Health and safety madness
When the chief starter at the London Olympics voluntarily agreed to fire his pistol to start the races at a school sports day near his residence, parents thought it was a wonderful treat for their children, but they did not count on the intervention of health and safety officials from their local council, The Telegraph reported.
The local council ruled that the noise from Alan Bell’s starting pistol would be too frightening for the youngsters.
Bizarrely, they suggested playing a recording of a starting pistol on an iPod before agreeing to let Bell start the races by sounding a klaxon.
Parents of the children later accused the council of “tying themselves in knots” over “ridiculous” health and safety rules.
“Anyone who believes they would be frightened by a starting pistol has never experienced the noise at a typical three-year-old’s birthday party,” one parent said according to the British newspaper.
The president of the Pitreavie Amateur Athletics Club in Dunfermline, said the decision was “health and safety gone mad.”
Woodchucks chuck flags
Eastern woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, have a reputation for being troublesome, but an Associated Press and Register-Star story out of Hudson, NY, about 30 miles south of Albany, raises a new varmint banner.
Struck by a rash of approximately 75 flag thefts from Civil War graves in the days leading up to Independence Day, angry local authorities used cameras to identify the thieves.
What the cameras recorded was not two-footed varmints but woodchucks in and near the cemetery who were snatching the flags and squirreling them away in their burrows.
Mayor Bill Hallenbeck reportedly explained that some flags are made with a coating that has been known to attract woodchucks.
Bullet hits fireworks watcher
A Florida man watching Fourth of July fireworks was injured when he was struck by a falling bullet, the
Tampa Bay News reported.
Pinellas County deputies say Richard John Smeraldo was watching fireworks with his wife and friends near the shoreline at the Safety Harbor Marina when something struck him in the face.
Smeraldo at first thought he was struck by a rock, until a friend found the bullet on the blanket next to her. He was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, and was released after receiving stitches.
Investigators say the bullet apparently went through the bill of Smeraldo’s cap, into the bridge of his nose. From there it went out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited through his lower chin. It then struck a medallion that was worn around his neck, bounced off the back of his friend and landed onto the blanket.
Deputies are investigating, but so far, no arrests have been made.
The dark side of anti-gunners
Whenever TGM has delved into the personal history of prominent anti-gunners evidence of a dark side to their personalities has provided an important clue to their fear of firearms.
That certainly was true in the case of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) because of her unfortunate history with the murder of San Francisco Mayor Harvey Milk and her connection to the architect of the Jonestown mass suicide. Sarah Brady once reported of being trapped in a vehicle with her child while an unauthorized firearm was present. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he would support reducing the age at which young people could use firearms under supervision because he didn’t think his own child was mature enough.
And now we see another celebrity anti-gunner who has a personal dark side that may explain his opposition to private gun ownership.
Actor Alec Baldwin in June was reported by several media outlets to have shoved and slugged a New York Daily News photographer for snapping his picture outside the city’s Marriage License Bureau.
“The volatile ‘30 Rock’ star popped lensman Marcus Santos once in the face outside the Worth St. office after apparently obtaining a license to wed fiancee Hilaria Thomas,” the Daily News reported.
Santos was standing innocently with two other photographers when Baldwin, 54, approached with an angry glare, the newspaper reported.
Other media outlets such as CNN and ABC took note of the incident while calling attention to several other occasions where Baldwin ran afoul of public norms, including the time we was ejected from an airplane for refusing to shut off his phone while the plane was readying for a takeoff.
Baldwin, through his agent, denied punching the photographer and even suggested that he might file a suit against the newspaper.
A friend of TGM who recalled once working out in the same NYC boxing gym with Baldwin, told us “the actor impressed me then as a very angry guy who acted on that hostility regularly and with little restraint.
“I had no doubt he would use a gun during some tirades I saw if he had one,” TGM’s source said. “His progressive political beliefs aside, maybe he’s so rabidly against Second Amendment rights because he is projecting his own lack of self-control onto others,” he concluded.