Has everybody gone crazy?

Things have gone insane in D.C.

And I’m not referring to the Republican shutdown, which is a different kind of insanity.

A couple of weeks ago, we were dealing with the psychopath who shot up the Navy Yard.

Thursday, it was the crazy woman who got herself killed after trying to ram her car’s past the White House gates, then took off, ran over a cop and sped around the capitol crashing into whatever she could.

And yesterday, a guy set himself on fire on the National Mall.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A District of Columbia police spokesman says a man who set himself on fire on the National Mall has died of his injuries.

Officer Araz Alali says the man died Friday night at a Washington hospital where he had been airlifted.
He says the man was so badly burned that he will need to be identified through DNA and dental records.

The man poured a can of gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon. He then set himself on fire, with passing joggers taking off their shirts to help douse the flames.

Police are investigating the man’s possible motives for doing so.

This goes beyond any level of insanity you can think of.


A massacre, within walking distance

130916-navy-yard-emergency-hmed-11a.photoblog600I bicycled to work this morning, as usual, and heard a lot of sirens on the way. As I headed along the Waterfront, I watched police cars speed by.

This is Washington. I thought it was some kind of motorcade.

Then I got to work and saw on the Web that there was an “active shooting incident” at the Navy Yard. That’s a military installation about three blocks from Nationals Park. I live four blocks from Nationals Park in the other direction.

And at the end of the day, I see that a heavily armed psychopath went on a rampage and killed 12 people before the police killed him. Seven blocks from where I live.

Crazy people with guns are getting too close to where I live. I expect to see the usual pontificating about gun legislation and the back and forth with the NRA about the right to bear arms vs. the right to live without being shot.

But why bother?

A psychopath with a small arsenal walked into an elementary school and killed 20 first graders less than 10 months ago. Congress didn’t do a thing. Why should we expect anything more when a psychopath with a small arsenal walks into a military installation and kills 12 adults?

And while all this is happening, states are passing this kind of legislation:

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.

No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.

The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

Let me make this simple.

No. It’s a stupid idea to let blind people carry guns. Just like it’s going to be stupid to let another mass murder go by without taking any kind of action.

But we seem to relish in our right to be stupid. Don’t we?

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

So what is it we’re celebrating today?


If you want to get a closer look at the words, visit the National Archives in Washington (where the key documents in our nation’s history are on display), or click on the image above.


The loud garbageman

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnel of Kentucky.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

So I’m browsing away on my iPad at the US Air gate at Standiford Field (the Louisville airport) waiting for my afternoon flight to Washington. All of a sudden, I hear some loud guy talking about how he’s in waste management and making some reference to a lobbying firm somewhere in D.C.

I look up to see what a loud garbageman looks like, and there are two men coming in my direction: the loud guy and this guy on the right.

Somehow, it all seemed so appropriate.