A Stones Throw 2-14-13

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I have questions today. No answers – just questions.

Last week I commented on the gun advocates’ argument that the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives American citizens the inalienable right to bear arms. If this is true, why do many of these same people agree there should be some restrictions, but not as many as our President wants?

After reading that several Tri-State sheriffs have publicly stated they would not enforce new gun laws, I read the constitution and could not find the clause that allows County Sheriffs the right to disregard those laws they do not agree with. I thought Sheriffs were elected to uphold the law – not to disregard it.

Am I wrong?

These sheriffs claim they will not have to support gun laws since these laws would be in violation of the Constitution.

Does this mean these same sheriffs will support those who claim the First Amendment gives American citizens the inalienable right of Freedom of Speech? In other words, is it okay to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater? Is it okay to use the foulest of language on radio and television – and in the classroom? Is it okay to advocate violence against our government, our industries, and our citizens?

I hope not.

I wonder if those who proclaim the separation of “church and state” is both literal and exclusive refuse to carry, spend, or accept United States currency that boldly states “In God We Trust?”

If the framers of our Constitution wanted the separation between church and state to be complete and exclusive, why have the President place his hand on a Bible when swearing in for office? Why have a witness at a trial place his hand on the Bible when he “swears to tell the truth?”

And, why even have a court system if the whole premise of ensuring honesty is invalid?

Why do we have a Supreme Court to determine what is constitutional and what is not? Why not just let each town and county make its own decisions?

Wait – isn’t that what happened in the “lawless west” of the 1800s?

*

Speaking of courts. I wonder if Jodi Arias will be the next O.J. Simpson. The next Casey Anthony. Jodi killed her boyfriend in self-defense. She stabbed him 27 times. She admits it. She almost decapitated him when she slit his throat. She admits it. Then, she shot him in the head.

She admits this too.

But it was all in self-defense.

Really?

When I listen to court experts I hear several former and current defense attorneys claiming the defense is making a strong case for self -defense.

Really?

*

I read last week that Lance Armstrong is the most hated athlete in America.

Why?

I understand he lied about using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). But – at the same time he helped raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research – including donating a lot of his own money to cancer research.

So – he used PEDS while winning seven bicycle races where many – if not most – of the other top riders also used PEDS. He lied about the use of PEDS while raising millions of dollars for cancer research.

As a result he is the most hated athlete in America.

And Ray Lewis is one of the most loved.

Lewis just ended a 17 year NFL career as one of the all-time best linebackers ever to play the game. He played with fierce emotion. He became an NFL icon. Fans and media alike love and respect him?

Why?

This is the same Ray Lewis who might have been involved in a night-club shooting that killed two people. Unlike O.J. Simpson who was found not-guilty, Lewis had his murder charges dropped when he agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice.

No one was ever convicted of those murders, but the fact Lewis plead guilty to obstruction indicates he was somewhere on the fringe, if not in the middle, of the shootings.

Then, in an effort to rebuild his image, Lewis started the “Ray Lewis Foundation.”

I don’t know what the Ray Lewis Foundation supported. It certainly didn’t support tax or reporting laws. (Maybe this was because Lewis considered himself to be the “sheriff” of the Baltimore Ravens defense.) In any event, the government shut the Lewis foundation down for failure to submit required reports for three continuous years.

Not to worry. Lewis just started a new foundation – this time called the Ray Lewis Family Foundation.

Recent reports indicate that even though Ray Lewis has made tens of millions of dollars during his career, he has not contributed one cent to his own charitable foundation.

Not one cent.

I wonder why not?

Add to this, throughout his career there have been many questions whether he did or did not use PEDs either to enhance his play or to quicken his recovery from injury.

Lewis has steadfastly denied he has ever used PEDS.

I believe him.

Of course, I believed Lance Armstrong when he denied using PEDS.

Still, the question remains. How can one man who used PEDS and lied about it while raising tens of millions of dollars for cancer research be the most hated athlete in America while another man who admittedly was peripherally, if not actively, involved in two murders and, who while denying his own use of PEDS, has started two charitable foundations with questionable motives at best, be revered?

While I contemplate the answers to these questions, I have one solace – Pitchers and Catchers reported to Spring Training last Tuesday. Let the real games begin – I’ll let someone else answer the questions,

– Mike Cooney