Monday, June 30, 2008

That can't be! (Guns on campus)

I just received the following Crime Alert in my E-mail at work:


June 30, 2008

Armed Robbery

On June 28,2008 at approximately 11:45 PM two people were approached in IUPUI Lot 85- 345 N. Blackford St. by a group of Hispanic males. One of the people asked the males to leave them alone when an argument started. One of the males then drew a handgun and a scuffle started. During the scuffle one of the males entered the victim’s vehicle and took her purse containing cash and credit cards.

The males subjects fled on foot north on Blackford St. The description given was one of the males was dressed all in red.

The victims has just attended an event in Military Park and had no university affiliation. There were no injuries reported.

Anyone with information on this or any other crime at IUPUI please contact the IUPUI Police at 274-7911

I think there's something wrong with this report. The suspect couldn't have had a handgun. It's against the rules to have one on campus!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The rest of the story.

Whenever I see news of an assault or murder with a firearm such as this I get frustrated with the lack of detail regarding the weapon. Was it legally purchased? Did the accused have a license to carry it? Or would any publication of facts such as the weapon being stolen/illegally purchased and the perp having no license lead people to think that gun control is ineffectual?

Call to serve an ancient god

I need to drink more coffee this morning. I keep reading the title of this article in the IndyStar and keep seeing "Heeding a call to serve an ancient god" and expect to read of the opening of a local Temple of Dagon.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hold Your Nose And Vote?

As a bit of a follow up to my previous post regarding the Heller decision, everyone from Tam to Curt at Flopping Aces are observing that this was a close decision and that the upcoming election is an important one. The next president will most likely appoint at least one judge to the Supreme Court; thus the call to"hold your nose and vote for McCain." I'm still torn as I really really dislike both candidates and do not trust McCain to make a good appointment to the Supreme Court. But then again, Obama would make an even worse one. . .

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2nd Amendment - Individual Right

Just heard the news. However only five of the nine Supreme Court justices thought so. The usual suspects did not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"8 worst things to say in an interview. . ."

Though I normally avoid, I accidentally ran across, " 8 worst things to say in an interview. Ha! There's more than eight.

9. "I'm not wearing any underwear."

10. "Will it be a problem if I can't go within 500 feet of any elementary school?"

11. "How many breaks do you give during the day?"

12. "Are all the women who work here as hot as you?"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When the levee breaks. . .

My uncle just sent me the following observation:

"A levee broke in Cedar Rapids and nobody has accused President Bush of blowing it up yet."


Shatner for President

He's got my vote!

. . . if you can't do the time.

After moving to Indy around ten years ago, I've slowly developed the opinion that many local politicians aspire to the corruption and criminality of their betters in places like Chicago and Detroit. An example of this can be found in a news article in the Indy Star this morning entitled, "Dems close doors to discuss arrest of councilwoman". Part of the juicy details:

Democratic City-County Council members went into a closed-door meeting Monday to review the weekend arrest of a colleague accused of assaulting a police officer.

Councilwoman Doris Minton-McNeill declined to comment about her arrest before she used the back door to enter Monday night's full council meeting, avoiding a collection of television cameras.

According to preliminary charges, Minton-McNeill, an administrative assistant at Indianapolis Public Schools headquarters, pushed officer Emily Perkins, who fell and suffered a minor wrist injury in the incident Sunday.

According to a police report, Minton-McNeill shouted profanities, accused the officers of racism and suggested the officers contact high-level police and city officials. At one point, the report said, she tried to hand officers her City-County Council business cards.

"No, you can't arrest me. I'm on the City-County Council," Minton-McNeill told officers, according to the report.

Minton-McNeill admitted she drank "two margaritas" but denied being intoxicated and refused to take a blood-alcohol test, the report said.

Now from personal experience, whenever anyone, and I mean even your silver-haired grandma, quantifies the amount of alcohol they've consumed, you should double the claimed amount. If the person is in trouble, as apparently Ms. Minton-McNeill is, you might consider trebling it. So appearances are that Ms. Minton-McNeill got a snoot-full, didn't get the response from the police that she wanted, "copped a 'tude" and ended up a guest of the local constabulary despite her attempt at educating the police that City-County councilwomen (and most probably men) are above the law. Yeah. Right.

Fa fa fa fa fashion!

Two of Shermlock's Rules of Fashion:

1. Just because they make it in your size doesn't mean you should wear it.

2. I don't care what the guy told you, tattoos are not thinning.

Monday, June 23, 2008

2nd Indy Blog Fest

Great time yesterday with bloggers and readers at the 2nd Indy Blog Bash. I have to agree with Tamara that it was awesome. I was a reader before the get-together. Now I'm a writer as well. Thanks to all for the inspiration!

Feelings. . . nothing more than feelings. . .

Today I had a cordial conversation over coffee with the IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Dean of Students. It was a continuation of one begun in E-mail when we both served on the IUPUI ad hoc committee to review the recommendations of the Virginia governor’s task force on the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Our subcommittee was tasked with reviewing part VI-5 of those recommendations that in part said:

VI-5 The Virginia General Assembly should adopt legislation in the 2008 session clearly establishing the right of every institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to regulate the possession of firearms on campus if it so desires.

During the course of some of the E-mail discussion I'd written:
Dear Colleagues:

I'd like to address the comment:

"Do we want to support such an effort as VI-5 suggests? I also want to offer the idea of going one step further and recommending that Indiana Higher Education advocates that the law banning firearms in K-12 education settings be extended to colleges and universities. Any thoughts?"

The idea of inviting legislative meddling into the internal affairs of the University is for me troublesome. To this point I've been reluctant to call for legislative action to force IUPUI to adhere to the State Constitution and ALLOW members of the university community to defend themselves. But to get to the point: I disagree with the idea that the establishment of a 'gun-free zone' on the IUPUI campus will diminish or totally eliminate any firearms violence.

This notion is counter-intuitive in that it presupposes that those with criminal intent or sociopaths with homicidal tendencies carefully peruse laws, rules, and regulations and, when finding that firearms are disallowed, have an epiphany, turning their backs on violence.

History shows that regulations disallowing the possession of firearms are not sacrosanct. The following events occurred in 'gun-free zones' here in the United States:

Oct. 16, 1991, Killeen, TX -- 24 killed when a man drove his truck through a window of a Luby's Cafeteria and walked around the restaurant shooting people as they hid underneath their tables.

April 20, 1999, Littleton, CO -- 13 killed at Columbine High School.

Aug. 10, 1999, Granada Hills, CA -- five wounded when a white supremacist fires 70 rounds into a Jewish community and day-care center.

Oct. 2, 2006, Nickel Mines, PA -- five killed when a milk-truck driver entered an Amish schoolhouse, ordered all the boys to leave and began shooting the girls.

April 16, 2007, Blacksburg, VA -- 32 killed on the Virginia Tech campus.

Statistics show that contrary to popular belief, ALLOWING individuals to possess firearms reduces the number of people killed or wounded in public multiple-shootings. (See Chap. 6 of Dr. John R. Lott's book, The Bias Against Guns for extensive and detailed statistics).

Perhaps there is some thought that by making firearms less proximate, impulsive acts of firearms violence would be diminished. While this might be possible, the United States Secret Service Safe School Initiative Study ( found that, ". . . school shootings are rarely impulsive acts. Rather, they are typically thought out and planned out in advance."

We should also remember that IUPUI is still by far a 'commuter campus' and not a residential campus. Some of the opposition to the possession of firearms on a campus, such as Harvard's College Alcohol Study, "Guns on Campus" ( paints a colorful picture of an inebriated and irresponsible residential population that, with firearms proximate, are at greater risk of injury or are more prone to cause injury. Even if one accepts such notions, IUPUI does not fit this picture.

Despite all I've said above, I realistically cannot see IUPUI allowing the possession of legally licensed firearms on campus as has been done at universities like the University of Utah. It is a very emotional issue and one can imagine that the poison pill "hostile environment" would be used sooner or later. And one can imagine the Office of Risk Management having what my grandmother would call "conniptions" over the liability issues. What I would ask for is honesty in the support of a no fire-arms policy in that it would be done for the above reasons and not out of a notion that it would make the IUPUI campus safer.

I received a note of support from one of the committee members but the rest remained silent. Ultimately the Committee went ahead with the call for such legislation in Indiana as was called for in Virginia.

Today's chat with the Vice Chancellor revisited the subject of "hostile work environment" and how faculty have told her of their fear of students having firearms in the classroom. And while we know how unfounded such a fear is, it's still, in the environment of higher education, legitimate as all "feelings" are legitimate. That's what we have to work against. All our rational, logical arguments are for naught when feelings trump all.

Mass Transit in Indy: They Just Don't Get It!

I've used the IndyGo bus system here in Indianapolis for over three years now, even before the price of gasoline jumped above $3.00 a gallon (It's sad when we're nostalgic about $3.00/gal. gas!). I've witnessed an increase in ridership and today in the Indianapolis Star, I see that I'm not alone in surmising that gas prices have caused an increase in ridership. So you'd think that they would say, "Wow! The price of gas is only going to go up along with our ridership. Let's increase service" But no:

But IndyGo officials say they can't afford to expand service any further. The system has a 15-year plan that includes adding routes and buses, but at this point, there is no way to pay for it.

"Ridership continues to go up," said IndyGo spokeswoman Ronnetta Spalding, "but there are not enough resources to meet those demands."

The City was able to find $50 million dollars to give to Jim Irsay's Indianapolis Colts and raise food and beverage taxes to help pay for the new stadium. They just don't see mass transit as an amenity like a new Lucas Oil Stadium which most of us will only see the inside of on television because we can't afford the tickets!