Friday, April 29, 2016

Another week in the big town

Today being the anniversary of the Baseball Game That No One Was Allowed To Attend last year at the Orioles' ballpark downtown, I thought it was a good idea to focus on two more items in the news that put our fair city in the negative national spotlight, both occurring this week.

The other day Baltimore City detectives shot and wounded a young teenager who was waving a BB pistol about. The young man will survive, but how foolish it is to be toting a fake gun in a real dangerous city.   And for the people who are piling on the cops in this matter: these are men and women who operate real guns every day of their lives, and if they can't distinguish a stupid bogus gun from a real deadly pistol, who can?  Did you expect them to just stand there and hope the kid couldn't do any more than plink a few empty cans with his weapon?

Lesson to be learned:  You know how they say you should dress for the job you expect to have someday.  It's the same if you wear a clip-on tie and a polyester shirt, or a $250 tie from Brooks Bros. If you get salad dressing on it, it's still going to leave a stain just the same.  And if you are carrying a toy gun to enhance your image, you have to expect to be treated the same as it it were the real. And parents should tell their children that.  This young man's mother knew he had the gun, but failed to take action.

No, it's not fair.  Next?

A seemingly-disturbed individual claiming to have been told by God that the world is coming to an end on June 3 dressed up in some sort of animal onesie outfit, fashioned a fake bomb out of candy bars and wires and a fire extinguisher pressure gauge and entered Baltimore's FOX45 TV station, bearing a thumb drive that he demanded be put on the air instead of Judge Judy. And then, unable to penetrate the secure vestibule that all TV stations have to set up now to keep those members of society who are not quite tied down securely at bay, he stalked out into the parking lot where the city SWAT team greeted him with dozens of calls to stand down, and then, three bullets, none of them fatal.

All of the stations found the man's father and interviewed him at length.  The man said that his son had suffered some sort of breakdown in the last two weeks, and that he and his wife had seen the contraption with all the wires and all in the basement, but chose not to check it out further.

Besides scaring the bejabbers out of hundreds of people and causing all this police activity, this folly shut down major streets and caused a lot of problems.  His parents saw that he needed help, but failed to take action.

Come on, folks.  We can do better than this.  I keep thinking...

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