Monday, October 5, 2015

The Gun-Free Zone Works on the Airlines

   With all the talk of how gun-free zones don't work, with all the talk about how they only attract mass murderers, I give you one place where they are working:
   On the airlines.
   We aren't hearing much about skyjackings these days. We aren't hearing about mass murders in the skies. No, we aren't hearing about shootings of any kind up there in the skies.
   The difference with the no-gun zones in the skies, is that they not only make it the rule, they make it so it is pretty close to impossible to get a gun on board.
   And, if it is working in the skies, maybe we should consider bringing it to the ground, to our schools. It would be a dire thing, of course, to have metal detectors at all school entrances. And, it would only push the criminals to find other places to shoot up. We could eventually need to have metal detectors all over.
    Maybe it has come to that.
   At any rate, at least consider the schools. Whether we can make all places safer, at least consider making the schools closer to being safer havens. That is where the bulk of mass murders are occurring, so defend them.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Poem Quoted by President Monson

I met a stranger in the night,
Whose lamp had ceased to shine;
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.
A tempest sprang up later on,
And shook the world about,
And when the wind was gone,
My lamp was out.
But back came to me the stranger—
His lamp was glowing fine;
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine.
- Lon Woodrum

Having a Marshal in Town is Better than Everyone Bringing a Gun

   Were there security guards at Umpqua Community College? I haven't followed the story close enough, but am guessing not. Historically, to guard against crime, we place police officers and security guards in places of danger. I do think that a better solution than the throw-everybody-a-gun approach. Having a marshal in town, so to speak, is usually enough, rather than instructing everyone to bring their own gun to the fight.
   Another thought, is to consider metal detectors. The security model at airports is proving successful, so maybe we should consider it for our schools.

The Imperfectness of the Blogger

   Tonight, I reflect on the imperfectness of the blogger. I consider that if I try to post an opinion everyday, I'm bound to take some wrong stands.
   Mortals are mortal.
   I also reflect on how, once we have said something, we tend to believe it. We are more inclined to believe ourselves than we are anyone else, because we want to be right.
   I'm no different. It is a tendency I fight against, but that is not an easy fight.
   What are some of the things I've second-guessed myself on?
   One, GMOs. I once went downtown to do a one-man protest on something, only to find a n anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO rally in process -- and I joined it. I won't look up what my blog said, but I think I tentatively entered the GMO camp. This past week, I was reading in National Geographic, and came to a quote from a guy who helped develop GMOs. He said he and his colleagues had been so excited about the good they were doing for humanity, to increase the food supply, only to have folks jump them as doing a bad thing.
   He felt betrayed.
   As I read his comments, I wondered about GMOs. I try to not eat them when I can. They might be okay, but I often avoid them just in case they are harmful. Should I give it up, and just eat them?
   And, I think about my having said that if we had reason to believe Japan was considering surrendering, then the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong. That's true, isn't it? But, perhaps there is no reason to believe Japan was even thinking of surrendering.
   And, I think about my blog last night, of how I spoke against Do Not Resuscitate. Tonight, I did an unsuccessful search to find out what Utah law says about when a Do Not Resuscitate order takes effect. Do you have to be legally dead, or just in a life-threatening situation? I also gave thought to all the damage that can be done when they do CPR, and I wondered.
   I still think, if you can save someone, you save them, unless they are vegetables or living in too much pain. But, I wonder, at least some.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sign on the Dotted Line, and We'll Just Let You Die

   I noticed a Do Not Resuscitate wristband on my brother today as I visited him at the skilled nursing center. Hadn't noticed it before. I wonder if he knows what it means. I believe I do. If I understand it correctly, it means if he is dying, they won't try to save him. Why would anyone sign off on that, if life still had value for them? And, knowing it takes away life saving options, why would a hospital even suggest to him that he be DNR? Yes, I already knew they had him as DNR. They didn't assign him to hospice, but they did assign him to DNR. But, seeing that wristband brought it all home to me, and scared me.
   I remember when my own heart was having trouble, and they prescribed nitride or some such, and told me, if I felt I was in trouble, to take it and go to the emergency. I'm thinking that with him being DNR, he cannot even get nitride (or whatever it is) and I wonder what would happen if we took him to the emergency. Would they take him through the doors, but and give him some care, but stop short of anything that would revitalize him -- because that would be against the law?
  A couple weeks ago, I had a nurse explain to me that, day-to-day, they will continue to do whatever they can to make him better, and give him all the help and medicine that might help. But, if his heart fails and suddenly he is in the act of dying, they will not resuscitate him, nor give him any medicine that would resuscitate him or prevent his sudden death.
   In other words, just let life take its course -- and, in this case, that means, just let death take its course. 
   We, as a society, should be careful who we are placing in that basket. There might be some for whom death is the better option, but let's be careful that we don't push someone in that we shouldn't.
   Why would a hospital -- a place you go to be saved from death -- even make that an option? Maybe if the person is a vegetable, or living in pain, it makes sense, but if the person is living a life with value, why? Why do we say, "Sign on the dotted line, and we'll just let you die"?
   My brother is not a vegetable. He is not living in pain. His life has value. He wants to live. Why did they pitch it to him, that if he was dying, they might have to break his ribs to resuscitate him, and he would die anyway? You really don't know if he will die until the moment is there and you answer the call with your best treatment.
   And, why didn't they warn him that along with no CPR, they also would not offer any medicine that might revitalize him? I was in the room when the pitch was made to fmily members, and , no, that wasn't mentioned.
  No, he doesn't want his ribs broken, but if you are dying, having a few ribs broken to save your life doesn't seem to be such a bad option. Why sell the danger of broken ribs as a reason to go to death?
   I do think what is going on is a grave wrong. Life is precious. My brother and others should not be deprived of live-saving measures. I read in Utah law about the "Life with Dignity Order." I notice the language often used when Do Not Resuscitate and a sister program, hospice, are discussed. I consider how the language is all about how we want to provide comfort and honor and dignity.
   Comfort and honor and dignity? Such a gentle spin on death. 
   These Life with Dignity Orders might be a good thing for some. They might be helpful, for those who don't want to live. But, there is a wicked side, as well. And, yes, I wonder what lobbyists were behind these laws when, ad just why it is that the medical industry wanted them in place.
   I wonder why we would pass a law to just let someone die -- someone whose life still has value. And, why, when the doctor explains DNR to them, it should it be pitched as the better option. Why not just say, "If you are in the act of dying, do you want us to try to save you, or would you rather just die? We might have to break a few ribs, but it might mean we're able to save you."
   You put it that way, and more people are going to choose life.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Netanyahu Gave Wonderful Speech at the UN

   No time to detail it, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a wonderful speech at the UN today.

Take the Precautions at Schools that We take at Airports

  Some months ago, a friend suggested a solution to gun shootings. Now, with the Umpqua Community College shooting, I wonder but what this would have stopped the shooter, Chris Harper.
  Place metal detectors at the entrances of all schools. Make security as tight at schools as it is at airports. As I thought on this this evening, I considered how few airplane hijackings we have had in recent years. Have we had any, at all? And, we don't have mass shootings in the sky. Nobody stands up on an airplane, turns around, and guns down all the passengers.
   Our security measures are working.
   It is sad that it has come to this. It is sad that schools should have to take such measures. It is an inconvenience students would face each day. And, in the long run, it might only force the shooters to different venues -- grocery stores, sporting events and such. Then, those sites too would be forced to take this measure.
   But, if we are to be safe, if we are to protect ourselves against these shooters, we must do the things that work. The security at airports has proven successful. It is a dire measure that it should be required at all public venues.
   But, we must do what is required to protect ourselves.