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Aurora, Colorado: It Was About Madness, Not Guns

In Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on July 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

When tragedy struck an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre last week, a life and death drama unfolded before the very eyes of a horrified nation. A fun, midnight premier of the latest Batman film instead became a traumatic experience never to be forgotten by those who lived through it.

Covered head-to-toe in protective body armor, the gunman opened fire in the theater using multiple weapons from handguns to assault rifles. The Aurora chief of police reported that the man had colored his hair red and claimed he was Batman’s comic book nemesis, the Joker.

Accounts so far describe the alleged shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, as a clean-cut, doctoral student with no background in criminal activity or predilection for violence. Nevertheless, he painstakingly planned the attack on the theater in every detail, from his booby-trapped apartment, to the careful selection of explosives and firearms.

In the end, more than a dozen people died and many more were injured as people desperately search for a motive. Some people are blaming the Batman films, particularly Heath Ledger’s version of the arch villain, the Joker, for inspiring Holmes’ behavior. Others are pointing fingers at the media in general for sensationalizing this kind of random violence.

As usual, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun lobby and the liberal left (generally one and the same) to politicize the horrific event in favor of their agenda. Arguing that further gun restrictions are needed because the shooter obtained the firearms legally is without basis.

Logically, someone who is capable of this kind of cold, calculated murder would have found a way to obtain what he needed regardless of the legality. Conversely, the pro-gun conservative assertion that the suspect could have been stopped sooner if more people carried firearms is just ridiculous.

If a bunch of gun-toting amateurs with over-active hero complexes had suddenly opened fire on the attacker the only result would have been even more bloodshed. It’s unimaginable why anyone needs an assault rifle for personal protection, but guns are not the issue in this case.

In the coming months, armchair experts will dilute and dissect the facts and anecdotes from the tragedy, each offering their own empty opinion of why and how someone could commit such a horrible act. But no amount of speculation will break through the facts in this case because they reside only in the distorted mind of the suspect, Holmes.

Short of post 9-11 level security measures placed at every public venue, there is little else that could have prevented this tragedy. The Aurora shooting was the act of a disturbed mind who, if not identified by some level of professional evaluation, would have eventually found some way to act out his violent tendencies.

In the movies, even a genius superhero like Batman is portrayed in his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, as emotionally troubled and bordering madness. But the end result of his violent, albeit not lethal, tendencies allows people to accept his methods to justify the outcome. Justice is served, and the bad guy either lands in jail or somehow causes his own deadly demise.

Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work like that. Disturbed individuals do bad things. It is rarely predictable and often ends in tragedy. Pushing for further anti-gun legislation simply gets more weapons into the hands of criminals and limits defensive capabilities of law-abiding citizens, and even the police.

Instead, perhaps experts, not politicians, should focus on the more difficult task – dealing with the people who might eventually create havoc and death through such violent acts, regardless of what kind of weapon they use.

 

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A Little Girl’s Fight To Survive Reminds Us How Fragile Life Can Be

In Children and Family, Health, Local News, National News, Opinion, psychology, Religion, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on July 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Aubrey Jones

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

 

My three-year-old cousin Aubrey is a bright, inquisitive and sensitive little girl who loves to play and laugh and be a kid. Every time I see her she is full of energy and doing all the things that little girls do.

Aubrey’s mother, Lindsey, is a cheerleading coach with four different teams ages 3 to 18, including teams in Fairborn and TippCity. Over the weekend of July 14, Lindsey, her husband Jon, Aubrey, and her baby sister, 4-month-old Kennedy, left their home in Fairborn, Ohio to attend a cheerleading tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana. But soon after they arrived, cheerleading was the last thing on their minds.

On Saturday, Aubrey began to spike a fever and was soon taken to the emergency room at a hospital near the IndianapolisConvention Center. What was originally thought to be a simple viral bug turned out to be a very serious bacterial infection. With almost no warning, little Aubrey was suddenly very ill, and her family was frightened.

Soon she was moved to RileyHospital for Children at IndianaUniversity where she was quickly placed in intensive care. Her tiny body was succumbing to what doctors called a super strain – a severe and aggressive strep-related bacterial infection that is resistant to most individual antibiotic treatment measures.

Since she was admitted, her body has shut down twice, being overcome by infection and high fever. After the first incident, doctors performed surgery to remove some of the infected fluid from her lungs and chest. Early Tuesday morning her condition worsened yet again as destroyed bacteria began to release dangerous toxins into her bloodstream and she crashed once more.

Battling septic shock her organs keep trying to shut down, but little Aubrey clings to life. We nearly lost her a couple of times since this ordeal began, but she is hanging on, swollen and with machines maintaining her functions to give her body a chance to rest.

Aubrey cannot be stabilized enough at this point to be moved to a hospital closer to home so her family is taking turns at her bedside. The stress, exhaustion and expenses are all increasing with each passing day.

I spent Tuesday afternoon and early evening at RonaHillsPark in Fairborn to help Lindsey’s cheerleading students and their parents mobilize door-to-door to collect donations. Aubrey’s seven-year-old sister, Kaydynce is staying with relatives nearby and was on hand to help along with her grandmother and great grandmother.

As I write this, little Aubrey is still in intensive care, kept sedated and in a coma-like state. Her family still waits hopes and prays for all to turn out well. Stranded two-hundred miles from home, they are fighting fatigue, fear and the worry of mounting expenses.

Family and friends, like the cheerleading squads, have pulled together to raise money and there are bank accounts and websites. The incredible outpouring of support is overwhelming and wonderful to see in an age of cynicism and self-absorption.

It’s hard to comprehend how a microscopic creature can swarm and multiply in the blood of a tiny, innocent child, altering the life path of everyone who is close to her. Her world, and that of her family and friends, has been irrevocably altered. Little Aubrey’s plight has brought people together for a common good. Hopefully we never forget and are forever mindful of the fragility of life because in a moment, everything can change.

If you would like to help little Aubrey’s family, donations are being accepted online at http://www.indiegogo.com/aubreyssick and at area Fifth-Third Bank branches. Just make a donation deposit in the name of Aubrey’s mother, Lindsey Warner (Jones).

 

Beavercreek Computer Service Celebrates Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting

In Business, Jobs, Local News, Politics, Technology, Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

By Gery L. Deer

The Jamestown Comet.com

 

Beavercreek – On Tuesday, July 10, Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek celebrated its one-year business anniversary with a ribbon cutting at its new location at1255 N. Fairfield Road. Part of an international network of franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides IT support for residential and commercial clients servicing both Apple and Windows based computer systems.

President and CEO, Cliff Brust spoke briefly after the ceremony. “We’re happy to be here and we hope you don’t have too many computer problems, but if you do, remember we’re here to help you.”

Among the thirty-plus attendees for the event were Beavercreek Mayor Vicki Giambrone, Vice Mayor Jerry Petrak, Council Members Scott Hadley, Debborah Wallace and Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Clete Buddelmeyer. Guests received a tour of the new office and two desktop printers were given away as door prizes. Refreshments were provided by Subway and 4Starters coffee shop.

The celebration continues this weekend. Computer Troubleshooters is holding a public grand opening from 11AM until 3PM on Saturday July 14. Visitors can stop in to meet the staff and register to win a free desktop printer. For more information contact Computer Troubleshooters by calling (937) 458-2000 or visit http://www.ctbeavercreek.com.

Greene County Wild West Artists Host 10th Annual Event in Greenville

In Children and Family, Economy, Entertainment, Local News, National News, Senior Lifestyle, television, Uncategorized on July 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

GREENVILLE, OH – Wild West performers headlining the 10th Annual Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase are gearing up for five live performances during Annie Oakley Days in the upper level of the Darke County Fairground Coliseum. Whip artists, trick ropers and other Wild West art experts who have appeared shows like America’s Got Talent and The Bonnie Hunt Show will be on hand to perform at 7 p.m. on Friday July 27 at 7 p.m. on Saturday the 28th 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. with two more shows at Noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday the 29th. Each show is free with regular admission.

The event started out as a gathering of whip crackers in May of 2002 at the family farm of the founder and producer of the event, nationally known writer, entertainer Gery L. Deer. Deer expanded the event a year later to include trick roping, knife throwing and much more and moved it to the grounds of Annie Oakley Days Festival. Participants have the opportunity to learn from some of the best names in the business while sharing their skills to entertain the public.

Deer is an award-winning whip artist who has spent a quarter century performing, competing and teaching whip artistry. “We’re happy to be back at Annie Oakley Days for our tenth year of precision whip artistry, knife throwing and fancy trick roping,” says Deer, who is also the managing director of The Whip Artistry Studio, bullwhip training center inJamestown,Ohio. “I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to show the public genuine Wild West arts that require talent and skill, not to mention years of practice.”

Each showcase will also feature champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, who teams up with wife Melodee in the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show. Bass is a certified thrown weapons instructor with the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame and the assistant director for the Western Arts Showcase events.

According to Deer, the best show to see will be on Saturday evening. “We pull out all the stops on Saturday, with Wild West arts exhibitions during the afternoon performance and a longer, variety show in the evening.” For the 9th year at the festival, Saturday night’s extended program will be hosted by The Brothers & Co. Entertainers music and variety group fromJamestown,Ohio. Often compared to The Statler Brothers or Oak Ridge Boys, the group offers audiences a brilliant combination of four-part vocals and Vaudeville-style comedy and variety routines.

All performances are family friendly. For more information go online to http://www.ohiowesternarts.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Computer Troubleshooters To Hold Public Grand Opening July 14

In Business, Economy, Jobs, Local News, Media, National News, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Technology, Uncategorized on July 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

BEAVERCREEK, OH – Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek (CTB) is celebrating one year of business with a public grand opening of its new office at 1255 N. Fairfield Rd., Suite 103. From 11 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, July 14, the public is invited to visit the new facility and register to win a desktop printer.

Part of an international network of independently owned franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides complete information technology (IT) support for residential and commercial clients. In addition to the new location, the company is celebrating one year in business.

CTB President Cliff Brust is excited about the growth of his company. “We’ve been fortunate to find success in the Beavercreek area and we appreciate the support of the business community to allow us to continue to serve them,” he says.

“We have also focused on our managed services and cloud computing for business and medical documentation to provide our clients with the most advanced technology and highest quality support available to them.”

Brust will appear on WRGT TV’s, Fox 45 in the Morning, Monday, July 9th at 8:15AM to talk about common mistakes made by both commercial and personal computer users. For more information contact Cliff or Genevieve Brust by calling (937) 458-2000 or go online to www.ctbeavercreek.com.

A Half-Century of Walmart. Economic Savior or Evil Empire?

In Business, Economy, Entertainment, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on July 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Singer, songwriter Jessica Frech’s satirical music video, “People of Walmart” has attracted more than 6 million viewers, and probably offended just as many. (Jessica is in the upper left square of this screen shot from her video.)

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Most people don’t realize that Walmart is the world’s largest private employer. According to a recent article in Time magazine’s business section, only the U.S. Department of Defense andChina’s People’s Liberation Army employ more people than Sam Walton’s massive dynasty of discount. On July 2, Walmart turned the half-century mark of rolling back prices and shaking up the competition.

On that date in 1962, Sam opened the very first Walmart store inRogers,Arkansas. Fifty years and four-thousand, three-hundred-ninety-nine stores later, the chain employs more than 2.1 million people and sets the standard by which other budget retailers are measured.

Along with those who appreciate Walmart’s contributions toAmerica’s economy, there are equally as many who regard it as an evil, impersonal, corporate monster. And they may be correct, after all, it would have been impossible to become the discount retail leader without doing some damage to the competition and holding fast to as much of its own money as possible along the way to get there.

Impenetrable by unions and continually slammed by the liberal left, the bargain behemoth continues to rake in the cash, bringing in a whopping $443 billion last year. Revenue like that must please the company’s shareholders, who, ironically, are probably the last people to set foot in one of its stores (at least while someone’s looking).

But what is Walmart, really? Is it evil? Or, is this just the price that has to be paid for corporate efficiency and unprecedented business growth? Do small towns really dry up and blow away when Walmart moves in?

The pros and cons of Walmart are probably more a matter of perspective than fact. Walmart shoppers are hard to categorize, but the common image is the middle to lower class, interested in getting the lowest price possible on toilet paper while caring nothing about the environment in which it is sold to them.

Well if you believe singer, songwriter Jessica Frech’s point of view in her satirical YouTube music video, People of Walmart, shoppers simply cannot be categorized. They come in every shape, size, color and creed, from every socioeconomic background and lifestyle. They come at every hour of the day and night in search of, well, a great deal on whatever it is they need.

It’s worth mentioning also that many Wallyworlders found Jessica’s music video terrifically offensive because it uses actual photos of Walmart shoppers in their native habitat. Even so, People of Walmart has been watched by more than 6.1 million viewers. People of Walmart 2, released last November, already has more than 1.6 million views. Apparently people weren’t that offended.

The economic effects by Walmart on local communities are as mixed as its clientele, probably more so than people generally know. According to a 2009 study, most negatively affected by the big box giant are those mom-and-pop retailers selling products in direct competition, such as small, higher-priced grocery, clothing and dry-goods stores.

The research also indicated that retailers offering products and services not available from Walmart tend to do better if in close proximity because people are already prepared to spend the money.

As for Walmart’s overall effect on and property values, new research released by the National Bureau of Economic Research startled the company’s critics. A 2001-2006 study of 159 new Walmart stores found that homes within a half-mile of each actually increased in value as much as 3-percent. Local tax revenue also increases substantially.

Like it or not, Walmart is here to stay. Anytime a business or an individual is successful, they will always have critics and even enemies. Fifty years ago, it’s doubtful that Sam Walton could have imagined what his small shop would eventually become.

Today his company provides jobs, affordable food and clothing, and the most unusually diverse array of patrons any retailer could imagine. So, happy birthday Walmart! Keep the rollbacks coming and, please, could someone fix the wheel on that one shopping cart that just won’t roll when you’re in a hurry?