Penn State saw something, did nothing
The recent shooting deaths in State College put an exclamation point on the fact that violence isn’t restricted to large metropolitan areas. We need to be aware of our surroundings no matter where we are. How such incidents are handled by authorities is equally important. From a crisis communications perspective, I find Penn State’s actions fall short of their responsibilities to protect its most valued public from harm: students. From a technical perspective (the Clery Act) the university was correct in its response. However, from a moral perspective it should have released a text alert that there was an active shooter near the campus. It should not have taken an absolutist approach to the situation. This is not a university in a large metro area where an active shooter can be many miles across the city and no students reside in the area. It is a university in a small town where many students reside in apartment complexes near the crime sites. The university has produced videos that are shown at athletic events on campus stating its mantra: “If you see something, say something.” Penn State saw something and said nothing. There is no downside to issuing an alert. In fact, it’s a win-win for the university; for public perception. Hopefully, we learn from this and approach the next incident differently.
What is happening to our nation?
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When I was young, I met an old man who managed to escape Nazi Germany back in the ‘30s. I was interested in learning why so many German people could hate an entire group of other people so much, they wanted to kill them all, men, women, and children. It could not have been just bad history, there had to be more.
He told me they had very little radio so the Gestapo would knock on your door and invite you down to the local beer garden for all the beer you wanted. Since Hitler was a hero, everyone went.
In exchange for the beer, you had to sit and listen to a continuous stream of hatred. This went on for years and if you didn’t like it, you had to escape and if you couldn’t, they would murder you. The young were particularly susceptible to this hatred and believed it all. I told him there had to be some good people there. Why did they believe all these lies? I’ll never forget the words he said to me: “they weren’t particularly smart.”
Now fast forward 70 years and listen to the talk heads 24/7 on the radio and the internet that has been happening for many years. A lot of young people don’t listen to music anymore for entertainment, they listen to hatred. Why can’t the good people in this country see what is happening to our nation? Why do they let this happen?
Thompson took the right action on horse legislation
I write to thank U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson for his terrific work against the torturous practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses, a plague that has marred the breed, and the equine world for more than 60 years. As a former eight-time World Champion rider, and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association, I know first-hand how rampant this abuse is. Rep. Thompson has stepped up and done the right thing on this issue, and I applaud him for the fourth Congress in a row.
We appreciate his bipartisan effort in cosponsoring the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 683, introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oreg.) and named in honor of Sen. Joe Tydings (D-Md.) who authored the Horse Protection Act of 1970 and passed away in October. The good people of the 15th District of Pennsylvania should be proud to have G.T. representing them in Washington, D.C.