Well, how often do you get a diarrhoea anyway? Not too often, right? Unless of course you had been eating Prima Deli cakes – although I really sympathise with the people who got poisoned, it really wasn’t any fault of theirs. Of course, then you might ask – who are those who get diarrhoea of their own fault anyway?

Well… how about people who take cockles? Nope, it’s not their fault, but I guess most people should know of the apparent high risk that comes with how unhygienic the origins of cockles can be… but that’s story for another day.

The United States saw at least 3 shootings (there may be more that are not reported) within 1 week – one involving a highly low esteem person who felt that he was a burden to everyone around him, while the latest 2 (both on 10th December 2007) happened at 2 different churches. The motives of the latter were not known, neither were any connections.

For the short duration that I was in New York some eons ago, police chase were as common the hello kitty craze – you get it now and then, and sometimes there were a whole bunch of them. I remembered that when I was staying a Brooklyn campus hostel, not only were shootings common, but robberies as well. Of course, this is the exception rather than the norm, but it was frequent enough to make me wonder where I should really go to if I should migrate to the States one day? Is the shootings a result of the relaxation of rules on arms ownership?

Well, seriously, I am not sure; but what I do feel is that it’d impractical to ban arms ownership altogether because they can at least trace who owns what, but should they ban it altogether, then:

  1. they’d have a tough time finding out the origins of the arms
  2. it’d be hard to convince everyone to give up their arms all at the same time – after all, who knows if someone else had them on their hit list

A lot of things can be done through regulation, instead of slapping a flat ban on it. In Singapore, the use of Morphine is regulated (and restricted to medical use – and it’s really good – the morphine, I mean), prostitution is regulated (as opposed to making it illegal outright – then we’d have a problem of tracing infections, from a pragmatic perspective), and gambling is regulated (although there are still underground ones). Not to mention that slapping a ban on everything will create an uproar eventually – although I don’t see anyone protesting strongly with the chewing gum ban, partly because everyone who wanted one will get it from our neighbour across the causeway.

Speaking of which, how about banning smoking altogether? When the rule was implemented to ban smoking at the bus stop, people literally stood outside the shelter to smoke. Damn. I need to get all their photographs one day and paste it all over the Net.

Anyway, back to the shootings. Of course the recent shootings could have been a one off thing – and there really isn’t anything to be alarmed about. Some people will just think that the deaths is just a statistic, but have you thought about what happens if it happened to be you? I’m not saying that anything should be done immediately with regards to arms ownership due to these recent incidents – after all, ownership was allowed for its own reasons (I need someone to fill me up on this) and I am in no position to question it.

However, with freedom comes a price. For Singaporeans who are still thinking the American dream – there are way more things that freedom can give – and some of these may not be expected. If you decide to move to somewhere, remember to always do your homework first. Just like what my biology lecturer told me: There’s a chance that something might happen, but if it happens to you, it’s always 100%.

DENVER (Colorado) – AT least four people were shot at a large Colorado evangelical church on Sunday – the second shooting in a day linked to a religious community in the state.

Local media said four, or possibly more, people were shot outside or inside the New Life Church in Colorado Springs on Sunday afternoon. The condition of those shot was not immediately known, but police said they had a suspect in custody.

In an earlier incident, two people were killed and two were injured shortly after midnight when a gunman entered a training centre for young missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada, about 110km away from Colorado Springs, police said.

It was not immediately known if the two shootings were connected. CNN reported that the description of the shooter was similar in both cases – a white male wearing a dark hat and dark jacket.

The New Life Church, which has about 14,000 members, was founded by pastor Ted Haggard, who resigned in disgrace in 2006 after admitting to sexually immoral conduct.

Colorado Springs TV station NewsChannel 13 said police scanner traffic indicated there were multiple victims at the New Life Church. It said many people were apparently hiding throughout the vast church building.

Police cordoned off the church and appeared to be still looking for the shooter.

Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Fletcher Howard told CNN police had a suspect in custody, but that the motive for the shooting was not yet known. He said he could not confirm any fatalities from the shootings.

New Life Church associate pastor Rob Brendle said: ‘It’s been a dramatic day and we are participating with the police investigation right now but we are not at liberty to make a comment right now … a statement will be issued at 3.30pm mountain time (6.30am Singapore time).’

In Arvada, two youth missionary staff members were shot and killed by a young man who came to the door of the Youth With a Mission dormitory asking for a place to stay, the group said in a statement.

When he was told he could not be accommodated there, he pulled out a handgun and opened fire. Two other staffers, who were cleaning up after a Christmas party, were wounded before the gunman ran away.

The Mission is an international and interdenominational organisation that trains young people to work as missionaries.

‘Please pray for the families who are on their way to Denver for the critically injured young man undergoing surgery today for the staff and students who have been evacuated to another location for the apprehension of the gunman who fled the scene,’ Mission spokesman Paul Filidis said in a statement. — REUTERS

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 10th December 2007

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