Last month, five teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 18 were killed in Farmingdale when the car they were in crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed into an SUV. There is no question that the car was travelling at well above the speed limit; they were drag racing, according to an unnamed person who said he had been in the car they were racing with. Four of the teens were pronounced dead at the scene. The fifth died the next day in the hospital.
There was plenty of media coverage in the days that followed: Platitudes from school and town officials. Speculation that the teens had been drinking or smoking pot before getting into the car. A comment from the father of the driver that his son was not that good behind the wheel. Perhaps the most ridiculous comment was from someone who lives near the crash site who opined that the road itself was the reason for the crash, that the lack of a traffic light on the stretch of road invites people to drive at ridiculously high speeds.
A month later, the story has long since vanished from the news. Apparently, no word was ever released about the identities of the two people in the SUV, both of whom were seriously injured, except that they were from Maryland. Nothing to confirm or deny whether the teens had been under the influence or even any official word that they were indeed drag racing.
At the scene of the accident, there are now portable signs with sensors that tell you what speed you are going. Though I'm sure they are intended to make drivers aware that they are speeding, one could argue that they would also encourage future drag racers to step on the gas.
Instead of these signs, how about a billboard with pictures of the five kids with the caption "Speeding Kills!"
There's a group in Texas who have been bringing their rifles and shotguns with them into places like Taco Bell and Chipolte's. These gun-toting folks apparently are doing this because they want the "open carry" law that allows them to do so to be expanded to include handguns. They don't seem to care whether or not they are scaring the other patrons of these eateries by brandishing weapons while ordering a breakfast burrito.
In light of all the news stories recently about mass shootings in schools, malls and parking lots, how long will it be before someone decides that one of these gun-toters is actually a wild-eyed maniac about to start a killing spree, pulls his (or her) own weapon, and starts a gunfight?
Some months back, I wrote about the company that was offering a bag of nickels as "rarely seen gov't issued coins" for $29.
Since then, I've seen ads for bags of "wheat coins," including a photo of the bags of them surrounded by armed guards like they were gold bricks at Fort Knox.
Once again, caveat emptor!