Make America dangerous

Wayne Horne | 6/22/2017, midnight
whorne@thetimesweekly.com Gun violence is an everyday topic of news these days. That’s especially true if you live in certain areas ...


Gun violence is an everyday topic of news these days. That’s especially true if you live in certain areas of Chicago. Terrorism is another topic that’s hard to avoid in today’s world. Seems like the terrorism tool of choice in London are bombs and trucks running over pedestrians. Terrorism in our country is usually from home-grown individuals. The weapon of choice here in the U.S. are firearms, usually handguns, but not always.

Last week, when the shooting occurred at a baseball field in Arlington Virginia, the weapon used, according to reports, was an AK-47 assault weapon. It is a weapon used in conflicts around the world. It was the preferred weapon used against U.S. troops in Vietnam. My point is, the AK-47 has been around a long time. It’s accurate and deadly, even in the hands of an amateur. I can attest to the fact of my own experience in Vietnam that it is difficult to defend one’s self from an individual well positioned and without warning. An untrained individual using a handgun is at a distinct disadvantage and without much chance of responding if they are pinned down by rapid fire from an assault weapon.

Trained law enforcement personnel did an outstanding job of overcoming the shooter and saving the lives of those targeted. They were in a position to react and were not the initial targets. They took advantage in the situation because of their training and firepower.

Almost one third of the U.S. population have access to personal firearms. It is a constitutional right in our country. I do not object to that right. I was surprised, though, at the reaction of some that the best answer to tragedies like the one in Arlington, and so many like it, is to personally carry a weapon for defense in such situations.

House of Representative Chris Collins from New York’s 27th District, for one, believes concealed carry is an answer to situations like the ambush at the baseball field. He plans on carrying a weapon on his person, whenever possible, so that he can protect himself and those around him.

That’s what he wrote in an op-ed piece that was published in the Washington Post and carried by several papers around the country. It’s unlikely, but I hope myself, or anyone else, is not around him if such an incident should occur where he is present. I don’t want an untrained person drawing fire on a position where I’m located. The smartest thing to do in such a situation is to keep down and out of the line of fire and look for a way out.

Without proper training, and I don’t mean hitting a target and safe weapon handling, the risk is the untrained person with a weapon will not only draw fire, but could possibly harm the wrong target. Please, Rep. Chris Collins, rethink what you’re saying and devise a better strategy than “Welcome to the wild west” of yore.

One last thing…Our local City Council is still trying to make lemonade out of the Rialto lemon. Don’t get me wrong, but after years of mismanagement and underfunding, the theater is hanging by a thread that is dependent on the city for additional and inadequate funding.

The property where the Rialto is located is less than 50 percent occupied. Rental of existing office space is necessary to support the property’s maintenance. Without a substantial increase of office space occupancy, it won’t matter if the Rialto is booked solid. The property is already in need of routine maintenance and also major renovations have been put on hold awaiting adequate funding. The “Jewel of Joliet” needs more help than a few theater dates to survive.

Your thoughts, opinion are welcome.

Stay tuned…