WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So what's on your mind this weekend?

Upstate, Wilmington's first female police chief - Christine Dunning - has been sworn in. Wilmington's new Mayor Dennis Williams has made several pronouncements about how it's going to be a different city. But, is he setting up expectations for his administration that he can't possibly meet?

Downstate, Delaware's Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee says it's time to consider whether property-owners selling land & property within areas thought to be susceptible to sea-level rise would have to disclose that danger to potential buyers. But, in most cases, wouldn't this be obvious?

Predictably, Vice President Joe Biden and the National Rifle Association could not reach a consensus on common-sense steps to try to lessen the chances of gun violence in schools and other public places.

Vice President Biden suggests he'd recommend a requirement that all gun-buyers clear Federal background checks. Currently, you don't have to undergo a background check if you purchase your weapon from an unlicensed dealer, as at a gun show.

Perhaps a key to the Administration's strategy: Reaching a deal with WalMart to push for closing the current loopholes. That is anathema to many conservatives AND liberals, albeit for different reasons. To conservatives, it would be yet another example of crony capitalism -- this time, undermining the 2nd Amendment -- Democrats persuading or cajoling a significant private player to support the Administration in return for favored status. To liberals, the idea of a WalMart--Obama Administration alliance is simply anathema, given many liberals' views about WalMart.

All this, as a 16-year-old student brandishing a shotgun walked into a classroom in a rural California high school. He shot one student (critical but stable at last report); fired at another classmate and missed; then a teacher and another staff member talked the student into surrendering. The early reported motive: Bullying.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia high schools dealt with two gun incidents Thursday. In one case, a young mother strolled into South Philadelphia High School with her baby -- but also a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic, fully loaded, alongside the diapers and bottles in her bag. A scanner revealed the presence of the weapon. The 21-year-old mother professed not to know the gun was inside the bag, and she also couldn't say why the serial number happened to be obliterated.


"A controversial new WI-FI-enabled 'smart-gun' equipped with a computerized scope that enables anyone to become a master marksman goes on sale at the beginning of next week.

Boasting three on-board processors and a precision-guided firing system, the TrackingPoint rifle evaluates environmental factors such as wind speed and calculates the positions of moving targets with a claimed accuracy of almost a mile for novices.

Compensating for human error, looking through the futuristic laser rangefinder sight resembles the view a pilot has in a jet-fighter cockpit and turns conventional bolt action rifles into deadly snipers -- albeit at a cost of $17,000.

The timing of the advanced rifle has been questioned, especially coming just one month after the massacre of 20 children and six staff members by a crazed gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

However, Trackingpoint noted that the available models of their new weapon which instantly make any shooter able to pick off targets up to 3,600 feet away are only for bolt action rifles, and are not designed for semi-automatic weapons similar to that which Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook gunman, used..."

President Obama's nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of State: Forget G.O.P. opposition. New York's Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer - whom even Politico calls "the most powerful Jewish Democrat in Congress" - could very well determine Hagel's future.

And Schumer, holding his tongue in public, has been expressing profound reservations in private. A number of pro-Israel Democrats will likely take their cue from Schumer.

Washington D.C.'s Mayor Vincent Gray insists the Washington Redskins football team change its name, if the team wants to move from the current football field outside D.C. to a place within the district.

Have you been following the debate over the notion that the U.S. Government could erase debt by minting a Trillion-dollar-coin?

I talked to CBS.com's Leigh Ann Caldwell about that...

Audio Here

Posted at 9:18am on January 11, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 10:28am
The problem with reaching consensus on 'common sense' agreements, is that the gun lobby is so far to the extreme right, it doesn't even understand what constitutes common sense.

For example, it should be common sense that nobody needs an assault weapon other than a soldier or, perhaps, a SWAT team member. However, the NRA continues its ridiculous stance that an AK-47 could be used to hunt deer.

Safe to say that the NRA is so extreme, it does not represent the views of the vast majority of gun owners. However, somehow, by default, NRA is supposed to represent the voice of people who own guns.

Let's hope Congress can ignore the voices of extremism coming from the NRA, and take action to prevent more tragedies like the Newtown school shootings.

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 12:22pm
The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting...it was placed there by the Founding Fathers as preventative medicine against tyranny.
The Russians, Germans, Polish, European Jews, etc., all know what can happen.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."~Burke

I do however agree that there should be background checks for all weapons purchased, and if there are ANY mental health issues, they too should be disclosed if one wants to purchase a weapon. Currently, both HIPPA and HIPAA prevent discussion of a patient's mental health issues...even with the child's parents (as was the case in Sandy Hook). The Sandy Hook killer's mom was attempting to gain access to that information before she was murdered by her own son. AND, the Colorado killer’s “shrink” was prevented from directly telling others what he had told her during their sessions due to HIPPA.

We also need to hold Hollywood and Videogame creators accountable for their role in desensitizing our culture to extreme gratuitous violence…in the name of "entertainment". Maybe the rating system of these violent movies/games needs to be improved upon...or maybe we need to go back to "shaming" viewers of this violence the way people were once shamed in the local video stores by "The Curtain of embarrassment" for the X-rated movies section. Where's Tipper Gore when you need her?

And, last but not least, parents need to pay attention to what their kids are watching, what/who they are listening to, and who they are hanging out with...it's a lot tougher to keep tabs on our kids today since almost every kid has a "smart" phone, a tablet, or at least a laptop. Add to that Facebook, Twitter and countless other social media outlets.

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 3:51pm

Really, Earl Grey? So you claim that the Obama administration represents the same type of tyranny as the Nazis and Josef Stalin? Does that mean that you'll go to the steps of the White House with an assault rifle, ready to start a gun battle.

Thanks for your post and for demonstrating the extreme views to which I was referring!

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 5:37pm
This is changing the topic, but it involves Biden and the so called $2 Trillion Dollar Coin, which believe it or not, the idea comes from Rep. Mike Castle's Quarter Minting Bill which allows the Treasurer to mint any coin of his choosing....

Well, this explains it better than I can...


Allan Loudell
Fri, Jan 11, 2013 7:12pm

I'm glad you brought that up. Sometimes time-constraints prevent me from putting up everything I want to put up each morning on this blog.

I've been meaning to interview Mike Castle about this. I'm not sure anyone at the time grasped the loophole about platinum!

Anyway, I've just put up (above) my interview with CBS News.com's Leigh Ann Caldwell about this very subject!

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 10:24pm
teatime: If our 2nd Amendment rights are repealed I do believe our country could fall prey to a dictatorship in the next 50-75 years.

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 10:28pm
kavips: LOL...liked the comic.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 12, 2013 12:47am
EarlGrey: You post at the beginning of this thread about the 2nd amendment, etc, etc, Well Said.

Kavips: Me too, got a kick out of the comic. Good ole Joe.

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 1:19am
Following is a link to a fantastic concert video which I've thoroughly enjoyed. You'll need about an hour and 15 minutes to watch it, but it's well worth it:


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 11:19pm
Thanks for that concert Mr. Pizza. I put it on another tab while i did work on my computer, and my daughter in the same room goes... "why are you listening to that?"

She was playing Mass Effect 3 taking out aliens with loud sounding machine gun fire, and over the course that background music, her volume gradually got softer and softer, and pretty soon, was down to the minimum... lol..

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 2:02am
Glad I could be of service, Kavips.

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 2:04am
EarlGrey: I hope you're right about the 50-75 years. At least most of us won't have to worry about being here for it.

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 2:30am
Teatime: I don't think EarlGrey is trying to say directly that Obama is like Hitler or Stalin, but that gun control, though well intentioned by current politicians in power, could morph into the type of tyranny experienced by Germany and the Soviet Union over a couple of generations into the future.

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 2:02pm
The key word in Mr. Pizza's statement is "could". . . all of us "could" be in an accident today..... How many of us,... won't drive?

The issue with guns is over where to draw the line of risk. What actually is the risk that in our lifetimes we will get a dictator? Actually, it is probable. (the questions is whether it will be conservative or liberal..) Now balance that with this. What actually is the risk that someone we know, will be killed by a gun sometime in our lifetime? Actually, it is probably higher than our risk of getting a dictator....

So therefore we address the position holding a higher risk, at the disadvantage of the one with a lower risk factor. It is how we do every decision in our lives. Where do we stand lately when on a train platform.. right by the edge? or 5 or 6 feet away? Why? Because recently the risk level has increased for those standing near the edge...

Above I mentioned cars. We see an accident every day. We still drive. The same can be done with guns. Even though there are guns everywhere, and people continue getting shot, we need to minimize the risk that it can happen to us at any random moment. Banning assault rifles is a proper response. If a person intent on mayhem goes into a crowded theater, mall, church, or school or university where we happen to be, mind you, but has only twelve shots to dispense, and misses with 7 of them, it vastly improves our risk of death over that same person armed with military weaponry capable of putting out 4000 rounds a minute..


And that is why, if we ban assault rifles and high capacity clips, people will still die with shotguns and .22 Winchesters, but it probably won't be us...

We've cut our risk down to that far below, ... dying in an accident on our way home today.. (heaven forbid.)

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 13, 2013 7:35pm
Kavips: Great explanation, you make the case quite well.

The video was pretty cool. Now THAT's some fire power.

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 9:53pm
Allan: Minting a trillion-dollar coin might work to erase the "quantitative easing" that's been going on to artificially prop up the economy, however I don't see how it would work to pay creditors, which are legion with various amount owed.

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 1:27am
And over the weekend the White House responded to a petition to "stimulate the economy by building a death star", which got the required number of signatures.....

The response was tastefully done, I must say, with a lot of inside Star Wars jokes...


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 1:41am
The trillion-dollar coin was never meant to pay creditors. It was a gimmick to counter the sillier gimmick of defaulting on the US's debt to which the Tea Party contingent Republicans are gearing up to do, again.

Since the same can be done by the 14th amendment, which is probably what is going to happen, the White House announced over the weekend that the magic coin was not a real option that the Administration was pursuing . There are enough non-Tea-Party Republicans who will cross and vote with the Democrats to keep our Triple-A rating, so eventually the appropriate ceiling will be verified by Congress. But politics being what they are, the vote will have to occur after Obama announces that as America's Chief Executive, the U.S., as proscribed under the 14th Amendment, will continue to pay its debts despite Congressional approval being held up by a tiny bunch of radical Republicans out-of-step with the rest of the country, and he will then tell us what the new debt-ceiling will be, and authorize the Treasury to continue business as usual .

Once again, Tea Party activists will have abrogated their duty, and the decision will be made around them to avoid defaulting on our debt. They will be rendered even less important.

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 8:38pm
Yep. As usual, let's blame it on the Republicans. It's all
BUSH's fault!

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 3:23pm
Mr. Pizza. Actually it is Eric Cantor's fault.

... and I just read this on a conservative blog (darn, lost the link!) but the President in emergencies determined by him, can issue an executive order and temporarily override inaction by Congress until Congress gets itself together to act...

Apparently Obama has power within the law, to suspend all gun-sales until Congress can come up with legislation that he won't veto. That was an extreme case, but he could also use that power to suspend the current debt ceiling limit until Congress can get its act together and give him something he can sign....

I have not heard of this before but it is about time. Otherwise as we see with the Tea Party, a very fine sliver of radical extremists could hold-up progress on matters of vital importance to defense and commerce, and ruin the nation forever.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 8:02pm
That, in effect, makes Obama a dictator. Told you so!

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 8:19am
Mrpizza: Is that a new law Obama has? So that means Bush Jr. also had that law available to him, as did Reagan, and Clinton, etc., so were these folks "dictators" too? Come on, let's not use such strong titles, because that's like crying wolf. When the real thing comes, no one will listen.

You may not like Obama the man, may not agree with any of his policies (he's a liberal DEM and possibly has some Socialist tendencies), his faith (whatever it is), whether or not he was born in Hawaii, who his friends are and were, think his ears stick out, etc., etc., but so far, he's not been a dictator.

Now, depending on your political point-of-view, you may be able to say that due to the GOP/TEA folks in Congress, they have kept him from doing more damage to the nation than if they weren't there in Congress, but Obama still has to follow the Constitution, and LAWS get created and passed ONLY by Congress, NOT the Prez; granted he signs legislation AFTER its passed both houses and he can veto any bill, but Congress still makes the laws. Until that changes, or elections are eliminated, he's NOT a dictator.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 3:29pm
Mike: 23 Executive Orders sounds like an over-reach to me.

Why do we even need the other 2 branches of government if the Executive over rules them? Wouldn't life be so much easier with a king?(yes that was sarcasm) I don't want a democrat or republican king.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 10:45pm
EarlGrey: I don't know how many exec orders Bush Jr, Clinton, Papa Bush, or Reagan did, but 23 exec orders does seem like a lot or circumventing of Congress, not to mention all those czars Obama appointed in his first term. Hey, there could some cost savings, cut out all those czars.

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