The worst of us…

Where do you start on a day like this? We’ll debate on what to call events in Las Vegas. I’ve settled on calling it an act of domestic terrorism but the media is still working out the language. The left will use it to scream for “gun control” legislation and in fundraising ads for the next six months. The right will use it as evidence that the average citizen needs to be increasingly armed against an increasingly dangerous world and in fundraising activities for the next six months. That’s the simple politics of the thing. As much as everyone will say they don’t want to make a terrorist event like this an issue of politics, it’s what it will ultimately boil down to even as the Las Vegas Police and FBI continue to collect evidence at the scene.

The issues surrounding firearms and public safety are so charged and entrenched that we seem to be incapable of having even a conversation about them. Both sides live in dread that giving so much of an inch will cost them mightily during the next election. It’s one of those issues that’s so fraught that objectivity simply doesn’t exist – and that’s why I haven’t spent much time considering either side today.

What I have been considering is the other issue that we so rarely talk about it – that is, what’s going on in the head of someone who decides one day to drive to Las Vegas, rent a hotel room, and build a sniper nest? I’ve spent a lifetime around firearms, using them for both food and recreation and learning how to apply them in self defense. The idea of using one to lay siege to a public event simply would never occur to me. I don’t think it would occur to all but the smallest percentage of people. I find myself now particularly focused on those people – and what switch flips in their head that drives them to become the very worst of us.

Pots and kettles…

The fine men and women of the United States Congress have taken up GSA’s spendthrift ways as their cause du jour. Am I the only one who rolled their eyes about Congress calling out anyone for making bad decisions about how to spend taxpayer money? This is the same group of people who have failed to pass a budget for the government for the last three years and yet still managed to spend the country right up to the edge of oblivion.

If I were going to introduce the Government Oversight Committee to the GSA Administrator before their hearing, it would go something like this: Hello Pot, I’d like to introduce you to my good friend, Kettle. I think you’re going to get along nicely. You have so much in common.

Look, GSA screwed the pooch. They know it. You know it. I know it. Everyone and their brother knows it. But before we run of half cocked thinking how great it is that Congress is going to get to the root of the problem, let’s remember the bigger picture… that Congress is basically the Grandaddy of making piss poor spending decisions and the $800,000 conference in Las Vegas isn’t even a blip on the radar in terms of the volume of cash Congress can throw away in the blink of an eye.

As much as they’d love for GSA’s problems and the Secret Service hooker fiasco to deflect attention from their raging incompetence, let’s keep our eye on the ball out there, ok?

Bright light city…

It’s official. Vegas 2008 is on the calendar. Tickets are in hand. The hotel is booked. Time off has been approved. And I’ve once again prevailed upon one of my favorite travel companions to tag along with me. I mean, really, what better vacation can you think of than gambling, free booze, and a good looking broad? Life, my friends, is very, very good.