On Thursday, in an exclusive interview with CNN, National Rifle Association (NRA) President David Keene responded to widespread public criticism of his colleague Wayne LaPierre’s passionate proposal that armed guards be placed in all United States schools with a less combative “clarification” of sorts.
Today Reuters has published a story indicating that three New Jersey policemen have been shot by a gunman who apparently arrived unarmed at a police station but managed to grab a gun there.
This writer has previously suggested that LaPierre and NRA members and supporters do not seem to have considered the possibility of such “good guy- bad-guy” gun-grabbing outcomes. One wonders whether they may be more inclined to consider such outcomes now.
The Reuters article says local TV news reported that the suspected gunman was killed in an exchange of gunfire at the police station in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, about 16 miles from Philadelphia. The suspect had been brought in for a domestic incident, according to the TV report.
It is unclear whether or not the gun used by the suspect was taken from one of the officers shot, one of their colleagues or someone else at the police station – like a school guard there for training, for example.
Gloucester Deputy Police Chief David Harkins is simply reported to have said, "A violent struggle occurred while the suspect was being processed."
The man was apparently able to grab a gun during this struggle and then opened fire. He was being processed for a domestic violence incident.
Stepping back, albeit marginally, from LaPierre’s insistence on the deployment of armed guards in all United States schools, Keene said on Thursday that schools should decide for themselves how they want to protect their children.
He said some may choose to use police officers or private security guards on their premises.
However, the CNN report does not indicate that he suggested any measures to deal with the underlying problem of America’s culture of violence.
Unlike LaPierre, though, Keene did take some questions on the issues the former raised in his address at a press conference on Dec. 21.
LaPierre's statements were in response to a barrage of criticism against the NRA, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 20 children and six adults.
His passionate defence of gun ownership and proposal that school guards be armed triggered further outrage and heavy criticism, including by some NRA members. The organization boasts 4 million members.
One Wikipedia writer even labeled LaPierre “nuts," a comment that was removed not long after it had been published online.
As 2012’s end draws near, we can reflect on our mistakes and ways to improve for 2013. Some are making the prerequisite New Year’s Resolutions, while others prefer to simply wait and see what 2013 holds. But one thing I think we all share: we want better in the coming year. Including what we were fed on television, right? Alas, it doesn’t look like TV execs are thinking like we do, for after bringing us shows like “Honey Boo Boo,” “Basketball Wives,” the many Real Housewives,” and “Love and Hip-Hop, ”where I thought they had hit the bottom feed, another which may be scraping even lower, is scheduled for 2013. The Oxygen network thought it was a brilliant idea to bring to your living room another reality show featuring a rapper who has 10 children with 11 “baby mamas.” No, I kid you not. Rapper Shawty Lo and the women he has 10 children with, will be starring in an hour long show where I guess he and his “harem of women” will show us the complexities of serial baby making without that pesky little thing called marriage or a commited, monogamous relationship. Buffoonery is sure to be the main ingredient, judging by what has already passed for reality shows on our televisions and the Pilot of the show being shown around the web. More of the loud, dumbed down, head shaking, fighting, trivial, materialistic, shallow B.S. that scroll across cable channels--with many made up of black women and men, fulfilling every negative stereotype there is. The show, which is called “All My Babies Mamas,” scheduled to debut in the spring, was filmed in Atlanta, the home of another “hot mess” of a reality show, “Love and Hip-Hop.” Senior Vice-President of Development at Oxygen Media, Cori Abrahams, reportedly said this about the show, “All My Babies Mamas will be filled with outrageous and authentic over-the- top moments that our young, diverse, female audience can tweet and gossip about.” The main star of the show Shawty Lo, who was part of the Atlanta rap group D4L, will surely deliver, for he has an interesting “family” life. He reportedly has a new love, who is the same age as his oldest daughter but is younger than his oldest son. Are you keeping up with this convoluted family tree? Which begs the question: what is wrong with some of us? Has society broken down to such a degree, that television executives feel they can feed our young a constant diet of intellectually deficient diatribe? Which came first, the garbage now clogging our television screens or our appetite for garbage? Children are failing in schools, with America ranking in the double digits globally in science and English language. Our inner city schools are woefully substandard, while the high school drop-out rate, especially for boys, grows yearly. (Read it here). Yet we pontificate on television, with the demographic tuning in to watch this harmful indoctrination masquerading as entertainment, being out teens and young adults. What are we teaching them? That dropping babies like flies, wearing grills and other heavy jewelry and drinking Diddy’s &ldquoimp” drink Crystal, is “the life?” I am sick of seeing this seedier side of ours glorified as “success;” as something to aspire to. BET, which is supposed to be “Black Entertainment Television” hasn’t been black in quite a while and even when it was black owned, the programs were sadly lacking in content and substance. I didn’t even know that CNN’s T.J. Holmes had a promising show on the network called 'Don't Sleep' which BET wants to scale back because of low ratings--until I stumbled across an article talking about a possible cancellation. Why didn’t I know of the show? I have heard of 106 & Park, Rip The Runway, Colleg Hill and every other fluff that scrolled across that channel. If they advertise those shows, why didn’t they give due promotion to TJ’s? I bring this up to show our priorities. There is nothing wrong with entertainment, fashion, music but we need a balance. Our society promotes the harmful or fluff over the substantive-which can teach our youth a thing or two. We push the “thug or hip-hop life” and do not balance the intellectual side of our youths. Then we complain when some of them think sagging the pants is a fashion statement; and rapping or playing sports is the ultimate career move. If we don’t show our children what else is out there, how can we complain when their scope is limited to trash like “My Babies Mamas,” and they emulate the “gangsta life” glorified in some rap videos? ..."If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness." I believe this quote is from book 1 of Les Miserables and it sounds up what what's happening with our youth perfectly.
Once you have made up your mind and decided to go for a homemade solar panel, you need to make sure you already have all the supplies you need to build it. To make your own solar panel you need to buy tabbed photovoltaic cells. You should keep in mind that these are not cheap, but the more cells you use, the more power you can obtain from of the panel. Deep picture frames or shadows boxes and a clear plastic cover are also required. You need a solder and soldering iron, as well as Popsicle sticks, insulated and non-insulated wire. Make sure you have a multimeter, an AC inverter and a battery holder. RTV silicone and a schottky diode are necessary, too. Now you can get to work and make your own solar panel.
First of all you need to put the cells facing down onto the plastic pane in order to place the lined side facing the sun. If you want to increase the voltage, you should place the cells aligned on one wire. To increase the current they should be lined connecting to separate parallel wires. As you already know, each solar cell has positive and negative sides. Current will flow across the cells in a series when the negative side is connected to the positive through the tabs on the side. That is why all the tabs should be oriented to the same direction and they should go from the top of the cell to the bottom of the next one.
After you have done that, you should solder the tabs together. To do so, you need to peel back the tab of each cell, and then you should wet the end of the tab with soldering iron. Next you need to be fast and pressure the bottom of the cell onto the tab with a Popsicle stick. You should do that until all the cells are attached, with tabs sticking off. The following step is gluing the cells to the frame by applying silicone to the facing up sides. Make sure there is no silicone between the solar cells and the plastic, because it can be an obstacle to the normal sunlight flow.
Then you need to align the frame onto the sheet and press down so the back of the cells can bond to the frame. You should turn over the panel and remove the plastic cover. To connect the wires you should check that the tabs are actually sticking out of the cells on the sides of the panel. One side has the negative tabs and the other, the positive tabs. Negative tabs should be attached to the lined sides of the cells and the positive tabs should be poking out from the bottom of the cells.
With a solder and soldering iron, you should solder a wire which connects all the negative tabs. Once you have chosen one side of the panel for the cords to stick out of, you can solder the end of an insulated wire to the corner or the center of the non-insulated wire. Then you should glue it towards that side. Enough wire should be left to connect to an AC adapter or a battery holder. You need to repeat the process with the positive tabs and other piece of insulated wire. Finally you can put the plastic cover on top, and two wires should be coming out from the panel.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Courtni Webb, 17, a San Francisco high school senior, at the Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island, was suspended until further notice for a poem she wrote about Adam Lanza and the Newtown, Conn. school massacre. The poem does not express grief for the victims but states she knows what drove the shooter, to pull "the trigger."
Webb's poem says in part, "I understand the killings in Connecticut. I know why he pulled the trigger." She did not turn in the poem as a class assignment, but a teacher "discovered" the poem in the teen's notebook and gave it to the principal.
The New York Daily News reports that Life Learning Academy is a charter school for students who have had challenges at traditional schools or have been involved in the juvenile justice system. The student stated she wrote other poems on suicide and sadness and says it was never an issue.
Webb also says she did not state in the poem that she agrees with what the school shooter did but that she understands it. Her mother, Valerie Statham, says she feels that the school is overreacting, because her daughter has no history of violence, nor did she anyone or herself.
Now the San Francisco Unified School District will decide if Webb's poem was an expression of her feelings or a bonafide threat to fellow students.
The Connecticut school shootings are still raw in the mind of school officials, parents, and students. Just as when the Columbine massacres took place, everyone was on edge, and not only were they nervous and uncertain about what to do, but they were also filled with overwhelming grief.
The teacher's concern is justified. It takes tremendous courage for her and her students to come to school each day. I homeschool my son who is a middle schooler, but if I were sending him to school, the thought would certainly cross my mind, "Is there one (mentally deranged, potential mass murderer) among the children and young teens at my child's school? My concern extends to all children, and I've had the similar thoughts about our neighborhood elementary (K-8th grade in our city) and high schools.
From what I can discern about Courtni Webb in videoed interviews, she's a young lady who may be dealing with depression and her own personal issues. She is searching for answers about life as most young people are. How she can conclude that she understands why a killer "pulled the trigger" on innocent children and school officials, I don't know. If she's experiencing suicidal ideation, maybe she's relating to the shooter killing himself--but there's a vast difference between suicide and mass-murder suicide.
Perhaps Webb's writings are a cry for help, and if her mother has not sought professional help for a daughter, who in the past, has written about sadness and suicide, she should. Yet, I can't help but consider the student's first amendment writes to free speech.
When my son attended public school, he relayed to me that his teacher told her 6th-grade students to keep a personal journal and any entires they didn't want her to read should be marked, "Please do not read this" in bold letters on the top. He once spotted his teacher reading a student's piece that had the caveat marked on it, and the student later "got in trouble" for what he wrote. After this, my boy said he no longer wrote anything about his deepest thoughts in the journal, because he knew he couldn't trust the teacher, or any other teacher, to keep her word and not hold his "secret thoughts" against him.
Although we have first amendment rights, we still can't cry "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater, because we can cause people to hurt others by running over those who fall down in their hurry to exit the building. Maybe this symbolically applies to Webb's poem, and she should be counseled and consider that a school is not the place to write about a mass murderer who killed innocent children and adults at an elementary school.