Re: Larry Brophy's 25 Dec 2012 letter.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

As you all know, rare indeed is it that I comment on a Letter to the Editor, but this is case where it must be done to turn what has become a near-lunatic rash of comments about school shootings into a rational discussion of facts.

I refer specifically to two comments:

"Over the past two years, more than 6,000 children have been killed by guns."

"The facts are simple: 83 Americans die every day from gun violence in America. Eight of those people are children or teenagers."

I do not know where those numbers came from, nor do I care. They don't even come close to the actual number of shootings where children are innocent victims.

Go read the FBI Uniform Crime Report, available free to anyone who wants to read the truth. It won't take you long to discover how many of the so-called "children" in those numbers are armed criminals shot by other equally armed criminals during a drug war. And that's not to mention all the other categories. To suggest that those numbers have any relationship whatsoever to school shootings is twisting the truth.

Suppose we do this?

Suppose we could go to the FBI, the most trusted and respected law enforcement agency in the nation, and see what they have to say about school shootings?

On the FBI site there are a number of documents which anyone trying to understand, and help to reduce, school shootings be downloaded can download. One of them is a "Threat Assessment Perspective," written by the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia 22135.

Let's go take a peek, okay?


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Okay, putting aside all ranting, raving, and misleading data, what sensible, non-political, expert opinions can we come up with?

The "Threat Assessment Perspective" I am going to quote from was developed by the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, based on 25 years of experience in threat assessment and on an in-depth review of 18 school shooting cases. It's good reading, makes a lot of sense, and is written calmly and factually.

Each of these is a direct quote. The first one is particularly on point at this sad moment in our national history.

"Adolescent violence in general, and homicides in particular, have decreased since l993, but that hopeful trend has been somewhat obscured in the nationwide wave of concern over school shootings of the type examined in NCAVC's study. This recent form of adolescent violence is in fact quite rare. But the sudden, senseless deaths of teenagers and teachers in the middle of a school day, for no comprehensible reason, is far more shocking and gets far more attention than the less extreme acts of violence that happen in schools every week."

Can't argue with that, can you? But wait till you read this:

"Under the intense spotlight of national media coverage, a tragedy such as the Columbine High School shooting spreads horror, shock, and fear to every corner of the country. Educators, mental health professionals, legislators, law enforcement officers, parents, students, and the rest of the public all share a sense of frustration and helplessness and a compulsion to take some quick action that can prevent similar incidents in the future. Though understandable, this impulse can lead communities to forget the wisdom of H. L. Mencken's aphorism: "For every problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong." In a knee-jerk reaction, communities may resort to inflexible, one-size-fits-all policies on preventing or reacting to violence."

And that's just about what's going on at the moment, isn't it?

An "inflexible, one-size-fits-all [policy] on preventing or reacting to violence."

What one-size fits all policy? Blame the guns! Blame the guns! Blame the guns!

But wait till you read what the FBI report lists under "Misinformation About School Shootings."


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Remember now; I am not saying all this. The FBI is. And listen to who they blame for all the flack we are hearing.

"Though school shootings are extensively covered in the news media, the information available in news reports is not necessarily complete, accurate, or balanced. News coverage is inherently hasty and often relies on sources who themselves have incomplete or inaccurate information. And journalists ordinarily do not have access to police and other investigative reports that may contain highly significant but confidential information about a school shooting incident or about the background, previous activities, and traits of the student or students who carried out the shooting."

And what they have to say about all the articles done by so-called experts using the the data from the media.

"To the extent that academics, researchers, and other specialists writing in professional publications base their articles on news accounts or other public sources, these too should be viewed with some reservations since they will also lack critical information available only in confidential school or law enforcement files."

And here is something you will immediately recognize from the reports of school shootings that you, yourself have read.

"News coverage magnifies a number of widespread but wrong or unverified impressions of school shooters. Among them are:

• School violence is an epidemic.

• All school shooters are alike.

• The school shooter is always a loner.

• School shootings are exclusively revenge motivated.

• Easy access to weapons is THE most significant risk factor.

• Unusual or aberrant behaviors, interests, hobbies, etc., are hallmarks of the student destined to become violent."

Now I ask you: How many times in recent days have you read media reports which focused on exactly those same "widespread but wrong or unverified impressions" of the shooter in the most recent shooting?

The conclusion?

John Lemon was absolutely right when he posted a string saying that the media was out of control and using this story for their own purposes.

Congratulations, John. You could not have been more right.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Read this one, folks. This is the straight truth, written by people who know what they are talking about. I loved that one quote they included. "For every problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong."


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

I'm going to go right back to the original statements at which I take offense.

"Over the past two years, more than 6,000 children have been killed by guns."

"The facts are simple: 83 Americans die every day from gun violence in America. Eight of those people are children or teenagers."

What I am trying to do here is to show you that wild numbers like that lump together all kinds of deaths, trying to make them all sound like they are gun-related. You've already seen part of what a 52 page, in-depth FBI report has to say about that. Now I'd like to show you a thorough study done the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Please take note of the very first message the U.S. Department of Justice included in its report.

"A Message From OJJDP"

"Homicides are always tragic, but our sympathies are heightened when the victim is a young child or adolescent. Thus, the deaths of juveniles raise understandable public concerns."

"Unfortunately, research statistics seldom claim the broad audience of the morning newspaper or the evening news."

Can you see what they are saying? They are saying that people are hammered by the media with shocking news, but "research statistics"--in other words, the truth--do not get the same attention.

How true. I'll now post the truth for you to read.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Here's are pertinent extracts from the U.S. Department of Justice report.

"Homicides of Children and Youth"

"Homicides of juveniles in the United States are unevenly distributed, both geographically and demographically. Rates are substantially higher for African American juveniles and for juveniles in certain jurisdictions. Yet, 85 percent of all U.S. counties had no homicides of juveniles in [one year of the study]."

"Victim Age Groups"


"The term "teenager," as used in this Bulletin, refers to youth ages 12 to 17."

"Compared with homicides of children younger than 12, homicides of teenagers more closely resemble and appear to be an extension of homicides of adults. Like homicides of adults, homicides of teenagers overwhelmingly involve a male victim (81 percent) killed by a male offender (95 percent) using a firearm (86 percent) or a knife or other object (10 percent). Unlike homicides of children under age 12, relatively few homicides of teenagers (9 percent) are committed by family members. The percentage of homicide victims murdered by other youth is much larger for teenagers than for victims younger than 12."

"Homicide statistics for [the year of the study] show that gangs and drugs remained a part of many killings of teens (gangs in 29 percent and drugs in 6 percent of homicides)."

(Next, please note how many of the victims in the figures quoted in the letter that started this discussion are ones who have nothing to do with schools.)

"Young Children"

"Often eclipsed by the public’s concern about the murder of teenagers is the fact that young children (i.e., those age 5 and younger) face an elevated risk of homicide, although under different conditions."

"FBI data show 700 homicide victims under age 6 in [the year of the study] (a rate of 2.6 per 100,000)."

"Two characteristics that particularly distinguish the homicides of young children from those of other juvenile victims are that homicides of young children are committed primarily by family members (71 percent) and by the common (68 percent) use of "personal weapons" (i.e., hands and feet) to batter, strangle, or suffocate victims."

"Young children at the highest risk of homicide are those under age 1. Homicides of children in this group include a certain number of infanticides in which recently born children are killed by relatives who do not want the child, are ill equipped to care for the child, or are suffering from a childbirth-related psychiatric disturbance."


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

(Please note, once again, how these facts support the simple truth that much of the numbers quoted in the letter are related to gangs and drugs.)

"Children in Middle Childhood"

"Middle childhood, ages 6 to 11, seems to be a time when children are relatively immune from the risk of homicide. The homicide rate is probably low for children in middle childhood because this period is a time of transition. Children ages 6 to 11 have outgrown some of the characteristics that make very young children vulnerable to lethal force, but they have not begun to engage in the activities that drive up the homicide rate for adolescents."

"They are usually under adult supervision and protection, and most have not yet gained access to weapons, drugs, and cars. Gang activity, while starting for some, has not yet become highly dangerous."

(Now, the study talks about the ways in which children are harmed.)

"Maltreatment Homicides"

"FBI data showed that 27 percent of all child victims of homicide (more than 500 children) were killed by a parent, stepparent, or other adult family member. Other data reported by child protection authorities showed 1,196 child maltreatment fatalities."

"Homicides by Youth"

"The phenomenon of juveniles killing other juveniles increased dramatically during the 1980s and early 1990s (900 victims in 1994 compared with 400 in 1980)."

"The predominant pattern in these killings is for teenagers to kill other teens (84 percent of victims in 1997 were teens versus 16 percent preteens) who are acquaintances (68 percent) by using a firearm."

(And read what the study says about school killings.)

"School Homicides"

"Media reports have created the impression that such killings are more commonplace than they actually are."

"The School-Associated Violent Deaths Study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that less than 1 percent of the children nationwide who were murdered in the first half of [the year of the study] were victims of school-associated murders (i.e. murders that occurred on school property, at a school-sponsored event, or on the way to or from school or a school-sponsored event)."

"Available data do not suggest that schools are particularly risky places for homicide victimization, nor do they show that schools are becoming increasingly risky."

There. Now you have read what rational minds conclude when they study the problem.

No hype, no tripe, just facts.

Thanks for reading all these "dull" statistics.


Pat Randall 4 years ago

childbirth related psychiatric disturbance. What in the h--- does that mean? Temporary insanity? Think about being 4'11" and your first child weighing 9lbs 5oz. 21 inches long. Now 6'2'' and still living. Not meant to be funny. I don't think anything except rape would cause anything to be wrong with the mothers mind. And there is always adoption. When the murder is commited by the father, what is his excuse?


Ronald Hamric 4 years ago

Tom, Thanks for bringing together all that data. I have a folder on my computer filled with those reports and other information, but I have found from experience that most would simply prefer to ignore such and go simply by their emotions, so I hesitate to even bring such into the debate. Sen. Dianne Feinstien is going to introduce a bill in January to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban and has even added a grandfather clause that requires currently owned firearms the SHE deems inappropriate be classified under the 1934 National Firearms Act requiring registration and all sorts of requirements for the current owners. Basically what she has proposed is national registration of all firearms and their owners. Interesting that such a move is precisely the first step that all dictators did before totally disarming their populace. I think if there is ANY chance that this piece of legislation passes, there will certainly be that "revolution" so many have been making noise about. And those on the Left can actually look people in the face and say "no-one wants to take away your right to keep and bear arms". They are liars by habit, but they should be very cautious about their proposed efforts to "infringe" upon the 2nd Amendment. We had a Civil war over much less than this. Her bill is available to be read on her website.


Pat Randall 4 years ago

Does anyone believe the "bad guys" are going to register the guns they own?


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

"childbirth related psychiatric disturbance."

Pat, some women have a problem after a birth. I'm sure you've heard of post-partum depression, but there's also a post-partum psychosis. As I see you know (and I don't), carrying a child for 9 months and giving birth isn't easy. When it happens it usually isn't the fault of the woman. It may be some kind of screwup in the hormones.

Thanks, Ron. The good thing about reports made by respected, well-informed, and non-political organizations like those three are that no one can argue with them. They just tell it like it is.

People who quote the kind of numbers in that letter very conveniently lump together all kinds of things. The way to handle them is to deflate their phony claims with statements of fact made by organizations like the U. S. Department of Justice.

As for Feinstein, she won't make any progress. Can't be done.

Off the subject, but interesting: I am reading an amazingly detailed book about Aaron Burr. I've always been impressed by the fact that the Federalists peacefully turned over the reigns of government to the Democratic-Republicans in 1801 (when Jefferson was elected) after having run the country since 1787. Now I find that, while it was peaceful, one reason for the "peace" was the fact that when the Federalists saw a chance to usurp the election of 1800 and were probably going to do it, thousands upon thousands of ordinary people began to mass in Washington. They came from all over the country. There was no question why they were there. It would have come to civil war if the Federalists had tried to invalidate the election. People were massing ahead of time to let the Federalists know what was coming.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

I didn't know the details of all this. History books just gloss over what happened, but the details are very interesting.

What happened, in case anyone is curious, is this: The Constitution had two flaws in it. One was that it failed to say that the "electors" (in the Electoral College) had to vote for the man who got the most votes. The other was that it did not differentiate between votes for President and Vice President; the candidate who got the most votes became President and the number two man became VP. (The idea was to have two opposite views in office to reduce chances of dictatorial actions.)

Well, both Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson received 73 votes. And, although everyone had intended that Jefferson be President, people tried to talk Burr into doing one of two things: Either stating that he supported Jefferson, or make a try for the top job. Burr, knowing that that the Federalists really wanted to overthrow the election, would make no comment whatsoever (smart man!).

You see, the people who had been in office for so long did not like Jefferson. They were aristocrats who did not see him as we do today. Although a wealthy Virginian, he was a man of the people and someone filled with wisdom. The Democratic-Republican party (first of all the political parties) was just being formed of "common" people like craftsmen, printers, small business owners, workers, and so on--not land-owners. Our founding fathers, though they yelled about democracy a lot, were at least partly made up of people who thought that the people were no more than a "mob" (their term, not mine), and incapable of self rule. They did not want the people to run the nation. They wanted it run by wealthy land-owners (as usual). The laws concerning who could vote usually required ownership of land; three quarters of people could not vote because of it. The federalists had even passed the Alien and Sedition acts, which put people in prison for voicing an opinion (but only if they voiced it against the Federalists), an act that was finally declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but not until long after this.

Anyway, the Federalists thought they could declare the election invalid because neither Jefferson nor Burr had the needed 9 states. Remember now, the electors voted any way they wanted; there were no rules. And so the tie was by no means an accident. But when the Federalists saw the people massing they changed their minds. After 33 tied ballots a few of them in southern states turned in blank ballots, which shifted the vote to Jefferson. And so, we had an election where the revolutionaries "peacefully" turned over power to the opposition.

The 12th Amendment fixed part of the problem; electors vote separately for President and VP, but the fact that they are not required to vote for the man who got the most votes has never been fixed.


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

Tom, thanks for the heads up on this. Good info.



Tom Garrett 4 years ago

You're welcome.

It's amazing how a few facts sometimes change the whole outlook on an issue, isn't it?


Pat Randall 4 years ago

Tom, In my opinion the women that have a problem after childbirth. They didn't want a baby, they want people to feel sorry for them for the pain they went thru. they are still rotten brats, don't want to take the responsibilty of taking care of a baby. Want attention and they are no longer the center of thier universe. I could go on and on. Sure new mothers have bad days and nights. It is hard work taking good care of a helpless baby. Well tough. Should have thought of that before getting pregnant.


Ronald Hamric 4 years ago

Pat, "Should have thought of that before getting pregnant." Wouldn't that simple consideration be the solution to so much of this nation's socio/political problems today? Never actually been prego myself, but have delivered a few at folks homes or in their vehicles. Thank you God! Men simply could not endure such, and I know that for a fact .But then I'm only speaking for myself. Other's milage may vary. In the real world, few men even think of a possible pregnancy when their hormones are raging, so unfortunately it falls to the women to give consideration to that possibility and make whatever attempt can be made to minimize the chances. After all, it will be the woman who goes through the physical challenges that befall them when conception takes place. The men are simply "along for the ride" ,if around at all in today's America. Never felt so helpless sitting beside my wife as she went through her labor pains. All we can do is hold their hand and try to say pleasant thoughts, as if those pleasant utterings could ever penetrate that veil of discomfort the wives are going through.


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

It is interesting that many of you speak of the right to keep and bear arms, but you seem to think that even weapons above a certain level should be prohibited. Aren’t you saying the same thing as those you contend with, but with just a bit higher threshold of acceptance?

Some of you are cognizant that the 2nd Amendment is about protecting the populace against its own government, professing that here. How then is it that you wish to limit the capabilities of that populace to defend itself?

As has been discussed before, the man who wanted to “fundamentally change America” is in the process of that now. We splutter and hem-haw about banning black rifles and clips, but aren’t cognizant that (God Forbid) we might be defending ourselves against tanks and troops wearing body armor and sporting M240 machine guns and M249 SAWs that can spit 250 rounds at you in a minute or less?

OK, so I am a member of that fringe element that none of you like to think of, or associate with. What is so different about me that makes people(Like me) so dis-likable? Is it that we point out an obvious ‘possibility’ that might never occur; but could? The reason I bring up notions like this is to perhaps forestall or even prevent such an obnoxious result.

Have you seen the personnel carriers that the Dept of Homeland Security is deploying? They look like soup-ed up Hum Vee’s but carry up to nine heavily armed men in full swat gear, with a mini-gun on top that can fire 6,000 rounds a minute.

They have purchased (over a 5 year period) over 70 million rounds of various sizes for supposed training purposes. Those include a high number of 00 buck shot shells, 9MM with hollow point bullets and tons of M5.56 and 7.62 rounds. Now, how many men would that train? Go to this website to see what the vehicle looks like. That website claims they’ve ordered 2,500 of them. I can’t verify that. And, they claim the rounds ordered are 1.2 Billion. I’ve personally read the purchase order to the 700MM, but it is possible that’s been bumped up since that order was placed, mid 2012.

Ostensibly, the personnel carriers are stationed in areas of high probability of terrorist attacks, but why? Remember Obama made the statement in Colorado Springs on July 2nd, 2008 that he wanted a national police force that was just as powerful as the military? Listen to that yourself at


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

Why does he envision “a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded…” He is talking about a Gestapo force. Have you ever envisioned a swat team mistakenly hitting your home? You’ve seen the videos. They bust down doors with weapons at eye level fingers on triggers, dressed in bullet proof armor. Imagine a security force as strong and well armed as our military that knocks on your door in the middle of the night, when you are most vulnerable, to take your guns. Do you doubt you’d be killed if you made any resistance? We say ‘Yeah, get the bums”, because it is crack-heads they are busting. But, what if it is your door, or your wall they hook a chain to and rip it from your house to gain what is ‘safe entry’ for them?

Hopefully, that never happens. But, looking back, could you ever imagine the U.S. as it is today? He will soon sign a treaty with the UN submitting us all to UN gun control. Then, it will be the law of our land, with constitutional rights bypassed. That Gestapo force could easily subdue us, pitting machine guns against a few hunting rifles and small capacity pistols. That is what the 2nd Amendment is for, not just so that we can hunt squirrels or defend our homes.

Look at one more thing, related to this. When our guns are restricted, imagine yourself in this fellow’s situation. It happened in 1999 in England under England’s restrictive gun laws. What a nightmare. T

In my estimation, and I hope I’m wrong, grenades and automatic weapons should be kept. That’s what National Guard armories supposedly are for. But, the reason it is called “National Guard” is with the stroke of a pen, neighbors of ours will become members of forces that do the will of the President. And, if he says take their guns away they are obligated to do that. If some stop to say “But we’re sworn to defend the constitution” do you think that will keep them from being ordered to obey? Few would refuse, for it could mean prison for them, if they did. So much for liberty.

We can hide our heads in the sand and pretend that the constitution still protects us, but we had the health care law forced down our throats, didn’t we? And, the most ‘conservative’ judge on the court voted for it, acknowledging it violated the constitution, but he did so to “Protect the court”, whatever that meant. If laws are so easily bent, and the constitution trampled, how then can it defend us from whatever over-handed action the government might take?

So, do we play at being serious about our 2nd Amendment, or do we actually take steps to defend it, so it can defend us?


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

OK, the system won't transmit. I'll type it to see if it takes then. If not, go to Wikipeida, and type in tony martin (farmer)



Ronald Hamric 4 years ago

Mr. Sims, I think you are "beating a dead horse" by posting your concerns. "The other side" have pretty much indicated that they find no useful purpose in continuing this debate, as neither side is going to change the views of the other. It was my hope we could keep a dialogue open as I think all of us would relish the thought that somehow we could find solutions that could prevent another Sandy Hook. I cannot say that I dispute any of what you have said, but by and large, those who have been posting their views on this particualr blog, on this particular subject, that are in line with yours, constitute the "choir" and it is to those you are preaching. In spite of all the data posted, that eminates from their very own government agencies, they still choose to rely on their emotions and "gut feelings" to support their positions. One simply is wasting energy trying to conduct a logical, factual discussion with such persons . I sense the only possible way to ever break such polarization is for one side to ultimately overwhelm and totally dominate the other. I believe we all know what that portends. Have a good day , Sir.


Pat Randall 4 years ago

Ronald, When I had my kids no one was allowed in the labor or delivery room except medical people. Now the whole neighborhood can go into them and visit. It should not be entirely the woman's responsibility for not getting pregnant just because a mans hormones are raging!

Now back to the subject that was started on here. Did you see where a lawsuit is trying to be started against the school in Conn. for the survivors?


Bernice Winandy 4 years ago

Pat, not only was no one allowed in the delivery room but medical personnel, no one could visit you after the delivery except the father. Also, when the babies were "out" no one could enter the "baby ward" except the mothers and medical personnel. Mothers had to wash their hands and the telephones were shut down while the babies were out.

Yeah, I saw the thing about the lawsuit. Geez, it never ends!


Kim Chittick 4 years ago

Yep, I saw that as well, $100 million dollar lawsuit against the state. Absurd!! Something that I thought was interesting, though, is that in Connecticut, one cannot sue the state unless they obtain permission from the court.

I pray that the court exercises common sense and denies this request.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

"Men simply could not endure such..."

Bill Cosby once said it just right. He said that if a man wants to feel what it's like to have a baby all he has to doo is reach down, grab his bottom lip, and stretch it over his head.

"...but have delivered a few at folks homes or in their vehicles."

Never thought about that, but now that I think about it I imagine there are a lot of people in your ex-business who've had that pleasure. There's an other reason I'm glad I decided on a different career. :-)

"few men even think of a possible pregnancy when their hormones are raging,"

Sentence was too long. Nine words too many.

"Aren’t you saying the same thing as those you contend with, but with just a bit higher threshold of acceptance?"

You make a good point, Allan. I think the people you are talking to here realize that. And you raise some good questions.

" How then is it that you wish to limit the capabilities of that populace to defend itself?"

That's something that the people have to decide. Whether there is to be a line drawn, and where, if anywhere, that line should be is a separate question, but what it comes down to in the end is the fact that we are supposed to rule ourselves, and what that means I guess is that we have to consider the question and decide it by either amending the 2nd Amendment or living by it.

One danger, as you clearly have perceived it, is the wild swings back and forth from the extreme right to the extreme left, placing us in danger of legislation crafted and passed by a legislature that does not at the time truly represent the people as a whole. Our founding fathers feared exactly that; they called it "majority rule." But they failed to do anything to stop it from happening.

"OK, so I am a member of that fringe element that none of you like to think of, or associate with."



Tom Garrett 4 years ago

"So, do we play at being serious about our 2nd Amendment, or do we actually take steps to defend it, so it can defend us?"

So far, although there are many, many laws in this country which are unconstitutional re the 2nd Amendment, we're not doing a bad job right now. Laws like those in Chicago and NYC, which have stood for 80 years to my personal knowledge, are being slapped down. The next step is to fix the a flaw in the Constitution with amendment which says this: "Legislative bodies shall make all laws affecting the people, and shall delegate that authority to no other body, agency, or group."

Why that amendment? The Constitution clearly intended that the power to make laws is retained by the people and their elected officials. However, over the centuries Congress, and other legislative bodies, have created agencies to operate certain aspects of the nation, such as the Forest Service, ATF, State Department, and so on, giving these agencies "regulatory" powers. But think about it; if ATF can say what length the barrel on your shotgun can be, and the Food and Drug Administration can say what you can put in your belly, then that is not regulating, it is lawmaking.

It is an end run around the intention of the Constitution, which was that we shall rule ourselves. Most of the intrusive regulations that we see do not come from Congress where they would have to fought over in the public eye; they are written by people whose names we've nevre even heard.

Allan, I noticed that there was a "t" at the beginning of the link that you put up. May not be anything wrong with that, but I went to wiki and copied the URL because I knew that while our links sometimes appear to be truncated the rest of the link is actually there. I'll put up the URL I copied, give it a shot, and come back.

(Okay, tested it, and it worked fine. By the way, Allan, the reason I was able to test the URL was because there's an edit button down below which lets you edit something, change it, and test it.) Thanks for the link.

"Now the whole neighborhood can go into them and visit."

Bringing every bug in the whole neighborhood. They wouldn't allow that if they thought about what happened to our second child. Born a little premature and light, Francis contracted an almost always fatal disease in a healthy baby (e-coli spinal megingitis). But an incredibly good pediatrician who recognized a disease while there were so fwe bugs in spinal fluid that he had to wait a few minutes to see one go by, the Air Force which spent an incredible amount of money in a civilian hospital, and a loving God, we would have lost our child.

"Did you see where a lawsuit is trying to be started against the school in Conn. for the survivors?

I pray that the court exercises common sense and denies this request."

Wild Bill Shakespeare: "Kill all the lawyers."

You now have my permission to agree.


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

Thanks for the info, Tom. I discovered the same thing, after I'd bumped the string a couple of times. (:-))

The more I read your posts, the greater respect I have. And, Amen regarding "a loving God" in relation to the sick child.

Trust everyone experiences peace in the New Year.

God Bless one and all.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Thanks, Allan.

That was 49 years ago, on November 6, 1963.

The Air Force had already sped Francis to the hospital and contracted for the professor of pediatrics at Salt Lake City/County Hospital to be his phsyician. When we got there it was heartbreaking to see a tiny little child with two intravenous tubes, one in a vein in his head and one in his left heel (antibiotics and feeding). The doctor was grim faced, but he said he would do "everything known to science to save your child."

But what he didn't say was what we heard. He did not say that there would be a recovery, just that he would keep in touch with us. We went every day, and three times on weekend days. We just sat there, held hands, and said a quiet prayer.

About the end of the third week the doctor greeted us with a smile. "It is only a matter of time now; the spinal fluid is clear and there are no signs of any secondary problems." Some time after six weeks we took home a healthy child. Christmas came that year, the happiest Christmas of my life.

Before that I had decided to leave the Air Force because Lolly was not yet a citizen and I worried about getting an overseas assignment where I could not take my family. Lolly is British, born on her grandfather's tea and coffee planation in southern India; we met in Pakistan, where she worked for Air France and I was a very small part of the U-2 program.

When it came time to re-up or get out, Lolly looked at me and said, "I know what you're thinking, and you're right."

I served from then until 1973 as the only means I had of paying the Air Force back for what it had done. Not only had they taken wonderful care of our child, but they didn't fool around; they evacuated the base hospital and fogged it down to ensure the e-coli was eradicated.

My next ten years worked out beautifully. I got to continue doing what I loved. We served at two U. S. bases and went overseas twice more, but both times to places where dependents were allowed. One of those tours was four years in England.

God is good.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


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