MY TURN--Apparently brick and mortar retail sales were down on Black Friday ... with one exception. The sector which saw a five percent increase over last year was firearms. That was announced yesterday. Today we witnessed a product of those increased sales ... the horrible shooting in San Bernardino.
They are still trying to sort out what happened. What we do know is that fourteen people enjoying a Christmas lunch were killed and another seventeen sustained injuries … two of whom remain in critical condition.
I don't know about all of you but it is something this I cannot get used to. The facts are coming very slowly, but the big question is WHY? Forgive my cynicism but I'm sure that those who blame Mexican immigrants for most of our violence are secretly hoping it was a drug cartel hit; those that feel the African American community is retaliating are probably looking to blame "Black Lives Matter"; Some on the extreme left of political opinion might be hoping for the Aryan Brotherhood; and of course social media is already blaming it on an Islamic terrorist attack.
Each wants justification for their particular prejudice. The Inland Regional Health Center serves those who are mentally and physically disabled. The first reports were saying those patients were targeted. Instead, it was a group of public health staff enjoying holiday festivities.
The latest report has the two shooters as husband and wife-- The husband an American born Muslim, his wife from Saudi Arabia. He worked for five years at the Center.
I'm sure the NRA will issue a statement that if anyone in the group had a gun ... lives would have been saved. Not being a fire arms specialist I don't know how much good a revolver would be against long guns, explosives and hand guns. Someone tweeted terrorists don't attack police stations---they go for soft targets where people can't defend themselves.
I must admit I am conflicted on this entire second amendment issue. We all know the reasons that that was added to the Constitution. I remember being about six years old and finding a small handgun in my Father's nightstand. This was in London at the end of World War II and he explained by saying it was to keep the Germans from doing us harm. I never went near that nightstand again.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum was interviewed yesterday and asked about the shooting at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. He also said that if someone had had a gun it could have saved lives. The interviewer asked if it was OK to take guns into a Doctor's office. Santorum replied it was O.K. to take them anywhere including Bars. What about people who get drunk and start fights, he was asked. He replied with a dismissive smile that not everyone in a bar was drunk.
I understand the desire to protect oneself and one’s family. At the same time, I don't understand the fierce opposition to have better and more thorough background checks. The shooters yesterday got their guns legally.
Guns should never be in the hands of those who are guilty of domestic violence, child abuse or mental illness. It was just announced that we have had more mass killings than days in the year. President Obama said that people on the "no fly list" can purchase a gun. He called for bipartisan changing of the rules.
There has to be a compromise. We can't as a nation continue to suffer this type of violence.
There are those who blame the ugly rhetoric on Planned Parenthood attacks and other women's health organizations. One must admit the accusations and the political discourse has gotten extremely coarse. Attitudes are more important than facts. What will it take to bring a certain amount of civility to our political conversation? How will we ever expect the Millennials to want to enter public service?
Unfortunately, we do not encourage excellence in our leaders. By the time they reach the higher stations of power they have had to compromise their principles so that there is hardly anything left. You can see it locally and throughout the county, state and federal hierarchy.
With everything horrible that is happening around the world it is hard to get in the holiday spirit. I find myself turning on the TV earlier and earlier each morning waiting for the next rotten news.
So that we can go out of the year with some optimism, please send me some good things happening in Southern California. Every once in a while I get a newsletter called "Good News", maybe we can fill CityWatch with all kinds of positives. That would be a great gift to you...our readers and an even better gift for us writers.
As always comments welcome.
(Denyse Selesnick is a CityWatch columnist. She is a former publisher/journalist/international event organizer. Denyse can be reached at: [email protected])
Tags: Denyse Selesnick, My Turn, guns, Black Friday, sales up 5%, San Bernardino shootings
Vol 13 Issue 98
Pub: Dec 4, 2015