This weekend, 16 year old Caleb Gordley, a 16 year old student-athlete at Park View High School in Sterling had a night of drinking, and was fatally shot upon returning home. Gordley was dropped off at what he mistakenly thought was his house, and entered through the window which activated the alarm system. The homeowner, Donald Wilder II, saw Gordley on the stairs and shot him. Wilder is a veteran volunteer firefighter with the Sterling Fire Department who has been with the department for 20 years. The event is truly saddening and unfortunate. I feel bad for both sides, the Gordley's and Wilder. Losing a bright, 16 year old son is horrible, and so is having to live with the fact that you shot and killed someone, especially when it was by mistake.
As the U.S. continues to use drone strikes as a means to oust it's enemies, then more information should be publicly known about the program, or so the press says. Last week, John O. Brennan, the president's nominee as the Director of Central Intelligence, went through Congressional hearings, as the nomination and confirmation process requires. One of the issues that was heavily discussed was the use of unmanned aerial drones. Members of the press and other media have been trying for years to pry some information about the drone program out into the view of the public, but feel that the government is trying to cover it up. They cited a statistic, approximately 3500 people killed in 420 drone strikes. The fear is that there is not enough legislation and checks to keep someone from initiating a drone strike. A big reason behind this fear is that they targeted and killed Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a U.S. citizen in Yemen, without due process of law.
Personally, I feel that when it comes to a national security issue, the press should not get involved and the public should not have to know about government programs. The reason that people can't just get their hands on the information is because they can unknowingly and unwillingly compromise the security of a necessary program. There is a system and criteria that must be met before a drone strike is authorized. It takes weeks, months, even years, to locate a potential target and take action against it. Also, many drone strikes are used as military support, such as when a special operations group needs a truck full of enemy fighters gone in order to accomplish their objective. This article is from the New York Times website and is typical of the liberal stance that they take on these issues. T
The Oklahoma police arrested 18 year old Sammie Chavez, a student at Bartlesville High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Chavez was allegedly telling classmates about a plan to get other students into the auditorium where he could lock them in and shoot them. He also told his classmates about placing bombs in the school too. Chavez's arrest was on the same day of the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shootings. The police obtained the arrest warrant when a student reported what Chavez had said to a school administrator who contacted police. Police also looked over his computer search history and found that he had been researching guns, bombs, and information on the Columbine massacre. Chavez's trial is set for January 11th, and his bail is set at $1 Million.
Side Comment: This trend of shootings is alarming. Just go to the main sites for many newspapers and there will be multiple articles on how there was a shooting threat averted, or another school/theater/mall shooting that day. I feel that there should be armed plainclothes officers at all public schools, not just high schools, and that schools should be preparing, i.e. doing drills, to train the students and administrators on what to do in situations like these so that the death tolls aren't so high. Currently, there are code blue drills, which are only so effective when a gunman actually does break into a school. The amount of shootings is out of hand, and measures need to be taken in preventing these shootings from happening, and having meas
The New York Police Department has been criticized recently for police shootings and the ability of its officers to handle the stress of real world situations. Some officers say that this has been because of the lack of realistic training. Cadets for the New York Police Department go through the New York Police Academy. Included in the training is firearms training. Each officer must pass a certain accuracy score to move on. However, some say that because this is static shooting, which is where neither the shooter nor the target are moving, the officers are not getting the experience necessary to handle themselves properly when confronted with a difficult situation. Although the number of police shootings is low, 92 cases out of 23 million people encountered, each shooting is put under the microscope of the public eye. Some suggest realisting training by using scenario rooms and simulators. The commissioner hired an outside company, the RAND Corporation, to run an analysis and overview of their training. The report from the company criticized the efficiency of the training
After a successful drone strike, a senior Al Qaeda commander was killed. The U.S. has been flying drones over Afghanistan and Pakistan for years, surveilling and targeting members of terrorist networks. This strike took place in North Waziristan, a mountainous tribal land along the border of Afghanistan. Abdel Rehman al-Hussainan, the commander killed in the attack, was supposed to be the succesor to the current head of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. His wife was wounded and later died in a hospital, and his daughter was wounded as well. Hussainan was originally from Kuwait and had appeared in many Al Qaeda videos, but until recently his role in the organization was unknown.
As the conflict between the Syrian government and local rebels continues, the Syrian government has moved some of its chemical weapons to possibly strategic locations, however, it is unclear if they are preparing to use them in the fighting or if they are simply moving stockpiles around. In response to the movement of the weapons, the United States and other allies sent over another warning to President Bashar al-Asad, that if he uses these weapons or fails to keep them secure, then oustide nations will intervene directly with military forces. If this happens, the allied nations, ours included, have contingency plans to neutralize the chemical weapons threat, although our troops have not been raised to high alert yet. The Pentagon believes that it would take more than 75,000 troops to carry out this task. Politically, the United States has remained neutral by not arming the insurgent groups and not formally recognizing the opposition forces. An Israeli official says that Assad is probably bluffing to warn the allied coalition as the debates continued over possible direct involvement.