We’re always looking for the big hit. The thing that happens that changes the lives of large numbers of people positively. A heroic happening, an event that opens folks eyes and possibly brings them together.
Those are few and far between but every now and then we can smile at the small things. Much of this is going to happen at the local level.
A couple of local stories fit in that category. One is that another middle Tennessee city, Columbia, has decided to remove fluoride from their water supply. That makes four. It must be some kind of movement and it doesn’t take a great number of activists to influence outcomes. The TV reports have emphasized the cost cutting measures and somewhat downplayed the health issues and history of fluoride but I saw one that did mention brain damage which is a distinct possibility, especially in kids.
It’s a small thing but perhaps we can chalk this one up as a win.
The other one is a followup from a story early last year when local county deputies shot a young man in the back of the head, killing him, as he drove around in circles on his own property. As usual in these kinds of police shootings the deputies were absolved of any criminal wrongdoing in an ‘investigation’ The family filed a civil suit which took place in Nashville in front of a jury.
Two Cannon County sheriff’s deputies were found guilty in U.S. District Court in Nashville on Friday of using excessive deadly force and are liable for $2.25 million in damages to the victim’s family.
Deputies Reed Bryson and Jordan McGee were found to have violated the Fourth Amendment rights of Richard Butcher, 28, whom they shot and killed as he was driving in circles in the front yard of his Woodbury home in February 2012.
The county says they are going to appeal and who knows if anyone is going to actually see any money but you have to think that this may just plant the seeds of doubt in all the sheriff’s department employees that these wild west shootings can have repercussions. The jury, a small group of people spoke and said this wasn’t right and charged a monetary value for an unnecessary killing. It doesn’t bring the boy back but the message is a form of vindication and it may have worth.
A small but an important thing that just might help prevent the same sort of thing from happening again? Time will tell if this is a win.
I would bet that most everyone reading here has a few local ‘small thing’ tales. They add up. It’s slow motion but at least we’re not always standing still. Get a win or two under our belts and it builds confidence. Hey…now what else can we do?
Removing the fluoride in our public water supplies is doable. One water district at a time. I’m in. It may not be stopping the wars but it’s something. What’s the old saying…first they ridicule you, then they attack you…then you win…or something like that.