December 2012

A Crime and Justice Wish List for 2013

by Diane Dimond on December 31, 2012

Hopes and Wishes for 2013

Where do I even begin with my annual Wish List for the New Year? Because the fog of despair still hangs over us from the elementary school shooting in Connecticut – and because the list of individually meaningless gun control ideas continues to grow – I’m compelled to start there.

I fervently hope that we, as a nation, can come to an agreement on a whole package of anti-gun violence ideas to try to make this country safer. I hope the shrill hysterics – heard from both sides – can be tuned down in favor of common sense solutions.

To those who think all we need to do is get rid of assault rifles, 30-bullet magazines or those video games youngsters spend so many hours playing I say: Don’t kid yourself. After Newtown, Connecticut there was another gun massacre in Webster, New York. I seriously doubt the shooter, William Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for beating to death his grandmother with a hammer, had ever played a violent video game. [click to continue…]

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We Need to Shift Thinking on Mass Murder

by Diane Dimond on December 24, 2012

US-More Than 300 Million Guns

 

In a study just presented to congress the Congressional Research Service concludes, “the estimated total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States (is) approximately 310 million: 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns.” Think about that. That translates to about one firearm for every man, woman and child in America. Mind-boggling.

To my mind, however, it is not about the numbers so much as it is about the mental health of the person using the gun. Now, hold that thought a moment. [click to continue…]

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America Left This Marine Behind

by Diane Dimond on December 17, 2012

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jon Hamma

       Note: See UPDATES to this story below.

By the time you read this I earnestly hope that ex-Marine Lance Corporal Jon Hammar is a free man. I hope that our State Department has stepped up to help this military hero in his time of need.

I hope that politicians in his parent’s home state of Florida have tossed their weight around enough to end the madness that has enveloped young Hammar’s life.

I’m not optimistic.

For almost four months 23 year old Hammar has been held in a notoriously dangerous prison in Matamoros, Mexico on a [click to continue…]

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Pregnancy in America Not So Jolly Good

by Diane Dimond on December 10, 2012

Preggers Kate – Wicked Bad Morning Sickness

Well, well, well. Kate Middleton, a.k.a. the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting a baby! Her husband, Prince William is reported to be ecstatic. The people of Great Britain are utterly delighted that the Royal Family will be soon have a new heir. And they are sending up a collective prayer that the expectant mother will soon get over a bad case of hyperemesis gravidarum (a sort of extra wicked morning sickness) which caused Kate to be hospitalized.

Isn’t it sweet that a whole country is in such a jolly good mood since the baby news was announced! It seems the royal pregnancy is being celebrated all over the world.

Let’s compare and contrast.

The pampered Duchess won’t have to worry about health insurance, hospital costs or missing a paycheck during her pregnancy. Nope, she will be giving birth to the third in line for the royal throne so all the nuisance of medical paperwork and bills will be automatically taken care of by the British government. [click to continue…]

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A Bullet Free Sky

by Diane Dimond on December 3, 2012

I want to introduce you to a truly thankful man. His name is Richard Smeraldo of Clearwater, Florida. After you hear his story, I promise, you will never forget it.

The Bullet’s Path Marks His Face

Richard, a happy-go-lucky 74, has always loved fireworks so this past July 4th he, his wife and a female friend went to a fireworks show at a nearby community, ironically, called Safety Harbor. There, sitting in an open field among 16,000 others, including children and their families, Smeraldo looked up into the night sky and ooh’ed and ahh’ed with delight.

“It happened at a time when the fireworks had paused,” he told me at a recent dinner where we met. “It was right before the big finale. I thought I was hit with a baseball bat or a big rock … it was like something big just hit my nose.”

Smeraldo suddenly realized he was, “bleeding all over the place.” And, his friend sitting on the grass in front of him also cried out in pain. She felt as though something had violently poked her in the back. [click to continue…]

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