Regarding the Connecticut massacre, Power Line’s John Hinderaker knows what should be banned: “If newspapers, magazines, web sites and above all television and radio stations were prohibited from making any reference to mass shooting crimes, then the goal that these criminals seek – fame; in effect, immortality – would not be achieved. It is reasonable to expect that mass shootings would decline as a result. … I wonder how many of our reporters and editors have paused to reflect, over the last 24 hours, on how their own news organizations may have contributed to [Friday’s] killings in Connecticut. Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.” Or, to continue that line of thinking, maybe we should give all grade-schoolers courses in Hell’s Angels Survival Training.
On Ed Morrissey’s “Hot Air” site, Jazz Shaw adds this to the conversation: “If there is any remedy to be found to these events, it’s not through legislation or restricting the tools (read: guns in these cases) used by madmen. It’s the rebuilding of a sense of community and responsibility to each other … a shared sense of decency being passed down to each generation. When that collapses, the entire system is weakened. The government is, in reality, very limited in their ability to protect us if responsible citizens are not engaged in the duty to protect and defend ourselves. And that includes speaking up when we learn that somebody is even considering doing something like this. That worked in Oklahoma by all accounts. It somehow failed to work in Connecticut. This is a time for all of us to pull together and hopefully remember that we are stronger and safer when we stand up together and look out for one another.”
But while we wait for the pro-gun crowd to make a credible argument … Tom Scheck of MPR says: “DFL Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on TPT’s Almanac [Friday] to discuss the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. During the interview, Ellison argued for greater gun control measures. ‘The NRA (National Rifle Association) is strong and many of them (members of Congress) take the position that any gun position is going to lead to the position of taking away of all guns,’ Ellison said. ‘This is not rational. We need sane, sensible gun regulation and we need it now.’ Ellison says his top initiatives would be to address high capacity clips that hold multiple rounds of bullets and greater background checks that require people to submit to background checks before purchasing weapons at gun shows.” How about a watch list for anyone who buys protective body armor?
One of the children killed in the latest mass shooting spree had grandparents in Minnesota. Joy Powell of the Strib writes: “The heartbreak wrought by the Connecticut school shooter has reached into Minnesota, where the grandparents and other loved ones of 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon on Sunday were getting ready to travel from Nisswa, in north-central Minnesota, to Newtown for the child’s funeral this week. ‘It’s so huge, and it touched everybody’s hearts, because it is children,’ said Irene Hagen, who spoke of her granddaughter Charlotte’s schoolhouse slaying as she and her husband, John Hagen, packed Sunday to head to Connecticut.”
And in the same vein … Richard Meryhew has a piece in the Strib on passionate opinions regarding Byron Smith, accused of the execution-style killing of two teenage burglars outside Little Falls: “[W]hen word spread last week that police search warrants showed Smith, a retired U.S. State Department worker who set up security systems for embassies, had audio recordings of the shootings and had a surveillance video of the teens outside his house before they broke in, it fueled speculation that Smith may have set a trap. ‘Some think he planned to catch ’em,’ [Colt] Litzau said. ‘We’ll never get the kids’ perspective, because they are gone,’ said Marge Krinke, owner of Good Book & Gift in downtown Little Falls. ‘But, obviously, he thought it out. He had two guns. … He sat there waiting for them. ‘Yes, they were where they were not supposed to be. But two young lives were lost and we’ll never have a chance to know what they could have accomplished.’ [Hope] Barton said she worries that if Smith’s bail is lowered and he is able to get out, ‘his life would be in danger. A lot of people here want to see him get the same sentence as the kids,’ she said.”
Nothing new today on the guy who opened fire on his granddaughter.
Steve Alexander of the Strib tells the story (again) of that strange-looking building across from the Metrodome: “Located across from the Metrodome on 11th Avenue S., the one-time Control Data Business and Technology Center building has a featureless exterior devoid of signage, and is largely without windows. The Minnesota Vikings apparently thought the building was so unimportant that the organization briefly considered tearing it down to make way for the new football stadium. That all changed with the threat of a lawsuit by the building’s owner, Timeshare Systems, and the public disclosure of the building’s actual purpose: It is Minnesota’s largest Internet communications hub. Converging on the 511 Building are about 70 different data networks, ranging from AT&T and Verizon to Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan Telecom.”
From Detroit, Rick Hagland on the Mlive website notes that Gov. Rick Snyder overlooked the economic of one neighborhood state when pushing his “Right to Work” legislation. “Let’s say you’re a Midwest governor looking to benchmark the economic policies of a nearby state as part of your reinvention effort. Would you choose State A, which has a jobless rate of 5.8 percent, per capita income of $44,560 (11th highest in the nation), the sixth-lowest poverty rate in the country and nearly a third of its residents possessing a bachelor’s degree or above? Or would you choose State B, which has a jobless rate of 8 percent, per capita income of $35,689 (40th in the nation), the 19th highest poverty rate in the country and less than a quarter of its residents possessing a bachelor’s degree or above? State A is Minnesota. Gov. Rick Snyder inexplicably has chosen State B: Indiana.”
I suspect sports fans knew the answer to the question, “Who are the highest salaried employees of the University of Minnesota?” The St. Cloud Times reminded readers: “Gophers men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith and football coach Jerry Kill topped the list of highest-paid University of Minnesota employees last year. The St. Cloud Times requested salaries and other compensation for all University of Minnesota employees as part of its ongoing examination of public workers’ pay. The numbers are for fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30. With base salary and other compensation, Smith earned a total of $1,891,555 last year, the most of any U of M employee. Kill’s pay totaled $1,256,276. … Two professors at the U of M’s medical school rounded out the top five: Regents Professor Bruce R. Blazar, director of the Center for Translational Medicine, $575,630; and Selwyn M. Vickers, chairman of the surgery department and a leader in pancreatic cancer research, $529,079.”
In the first of a series by MaryJo Webster of the PiPress and Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News Tribune, they write: “More opioid painkillers are being distributed legally in Minnesota than ever before, a joint Pioneer Press and Duluth News Tribune investigation has found. Last year, enough of the two leading painkillers — oxycodone and hydrocodone — was distributed in the state to provide 18 pills for every man, woman and child. That’s up from two pills per person in 1997. Though Minnesota ranks low compared with the rest of the country in opioid prescriptions, the drugs’ impact on the state has been no less devastating. As the use of those painkillers has gone up, so have rates of addiction, crime, arrests and overdose deaths. Particularly alarming, experts say: Prescription pill addicts have been switching to heroin, and Mexican drug dealers have flooded the Twin Cities with some of the cheapest and purest heroin available in the U.S.”