WINNERS AND LOSERS - 10.18.2021
October 18, 2021
Good Monday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
As I was preparing this post, I learned that Colin Powell had passed away. I have always liked the man, and he just seemed so authentic. We were both the same age, therefore saw a lot of the same things. President Biden said of him, "Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat." His death due to Covid-19 complications tells us why vaccinations are so important. To protect not only ourselves but others with compromised immune systems. He was fully vaccinated, but his immune system was compromised from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
I spent too much time this weekend watching sporting events. The quality of the games I watched ranged from fantastic to terrible. Early Sunday morning, I headed down San Fernando Boulevard to Finney's Crafthouse & Kitchen to watch both the Rams and Chargers games which were on at the same time. I had one of my favorite breakfast dishes, eggs Benedict, but made with prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon. They were pretty good. I had a second breakfast when I ordered one of their Bloody Mary's. It included a slice of bacon and tons of other garnishments. My Rams were Giant killers. They routed the hapless Giants 31-11 at MetLife Stadium. But, I have to agree with the coach that the offense has been out of sync for two weeks now. I don't even want to talk about my Chargers. Somebody pulled the plug on them.
UCLA held on over Washington. And then my Dodger's. Oh, my Dodgers. You could not ask for more exciting games, but they are now down 2 to 0. Hopefully, returning to LA tomorrow will put the baseball god on their side.
Things have quieted down in Burbank with the tentative settlement between IATSE (of which my son is a member) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Here's what the LA TIMES reported on it – "It was a rare display of muscle for the industry's "below-the-line" production crews, who were threatening to stage a devastating strike. The deal reached Saturday between Hollywood's major studios and leaders of the crews' union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, includes 3% annual wage hikes, improvements in pay and conditions on streaming productions, observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and a rest period of 10 hours between daily shoots and 54 hours on weekends."
I was reminded of the plot for my novel DEATH & TAXES, which addresses the power of a street gang in Fresno by the kidnapping in Haiti. It involved the kidnapping of 17 missionaries and their relatives by the "400 Mawozo Gang." There seems to be an expansion of gang activity all around the world.
I recently spoke to a group at the Burbank Senior Artist Colony about writing crime novels. One lady asked me how I felt about gun control, and I think my response surprised her – "It's a waste of time." My answer is based on the fact that it is estimated that there are 393,347,000 guns in civilian hands in the United States, or 1.2 for every person. I believe there is far more than that. This is twice as many as any other nation. In most of Europe, there are 12 guns for every 100 people. The U.S. numbers only include civilian-owned firearms, meaning it doesn't count firearms in possession by the military, government agencies, or law enforcement. On top of this, the proliferation of homemade "ghost guns" has skyrocketed. In Los Angeles, there have been over 100 violent crimes and 24 homicides that involved ghost guns so far this year. So the implementation of gun control would not accomplish anything. The horse is already out of the barn.
The Los Angeles Police Department reports that during the first half of 2021, they have confiscated 863 ghost guns, a nearly 300% increase since 2017. That sharp jump suggests the number of ghost guns on the streets and such seizures "will continue to grow exponentially. Ghost guns are an epidemic not only in Los Angeles but nationwide." Ghost guns are typically made of polymer parts created with 3-D printing technology and assembled using kits at home. They are relatively inexpensive. Because they are not made by licensed manufacturers, they lack serial numbers, making them impossible to track.
I need to get back to writing to make up for the sports watching.
Have a good week, get vaccinated, and stay safe.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp