Props and Disses 12.19.12
Animal House: Say ‘no’ to party ranches and frat farms DISS
In our August 22 issue, we “dissed” what seemed to be county commissioners’ closing in on a nebulous “party ranch” ruling. We warned against “flexibility” and a “case-by-case” basis. That gives ranch owners who want to throw a bash every weekend the leeway to do first and ask later. It gives the board of commissioners too much power and will tie up their time immensely. And it isn’t fair to county staff who have no concrete rules to interpret or enforce.
No, commissioners, you will not be able to wiggle out of this one without providing clear direction and stating black and white rules. Read this “diss” through and then vote to make rural land owners behave like ranchers and good neighbors. Leave the partying to night clubs and hotels.
And please curb that tired argument that if large-parcel land owners can’t party on their place they won’t be able to make their mortgage and, in the end, the property will be subdivided and developed. Don’t even drag that mess around. You won’t preserve open space kowtowing to pressure.
These land owners are not hurting for money. There is a reason they were able to pony up four-, eight-, 15-million dollars on a third home.
They’re loaded. They don’t hold a wedding at their Jackson Hole ranch to make a few bucks. They do it out of pride and vanity. What good is having 90 acres in Jackson Hole if no one knows it but your asset portfolio manager? Don’t cave in to their veiled blackmail when they say let us raise some dough with a bash or two or we’ll have to hire some bulldozers and do something you’ll really hate.
If a millionaire gets himself in a bind buying real estate in Jackson and then finds out he might have to make some hard decisions between which yacht to keep and which beach property to sell … boo hoo. Step aside. Next. For every gone bust, wannabe millionaire in this valley there are three billionaires waiting to take his place.
And please don’t start with the property owners’ rights business like it is un-American to deny these large lot owners the right to dig ponds, build berms or subdivide their land into cookie-cutter houses. It’s the neighbors’ rights that are being trampled here. If you bought a spread in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the by-God dream of owning a couple of roping horses, or running a few head of milk cows, or even if you just want to sit on your deck and watch the sunset without Driver Provider vans rolling in and out all night next door and Skrillex’d versions of Top 40 tunes blaring across the lawn, you should be able to.
Since everything must be litigated these days, maybe a refresher course in social etiquette is in order. Anything more than having a few friends over requires a homeowner to visit the neighbors and give them a heads up. “Hey, we’re having some people over for a barbecue this Saturday. We’d love to see you there.” Anything bigger than that requires commercial zoning, sorry.
Organizations like the Jackson Hole Land Trust and the Conservation Alliance need to work hard to make sure these 70-acre-plus parcels have in place lock-tight restrictions, and then those landowners who can’t sit still and listen to the hoot owl on a beautiful summer night can just pack up and head down the road.
Assault weapons ban: It’s time PROP
Every mass shooting sparks the same debate: time for gun control. As a lifetime member of the NRA, after the grieving comes the worrying, especially with a Democratic president in office. I know the firearm will be blamed because there is nowhere else to direct our anger and outrage. We can’t make sense of tragedies like Sandy Hook so we start the gun debate rhetoric again.
The fact is those who study mass shootings say the phenomenon is not on the rise.
“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University told the The Washington Post. Fox has been studying the subject since the 1980s, after a rash of mass shootings in post offices.
Excessive media coverage leaves us with the impression the events happen more often than they actually do. Personally, I believe the blame, if you want to assign some, goes to how society as a whole handles the deranged. When all the insane asylums and loony bins were shut down in the 1950s and ’60s, a population of nut jobs was allowed to walk the streets.
We became all touchy-feely about terminology. We had to stop calling people “mental” and “crazy.” They became highly-functioning autistic and bipolar and sufferers of personality disorders. The diagnoses sounded better than calling someone “buggers” and better still they came with a magic pill cure.
What do most of these shooters like James Holmes, Jared Loughner, and Adam Lanza have in common OTHER than the fact they used a firearm? They all had known issues and had psychiatric support. Modern science and medicine failed them and us. I don’t want to bring back electroshock therapy and lobotomies. I just want the crazies locked up, not our guns.
The writing is on the wall, though. Deadlier weapons have led to higher body counts. There is no need for the average citizen to own an assault weapon like the AR-15 or any high-capacity magazine firearm. The NRA argument that allowing liberals an inch on gun control will lead to them taking a mile might have some validity but it looks flimsy in the light of Newtown. There is no valid reason for citizens-cum-criminals to be better armed than most SWAT teams.
Eliminate truckers’ free ride over Pass PROP
Officials at WyDOT are considering raising the fines for commercial trucks that take a chance on Teton Pass in winter. It’s about time.
Any trucker that claims to highway patrol that he didn’t know or missed the sign is giving them a snow job. The fact is it’s cheaper to pay the fine if caught than to waste good diesel going around. Currently, the fine for truckers caught sneaking over the pass is $110. The fine for non-commercial individuals trying to get over the pass when it is closed or without following chain law restrictions is $420. Anyone see anything wrong here?
Jake – you mean these guys who take trailers up Teton Pass past the flashing signs in a snowstorm, and then claim they didn’t see them aren’t telling the truth? Is that what you mean? No matter. It’s long past time that the fine went to $1,000 each for the driver and the company for the violation. And there should be a big sign stating as much, both in Wilson and in Victor. Representative Gingery and Senator Christensen need to see to it.
Sure Jake we need to lock up crazies, let’s start with you, how would you like that……Oh your not crazy you say…..Prove it…..You already claim to be a part of gun culture, sounds like your a threat to society.
First, let’s do away with the inflamatory language, i.e., “assault weapon”. These are merely semi-automatic rifles. You need to pull the trigger each time you fire. The vast majority (99.999%) of people use them for plinking and for rural rodent control, not “assaulting” anyone. Second, it’s so clear that the media thoroughly frames the debate. It’s quite pathetic how the American people and (so-called) journalists fall into line behind the mainstream noise. If the media were drawing attention to the fact that most of these killers were on psychotropic meds that demonstrably lead to homocidal and suicidal impulses, America would be screaming for an investigation, and a moratorium on these drugs. And we’re often told, “No, we can’t divulge whether this one was on these drugs because of the doctor/patient confidentiality.” What a break for big Pharma. So much for any courageous, alternative reporting out of this newspaper.
“There is no valid reason for citizens-cum-criminals to be better armed than most SWAT teams.” This statement reveals the ignorance of the writer of why the second amendment exists. The right to bear and keep arms is NECESSARY to the SECURITY of a free State. In fact this right exists to ensure that tyrants, whether persons or governments, will not have the ability to disarm the populace. In this case, the general public should have better firearms than the government. It is not the high capacity firearm in and of itself that makes it more deadly than a lower capacity firearm; it is dependent upon the user. Gun laws only regulate law abiding citizens, not criminals. A criminal bent on killing someone(s) will find any means possible to accomplish their goal. The recent shooting at the school unearthed various issues that, emotionally can be connected, but not logically. It seems more and more people today think with their feelings instead of their head. Whether they are intentional about using logical fallacies or not, arguments using such are unintelligent and miss the scope of the real issue at hand. Issues arising from this recent shooting include mental/behavioral, gun control, school security, and personal security. Instead of using emotion to tie all these issues together, separate them and use sound, logical reasoning to answer each issue. School security: Terrorists world-wide know that schools are “soft targets”, meaning little or no security. School attacks happen all over the world and some nations have learned from them and actually used logic to mitigate the issue. A given in this argument is that evil(bad people) exist and will never go away; they won’t get better so they will always be around. Knowing this, and knowing that school shootings/attacks WILL happen in the future we can make plans to mitigate it. One way would be to secure our schools like we secure most of our embassies; armed guards and personnel inside the school. Ill quit here before I get too winded. 🙂 Jackson Native
Jackson Native, I hear you, but good luck on seeing a citizenry better armed than its government. Otherwise, you made some good points. Everyone is going for political mileage out of this but none are getting to the heart of the matter, only paying lip service. The mass shootings, Aurora, Sandy Hook, others, are more the exceptions to violence with firearms. With notable exceptions like urban warfare in Chicago, gun violence is going down. Mass shootings, as vile and mortifying as they are, are neither increasing nor decreasing. The more serious problem still lies in urban area violence. The SIGNIFICANT common thread running through these mass shootings is the mental health condition of the perpetrators. There were people along the way who KNEW something was wrong with these people, indeed maybe capable of violent acts, and did NOTHING. Lanza’s mother KNEW her son was seriously disturbed and did not even secure her precious weapons. If anything good comes out of the AHCA (ObamaCare), please let it be genuine attention paid, and action taken, with the mentally ill. It would be worth the label ‘socialized medicine’. But on guns, no matter now. Just as the toothpaste is long ago out of the tube on a nation massively armed (too many guns, too many people armed to confiscate them), with Biden in charge of a new commission, it’s also out of the tube on knee-jerk politically expedient “solutions”. “Assault weapons” (what a stupid term; any machine that fires a cartridge-bound projectile by definition is an ‘assault weapon’) will be addessed after ammunition and large capacity magazines are severely restricted. Buy these items now, this will be their first attempt, probably successful, as an end-around the 2nd amendment. For some clarity on mental illness and mass shootings, here’s an interesting piece from NPR featuring Jack Levin, a professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University. http://www.npr.org/2012/12/14/167287373/many-mass-killers-have-had-chronic-depression
12-21-12, 3:00PM MST: LaPierre didn’t realize the Mayans were talking about the NRA. He took a week and had a real chance and he blew it. RIP.