Missing my friend, Sheriff Sean Renfro

Yesterday, one of my friends was killed.  I’m heartbroken.  Sean Renfro, a 15 year veteran Sergeant with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s department died while helping others.  That was Sean.  I’d love to say my first heartache was with my thoughts of his family, but my first thoughts were of my own loss.

Sean was off duty at the time.  He could have just headed home, but he didn’t, and that wasn’t who Sean was.  He stopped to help direct traffic after seeing an accident on a slushy, snowy, dangerous section of Highway 285 near Conifer, Colorado.

Sean leaves behind his wife, 4 children, and Mom…along with more people who are shattered than he would have imagined.  Sadly, most of us don’t know how many people love us until we aren’t there to witness the outpouring of affection.  That is one lesson that perhaps, we can all learn from this…tell people they matter to you WHILE THEY ARE STILL HERE.

One of my great memories is sitting around a fire pit in his driveway, sipping Scotch, smoking cigars with Sean and friends.  Can’t recall what we chatted about, but recall it being so comfortable, easy and just a great evening spent among friends.

As I’ve spent the evening dealing with my own feelings of missing my friend, my thoughts turn to the family.  I, along with MANY others, want to help…but don’t know how.  His Mom, who lost her husband last January, what can be said/done?  I don’t know.  His wife, I can’t imagine the hole left in her heart and life.  His kids, while they surely will live with the knowledge that their father was a great, selfless man, have a hole left that is seemingly too big to ever fill.

In these times, police are being protested, blamed, and disrespected and the target of so much misplaced anger.  I must assume that these officers (or at least the vast majority) are good people who sincerely want to help others…that it’s not a job, but more of a mission.  Frankly, I’m a bit pissed off that the national media spends endless hours on the death of “an unarmed black teen” (who just happened to have robbed a store, abused the store’s owner, was high, had drugs on him, and who charged and challenged an officer) while stories of officers like Sean will surely be sparse and short lived.

Keep in mind that Sean was OFF DUTY and STILL STOPPED to help fellow citizens.  How is that not a trait to be admired and celebrated?  I will miss Sean tremendously.  As I remember him, I will always remember his smile, his love for his family, his service to others and that I would consider both his life and death to be incredibly honorable.

The next time you hear of “a bad cop story”…please pause and think of my friend Sean.  He died helping others, off the clock, for no glory or praise.  What a legacy to the life of a good man.

Also, if you are of the praying kind, please send those to the family of Sean Renfro…many of us lost a friend, they lost their husband, son, and father.

Sean Renfro…friend, family man, believer…died in the service of others….

A politicians duty. Is it to their conscience, their party and donors, or their constituents?

Two posts in a row after not posting for awhile.  While I was at this political event the other evening, I was consumed with the following question (and even asked it publicly).  I’m curious about your thoughts on this.  Here’s essentially the question I posed:

Is it “your” duty to vote on an issue based on your personal beliefs/morals/conscience, OR the desires of your political party/donors, OR the beliefs of the constituents who elected you?

A simple example would be:  Let’s say you have a constituency of 100 people who elected you because they were wholeheartedly opposed to ANY restriction on second amendment rights.  Recently you (the elected official) has had an epiphany where now you believe gun control is an important role of government.  When the vote is happening, do you vote for those who elected you or with your “new” thoughts on the issue.  In other words, are “representatives” supposed to vote their conscious or as a “representative” of the people who elected them?

Thoughts? Opinions?

Laws to stop criminals? Huh?

I was at a political event the other night and one of the incumbents said, “I will continue to support any and all laws that stop criminals and felons from getting guns”. Sounds good at first…until you realize that criminals/felons are, by definition, people WHO DON’T ABIDE BY LAWS, right? If laws would “prevent” their “crimes”, they WOULDN’T BE CRIMINALS AND/OR FELONS.

In my view, our wise legislators could pass a million more laws and criminals will still be criminals…can anyone imagine ANY law passed where all of the sudden a criminal decides, “OH, I better not break THAT law”…?

The thinking process I heard at this meeting reminds me of “NO GUN ZONES”…does that make it a safe place or a notice to “criminals” that NO ONE HERE HAS GUNS…EXCEPT YOU!”

Thoughts? Opinions?

Gun Safety and Counterfeit money…huh?

As technology has dramatically advanced our ability to create paper money that is virtually impossible to counterfeit, one thought keeps resonating with me…

Since there’s been no plan or announcement about discontinuing the validity of older paper money, why don’t the counterfeiters just keep making “old money”?  Why in the world would a counterfeiter (a criminal) try to duplicate this new impossibly counterfeit-able money when he can make bills just like those in Grandma’s Folgers coffee can that she hides on the top shelf of the pantry?  Easy answer…they won’t.  As long as the older bills are still legal currency, then we can create the most incredibly “impossible to counterfeit” bills ever know to man…and it still won’t stop counterfeiters and criminals.

Now, let’s get to my analogy with gun safety.  Our wise (and illegal gun trafficking) Attorney General has proposed new gun safety rules to protect us all!  Thank God!

He has proposed that guns be manufactured where they would only fire IF the user is wearing a corresponding wrist band which would allow him/her (and ONLY him/her) to fire the weapon.  Brilliant!  A criminal could NOT use this weapon to harm innocent people.  Whew!  I’m so glad we have big brilliant thinkers like our Attorney General…aren’t you?

Oh wait…damn.  The manufacturing of NEW SAFE guns won’t automatically remove every existing gun from circulation, will it?  So, if I’m a criminal, I guess I’ll just use one of the millions of guns already in circulation and made PRE-ERIC HOLDER SAFETY IDEA GUY.

If old (non bracelet required) weapons are available, why fight the battle of trying to figure out how to use these new SAFE guns.  Simply put…criminals won’t.

Just like they can counterfeit older bills for money, they’ll keep using older guns.  Once again, my conclusion is that it isn’t the weapon, or the ability to counterfeit, it’s the bad guy…they’ll always find a way to do bad things…that’s why they are called bad guys, right?

Kobe Bryant Slam Dunks PC Police Over ‘Support Treyvon’

Good article by a great blogger…I really enjoy his writing and thoughts.

Kaine's Korner

In my opinion, the tragic, sickening, and totally avoidable death of Treyvon Martin was because of a country obsessed with guns and an individual’s overzealousness with a firearm.  The media and race baiters, however, wanted to quickly make this a white vs. black issue despite the fact that Zimmerman is a Hispanic Jew.  Martin ended up being almost completely innocent, but we were all supposed to immediately convict Zimmerman before hardly any of the facts had come out.  Kobe Bryant, however, didn’t take the bait.

In his words:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a…

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Nine Noble Truths

As I’ve been writing mostly about economics and politics – it’s occurred to me that my major issue about politics (in it’s current form) and politicians is that I simply expect more character – both in the people and their decisions.  That got me asking myself the question, “What DO I expect of people?”…especially those in leadership roles.

As I’ve contemplated this, i was reminded of a tattoo my nephew got many years ago…it represented the Vikings code of noble virtues/truths. I think it accurately represents what we should all expect of ourselves AND others.  So what are these “noble truths”…here they are:

(1) Courage (bravery in the face of difficulty.  Courage doesn’t mean not being afraid…it means performing even in the face of fear);
(2) Truthfulness (honesty in all situations – to yourself and your values AND to others.  Keep your word…do what you say you will do);
(3) Honor (noble actions reflecting respect for self and others);
(4) Fidelity (duty and loyalty to God, family, community, nation, and planet);
(5) Self-Discipline (self-controlled, lawful behavior, living and behaving according to your beliefs and standards);
(6) Hospitality (courtesy, kindness, and compassion for all);
(7) Industriousness (hard-working and striving to do the best one can do in all circumstances);
(8) Self-Reliance (responsible, self-sufficient, and independent); and
(9) Steadfastness (patient, resolute perseverance).

Quite a solid code to strive to live by I think.  Thanks Mikkel for sharing them with me.

What are your thoughts?

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Seat Belt laws and such…

Creating new laws seems an endless project doesn’t it.  We’ve been creating new laws for several hundred years – both federally and in each state of these “united” states….yet, every year we surely seem to need a few hundred, or a few thousand more. But who’s counting?  Righteous, pious, overacting legislators from sea to shining sea feel the need to rant and rave about something, so that they continue to look important and be of utmost value to us lowly, uninformed, incapable masses.

On this note, I wonder how the evolution of law making has progressed.  I imagine, the early laws (such as murder, theft, etc…) derived from the concept that in a good, free, civilized society, there should be rules about how we treat others.  Violate those rules, you no longer belong among us.  Seems like a sound concept to me.  Protect me from the bad guys…I get it…THANK YOU!

But then, somehow, somewhere along the way, these wise protectors of the masses began creating laws to protect me from…well, me!  What?  When did that become their job?  I thought that job began with my parents when they told me not to run across a busy highway, or not to put my hand on the hot stove.  When did these overzealous orators decide it was their job?  Well, whenever it happened, they surely did welcome the task.

A good example is the seat belt law.  YOU MUST WEAR A SEAT BELT IN YOUR CAR…IT WILL PROTECT YOU IF YOU CRASH!  Ok…they are probably right…it’s a good idea…it’s probably the intelligent thing to do, but is it necessary to make it a “law of the land”…to protect me from being so foolish as to risk my life by driving without a seat belt?  Sort of seems to me that if I want to behave as a moron at a risk to no one other than me (the moron)…I oughta have that choice.  How “free” is “freedom” when they start telling me I can’t risk harm to myself?

How ‘bout parachuting out of a perfectly functional plane…that’s seems a tad risky, but apparently it’s not as bad as DRIVING TO KING SOOPERS WITHOUT YOUR SEAT BELT!  Jumping from a plane is perfectly legal…as is NASCAR, Drag Racing, Hockey, Rodeo, Bungee jumping and a myriad of other activities in which you may injure yourself.  How do these ever-so-intelligent people differentiate between which activities they must protect me from and which ones are just “good fun”?

Now, now folks…I can hear your “comebacks” already…relax….

Now, I actually agree with requiring minors to be protected by a seat belt when riding in a car…and the baby seat thing…GREAT idea.  You see, those requirements are protecting someone not yet granted the legal definition of an adult who is supposedly able to decide what is good for themselves.  No problem there!  If I’m an irresponsible guy who is putting people riding in my vehicle at risk, then I have no problem with a law which requires me to protect THEM.  My problem once again, is a law which protects me from me!

And sure, there’s the argument that, if I’m an idiot AND I’m uninsured, my medical bills may have to be paid by “the public”.  Great point, but it could be solved by insurance contracts instead of Congress!

Just seems like a slippery slope to me.  If this is the direction “we” are going, how about limiting what we eat, who we are friends with, etc…etc…etc…

What are your thoughts?