Thumbs down to the horrific shooting in Virgina that took place this week. Thumbs down to anyone who is blaming guns. Yes, lives were senselessly lost, but at the hands of a man who clearly had issues. I hope that somehow the family and friends of the Alison, the journalist, and Adam, her partner in crime (work), can find closure. I do not hope that there will be some sort of knee-jerk reaction relating to gun control because of the tragedy. That’s not the answer. I don’t know what the answer is, of course, but I know it won’t help. To all my fellow journalists: Please, please be aware of your surroundings. Check your back, I want you to know what is going on - good or bad - so that you can have a plan in place. This isn’t a message of living in fear, it’s a message of reality. Keep yourself safe. Carry if you’re trained and comfortable. This can sometimes be a dangerous profession, but somebody’s got to do it.
Thumbs down to the fact that within a matter of hours this past week, both Hess gas stations on route 12 in Norwich changed from Hess to Speedway. I never have been a big fan of Hess, and I honestly don’t remember the last time I actually went there to buy gas. The fact of the matter is that Hess has basically been in existence since I can remember and seemed like a mainstay in the community, as much as a gas station could be. On the other hand, the really cheap gas prices Speedway has listed to attract customers is pretty nice compared to the prices Hess had. Regardless, still a thumbs down until I can honestly get used to seeing red and white colors on both of the gas stations in question compared to the green and white I am used to.
One of the great freedoms that we posses as American citizens is the right to take a stand against anything we like (or dislike). The father of Alison Parker—the young and talented journalist who was shot and killed alongside cameraman Adam Ward earlier this week—went public this morning vowing to fight for stronger gun control legislation. While on the face, I disagree with the notion that stricter gun control laws will magically dial back gun violence crimes; I do understand that the man just lost a beautiful daughter for no apparent reason. I get it. This man will be tortured for the rest of his life, and because the gunman took his own cowardly life rather than face the music; Mr. Parker will never be made whole. One can only imagine the state of shock and the back-breaking amount of grief that Mr. Parker will have to bear. What I can't imagine is clinging to something that won’t make a bit of difference. At some point, we're going to have to realize that using gun control as a go-to retributive doesn't really accomplish anything; and more than likely never will. Still, it's impossible to be “in” Mr. Parkers head, and everyone grieves differently. With that—“Thumb’s down,” because there were no winners here, and my sincerest condolences go out to the Parker and Ward families.
Thumbs up to all who plan on attending the secession movement rally at General Clinton Park in Bainbridge this Sunday. While not a surefire way to fix the problems facing upstate, the grassroots movement sends an indelible message to New York legislators that upstate New York should not be driven by downstate politics. Organizers are hoping the rally will stir locals into taking action to regain liberties and driving lost economic opportunities – namely fracking – forward again. Admittedly, I’m one who thinks succession is a longshot; but then again, stranger things have happened. Regardless, it’s a good opportunity for the people to voice their concerns to their government, and that’s democracy in action.