Power Down. Some Bad, Some Good. Bullwinkle?

Pulling The Plug For All The Right Reasons? Negative Takes and Positive Vibes. Bang For Their Buck.

  • 600,000 customers in northern California and 187,000 customers in southern California. Last week, their respective utility companies, due to heavy wind conditions, shut off their power to help mitigate fires. The customer base unfortunately includes the less fortunate and disabled, so the lengthy loss of power severely hampered their quality of life in many ways. While I am sensitive to the damage done by wind-swept fires, I am not sure that the indiscriminate shut down of power to these areas was carried out in a diligent manner. Losing power for a few hours is a total hassle, but losing power for four to five days, for many people, is possibly too drastic of a measure to control fires. I am not Yogi Bear, but only you can prevent forest fires. And now for the rest of the real story and the possible motive behind one utility’s decision to cut power: “As hundreds of thousands of Northern Californians sat in the dark, many tried to understand why their utility decided to take such drastic action. Pacific Gas and Electric’s power shut-off safety measure has proved unusual in its scope, as California utilities typically take a more surgical approach to blackouts. The utility has been found responsible for about two dozen wildfires and filed for bankruptcy protection in January. PG&E has said it could face up to $30 billion in liabilities for fires started by its equipment in recent years. In response, PG&E described an act taken out of an abundance of caution in the interest of safety”.

Is it me, or does something seem a bit out of order with PG&E and their so-called preventive measures? #PG&E

Many businesses in northern California closed due to their power being shut off.
  • Bothersome Takes
  • The Atlanta Braves – how can you let THAT happen?
  • The Dawgs – see above.
  • The Atlanta Falcons – later today, don’t let THAT happen again.
  • Turkey & Syria – can’t we just get along?
  • October’s stock market craziness.
  • Orlando City – search, thoroughly interview, rank and rate, and make an offer to a manager who will get stuck in with the Club. The carousel of managers needs to end.
  • Snakehead fish – how does this land-crawling predator of a fish, native to the Yangtze River basin located in China, end up in Gwinnett County, Georgia?
  • Daylight Savings Time going away on November 3rd.
  • Atlanta United – I hope you did not watch the Braves’ deciding playoff game debacle. You guys need to start Saturday’s playoff game firing on all cylinders. Allowing the first goal is not an option.
  • Positive Vibes
  • Amy and Michael’s wedding celebration, this Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Atlanta United earning a home playoff game.
  • The weather in Orlando slowly changing for the better.
  • North Turn Racing – once the actual north turn of the Daytona Speedway, this beach area is now one of the best walking /running beaches in Florida. The dive bar that sits on the property now – providing an awesome view of the ocean and good live music, is a must go-to if you find yourself near Ponce Inlet. #northturnracing
  • This weekend’s Winter Park arts festival. Some incredible people-watching, live music, great weather, and yes, a decent array of art.
  • Chattanooga FC, after ten years as a top amateur club, moving into the ranks of professional soccer. #NISA
  • I am not passing judgement on matrimony, the sanctity of marriage, or the newlyweds’ wishes. I also don’t know where East Earl, Pennsylvania is, but please take a look at this wedding cake. Yes, this is a wedding cake. Do I need say more?
Facebook/Shady Maple Market
“Hey, How Was The Wedding?”

Adios, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

Short Takes For The Beginning Of October.

P.R. The Dow. Transportation Security Administration. The Great Things About The Fall.

Dateline Paso Robles, California. I really like Puerto Rico. Beautiful beaches, nice people and an easy flight from the United States. I have been there a few times and will go back soon. The P.R. I am referring to is not Puerto Rico, but Paso Robles. A small, quaint town in California’s central coast, surrounded by many ranches, rolling hills, and most importantly close to three hundred wineries. My friends moved here many years ago from the bustling area of Silicon Valley, designed and built their beautiful home, and enjoy a fantastic lifestyle. I strongly suggest that you visit the central coast, anchored by the city of San Luis Obispo, and take in the great wineries, beaches, and restaurants and bars. It is not Los Angeles and certainly not San Francisco, but a gem of an area that provides a good bit of sanity away from the throes of congestion, traffic, and smog.

The Rolling Hills of Santa Ysabel Ranch. Paso Robles, CA

In a previous post I mentioned the stock market and the month of October. I am still confused while the start of the third quarter correlates with the volatile fluctuations with the Dow Jones – and the start of this October was no different. Can someone please shed some light on why this happens every October?

Last week’s Dow Jones Industrial Average – at a glance.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I have commented in previous posts why I feel like this entity should be privatized – not only for financial reasons but to provide more of a control and command to the screening of passengers before they board a flight. I realize that most of the personnel of the TSA do a fine job with their roles and responsibilities – and that millions of passengers boarding aircraft can feel reasonable assured that the screening process prevents bad people from doing very bad things. With all that said, a woman boarded an Orlando to Atlanta flight yesterday without going through the screening process and without a boarding pass. It took police forty-five minutes to remove the woman from her seat (seriously?) and then all passengers had to be removed from the plane and be re-screened. Then the plane had to be swept by police and their K-9’s. This incident is truly alarming – and TSA and Homeland Security need to work through every detail of how this could happen. #TSA #Delta Once you get through security and make your way to your gate, you then get to endure the sometimes incredulous boarding process:

The Fall: college and pro football is well underway. The Premier League and other European leagues are in full motion. The Braves and Atlanta United in the playoffs. The Hawks are getting ready for their season and a run into the NBA playoffs. It is a birthday week for a special friend. A very fun time of year!! Lets Go Braves and Atlanta United!! #EPL #ATLUTD #AtlantaBraves

Adios, pay it forward and have a Funday Sunday!

Rolling Into Fall.

Rules. Let Them Deal With It On Their Own. 45th Season Opener!

Just My Take = no religion and no politics. With that said, and due to the top of mind subject of impeachment, I wanted to understand the rules by which a President of the United States can be impeached. Again, I will not stray into the political arena but after further review here you go:

  • Here is the law of the land on the hows and whys the President can be impeached: “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The process starts with the House of Representatives having the power to impeach the president. A simple majority is necessary for an article of impeachment to be approved (each article lays out a charge against the president). Then the process moves to the Senate, where a trial will be held, with the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding. Finally, and crucially, it takes a two-thirds vote from the Senate to actually convict a president on any count. Conviction on any count would then remove the president from office and put the vice president in power.
  • Note that two-thirds of the Senate — 67 votes — is a very high threshold almost never achieved on any matter that’s remotely partisan. The framers of our Constitution did not make it easy for Congress to remove a democratically elected president from power.
  • I don’t know how long this process takes. To me, my focus has been and always will be our military, the economy, and healthcare. This process will make all media outlets and their advertisers very happy but to me it is a major distraction, energy draining, and just another reason to spend my free time staying away from listening to political pundits. Here is a nicely done piece that explains the process way better than I just did:

In previous posts I have mentioned the disturbing trends with parents and their lack of guidance with their children. The words ‘helicoptoring’ and ‘bulldozing’ come to mind – and all of us have witnessed or experienced this new wave of parents hovering over their children and making issues go away – instead of having their children figure out how to deal with the obstacle or problem. I raised a daughter and of course made many mistakes with her and her upbringing, though I am proud to say that I did not ‘helicopter’ her. I definitely made her deal with issues head on so that later in life she would have the wherewithal to handle both personal and professional hurdles. She still remembers me telling her in no uncertain terms, “I am your father, not your friend”. The issue of parenting came to light again as last night, at a relatively upscale eatery, I witnessed a family of five sitting at a round table in the middle of the restaurant. The two younger children were using the round table to play tag; the older child was on his iPad, and the parents sat staring at their phones. Yes, I did put them ‘on the clock’ and by my watch it was over five minutes before the mom told the younger ones to sit down. The older child and parents did not look up from their devices until the food was served some ten minutes later. Can you say problematic? A family of five having dinner at a restaurant with barely any conversation or interaction. This type of parenting can only lead to, in one word, dysfunction, which of course is just my take. This Aussie journalist explains what this behavior may lead to with our children as they get a bit older: (note: I have no opinion on Al Gore, global warming or immigration-but I obviously have an opinion on young adults and their ability to adapt after being ‘helicoptered’ before and during adolescence).

One Aussie’s Opinion

It does not seem possible that Saturday Night Live kicked off its 45th Season last night with the SNL premiere hosted by Woody Harrelson. With a few people over after dinner, college football watching was suddenly dismantled as I was outvoted by the majority who wanted to watch the SNL opening segment. Though I do stay away from politics, I must say that the opening, that included Alec Baldwin, Liev Schrieber , and Larry David, was incredibly well done and very funny. Speaking of Alec Baldwin, remind me to tell you about my encounter with him at the LaGuardia airport many years ago, just a week after his infamous rant to his young daughter. He, in my opinion, would be the poster child for the dysfunctional parents described in the take above. Where the heck did forty-five years go? #SNL

I am sure that this post will get some response and rebuttal, which is all good as it is Just My Take. Please use the comments section of the blog to respond.

Adios, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!!

September Views.

The Fall. You Can’t Fix Stupid. Matty Ice and Sanu. Is One Enough?

Every year about this time I start thinking about the North Georgia mountains, specifically the Blue Ridge area. Just a short drive from Atlanta, Chattanooga, and western North Carolina, the Blue Ridge area has it all. A great mountain range, a gorgeous lake, various hiking trails, and a quaint and fun ‘downtown’ area. I have had the opportunity to visit many different areas of the world, but it is awesome that just over two hours from Atlanta is an area that is in my top ten. There are lots of accommodations in Blue Ridge, from in-town bed and breakfasts, tons of VRBO’s, and beautiful cabins for two or for many. If you are interested in a cabin, I would strongly recommend Above the Rest, a development on a mountain range just ten minutes driving from the town of Blue Ridge. Make sure you check out the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at the Blue Ridge lake marina – good views, live music and fun and interesting people.

Image result for a view of the marina bar at lake blue ridge ga
The Boat Dock Bar and Grill, Blue Ridge Lake marina

When you go, please say hello to Jeanette and David, the management team at Above the Rest.. #BlueRidgeGa #abovetherestcabins


I am a dog lover. A well-behaved dog is great to be with and can truly be a great companion. The Orlando International Airport recently introduced a program for dogs to greet inbound passengers, simply as a way to welcome people to the Orlando area. A great idea and very well-received as some of the dogs used for this program are active and ex-police dogs. Police dogs are truly amazing with their amazing ability to track and take down bad people – in a very quick and efficient way. Below is a look at ‘Sicaria’, a Belgian Malinois that weighs 70 lbs. and can run at a speed up to 33 mph. There is the great saying “you can’t fix stupid” which would definitely align with this moron who thought it would be a good idea to run from Sicaria. Notice the pursuit speed when she is let go from her leash. Within seconds Sicaria has taken down the moron who decides to try and fight back. Not a good idea. Sicaria, you rule!! (note: move the red bar to the 8:30 mark to watch Sicaria do her thing).


The Falcons won last Sunday night. Good. Matt Ryan has thrown for five touchdowns in two games. Good. Ryan has thrown five interceptions in those two games. Bad. Mohamed Sanu, the 8th year pro from Rutgers, is one of the Falcons’ wide receivers. An excellent receiver who could also be the best blocking wide receiver in the game. Good. A wide receiver who also has a career QB rating of 158, having gone 7 for 8 for 223 yards and four touchdowns. He is the Falcons’ 3rd quarterback – Matt Schaub is Matt Ryan’s backup. Along with Sanu’s uncanny accuracy, Sports Illustrated has reported that Sanu’s arm strength provides him the ability to throw the ball farther than Matt Ryan (as well as Tom Brady and Russell Wilson). With the Falcons’ pathetic running game, do you think it’s time for head coach Dan Quinn to put in a play scheme that utilizes Sanu’s arm strength, accuracy and running ability? I certainly do. #atlantafalcons #mohamedsanu

October is right around the corner. What happens with the Dow Jones in this month of the systemic rise and fall of equities? An always fun trip to the central coast of California including Paso Robles, Templeton, Palo Alto and San Luis Obispo. On to Atlanta for Amy’s wedding which will be fun in so many ways. The Braves and Atlanta United’s playoff run. Some cooler evenings, the spectacle of Halloween, and the unfortunate end to daylight savings time. October is always a fun month.

The Good: Atlanta United beat San Jose yesterday at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz stadium. The Good: Josef Martinez. The Crazy: Josef has scored more than half of the team’s goals this year. The really bad: the cause and effect of Josef going down to injury in yesterday’s game. What happens with United’s playoff run with the possibility of Josef not being in the lineup? Who steps in to United’s starting eleven and where do the goals come from? Does manager Frank de Boer install a ‘bunker’ tactic and look for the counter attack employing the very fast Tito Villalba to replace Josef? The video below is one example of what Atlanta United will be missing without Josef: #josefmartinez #atlutd

Adios, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

Time And Motion.

Is The NFL Product Wavering?

Over two years ago, one of my posts addressed televised football, specifically the National Football League. I mentioned that I have been and still am an NFL fan, though to me college football makes Saturdays way more fun than the pro game on Sundays. I have been an Atlanta Falcons fan for decades though I do not regularly watch their 1pm Sunday games – watching football on TV is not really on the agenda on a nice Sunday afternoon.

Last night the Falcons took the field against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football so I decided to watch hoping the Falcons could even up their record after two games. As I did over two years ago I decided that I would take a look at the 1st quarter metrics regarding actual playing time. I guess watching a game in person or at a bar/restaurant is a better experience, but watching at home and dealing with the non-playing time is becoming a difficult task. Here are some takes from last night’s first quarter:

  • the first quarter last 41 minutes
  • there were 6 commercial breaks or promotional spots
  • there were 37 plays
  • the actual play time of the 37 plays, from the snap of the ball to the end of play whistle: two minutes, fifty-seven seconds.

The 41 minutes of the 1st quarter, from 8:22pm to 9:03pm, had less than three minutes of actual playing time with 38 minutes of non-play (the huddle), penalties, regular or injury time outs, and commercial/promotional spots.

Again, I am a football fan, and when watching in person or at a sports bar, it really does not matter how much “non-play” time there is….as we are busy ranting and raving about the game as well as the obvious drinking and eating. There are a lot of smart people with the NFL office and I am sure they are looking at the length of game scenarios to figure out how to keep games from lasting close to 3.5 hours…or in other words present a better overall product. For me, I don’t watch too much football on Sundays so it is what it is…but it does seem that the disproportionate time between the time of the game and the amount of actual playing time is sideways. Here is a take on the NFL product – from two years ago. Do you agree?

I won’t talk about the positive soccer experience and the two-hour game, including halftime. No, I won’t.

Adios, pay it forward, and have a great week!

Whether Or Weather?

My Take On What I Learned From The Hurricane Dorian Experience.

“I told the truth about the Miami life. It’s a nice place to visit, but you don’t want to live here. I lived through two major riots and three Category 5 hurricanes, I don’t know if a lot of people could say that”. Trick Daddy I don’t know who ‘Trick Daddy’ is and nor do I care. His statement is correct – not many people can say what he said about Miami but the kids of southwest Miami I grew up with all can support his comments. Regarding living in Miami, he is wrong. Miami is a great area to live – way different than most cities in North America.

This past week, most of Florida was alarmed at the size and strength of Hurricane Dorian as it approached and then subsequently stalled over the Bahamas. To monitor the storm’s path all of us painfully watched The Weather Channel and their 24/7 live reporting from the Bahamas and different beaches along Florida’s east coast. Even Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel’s infamous anchor and field reporter, put in numerous hours working with his camera crew on providing live dramatic shots. Speaking of drama, we all remember this weather reporter’s ‘fake’ weather broadcast barely being able to stand the high winds (while two guys easily walk behind him):

Regarding The Weather Channel, here are some of the weather terms I picked up over the last few days trying to determine when and for how long I needed to close my office early last week:

EYE: The center core of a hurricane. Or, one of two orifices located on either side of your nose.

GALE WARNING: A warning of 1-minute sustained winds in the range of 34-47 knots (39-54 mph). Or, the arrival of Bill Gale, a good friend of many – a day before he shows up in Atlanta!

HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM: Is sometimes called an anticyclone, is an area where the atmospheric pressure is greater than that of the surrounding area. Or, the opposite of a low pressure system – and there is nothing about low pressure that can be good for any scenario.

HIGH WIND WARNING: A high wind warning is defined as 1-minute average surface winds of 35 knots or greater (40 mph or greater) lasting for 1 hour or longer. Or, the ill effect an hour after leaving Tijuana Joe’s in Marietta, Georgia.

HURRICANE SEASON: The portion of the year having a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. Or, the cheapest time to take a Carnival Cruise with thousands of your favorite friends who think Las Vegas Boulevard is Rodeo Drive.

HURRICANE WATCH: Issued when hurricane conditions are possible or expected in a given area with the next 36 hours. Or, the total freak out time for most of Florida’s favorite folks fighting over bread and bottled water.

STORM SURGE: An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide. Yes, Weather Channel, we all use our calculators to do the subtraction from the astronomic high tide. Seriously?

SUBTROPICAL DEPRESSION: A subtropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 33 knots or less. Or, the feeling you get when The Weather Channel goes to commercial break every six minutes. Yes, every six minutes.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION: Obviously the exact opposite of a Subtropical Depression. My friend Samir can explain.


The loss of life and damage from a hurricane is no laughing matter. The people of the Bahamas and out islands incurred devastating damage to their property – damage that may take a very long time and a lot of money to repair. Please consider contributing to the Bahamas Red Cross:



A View of Marsh Harbor – one of the Bahamas’ out-islands.

Thoughts and prayers to all that are affected by Hurricane Dorian. Adios, and pay it forward.

A Storm Called Dorian.

Psychosis With A Pending Storm.

I will never make light of possible storm damage or loss of life due to hurricanes. I was raised in Miami and I remember with Hurricane Donna, we slept in the hallway away from any windows or sliding glass doors. I remember securing trash cans and anything loose outside our home due to the magnitude of the winds. I also remember clogging up the drains in the neighborhood so that the rainwater would rise to a level allowing my friends and I to skim board down 92nd Avenue (until my dad figured out what we had done…which subsequently resulted in an ass-kicking).

What I don’t understand is the cause and effect with people’s mentality. Unlike a tornado, hurricane’s provide plenty of runway to prepare and get out of town… or prepare, stay put, and garner all types of provisions. So why, with many days to prepare, do people wait until until the last few days to grocery shop or purchase materials at their favorite home improvement store? Then, in a panic, they rush to the store only to find out that bottled water, pop tarts and plywood are no longer available. In contrast, this person must have arrived early on in preparation for Hurricane Dorian and obviously has taken advantage of the ORANGE Gatorade special:

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The panic gets so out of hand that one Publix in South Florida had to post a security guard in front of the “orders to go” area as people were taking cases of water already ordered and purchased by customers.

Another bizarre example are the people who wait to fuel up their cars. Does it not occur to people that lines at gas stations could be an issue? Hurricane Dorian is no laughing matter but the anxiety level caused by this pending storm has lead to very strange behavior by many people. Take for example one of Florida’s finest, who decided to dress up for the occasion:

I live on the top floor of a 17-story building. Yes, I am a bit concerned for all the right reasons but for the most part I am keeping my wits and have bought provisions. The rooftop hurricane party is set for Sunday night -even with Dorian changing to a northern course it may be the last night the power is intact for a while. Why not take advantage of the Labor Day Monday holiday?

On a serious note, Godspeed to any and all in the path of Dorian.

Be safe, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

It’s You. Not Me.

OK, It’s Me.

Is it me, or does Elon Musk have anything better to do than wonder about dropping nuclear bombs on Mars? More weed Elon!

Is it me, or is there basically no rhyme or reason to the fluctuations of the stock market?

Is it me, or are the dynamics of Brexit just too difficult to comprehend? Can someone explain in simple terms what happens with trade and immigration when England leaves the Union? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/northern-ireland-police-say-officers-targeted-border-explosion-n1043851

Is it me, or would the U.S.A.’s purchase of Greenland be economically unfeasible?

Is it me, or do Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic need to ‘cork the whine’ and stop acting like they were forced to come to the U.S. to play in Major League Soccer…and get paid way too much money doing so?

Is it me, or did Iceland actually have a funeral for the first glacier ‘lost to global warming’?

Is it me, or is this summer hot as hell? I am in Orlando but when in Atlanta two weeks ago, both days were in the upper 90’s.

Is it me, or does Iran need to stand down before they take an ass-whipping by the U.S. and other allies?

Is it me, or is consistent and repetitive vaping incredibly unhealthy?

Is it me, or was the look and feel of Clint Eastwood’s The Mule and Gran Torino way too similar?

Is it me, or did the college football season start a week early? Let’s get ready for some football, college and the NFL…and the real football, as the European leagues have started and Major League Soccer heads into their final games of the regular season.

Is it me, or do we all wish we had the confidence, swagger, and presence of this young lady?

This young lady makes a statement – at 12-years old.

Adios, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

Just Funny.

The Classic Comedians. No Comparison To Today.

In light of this week’s negative vibes, namely the economy, the stock market, another nut job in Philadelphia, and China’s posturing, I wanted to try and give some light to a bit of darkness.

Their subject matter may no longer be relevant nor their unrelenting rants regarding race, creed and religion, but the comedians of many years past were incredibly funny. Sure, there are many modern-day stand ups who entertain us with comedy, but in my opinion they pale in comparison to the classics of the past.

Did you ever see or YouTube Don Rickles’ stand up diatribes on The Johnny Carson Show? Did you get to experience how Rickles not only picked on the audience but on Carson himself? Outrageously funny and a bit shocking for that day and age – some of his banter would in no way be tolerated in today’s world of sensitivity. Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor and Buddy Hackett. I would put these four up against any modern comedians as these guys from yesteryear had better content, delivery and timing than anyone else I have seen and heard. Richard Pryor? Unbelievably vulgar but everyone cried laughing at what he said and his unprecedented method of delivery.

I don’t make the time to visit comedy clubs like I once did. We could all use a daily dose of smiles and laughter – to rise above all the tumult of today’s crazy world. Many years ago I enjoyed seeing and hearing my father belly laugh at Don Rickles, whether it was stand up, as a guest on a late night show, or delivering comments about another entertainer who is being ‘roasted’. Here is a good example:

Comedy, laughter and smiles. After last week we should focus on making that happen all day, everyday.

Adios, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!!!

The 2nd Amendment Should Not Be Top Of Mind.

Controlling The People, The Weapon, The Circumstance.

I am taking a holiday but wanted to provide previous posts that addressed tragic mass shootings, most recently taking place in El Paso and Dayton. As of last Sunday, which was the 216th day of the year, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S. In the past I have mentioned that we should focus on security at schools and other venues. Unfortunately, last week’s shootings, as well as many others, could not have been prevented with heightened security measures. These incidents were carried out randomly by unbalanced people, in possession of deadly weapons, with motivation to kill other human beings. The toll of 251 mass shootings include five high-profile rampages in the past 20 days, in which more than 100 people were shot: 

  • A shooting in a historic district of Dayton, Ohio, with 9 people killed and 27 injured.
  • A shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with 20 people killed and 26 wounded. It was the deadliest shooting of the year.
  • A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three people killed and 15 injured.
  • A shooting at a Brooklyn block party, with one person killed and 11 injured.
  • A shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, with two people killed and two injured.

Here is what I previously posted on the subject of gun control and school security:

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were ratified by three-fourths of the States.  The second amendment is unfortunately top of mind these days with another school shooting, this time at a high school near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.  Little did Thomas Jefferson know that when he authenticated and ratified the Bill of Rights, the second amendment would indirectly lead to many school tragedies including Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland, and many other shooting incidents at schools around the U.S.A.  Nor did he know how people of lesser minds would use the weapons allowed by the Second Amendment.

After the tragedy at the Parkland, Florida high school, I stated that school security, not gun control, should be our #1 initiative: “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system.  What I will comment on is school security.  Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.  My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place.  I only wish that the Washington, D.C.  protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control.”  My  point is unfortunately reinforced with yesterday’s massacre at the Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas.  The weapons, a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun, were most likely purchased legally.  Gun control would have not changed the outcome of a 17 year-old who took the weapons from his house and walked into the high school he attended with the intention of killing his fellow students.  The guns he used were owned by his father so it is unlikely that gun control would have prevented this sick young man’s father from purchasing the weapons.  I will never understand why there is little to no security within our school systems.  I don’t know if the answer is employing retired police officers or our retired veterans, but Parkland, Santa Fe, Columbine, and other school tragedies all had one common denominator:  the perpetrator simply walked into a school and carried out the massacres.  I no longer have a school-age child but if I did I would help lead the charge to better protect all of our children when they are in school.

Let there be no misunderstanding.  I am proud of all the people worldwide, especially the children, who gathered yesterday to make their voices heard regarding gun control.  I just wonder if their efforts are misguided?  As I stated in my February 18th post:  “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system.  What I will comment on is school security.  Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.”  My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place.  I only wish that the protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control.  With respect to the 2nd Amendment it is time for more controls to be put in place when purchasing a gun, but what would have been the difference if the sick 19 year-old had walked into Stoneman Douglas High School with a shotgun instead of an AR-15?  The importance of security and locking down our schools is still way more important than gun control.

Originally designed to allow the disabled to fire weapons with little effort, the “bump-fire stock” became a weapon of mass destruction last Sunday night.  We can talk about the Constitution and gun control from now until eternity but the reality of Sunday night dictates that some higher level of regulation is needed, and needed now.  While I am in full support of our right to bear arms, the ability to acquire weapons or accessories to turn firearms into automatic weapons needs to be controlled by federal and state authorities.  I realize that sick human beings cannot be stopped from doing deadly damage but why give them relatively easy ways to fire automatic weapons?  I don’t have the answers but some type of regulation can only help to stop these sad events from happening.  It just so happened that after taking a look at other concert venues Stephen Paddock selected the annual country music festival that sets up behind the MGM Grand hotel.  His motive was to kill as many people as possible, using various high-powered rifles with the “bump-fire stock” accessory allowing him to spray the crowd with continuous and automatic rapid fire.  Though he selected Las Vegas, this tragedy could have happened anywhere.

The discussion, debate and argument surrounding the 2nd Amendment may not solve the problem of mass shootings. Does anyone have a suggestion or solution to this systemic problem?

Adios, pay it forward, protect your loved ones, and have a Sunday Funday.