Event was a time to savor
Yesterday my wife, Robyn, and I attended the Rockies' last game of the year against the Dodgers. Both teams were headed to the playoffs so nothing was at stake. The Dodgers and Rockies rotated their players so most everyone from each roster made an appearance.
The Rockies lost 6-3, which was disappointing, but it didn't really matter. At the end of the game it was announced that Charlie Blackmon had won the National League's batting championship with a batting average of .331. (Charlie is such a hard worker and good soul, and he led the league in so many offensive categories.) Also, at the end of the game, all the Rockies players rounded the field thanking its fans for their support, touching hands and tossing goodies. It was a warm and mutual "thank you" among players and fans.
Something else warm and wonderful happened during the seventh inning stretch. "God Bless America" was sung by the teams and fans.all standing. to the sounds of a military trumpet played by an airman of the United States Air Force, while a fireman color guard stood at attention in short center field. It was a beautiful sight to behold and experience, and at key moments this pause was punctuated by well-timed fireworks. Perfect! It was a time to savor.
The atmosphere was quintessential American, and the moment reminded me of how much baseball, and not football, is America's game. Baseball brings us together as Americans, and I'm glad for it.
Obvious truth often the most ignored
Only days after the Las Vegas attack, it didn't take long for politicians to use the massacre as a platform to reignite the gun debate. Every media stage instantly visited the topic of gun ownership as an inherent quality of violent gun acts in America.
For years, we have passed laws and regulations that have had little effect. The reason for this is much simpler than we are willing to give credit or authority; we will never control the conscious motivations of an individual intent on violence. This obvious truth is often the most ignored. People will always be moved by tragedies to find simple solutions. But it can be highly damaging when concerning American's rights, values, and freedoms. Firearms are only a variable and variables can be changed. During every violent event across the U.S., two constants are consistently present: an individual intent on violence, and a victim.
Reality is more complicated than simply suggesting a ban on one object associated to violent acts. Imposing device restrictions will only lead to more innovative and deadly encounters with the same result.
It is common to personify an object in a situation we do not understand. That is because it is much more complicated to identify individual motivations. We would not look at a hammer and suggest that it built our homes, just as we cannot look at a gun and suggest a value in itself to cause violence. Our greatest weapon in the fight to curb violence across the globe starts and ends in the individual. Education, morals, ethics, community, and awareness, all play important roles in this development. In a most perfect world, we could stop all violent attacks before they occur. But we do not live in a perfect world. We live in this one.
Lessen the number of gun deaths
According to our sheriff, along with many pro-gun pundits, the primary cause of gun deaths in our country is not the easy access to guns and lax gun laws, rather it is mental illness. Really? Let's look at some reliable statistics. The U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the world's population, but holds 31 percent of global mass shooters (Lankford, University of Alabama, 2016). Gun homicide rates are 25.2 times higher in the U.S. than in other high-income countries (American Journal of Medicine, 2010).
While it is true that the U.S. has one of the highest rates of mental disorders in the world, third behind India and China (US News 2016), surely that cannot account for our status of leading - by far - the world's gun homicide rate.
As we reel from the Las Vegas tragedy, and endeavor to determine how we might lessen the number of gun deaths in our country, various options have been discussed - some reasonable, some not. The one option of doing nothing is an affront to the staggering number of lives lost or severely injured by killers with easy access to guns - sane or not.
Those at the top need it least
Although many are claiming that the president's latest tax reform proposal will be a boon to small businesses, as an entrepreneur here in Colorado Springs, I know this plan will really only benefit large corporations and wealthy individuals (Re: "Get Started: Tax plan gets mixed small business reception").
In particular, the proposal's plan to cut the corporate and pass-through rates to 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively, is not going to benefit small businesses like mine. Because most small businesses are organized as pass through entities and the vast majority of them already pay a tax rate of 25 percent or less, this proposal would primarily help Wall Street hedge fund managers and wealthy corporations.
Instead, lawmakers should look to a "bottom-up" tax reduction that would benefit virtually all small businesses.
While I agree with lawmakers who say our tax code needs to be streamlined and improved, they need to implement policies that will help all entrepreneurs, rather than giving a tax break to those at the top who need it least.