Mr. Cook described some genuine emotional responses and then got screeched at by a psychopath! Unfortunately, this is fairly common on the TFP website because of the anonymous commenting. At least Timbo can look stupid anonymously.
@Timbo, statistics is not the Sesame Street comparison of how many of this to how many of that. It is a science of context, correlation, and probability. First, mass murder is discrete from your examples because it has the same paralyzing effect on society as a terrorist attack but is highly preventable with basic precautions. (It is not comparable to a bike accident). The assault weapons ban ended in 2004, leaving 6 to 7 years for these expensive weapons to enter the flow of commerce, saturate the market, and reach the crazies. In the past year, there have been two attacks with absurdly high fatality levels that could not have been achieved without easily obtainable battlefield weaponry. If the assault weapons ban had been renewed, dozens of lives would have been saved. That is an easy public policy fix, and no amount of NRA bluster about the danger of emotions (those emotions, always ruining society) is going to make reality go away.
I do not believe that NRA-fueled diatribes like Timbo's and the inclinations of a lunatic like Adam Lanza are unconnected at all. I think our society has all but nurtured this vein of rot that celebrates destruction and scorns empathy. We should drill it out.
Good column. Thank you, David Cook. Two footnotes on magnet status: 1.) The magnet program has the potential to promote diversity at Normal Park, which would be terrific. At the moment, the racial/socio-economic makeup of the NP lower school would not impress anyone in that regard. I understand there are a variety possible reasons for that, but it surely needs to change. 2.) Magnet is great. I like it. It is the schoolboard's job to provide good schools for kids everywhere for magnet and local communities, and no one should have to defend the school's magnet status to the school board. But, gosh, dangling the school's magnet status in front of the schoolboard as an argument for excluding a low-income population . . . I hate that strategy. I want to see that strategy set aside and put away for the good of the magnet progam and the kids in Hill City. Everyone gets it that HCDE needs more than one Normal Park. Let's focus on that.
Why does the comment section to every TFP article always have to include half a dozen partisan political rants that are barely relevant to the issue presented? If the extent of your social commentary is some recycled Rush Limbaugh patter from 10 yrs. ago. why bother commenting?
I think this piece just throws some tough questions out there: how do you bring young kids back into society? The school system cannot be their parents, their policemen, their doctor, their psychologist, their 24-hr guardian, and still educate them. You also cannot blame a child for society's problems and blaming their parents fixes nothing. So, propose a solution. And if your conservative values preclude consideration of real world problems, stick with US magazine.
While I totally agree that our freedoms are being quietly eroded by our corporately owned gov't, paying people to bike to work is not one of the symptoms. It's kind of funny and weird to want to pay people because biking to work is fun, cost-saving, easier than parking downtown, and healthy, but, let's face it, I deserve to get paid for biking work. I'm leaving you a parking space. I'm leaving you fuel to burn. And, hopefully, the Corpocracy won't have to pay for me to have two decades of fat-related heart treatments. That's more cardiograms and blood thinners for you!
The children of Chattanooga money (especially males for some reason) like to stay cuddled up here, isolated in entitlement, rather than try their luck at functioning in the real world for a little bit. That's understandable. Let them nest. But Wamp's delusions of grandeur are both comedic and tragic. If he was interested in public relations, why didn't he go work at a big firm in New York and top out in that environment before starting his own business in Daddy's town? Well, he's probably never had to work a full day in his life; let alone interact with someone who won't suck up to him. And yet, his name and Daddy's money give him more of a shot at elected office than someone who has actually achieved some level of competence. Yuck. At least he will embarass himself.
I just read the Outdoor article. I think the criticism of Chattanooga was, for the most part, intended to be a humorous depiction of the way local outdoor enthusiasts are terrified that their city will become inundated by tourists on the basis of one article. Obviously some readers didn't catch the joke, including the TFP. Much of the article compliments Chattanooga's outdoor access, including the the poll, which was the premise of the article. Remember, it's called "Outdoor" magazine and not "Jesus Loves My Li'l Southern City" magazine. It's true that many Chattanoogans have little appreciation for where there are in the world because there are too busy commuting to Ootlewah in monster trucks and thumping each other on the noggin with the Bible. Their loss. It's still a great place to explore the outdoors.