View From the Editor’s Desk: A Family Independence Day, 1/6 Trolls, Another Shooting

The Fourth

Hope your Fourth was incredible! I had the most wonderful Independence Day in my corner of the world during the long holiday weekend where my husband and I celebrated with my youngest sister and her husband and daughter, and both our kids and their spouses. They rolled in on Friday and left Tuesday … and we packed a lifetime of living into those warm summer days beginning with make-your-own personal pizzas on the grill Friday evening.

Throughout the weekend we grilled the usual American food of summer, churned homemade peach ice cream with fresh Georgia peaches (a salute to our Atlanta native son-in-law), enjoyed the fresh fruits and veggies of summer, went blueberry picking at Hobbit Hill Farm in Rockingham County, shopped our usual fireworks display at Kimco in Fishersville …

… played Yardzee (Yahtzee for the yard complete with oversized wooden dice), played endless board games, sat in the breeze under the trees in the backyard, and of course we celebrated the Fourth with our own fireworks show (no traffic, no parking problems, no crowd). Perfect!

On Wednesday the house was quiet and I was back at the Bearing Drift desk after taking off four days. I never even turned on the computer during that time which is unusual for me. Family was far more important … the quiet conversations, the laughter, the comraderie, the hugs between parents and children. Hold on to those you love. Tomorrow is not promised.

The January 6 Committee

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has hit a nerve. The hearing on June 28 with star witness Cassidy Hutchinson revealed bombshell testimony from behind the scenes on January 6. Ms. Hutchinson, who worked closely in the highest ranks of the Trump White House, was in a position to have first-hand knowledge of what occurred on that dark day in American history.

Apparently, Ms. Hutchinson hit a nerve in MAGA land because the trolls have come out of the woodwork and are all over social media spreading their indignant lies. No links to sources, just their “knowledge” of how this is not true information from Ms. Hutchinson. Their creds to have knowledge of this information are curiously missing, and of course they are all anonymous.

After that hard-hitting 1/6 hearing, colleague D.J. McGuire wrote, January 6 Was An Attempted Coup, with links to research that backs up his facts. I updated a post I wrote before the January 6 hearings, The Danger of Ignoring the 1/6 Capitol Attack – Updated, with numerous background links. Both posts had some old usual commenters hopping mad. Rational debate is free of passion and so there is no use in responding to these unnamed keyboard jockeys.

Cassidy Hutchinson was a credible witness. The bullying and intimidation by anonymous characters is uncalled for. She stood up and testified when just about every Republican around her refused. It sounds as if we may be hearing from others because word has come out that more potential witnesses contacted the 1/6 Committee after Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony. The dots are being connected….

Fourth of July mass shooting

Another day in America, another shooting. Another day in America, another shooting. Another day in America, another shooting.

Sure, anti-gun people will grasp onto each and every incident to prove their points.


There comes a point when rational people begin to question what in the hell is happening in America when the celebratory air of an Independence Day parade in Illinois is shattered by the sound of AR-15 gunshots that kill seven and leave 50 injured. The gunman was 21 …

… or when an elementary school in Texas is invaded by an 18-year-old gunman who has over an hour in a classroom with young students to mow down 19 of them and two teachers with an AR-15 …

… and when 10 patrons of a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, are shot dead in the parking lot by an 18-year-old gunman just 10 days before the Texas school shooting.

Those are the most well-known recent gun tragedies. Meanwhile, stats show that dozens of lesser-known shootings are taking place on an almost daily basis.

A note about the July 4th Illinois shooting: Law enforcement has learned the shooter left the scene of the parade and drove two-and-a-half hours northwest to Madison, Wisconsin, where he searched for another site to execute more innocent people but was unable to find a place suitable to him. As bad as Monday was, it could have been much worse if the same shooter had pulled off two mass shootings on the same day – America’s birthday.

Also, more news that broke Wednesday afternoon: An apparent planned mass shooting for July 4 at Richmond’s Dogwood Dell during its Independence Day festivities was averted when a citizen overheard plans and called a police tip line that alerted officers who were able to find the men along with two assault rifles, a handgun, and over 200 rounds of ammunition. If their plan had not been interrupted, the Fourth of July would have been even bloodier for the nation.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think we’re there when it comes to guns.

I’ve written before about receiving my National Rifle Association (NRA) gun safety card through my Chesterfield County public school when I was 12-ish. I grew up around guns, my dad was a hunter, I learned to shoot when young, and I have a healthy respect for the danger of such a powerful weapon.

For years my husband and I belonged to the NRA but about a decade ago we ended our membership as President George H.W. Bush had done in 1995. For us, when Columbine High School in Colorado had a horrific mass shooting in 1999 by two disturbed students who killed 13 students in addition to the two shooters, we began paying closer attention.

For the next decade we watched as more mass shootings occurred and calls became louder for stricter gun safety laws but my Republican party was dead set against it. Finally, a decade ago when it was impossible to even talk with many fellow Republicans about the possibility of even considering changes in the laws, we tore up our NRA membership and never looked back.

That simple act in no way made any change except for us. The shootings have continued, the deaths have climbed, and there is nowhere safe from gun violence in this country – movie theater, outdoor music festival, Walmart, churches, synagogues, night club, college campuses, schools, McDonald’s, grocery stores, even a military base. Here are mass shootings by state.

We’re in unsettled times worldwide so the incessant U.S. gun violence is unsettling. The first time I remember hearing of conservatives buying endless supplies of guns and ammo was when Barack Obama became president. When I asked why anyone needed that many guns or to stockpile that much ammo, I was told it was to be able to defend against the government. Sounded paranoid to me.

And so here we are: A Partial List of Mass Shootings in 2022.

Be well….


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