Randy Smith: A Society Torn Apart

Friday, April 19, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

The past few days have not been good ones in our country. The despicable bombing at the Boston Marathon, followed a couple of days later by the senate vote that killed President Obama’s bill that would have made it tougher for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns. Many tears were shed on both fronts and rightly so.

A few times I have used this column or blog to make my opinion known on topics other than sports. After all, I am a tax paying citizen of our wonderful country; and I have been a journalist for more than forty years. Today, I am taking that opportunity once again.

The Boston Marathon has been a truly bright shining star in our country for 117 years. 117 years without a major disturbance, until this week. Running enthusiasts from all over the world converged in Boston to run the twenty-six mile course in what is no doubt, the world’s most famous marathon. Bombs planted near the finish line, exploded Monday afternoon, killing three people and injuring 170 more. Among the three killed was an eight year old little boy.  The FBI may be closing in on two men they feel are responsible, and surprisingly, neither man looks to be foreign. They look like average, every day, American young men. Both wore ball caps; one black and one white. They each appeared to have a back pack in the video, and FBI investigators say they have video of one of the suspects dropping his back pack near the finish line, just moments before the explosion.

I have overheard several people say, “What is happening……? What is wrong with people today?” To answer those questions, I would say, “This is nothing new.” Remember the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995? (eighteen years ago today) 168 people died when Timothy McVeigh parked a truck loaded with explosives just outside the Federal Office Building. Terrorism, both foreign and domestic has been around for years and sadly, will continue to be around. As long as fear and hate mongers are alive, we will be forced to live with it. Bombings can happen anywhere, as a little more than a year after the disaster in Oklahoma City, a bomb exploded in Atlanta, Georgia at the 1996 Summer Olympics, killing several and injuring many more.

Political statements fueled simply by hate, is the reason. Points made by murdering innocent people, is a way to gain notoriety for your cause. White supremacist groups, urban gangs, Al-Quada, and others are all the same; they care nothing at all for the value of human life.  

The Senate vote on Wednesday of this week that voted down the President’s gun law changes was the result of a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by the conservative National Rifle Association. Even though the Senate has an edge in Democrats, enough of them voted against their party and the bill was defeated. The fact that the bill was defeated was not that important. The importance can be found in the fact that more lawmakers chose to do nothing at all, following the shooting deaths of twenty-seven children at Sandy Hook Elementary school last November. Doing nothing at all seems to be the norm for our legislators on Capitol hill.

Even though the terrible incidents I’ve talked about are nothing new, it appears to me that the basic differences in our society are growing further apart. A society that can no longer work problems out and solve issues can be more terroristic than all the white supremacists, gang members and al-quada combined. It could result in our society being torn apart.   


rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Tuesday Prep Volleyball Roundup

Notre Dame beat CCS 25-19, 29-27, 25-22 Notre Dame Stats: Claire Vander Werf - 9 kills, 1 ace, 7 digs Ragen Dobson - 1 kill, 38 assists, 1 ace, 3 digs, 3 blocks Kyla Mitchell - 4 kills, 3 aces, 2 digs, 2 blocks Kaylee Stone - 10 kills, 1 ace, 11 digs Ally Mildenberger - 10 digs Tess Scobey - 8 kills, 3 blocks Keri Klassen - 11 digs Sarah Desai - 1 block ... (click for more)

Covenant Tops Sewannee 2-1 In Season Opener

 In the opening match of the 2015 season, the Covenant men's soccer team defeated Sewanee 2-1 on Tuesday evening at Scotland Yard with two goals in the first half. Covenant goes to 1-0 on the year, while Sewanee drops to 0-1 overall. The match picked up very quickly as senior Noah Wiersema scored barely two minutes into the match from just inside the box. In the 32nd ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Unsecured Creditors Committee Asks Trustee Be Appointed For Fort Oglethorpe Hospital; Asks Bankruptcy Not Be Dismissed

The Unsecured Creditors Committee of Hutcheson Medical Center is opposing a motion by U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt for a bankruptcy judge to dismiss the bankruptcy for the financially-ailing Fort Oglethorpe hospital.   Instead, the group is asking Judge Paul Bonapfel to appoint a trustee to oversee the Hutcheson finances. In a 16-page motion, the committee said if the bankruptcy ... (click for more)

Developer Says CARTA To Lease 75 Parking Spaces At Renaissance Park Lot For New $14 Million Apartments

A member of the Vision Hospitality Group said Tuesday that CARTA plans to lease 75 spaces at the public parking lot by Renaissance Park for its planned $14 million apartment complex. Drew Hibbard, vice president of finance and investments, told members of the North Chattanooga Council of the Chamber of Commerce that it will be under a 50-year lease with the transit group that ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat - And Response (2)

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Barners Trounce Who?

There is a website known as Grammarly that just completed a profound study. An automated proof-reading company (who I hope never finds out about me) collected 100 comments that each included over 50 words from the comment blogs of the nation’s preseason Top 25 college football teams. Then they fed them into the company’s huge algorithm computer and checked each fan base for punctuation, ... (click for more)