April 30th, 2007


Campaign to end gun violence, part II

So as it turns out, 32 VA Tech students would be alive today if it hadn't been for a loophole in Virginia state law (among other things). Today the governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine issued an order to close that loophole (hindsight is always 20-20, isn't it?). The word "involuntary" is at the heart of the debate, as it pertains to being committed to a mental health facility and your ability to buy guns afterwards. Cho had been directed by a "special justice's order" to "seek outpatient treatment" back in 2005. The judge declared him to be "mentally ill" and an "imminent danger" to himself and others, this after 2 female students complained about him. Federal law prohibits the sale of a gun to anyone who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective". Incidentally, this includes "involuntary" commitment to a mental health facility. The question is, does an outpatient facility, such as what Cho was referred to, qualify as "involuntary"?

Well Gov. Kaine settled that today.

Because people who are involuntarily committed get added to a database, and because Cho Seung-Hui, thanks to the loophole, did NOT get added to that database, the gun shop basically had no way of knowing he was a threat, to himself or anyone else.

Although frankly, that's no excuse to me at all. Why do people own guns? Let's ask ourselves this. People do not generally buy guns because it keeps their produce fresh, makes the flowers in their garden grow bigger and brighter, nor does it remove stubborn stains from delicate laundry! (Ok, it can remove stubborn stains, but would you really want to wear that sweater afterwards? C'mon.) Display purposes, maybe. But I would only accept that argument in a house that never has children in it. And then I'd still be skeptical.

People buy guns because they intend to harm people. If you bought a gun, you intend to harm someone. Period. What's the debate? I don't get it.

You ask the families of those victims if they think we need a gun ban.

Ask the families of the victims at Columbine and VA Tech if we need a gun ban.

Then, after you get those answers, do a little research on how many senseless mass shootings such as the aforementioned happen over in the U.K. and Australia where they have gun bans...

Go me, I'm bad, it's my birthday, I'm Wonder Woman (Pride always comes before a fall...)

Last night, I was so bad-ass, I single-handedly wrangled a half-hour newscast, 2 live updates, and a 2-minute recorded weather segment all. by. my. self. I honestly don't know how I did it. I was a one-woman, news-production storm. (That is to say, I led the crew to such exploits. I did NOT operate cameras, audio, chyron, or anything like that.) I got all but my last segment of scripts marked, and I managed to get through that segment cleanly. There were big giant valleys of question marks that I somehow navigated my crew through without much incident. (There were mistakes, but not due to my inability to lead the crew, let me just say that right now.) I guided our crew not just through a reasonably clean show but also a show that had some panache, some finesse to it. To the viewer sitting at home, why that was good TV! And I was the one calling the shots through it all. It's the kind of accomplishment that you want desperately to brag about, but are afraid to because you're afraid your boss will hear about it and expect such a performance every time you sit at the helm. No thanks, my life is stressful enough as it is!

But I was pretty badass, I must admit. :D I haven't watched the aircheck, but I can honestly say I kept up the pace of the show -- oh, I forgot to say all this was happening under breaking news brush fire business too. That was why the updates were live. And I was also the graphics department (although I ultimately dispatched one request to one of the other directors, but at least I had the wherewithal to do that).

Last night I truly turned a corner with that performance. I surpassed my own expectations. I love when I do that, it's so few and far between these days.

I needed that.

Got no desire to replicate that performance any time soon!