Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Majority rule?

Ok, a bit of a rant.
Penn State football and gun control. What could they possibly have in common?

Apparently they are two examples of how a lack of common sense pervades college sports, academia, and government.
Look at the NCAA ruling against Penn State yesterday. $60 million in fines, no possibility of post season games for however many years, reduced scholarships, etc... But the big hammer they dropped was vacating all wins of the football program for the last 14 years, apparently because those were the "Sandusky years", and they wanted to punish the school, the football program, and Paterno for the child abuse scandal.

Great. But wait. Sandusky is already in jail convicted of 48+ counts of molestation and othe crimes. Paterno is dead, so he can't be punished, and several other specific school officials and football staff have been identified and may or may not be prosecuted. So why does the NCAA have to get involved? To send a message? To other schools that have no problems with an individual child molester on their coaching staff being covered up for years?

The Sandusky scandal is terrible, but it was the result of one sick man taking advantage of children and some around him turning a blind eye. That is it. The rest of the school administration, alumni, and student body had nothing to do with the actions of one man and any possible mismanagement or cover-up.

Yet the NCAA punishment will affect current staff and students, alumni, and especially former football players for the last 14 years who now have no wins on their record. In one bold stroke, the NCAA hopes to erase the stain left by Sandusky and those who failed to stop him by re-writing the football history as if Sandusky was never there.
Punish those who did wrong. Not an entire institution full of people that had NOTHING to do with the problem.

Which leads me to gun control. Obviously, the Aurora shooting last week was a horrible tragedy, but it was again the action of ONE man who appears to be seriously deranged. It was not the fault of gun owners across the country! Yet there was the predictable deluge of political garbage from anti-gun groups and politicians wringing their hands and claiming that if only we had more gun control this wouldn't have happened.
Use some common sense, please. Criminals don't care what the law says. That is why they are criminals. So making more gun laws or taking guns rights away from the rest of us will do NOTHING to stop this from happening.
I won't go into the whole concept of whether or not someone else carrying a weapon could have stopped him, because to be honest in that scenario, I think another shooter of any kind would have been more of a problem than a solution. But again, there is no cause for society (government) to take some type of broad-stroke action against law-abiding gun owners.

In both the Penn State NCAA ruling and the aftermath of the Aurora shooting, there has been knee-jerk reactions from governing bodies that would result in penalties against anyone and everyone except for those actually guilty of the crimes originally. And in both cases, the reactions are the result of those in authority trying to take action that they think the majority of people want to see, regardless of whether or not it actually makes sense.

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