Ask questions. Blame not.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from the national news, Sunday morning talk shows, and quite a bit of social media today.  However, while I was away, it’s come out that the shooter’s mother was a gun collector, and she is now being made out to be a bad person for collecting the guns.

The way I look at it is this:  The mother being a gun collector, and the kids knowing how to use them are not an issues in itself.  Hell, I’ve shot a gun at a target.  The likely issue is this kid probably had mental health issues and wasn’t getting help for them because, well, our healthcare system sucks. It’s easier to buy a gun than it is to see a Psychologist in the US.  Look at the stats.  The majority of similar incidents were done by persons with untreated mental health issues. 

The vilifying of the mother is the wrong thing to be doing. We should instead be asking: if this kid had problems, why was he not able to see the specialists needed, AND HOW DO WE FIX THAT? A lot of people will frame this as just a debate on gun control.  While that is an important discussion to have, I think part of that needs to focus on the two questions I just asked.

Already, there is one mother who is working on opening this part of the discussion.  She penned a very heartbreaking and thought provoking piece called “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” in which she talks about the issues that she has with her own 13-year-old son, and how she was basically told that the only way to get him help is to have him charged with a crime so that he is sent to jail.

I highly suggest you take a few minutes and read what she wrote.

Why is Palatine not on your map Mother Jones?

The is an expansion of a post that I made on Facebook this morning after reading this article over at Mother Jones.  This is meant in no way to overshadow the tragedy in Newton, CT.  This is merely my response to Mother Jones, and making a case for why I think the worst thing to happen in my hometown ought to be included on their map of mass shootings.

It doesn’t fit Mother Jones’ criteria to be included on their map, as it was a robbery, but here’s another example of gun violence: the January 8, 1993 Brown’s Chicken Massacre in my hometown of Palatine, IL.

Seven people were killed, execution style, in the cooler of the restaurant, including the uncle of one of my friends at the time. I think that Mother Jones might want to include some of these kinds of incidents on their map. Palatine fits every one of their criteria, except the fact it was connected to a robbery.

And I’m not gonna lie… I can pretty much still picture the scene. We drove past it on the way to go sledding as it was a January morning, and well, it was all over TV, as well as the horrendously botched investigation that went along with it.

This map, below, is context to illustrate how close the Brown’s Chicken was to my mother’s house.


Here’s a link to it on WikiPedia if you want more information:

“Half Assed” Chili

So I made a “chili” recipe tonight.  It’s kinda adapted from something I found on the internet, plus my going “wow this is way too bland.”  Also: I call it “chili” because it’s really just a “throw together something that resembles chili” kind of recipe.

So here’s what I did:

Brown 1 lb of hamburger meat

Add 1 packet of chili seasoning


In a big pot mix the seasoned ground beef with……

2 cans of chili beans

2 cans of tomato sauce

1 can RO-TEL

1 small Onion

Hot Sauce to taste


Simmer for a while.


Serve with crushed Ritz & Cheese.

So there you have it.  My “half assed chili.”   Oh yeah, it freezes well 🙂