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Food for Thought

Well, the calendar reads May, and things are warming up. I’m not going to say it can’t snow, because this spring anything’s been possible. How nice is it though to sit out at a ballgame with a short sleeve shirt and shorts as that bright sunshine beats down on your shoulders? Sixty is the new eighty when it comes to the thermometer, or at least it sure feels like it.

I haven’t talked food with you in a while, but I came across a deal almost too good to be true. I was in Lock Haven for dinner with Jimmy. I always enjoyed taking him, and his Lock Haven University friends out for dinner, however many fit in the Expedition usually ends up being the dinner party. One of the LHU student’s favorite places is the Dutch Haven Restaurant, which I also have grown fond of. Great food at a reasonable price! That does my heart good when you’re feeding hungry college ballplayers.

So what’s the great deal I’m talking about? Wednesday just happened to be steak night, on the special board hanging on the wall; it was an 8 oz. steak and French fries for $7.95. Of course, that got my carnivore’s attention along with Jimmy’s teammate Reagan. At first, I felt obligated to warn him, what kind of steak could you get for under eight bucks? I then changed my thinking and said, hey let’s try them, why not, right? I got a Caesar salad to go along with it, you know I need to eat my greens, or at least feel better about eating the steak, fries and a few of the boys’ chicken wings.

Reagan and I were overjoyed with our choice. It was a sirloin type cut, not an ounce of fat, done to perfection at medium rare, homemade french fries and my add-on Caesar salad, I believe was two bucks, and well worth it.

They also have more expensive cuts of meat on special, and they are also reasonable, but I encourage you to take a ride up and try the $7.95 Wednesday steak night dinner. In the world of today, when we’re often disappointed with the quality or price while eating out, this was something I just had to share with all of you. Bon appétit.

I ended last week’s column stating I would have more on Syria, former FBI director James Comey, and the lawsuit the Democrats were filing against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, and Russia. So, of course, I’m going somewhere completely different.

Since the beginning of recorded history, man has done heinous, violent, inhumane acts to fellow man. It began with bare hands and then probably rocks and stones, maybe a filed off tree branch, and you can continue that list right up to the latest technology in regards to the weaponry of today. In recent decades, obviously, airplanes and vehicles have been used as weapons to commit senseless evil acts of violence.

Last week it was a Ryder rental truck used to kill and maim innocent people on the streets of Toronto. Actually, I guess I should say sidewalks. Ten killed, fifteen injured.

Someone that is going to commit an evil act of violence against the innocent is going to find a weapon and a way. The very freedoms we enjoy make this possible. And, unfortunately, I have no idea how to prevent random violence in a free society.

As you know, I’m a big believer in our 2nd Amendment rights. I think the legal process to purchase a firearm in our state is very good and provides proper safeguards to keep firearms out of the hands of folks that shouldn’t have them. As the saying goes, locks only keep honest people honest. Someone that wants to obtain a firearm to commit a random act of violence is going to do so. The fact that they would commit that random act of violence should tell you they’re not going to follow the law and are mentally unstable.

We must stop blaming firearms for these deranged acts humans commit against our fellow man. Again, the gentleman last week in Canada did not need a firearm to kill innocent people. The best chance to stop the attack probably would have been someone skilled with a firearm to be at the wrong place at the right time.

I don’t think we should ever stop looking for a way to make the use and ownership of firearms safer for everyone. I think in the case of an assault-style rifle, which is semi-automatic but can easily be converted to fully automatic, there should be training required before an individual takes ownership of this type of weapon. I believe there should be a separate license you obtain once for ownership of this type of weapon. I also think there needs to be common sense if you have used this weapon in the military, or if you have been trained in law enforcement, that should meet the necessary requirement.

Again, I go back to the safe operation of this type of firearm. You should not be able to just buy this type of weapon with no idea how to use it.

Do I think this would prevent a random shooting at a place where folks are unarmed? No. Again, the person committing that act will find a way to obtain a firearm or choose a different means. However, I do believe it would prevent accidents and educate more people about firearms.

To me, the issue of making schools and public venues safe from random acts of violence is a completely separate issue than our 2nd Amendment rights. We must address this problem through education, security, technology, and planning. This must include more school resource officers, security guards, and mental health professionals, which is going to require a monetary commitment by all of us. We must not just prepare for a possible shooting scenario; history has proven there are many other weapons that can be used to kill the innocent.

I will circle back to Syria, Mr. Comey, and where that lawsuit is next week. Protecting our children and safe schools need to be our number one priority.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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