July 8, 2015

Wondering, on Wednesday (v36)

Here in Syracuse, we had a tough Independence Day weekend, with eleven shootings in 24 hours, one resulting in the death of a 19 year old. Several others were injured during the incidents. Interestingly, or shockingly, or somethingly, the young man had apparently posted on Facebook that he was going to be taken out. His message was shared and liked dozens of times, although it's hard to tell whether that happened before or after he was killed.

Not surprisingly, the shootings drew a lot of attention on our local news websites, including several comments making reference to the SAFE Act, the hastily passed gun legislation that came about in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. Here are a few of the comments:
Good thing we have the SAFE Act. How's that SAFE Act working out for you? Clearly the SAFE Act is working as intended. 
When I see these comments, I always wonder whether the authors were at the scene of the shootings, and tried to take out the bad guys, but were unable to do so because they only had seven bullets?

And speaking of taking out the bad guys, how about that Bill Cosby deposition? The one where he said, yeah, Quaaludes, we're gonna have Quaaludes (oh wait, that was Ice Cream...) Anyway, what he said was that yes, he did purchase Quaaludes with the intent of giving the pills to women he wanted to 'be with' as Lester Holt so delicately stated last night on the news.  And he admitted to giving them to at least one woman with whom he had sex.

It's a mess, for sure. And one that a judge thought we had the right to see.  In releasing what he did, as the request of the Associated Press (AP) US District Judge Eduardo Robreno noted that
The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct is a matter as to which the AP - and by extension the pubic' has a significant interest. 
There are some two dozen women who have come forward stating that Cosby drugged and had sex with them against their will, or when they were not able to consent.  As was the case when Tiger Woods was initially exposed as a serial play-arounder before he played a round, anyone can say it happened and Cosby really can't do much about it. After all, vehemently denying one out of a couple dozen sort of makes it look like the other 23 are telling the truth, right?

And while I hope that the women victimized by Cosby get some justice, in one form or another, it is hard to sit and watch this epic fall from grace and not wonder why no one around him, no one associated with Cosby, was able to exert any (or enough) influence on him, to protect the women from him and to protect him from himself.

Finally, tonight, I'm wondering about another person who was not protected from himself, who was not prevented from doing something that, tragically, took his life in an instant.

Devon Staples, a 22-year-old, was killed when he lit a fireworks mortar on his head. Apparently he pretended he was going to do it, and friends thought they had talked him out of it, but for whatever reason, he did it anyway. According to some reports, he was the kind of guy who would do anything for a laugh, was the joker, was the one everyone wanted to be around.  And now he's gone, in an instant.

Sometimes, wondering is all I can do.