I don't typically rant about politics, religion or other serious and controversial topics, more for fear of it coming up in my background investigation by the FBI or some other G-man investigator processing my top secret clearance, but I need to get this one out. This is the product of a really long road ride today where after a couple of hours the mind just begins spilling out uncontrollably everything that has been bottled up. It's a mental cleansing for me. Contrast that with mountain biking which is more of a soul cleansing experience, you don't think too much, you just try and be one with the trail and forget about everything else. Maybe I should just ride my mountain bike.
So to my point. First off, I'm not trying to debate the Constitution or say that our founding fathers didn't have the foresight to see what a f'd up world we would create. I'm just trying to make sense of everything lately. This all started last week with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, but the tipping point for this post was this ridiculously inappropriate and disrespectful article I had the complete misfortune of reading first thing this morning.
What is the media thinking? The editor who allowed this piece of trash to be published should be publicly flogged. We know the situation in Iraq is bad, but this piece of journalism (term used very loosely) isn't even worthy of the National Inquirer.
Now flashback to the events of last week. The first thing the media said they WOULDN'T do was make this story about the killer. Bullshit. That lasted all of what, a day? The other real tragedy of this situation is the complete circus the media made of the entire event. Do they have no respect for privacy and personal grieving, that question is rhetorical. The first amendment is a great thing, and we're lucky to have its protection so don't get me wrong, but the need for sensationalism and higher ratings is rotting the value of the first amendment from the inside out. News and media outlets need to be held accountable for what amount to nothing more than reckless behavior that's detrimental to society as a whole.
Everyone wants to know "How could this happen?". Well, here's part of the answer whether you like it or not. And before you finish the first sentence, don't worry I'll get to the liberals next. Let's start with the gun totting, right-wing conservative NRA and lobbyists for the gun industry backed by our Commander in Chief who has repealed or let lapse multiple gun laws in his illustrious tenure, all at the very open displeasure and dismay by members of law enforcement. I also believe in the second amendment but please, no one needs to own automatic weapons, and some people obviously shouldn't own any weapons at all. Now, couple the conservatives with the left-wing, bleeding heart liberals and privacy advocates who would rather die (or more rightly, let you die) than allow the government to use someones history of mental illness against them in a background investigation for the purchase of a gun. It's actually amazing, if these guys are so good at keeping your private data from the government, then why can't they keep public companies from selling my information to the highest bidder?
This country has gotten so polarized with picking sides in the left-wing, right-wing debate that no one can see that there can be no black and white when it comes to issues like this, because when they bleed together it always turns out to be the color of blood.