Month: October 2017

Alabamian, WWI veteran and Medal of Honor recipient remembered in Birmingham

It’s been exactly 100-years since Alabama-native Osmond Kelly Ingram was killed during a German U-boat attack in the North Atlantic on October 15, 1917, becoming our nation’s first enlisted serviceman to die in World War I. And today Alabama paused to remember her native son’s service, to honor his sacrifice, and to reflect upon the valor he demonstrated during the attack ... valor that was posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 668, which is named in Ingram’s honor, gathered this morning in the downtown Birmingham park that also bears his name to mark the solemn anniversary. The event also kicks-off the approach to the first-in-the-nation National Veterans Day Parade, held on November 11th in downtown Birmingham. This is the 70th anniversary of the parade, which was started in 1947 by an Alabama veteran of World War II who wanted a celebration to honor all veterans. They chose to hold the parade on November 11th, then known as Armistice Day – the anniversary of the end of World War I. More than 117,000 American servicemembers, including more than 2,000 from Alabama, were killed in World War I. But for Mrs. Betty Ingram of Pratt City, one sailor mattered more than all of the others. “My boy, my boy,” she said through sobs after learning her 30-year old son had been killed, according to an October 18, 1917 edition of the Birmingham Age-Herald. Ingram first enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1903, when…

Gun control won’t stop what’s to blame for the Las Vegas massacre

[caption id="attachment_47808" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Luca Signorelli, Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist, 1499-1502, fresco, Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto[/caption] Everybody’s pointing fingers. Many blame guns. Others blame mental illness. Some blame the glorified violence in our videogames, film, and television. And a few blame everyone and everything but the shooter himself. But what if the real architect behind the Las Vegas massacre isn’t someone we can hold accountable? What if the real weapon isn’t something we could control with a thousand new laws? And what if the motive behind the massacre was something most Americans don’t believe exists in the first place? Bottom line up front: Evil is more than just a behavior. It’s a real presence at work in the world, and it likely captured the 64-year-old Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, a long time ago. “He was a sick man,” said President Donald Trump after the shooting. “We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.” Most people agree with the president in assuming Paddock must have been an insane psychopath, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting that claim. The mass shootings at the elementary school in Connecticut, at the movie theater in Colorado, during the congresswoman’s event in Arizona, and at Virginia Tech all share a common characteristic: all four shooters had been diagnosed as mentally ill. But from all accounts, Paddock wasn’t insane, at least not certifiably, and most killers aren’t either. Otherwise, our justice system wouldn’t hold them personally responsible for their actions.…