So last week I wrote about how Mike’s hearing aids were blasting into his ears like nobody’s business. He hung in there with them until he got back to the audiologist a couple of days ago. She took pity on him and readjusted them. He thinks they are just about right now. It’ll take a few days to see if he is really hearing Judy or if she has to repeat herself as before. We will adjust as necessary, and life will go on. Mike says that one thing for certain is that the birds outside are overjoyed. As soon as he puts in his hearing aids they start singing. So he knows they are happy about his new hearing aids.
I have never been so proud of the teenagers as I am right now. Quite frankly, usually they seem to be a bunch of dumb kids who are only interested in themselves and what their friends have to say on social media. But after the latest school shooting in Florida, some of the kids in Florida who survived the incident became very outspoken about gun control and the senseless violence that is perpetrated by people with high-powered semi- automatic weapons. They have tapped into a lot of energy that is present in our country that is mobilizing against gun violence. That the shooters in these incidents are mentally unbalanced goes without saying. But as we noted in a recent post (The Mark of Cain, posted February 25, 2018), the mentally ill we always will have with us. We just don’t want them to have access to these firearms. The opponents of restricting access to these weapons to mentally unwell persons make Second Amendment arguments and personal liberty arguments, as well as stating that “the liberals” want to take everyone’s guns away from them. The only ones who talk about taking guns away from people are the gun lobby who says that the liberals want to take guns away from people. Oh, and of course, there is Spoiled Donald who said that we should take away the guns from mentally ill people first and invoke due process afterwards. But very few people take what he says seriously, and those who do, shouldn’t.
If I can jump from one soapbox to another right now, I want to hold forth about distracted drivers. You may recall Snowball whom I mentioned in the post called “Possum”, posted on February 19 of 2017. I was over near his house the other day. He lives (lived) on the main road through our subdivision, Meadows Trace. There is a fair amount of traffic there, and a number of the drivers regard the speed limit as a suggestion rather than a regulation. I hate to tell you what I saw but I’m going to. Snowball, a beautiful fluffy white Persian male cat, had found a patch of sun to stretch out in. Unfortunately, it was right in the middle of Meadows Trace. Along came a driver in an SUV, and ran right over Snowball almost before he even saw it coming. He had just noticed the car and started to react when the right front tire got him. He was nailed by the back tires as well. The driver stopped and got out. It was a young woman I would guess in her mid-20s who had a small child with her who remained in the car seat. Mrs. Greenblatt came running out of the house crying and screaming “Snowball, my Snowball!” At least it was quick. He was already gone and I don’t think he felt a thing. The young woman got a blanket out of her car and covered Snowball with it. She tried to comfort Mrs. Greenblatt just saying over and over again, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry”. It was just plain awful. Mrs. Greenblatt took the blanket and wrapped Snowball up in it. The young woman asked her if she wanted her to stay with her for a while, but Mrs. Greenblatt said, “No, you have your little boy with you, you just go on. I’ll call my husband and he’ll come home.” So she went on into the house with Snowball wrapped in this blanket, and the woman stood there in a state of shock. She got out her phone and called her husband. I guess he was not able to come over right then. He must have been at work or something. I heard her tell him that she had been talking on the phone when she ran over Snowball with her car. I guess she was holding the phone according to what I heard her tell him. I know Mike and Judy both have hands-free phone devices when they’re driving. Judy never talks on the phone when she drives, even so. She is afraid of getting distracted. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious. It’s one of my best traits, and part of why I’m still alive. You’ll never catch me sunning myself in the middle of the street like Snowball was doing or like Nevermore does. You know, I’ve talked about Nevermore before. He is the black dog that lives on our street and who came in to visit us one year when we opened the door for Elijah the Prophet during our Passover Seder.
Not to get off track, but Passover is coming up this coming week. Mike was invited to speak at a nearby Missionary Baptist Church by his friend, Rev. Larry, this past week. I of course, didn’t go, but Judy and Michelle did. So did one of Mike’s friends, Steve, who works with him. I’ll try to talk Mike into letting me post his talk. His topic was the relationship between Passover and Easter. Nothing to interest a cat, but I heard that the church folks enjoyed it. You might enjoy it as well, but if it’s not your cup of tea, you don’t have to read it.
So, when I got home later that evening I heard Mike and Judy talking about Snowball having been killed by a distracted driver. They were pretty upset about it. Judy made some chicken soup and they took it over to the Greenblatt’s and stayed for a few minutes. I guess you can make a Shiva visit for a cat. I heard them talking again later about the pending bill in the Georgia legislature to address the problem of people talking on the phone while they’re driving. The bill is regulating the use of the phone, not banning it. Texting while driving is already illegal in Georgia. The argument in favor of the legislation has to do with the increase in motor vehicle related deaths that have occurred in Georgia the past 3 years. It’s quite dramatic, and it is directly correlated to the increase in use of mobile devices by people while driving. I don’t think they keep statistics about how many cats and dogs are getting killed by distracted drivers, but I guarantee you that number has gone up as well. With current technology there is no excuse for anybody having to hold the phone in their hand to talk while they are driving. The argument against the legislation is a personal liberty argument. Some people think the government shouldn’t infringe on the conduct of their lives, even if what they do endangers the lives of other people, dogs, or cats. The personal liberty argument, carried to its logical conclusion, would have us eliminate laws against drunk driving, hollering “fire” in a crowded theater, or selling firearms to people with a history of mental illness.
Back to that again. Mike thinks that in the short run, no real change will happen with gun control legislation. The NRA will throw millions of dollars around, and the conservatives will assume that the kids will get bored and discouraged and go back to their video games. In Mike’s talk this week at the church he said that we have experienced a predictable backlash in this country to the election of a black president. He said that it’s a temporary thing and that it can’t and won’t last. I think were already seeing a backlash against the backlash. And I think that it’s the women and the young people in this country who are leading the way. It will be interesting to watch.