I must begin this week's column with a correction and an apology for last week's item. In that column concerning the Rainbow Bridge situation, I included incorrect information regarding the responsibility for the Lower Porter Road and also regarding the timing of an upcoming meeting of county council. For that I apologize to the members of the council.
As I do with most columns I had made some informal inquiries about these matters from sources I consider reliable. Regrettably in this case the information I received and passed on was in error. My old reporter self would have been horrified at such a mistake, as I am. I forgot that old adage of accuracy “Trust but verify.”
Now to this week! As I write this column the television is blanketed with coverage of the shooting at the high school in Florida. So far 17 are confirmed dead with a total of 14 in hospitals, some in critical condition so the death toll may have increased by the time you read this.
The classic “Thoughts and Prayers” are being offered by politicians of all stripes, with promises to address the issue of school safety “when the time is right.”
Well, to me and to millions of people across the continent, the time is past right. In fact, it is long past due. Thoughts and prayers are no longer an adequate response. It's time for legislation to restrict access to these weapons of mass murder.
It is incredulous to me that a high school kid, and that is what the shooter is, could legally purchase an assault weapon designed to inflict mass casualties. He can't buy a beer but he can buy a weapon. Unbelievable!
There is an old phrase about taking a “knife to a gunfight” as an allusion to being overwhelmed by power. Ironically, knife laws in much of the U.S. are more stringent than their gun laws, so it would probably be illegal to have that knife. The gun is OK.
Only in America.
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.