KCRA 3 Reports... Pathetically
Not content to rest on its many hard-won dunce caps, Sacramento's favorite Action McNews channel takes reportage to a groaning, eye-rolling new low. Soon after the story broke about that insane drunk Latino getting shot by that doubleplusgood air marshal in Miami, KCRA's crack, in-the-field reporters decided to go to Sacramento International (!!!) to collect the opinions of a bunch of parochial, so-not-in-the-know, middle-aged, well-to-do white folks.The common consensus was "sucks that he died, but I feel safer knowing that guns could go off in the pressurized cabins of commercial airliners at 30,000 feet." Okay, so I'm twisting that last part, that's not how it happened this time, but that's essentially how they come across. Call a blogger ethics panel if you must.Now, setting aside what I've said in the past (Bush & Co. are not quite the root of our problems as a country; they are mere symptoms. Ones I'd be glad to be rid of, but symptoms nonetheless. Rather, it's the mentality expressed by people like those interviewed that's the problem), these people really need to be smacked with a clue.I'm with Ben Franklin on this one. You are either scared, or you're free. You don't get both. Sure, today they're shooting otherwise innocent, yet crazy, brown people... But how long before not even good, mostly law-abiding, heterosexual, Christian, middle-class white people can catch a break?
A reporter here said it quite well: as a society, we have criminalized mental illness.
Gotta wonder, though, if Amtrak will see an increase in business, seeing as how there's no such thing as "rail marshalls."
Amtrak? Maybe, maybe not. They're still slow, expensive. But the NTSB-approved security folk on the rails don't seem nearly as trigger-happy...
Anyway, the criminalization of mental illness (and poverty, and non-whiteness, for that matter) is a biggie in and of itself. But I still would like to know what logic processes in these peoples' brains tell them that they're safer because Air Marshals are shooting people on planes...
Lucky for you, calling a blogger ethics panel will only draw attention to myself.
Seriously, though, the shooting situation sucks. It is really fucked up. Though, that problemn (hasty gun usage) exists throughout various law enforcement sects. The police here just shot and killed a severly mentally ill man recently.
For all the time I was in a government job that had me carrying a gun, I hoped I wouldn't have to use it. With that said, the correct answer to a man who hasn't been screened by TSA (for what that's worth anyhow) because he just flew in from a foreign country, has what he claims is a bomb, refuses to drop it and reaches into the bag, is to kill him before he can blow up a couple hundred people.
In those situations, there's no time to think things through. If it's really a bomb, he has to be stopped. That it wasn't and that he was ill makes this a sad tragedy, but I don't fault the cop at all.
I'm by no means praising what happened, but are you really surprised?
We live in a country where we lock up kids who sell dope but let pharmacists refuse to fill birth control pills because it's against his or her ethics. (It's birth control people! Not arsenic). We require a permission slip to get an abortion for those under 18 in most states, but they don't need their parents permission to get a driver's license or emergency c-section when they are stuck keeping the fetus. Most of all, we allow men like Cheney and Bush to walk free after shit like H-burton, Katrina and the burning the skin off of children in Iraq. The reward for the stand up job they have donw with the economy: another four years in 2004 to "run" the country.
Oh no, I am going to be put on the list for saying that?! I am a trustee on a non profit civic board. I could tell you some messed up and twisted things we are required to do in the spirit of the Patriot Act.
Sad. Very sad.
Jess: I actually don't fault the cop, either. I fault the system (this comes just after news that the TSA is focusing less on sharp objects and more on screening for explosives -- huh), as well as a society that wants both security and freedom -- all these clueless people who want to have their cake and eat it too.
In any case, we only know about this situation what the authorities and the news media have told us...I chose to ignore whether or not the shooting was justified for now, and looked at the bigger issue of "is it really worth it to have guns, no matter how well trained their handlers, on commercial airlines?"
AG: on the nizzose.
I am with AG, if only for the lovin.
The thing that a lot of people don't know about guns on airplanes are these facts:
1: Air Marshalls have been flying with guns for a long time, something like 30 years. Since the start of the program at any rate and I thin the Post said it was in the 60s or 70s.
2: A handgun fired in a plane, even if it directly strikes a window, is not going to cause a massive depressurization of he plane and kill everyone like in the movies.
3: Every system in a plane is at least double redundant. If there is one thing the government does right, it is redundancy. There is no point failure source, except for the pilot and people on board.
DISCLAIMER: The part about the plane's redundancy comes from my brother who works with some guy who flew for the military. As I have not met the guy, it may easily by false. Still, it sounds true enough to me.
And one final note, I don't think we are criminalizing mental illness, so much as ignoring it until it becomes a criminal issue. Which is criminal in another sense. There were lots of state institutions until taxes were cut in the 70s and 80s. Since the 50s, our government has been slashing taxes. Our current tax obligation is the lowest ever.
Taxes: It ain't a burden for those who believe in social responsibility.
Woah, dayquil is some potent stuff. Look at that!
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