What is an important focus for legislators part 2 - 3.28.2007.2
Continued from Where is the attention focused - 3.28.2007.1 Part 1...
But there is the real supposition that this wasted time is being done to distract from real issues. The more time spent creating laws to correct obvious idiocy (in my view) the less focus is placed on real issues. Sensitive subjects like the huge illiteracy rate (for a first world nation) or the apparent increase in crimes against children (such as the arrest of the husband of Mrs. Wynnona Judd) or offenses by police officers and law enforcement agencies against minorities (as the Sean Bell case exemplifies) are untouched and unspoken. Even the media at large tends to address these issues beyond a cursory manner.
The Sean Bell matter is a great example, using Fox News as one media source. Rather than discussing what lead to this overkill shooting, what the repercussions of it are, or why there seems to be a trend of shootings that involve double digit shots made by multiple officers against unarmed Black American men and possibly other minorities exclusively Fox News just forgot about it. I say exclusively as I am unaware of any White males that have been killed by police or law enforcement officers in a similar manner, ever. When I say they forgot about it I mean that there was the initial day of coverage and then nothing. Not a word. There was no comment on the indictment of 3 of the officers involved. No comment on why a supposed 4th individual that was believed to have a gun was allowed to escape the area. No comment on how an individual in a car, presumed armed and dangerous, left the vehicle as it was being shot – unhurt – and was not pursued by the officers that surrounded the vehicle.
So where is the research on this? The committees to discuss the causes and remedies to such events? The media coverage on the repercussions. The involvement in the nation on an issue affecting millions of citizens, directly and indirectly. It doesn’t happen because of distractions, notably a week of coverage on a mindless argument between 2 celebrities (Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump) or 3+ months of coverage on a cute blonde (Anna Nicole Smith). And of course discussion on the obvious.
Legislators, and the media at large, seem obtuse when it comes to a matter of importance. So much energy has been focused on creating stories out of non-events (like the current Mr. Alberto Gonzales ‘controversy’) that real events are obscured. That is not to say that certain events are unspoken. The war in Iraq continues to be discussed, with a bias on both sides. But that is not the only issue of consequence in the nation. It is not the only matter that will affect us for generations.
A law against obvious idiocy should take 5 minutes, and should have a penalty that actually qualifies as a deterrent and punishment. Attention to name calling and legal battles over the death of a celebrity in name only (with due respect Ms. Smith provided no more to the sum total of the nation than any other cute buxom blonde in the nation. In fact I would say she provided less than many that have not had the luck to have a camera on them) or time consuming controversies that have no more impact than allowing one political body the chance to snipe at the other are insulting. Cut out a half hour of coverage of these non-events and congressional time and maybe we can protect our children, or create fairer protection for all the citizens domestically, or educate our kids well enough that we don’t need to create stupid laws in the first place.
This is what I think, what do you think?