn’t enough to justify a tax liability I had nevertheless not done things correctly.

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Quick, write this before the next bullet flies!

gun map
Wayne LaPierre’s vision for America.

This is a horrible way to begin an essay but if I read, think and type fast enough I may get it competed before the next mass gun related killing spree takes place.

Gun violence statistics in America just keep getting worse. Following the most recent mass murder in Oregon the news sources have been flooded with gun violence statistics. Here’s but a small sample:

  • In the first ten months of 2015 we have witnessed forty-five school shootings. That’s more than one a week.
  • In the first ten months of 2015 there have been two hundred and sixty mass shootings.
  • So far this year 10,064 Americans have been killed by gun fire and 20,482 have been injured.
  • Since September 10, 2001 3,380 Americans have been killed by domestic terrorist attacks while 406,496 have died from non-terrorist related gun violence.

These numbers are horrible and far exceed those of any other developed nation. There are people in other countries who fear traveling to America just as Americans have feared traveling to places like Columbia in the midst of their drug wars.

Continue reading Quick, write this before the next bullet flies!

Strange Fruit; The Rest of the Story

Strange Fruit is one of the most haunting and eye-opening songs ever written. The frequent and accepted lynching of Africanstrange fruit tree Americans in the American South was widely unknown to many Americans. That ignorance began to weaken after the song’s release by singer Billie Holiday.

I’ve heard the song performed many times and by many performers but until now I wasn’t aware of its backstory. A friend posted the following article on Facebook and I decided it needed further promoted. It’s a wonderful account of the songs author and the part he played

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True stories about cops & donuts

cops & donutsI saw the included photo on Facebook and it brought to mind a couple of true stories about the love affair cops are supposed to have with donuts.

The first one involves a former chief of police in my hometown. We were having a private conversation once and I asked him about what he would be doing if he weren’t a cop. His response was, “I won a blue ribbon once at the county fair for my donuts. I think I’d like to open a donut shop.” Sure enough, several years after he got out of the cop biz he went in with his brother and opened a donut shop that, by coincidence or design, was directly across the street from the village police station.

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The State of Heroin

This article was published in Rolling Stone Magazine and it is not a short read. But, if you really want to gain some understanding of America’s drug problem it is articles like this you need to wade through. Heroin and the war on drugs are not simple issues and there is no simple solution. For the article click HERE or the photo. 

vermontheroin

Followup #1 to drug discussion

heroin-gearAs a follow up to a previous article about the growing drug related explosion in America’s prison population here’s a couple of things that have come to my attention:

  1. A reader sent a link to a New York Times article about the heroin problem in Rutland, Vermont. Since heroin is a major drug of abuse the article could have implications to most communities American communities.
  2. A lot of people on want to rant on and talk about how horrible the drug situation is but very few are willing to actually get involved. Recently a group organized in Greenfield to try finding answers. Pretty much it is three people sitting in a room once a week waiting for others to come join them.
  3. There have been a couple of reader comments at the end of my original article and also
  4. several made on Facebook. Here’s examples from Facebook.

1. Well I realize I no longer live in Ohio but being from there and still call it home, would like to put in my two cents on this matter.. I live in a state where Medical Marijuana has been legalized..I agree with it and encourage it, especially when people have

Continue reading Followup #1 to drug discussion

To free or not to free, that’s but one question

According to our local newspaper Adams County, Ohio issued 27 indictments related to a variety of drug related crimes.  the indictments followed an 8 month investigation and reading through the charges most involved heroin, possession and/or trafficking.

Surprising to me, however, was that none of the 27 were arrested or incarcerated.  The reason given by the county sheriff was lack of jail space. Adams County’s jail, which was built to house 38 inmates, is currently home to 55.  Arresting these 27 would require farming them out to neighboring county jails at a cost of over $1,600 a day. According to the sheriff, “We can’t afford that.”

There’s nothing new about overburdened jails in America. The nation has the largest prison/jail system in the world and the world’s largest population of inmates. The cost to taxpayers is enormous and much of the problem stems from our drug laws, a failed war on drugs and get tough sentencing laws that abound.

What prompted this article was a morning headline about California, and its governor Jerry Brown, having freed 1,400 lifers during the past 3 years. Brown claims the paroles have nothing to do with overcrowding but that state’s prisons have been under fire for decades for such.

What I find interesting in all this is the need for policy review and public discussion. We need to seriously be talking about our drug laws, do we really want people in prison for use or possession of marijuana? Do we really want to continue the expensive and failed war on drugs? Should life in prison really mean life and if not, how long should life be? In the 1950s a life sentence in Ohio usually meant parole after serving 20 years. In today’s Ohio one source claims it requires a minimum of 30 years.

So, what do we do? Do we decriminalize marijuana? Do we do the same for other popular recreational drugs? Do we follow Portugal’s seemingly successful lead and decriminalize many drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin? All the statistics tell us the nation’s opinion about marijuana is rapidly changing, especially in those states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. We’ve apparently been having that discussion and the public is increasingly voting in favor. But what about other recreational drugs, do we lock those 27 Adams County druggies up and continue footing the bill or do we begin looking for a more affordable, and possibly more successful, alternative? Let the debate begin.