This generation’s fear

Re: School shootings

I remember the day clearly. I was living in Littleton, Colorado, taking classes at the University of Colorado’s downtown Denver campus, finishing up some requirements for my degree and doing some substitute teaching in area schools. Substitutes are part of a large pool and called only when needed.

I lived only about eight blocks from Columbine High School. Although, I never did any substitute teaching at the school, I sometimes attended their student performing arts venues. The news came across all the medias, “school shooting at Columbine.” I left the house for my college class, stopping for gas at a local station when a black armored car carrying two fully armed officers pulled into the station.

I arrived on campus for class, always spending time looking for a parking spot, as one does at those downtown Denver campuses. I gathered up my supplies and walked the main sidewalks to get to my class. On the roof of the campus buildings, at all major intersections stood an armed officer with rifle in their hand. The campus was not on lock-down but was under high alert. I proceed to my two-hour class.

Since the 1999 Columbine massacre, high school students have grown up attending schools with regular searches, surveillance cameras, locked school doors, bullet proof backpacks and active shooter drills. Just as my generation feared nuclear war threats and polio epidemics, today, students go to school with a kind of vague dread about being shot. Many students fear death by high-powered rifle and manic behaviors.

Since Columbine, young students have experienced 200 school shootings. This works out to be more than one shooting a month, every month, for nearly 19 school years. These amounts of school shootings make young students feel vulnerable, even if they are not directly affected. Modern schools are quite safe. Deaths by school shootings account for only 0.5 percent of younger Americans death while young people are nearly 11 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than at a school shooting. Even with schools relatively more safe then ever, don’t tell your kids, “not to worry,” but ask them, “What are they worried about?”

Joseph Barani

Sheridan

Ongoing investigations

Re: Meaningless indictment of Russian nationals

When Mitt Romney said in a 2012 presidential debate that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe,” Barack Obama mocked him, saying “the 1980s are calling; they want their foreign policy back.” Democrats and their allies in the national “news” media scoffed and howled as they harpooned Romney.

But almost immediately upon Donald Trump’s upset win over Hillary Clinton, the media began searching for reasons and came up with the narrative that the Russians had somehow fiddled with the 2016 election and that Trump campaign officials had colluded with them in the effort. And now, lo these many months later, 13 Russian nationals have been indicted for violations of federal election laws and money laundering and for meddling in the election by conducting “information warfare.” Sadly for the Trump-Putin conspiracy nuts, the indictment specifically states that no American citizen had wittingly or intentionally colluded in this Russian effort and that there is no evidence that Russian meddling affected the election’s outcome.

What’s especially laughable about this latest chapter in the ongoing farce is that “Russian nationals” have been trying to shove a broomstick in the spokes of American society for almost 100 years! Even after the demise of the Soviet Union twenty seven years ago, Russian officials have continued to lambaste America as the cause of most of the world’s problems. Old habits die hard.

The most absurd part of this indictment “story” is the expectation that the Russian government will extradite its citizens to the USA. I would say that there are two chances of that happening: extremely slim and absolutely nil.

It will be interesting to see whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller ever gets around to investigating any Hillary Clinton campaign officials for their role in promulgating the infamous Trump “dossier” which was compiled by Russian intelligence agents. Talk about “collusion with Russia!” But expanding this “investigation” to focus on Democrats is doubtful since every lawyer hired by Mueller is a Democrat, many of whom actively supported Hillary Clinton and contributed money to the Democratic Party, and the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

Meanwhile, Russian government officials are doubtless howling with laughter almost as loudly as the Democrat sycophants did at Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign debate.

Charles Cole

Sheridan

By |March 1st, 2018|

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