Peruta v. California

The NRA is a true grass-roots organization, and the collective power of its membership is simply unparalleled—Thom Tillis

With The United States Supreme Court passing on Peruta v. California  (a case involving conceal carry outside of the home), and lower courts split on numerous Second Amendment cases, I suspect the NRA will not allow this issue to go away anytime soon. 

Odds are that another gun rights case will come before the court sooner than later; after all, it’s been nearly 10-years since the justices have decided on a major Second Amendment issue. 

In a strongly worded statement by NRA-ILA Director Chris Cox, he makes no bones about where the NRA stands on SCOTUS’s snub of Peruta v. California. 

NRA’s Clout will surely drive this issue forward and force SCOTUS to make another landmark decision on a second amendment case. It will be interesting to watch how this political drama plays out. 


Media Blitz: NFL’s Ray Rice Conundrum

There will always be hope for our country as long as more people watch Monday Night Football than…[sitcoms]––Michael Logsdon

Lately the sports media’s attention has been dominated by reports about domestic abuse in the NFL, with the Ray Rice scandal getting a lion’s share of the coverage. The video of Rice knocking out his then fiancé is utterly repulsive. The fact that Rice is a world-class athlete (a strapping alpha male to boot) makes the attack even more reprehensible. However, with all the media attention on this issue, is the NFL missing an opportunity?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mishandling of the initial response towards this issue was a huge blunder, then when a video emerged showing the attack, Goodell and the NFL took a knee-jerk reaction of throwing Rice out of the NFL. This reactionary response is evidence of a lack of direction and a clear strategy on how to best address this issue.

It is the opinion of A Crow’s View that the steps the NFL took do not help Rice’s wife or others. In fact, absolutely nothing the NFL did to address this situation is going to stop this type of event from happening again. Even worse, the steps taken by the NFL place a hardship on Rice and his wife, while putting pressure on other players’ and their spouses to keep silent, so they don’t face a similar situation.

It is clear the suspension is a move designed to placate the NFL’s critics and to bolster its weak stance on domestic abuse. Based on the continued media coverage and calls for impeachment of Goodell, this approach isn’t working because society sees this tactic for what it is: nothing more than a quick-fix PR attempt.

Appeasing critics or having a zero tolerance policy will not solve this problem. This issue requires the NFL to take a different approach. One that will prevent future occurrences from happening and ensures the safety of players’ spouses and others.

First, the league needs to be upfront about what it knew and when, regarding the Rice video.

Second, bring Rice and his wife into NFL headquarters and address the discipline issues with them.

Third, all fines leveled against Rice by the NFL should be waived, if donations of equal value are made to domestic violence organizations.

Fourth, put in place an option that will allow Rice to salvage his career if he meets strict requirements set by the NFL. This option must be stressed that it is available only if he meets all requirements; however, the team owners will have the option of keeping Rice on their roster.

Fifth, be open about the disciplinary steps and effectively explain how these steps will help victims and the abuser from repeat behavior.

With all the resources at the NFL’s disposal, it should not be taking a reactionary response to domestic violence. It should be dealt with in a manner that will not force those who are trapped in this toxic environment into silence, or force abusers to use their resources to prevent such incidences from becoming public simple to keep their jobs. Helping people should be the goal, not just cleaning up the NFL’s image.

The reasons the NFL should follow these five steps are clear. They immediately help to improve the situation of all women associated with the NFL. First, they remove the fear of losing their financial situation if they are in an abusive relationship, by taking away the need to keep silent or further hide the abuse. Second, these steps will show that the NFL is engaged on the issue of domestic abuse and actively seeking to protect the victims of violence. Moreover, following these steps will demonstrate that the NFL is working with Ray and Janay Rice to safeguard her safety and actively trying to ensure that no future incidences of abuse occurs.

The NFL is missing a golden opportunity. If they use these steps, a situation is created which will prompt a great storyline of redemption and second chance that society eats up. More importantly, they don’t cast a veil of silence over the abused or abuser to hide their faults; in stead, they will create an environment that seeks to improve lives. This is the best way to ensure the safety of Janay and other women of the NFL.




Sarah Murnaghan: Bureaucracy Run Amok

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. – Dalai Lama

A Crow’s View is hoping Sarah Murnaghan’s lung transplant is a success. Her case inspires passion and hope that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, can support. However, when Kathleen Sebelius denied intervening on behalf of the Murnaghan’s; she inadvertently stepped into a public relations nightmare because if the surgery is a success her statement, “some people live some people die”, will undoubtedly haunt her and the administration. On the other hand, if the surgery fails or Sarah dies due to complications. Then the administrations decision not to intervene appears to be justified.

I don’t understand why the HHS Secretary positioned herself and our government to benefit more if Sarah’s surgery fails. I find this disturbing! This position reveals the ineptitude of big government; moreover, it is a stark example of bureaucracy run amok.

While this entire episode was playing out in the news, there was no shortage of passing the buck. Congress blamed Sebelius for denying Sarah a place on the transplant list. In turn, the HHS Secretary criticized pediatric transplant policies that set the age requirement.

The bottom line is Sebelius had the authority to suspend the rules and help this family. Her refusal to intervene is a senseless act of callousness or stupidity. It should not have taken a court order to allow Sarah Murnaghan a shot at life. In fact, this issue should never have elevated to the point where a member of President Obama’s cabinet has to make a decision directly affecting an individual’s health, let alone life or death.

This issue’s rise to prominence will force debate on a host of topics. A public relations battle will surely ensue, and political lines will be drawn. Before we enter into the miasma this issue will bring. We should all take a moment and wish Sarah Murnaghan and her family well. If you’re a person of faith say a prayer; those of a secular ideology take a moment of silence.



Loss of Confidence: Power, Scandal, & Corruption

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

The recent rounds of scandals should be a reminder to all Americans how power corrupts. For the most part, I’ve always objected to Baron Acton’s famous quote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

This phrase has always left me perplexed. How does a person changes because of the acquisition of power?

I don’t know how to answer this question because I’ve always believed a decent person that is well grounded will not be corrupted. Instead of blaming power, I blame the person. Power corrupts those who are not ready to possess it. Good people and bad people are separated by their readiness to wield power.

The three scandals we see playing out are evidence of the current administration’s inability to hold authority.

As a journalism student, I’m appalled by the AP wiretap. The natural reaction of a government official or agency is to claim national security. This claim is spurious at best. If that’s the case, then other–more acceptable means–could have been employed. This is a direct assault the press.

In my opinion this should not be allowed to stand. Several people need to be held to account; nothing short of jail time should result from this first amendment assault on the media.

The IRS scandal is troubling on so many fronts. I find it hard to imagine Americans using the awesome power of the IRS against fellow citizens, but that appears to be what happened. The idea that employees of this institution targeted other Americans, for their political beliefs, is bone chilling.

In this instance, I agree with Speaker Boehner who stated, “…who is going to jail over this scandal?” Democrats and Republicans need to come together to make sure that this will never happen again.

I believe this issue is systemic. In order to fix it mass firings and purging of management (at all levels) needs to take place. This scandal is–yet another–example of people in our government wielding power they were not ready to possess.

Finally, the Benghazi attack is an enormously sad event. The assassination of Ambassador Stephens and the killing of three other U.S. citizens is a slap to the administration and our nation, but more than that the assault on our embassy was an act of war.

Mixed reports suggest Stephens was tortured and sodomized before he died. Although this fact hasn’t been incontrovertibly proven, the brutality is factual. If critics are correct that President Obama went to bed without knowing the fate of Ambassador Stephens. It truly would be reprehensible.

A lot of talk is being bantered about regarding emails and who knew what, but I think the issue is much greater than that. Like the other scandals, it appears that Benghazi resulted from either incompetence or corruption from various levels of the administration.

These issues need to be addressed by Congress and the American people. Partisan politics should be set aside.

If top-level officials are at fault in any of these scandals, they need to be removed from office. If it rises to the level of the President, so be it.

Ultimately, President Obama and his appointees are responsible for what goes on in their agencies. The buck stops with those in high office.

It’s sad that this administration wasn’t ready for power.  If it were, we wouldn’t see a firestorm of scandals and corruption.  I hope the President can clean up his administration before Congress or the American people have to do it.





Rauchen Ist Verboten! (Smoking Is Prohibited)

20130319-004746.jpgFreedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err––Mahatma Gandhi

I’m not a smoker nor do I care for smoking. It’s a disgusting habit that should be eliminated from a person’s lifestyle, but I do take exception when little tin-god politicians or administrators put in place regulations that strip people of enjoying a lawful activity.

While walking through a local park, I noticed a sign that announced “no smoking.” What struck me about that sign is that it wasn’t in a pavilion, restroom, or another enclosed area, but a wide-open space on the park grounds. For some reason this sign got my blood boiling.

It is obvious that the hysteria of second hand smoke is alive and well. I don’t care for the smell of smoke or its affect on human health, but to forbid a person from smoking outside while at a public park seems over the top to me.

I find it odd that in the same park that bans open-air smoking; the “powers that be”  don’t have a problem with drinking alcohol outdoors. For that matter, the ban only applies to tobacco, so I’m guessing Marijuana is alright assuming it’s medicinal (to meet the state law exception). Something just seems backwards to me.

I know most people will disagree with me, but adults have a right to smoke; furthermore, people have the right to be stupid. Even if it means they’re going to do something harmful to themselves, like smoking tobacco products, drinking alcohol, or eating unhealthy foods.

My take on smoking and the tobacco industry is simple. If it is so horrible then BAN IT ALL. Don’t slowly kill the tobacco industry through litigation and laws that will drive the business under through attrition. Either do it all at once, or allow people to do what they did for hundreds of years…..have their vices! In today’s world people know the dangers of tobacco use. Let those who want to use it, have it.

Most smokers I know are good and decent people who will go out of their way to accommodate those who don’t smoke. I’ve even been around complete strangers that will ask if their smoking will bother me. If I say it will, then they voluntarily move or just put their cigarettes away.

For those of us who don’t care for second hand smoke, there are plenty of indoor smoking bans both public and private to visit. Banning outdoorIWantYou1 smoking is  ridiculous. It just torments smokers; furthermore, all it does is give those of us who don‘t like to smoke a bad name; an outdoor smoking ban really does sound like persecution that’s reminiscent of 1930s Germany.