Terry Meiners, WHAS’s 9th Best Announcer since 1985
After working for WLRS and WQMF from 1980 through May of 1985, Terry began hosting the afternoon show on 84WHAS and doing features for WHAS-TV. On his daily shows, Terry interviews newsmakers, sports people, imaginary characters, and virtually any real person who walks in through the WHAS studio door.
Terry now appears weekday mornings at 9 on the popular Great Day Live magazine show with co-host Rachel Platt. Meiners co-hosted Louisville’s version of “PM Magazine” in 1987-88, then moved to WHAS-TV news as a weekly feature reporter. Since 1990, Meiners has provided at least one feature per week on the WHAS-11 show “Good Morning Kentuckiana.
Terry can talk to anyone because he has lived a life filled with constant interaction with others. Meiners hails from a family of fourteen children born to Mel and Norma Meiners, married June 19, 1949. They started making babies the next year and stayed with that hobby for the next twenty years.
THE INCREDIBLE MEINERS FAMILY
Everyone in Louisville knows at least one of Terry’s family members. Here’s the list with birth dates, spouse names, and the total number of children included so you can determine which Meiners you knew from your school:
Louis Melvin Meiners b. April 10, 1926; d. February 15, 2008
Norma Jean Reasor Meiners b. April 26, 1930; d. December 12, 2005
Louis M Meiners Jr. b. October 4, 1950 (Marie Neiderhelman) +4
Maureen Elaine Williams b. March 27, 1952 (Greg) +4
Denise Marie Russell b. July 3, 1953 +4
Tina Marie Meiners b. February 8, 1956 (Terry McCay) +2
Terry Allen Meiners b. January 22, 1957 (Mary George) +4
Timothy Joseph Meiners b. March 7, 1958 (Cindy Mattingly) +7
Christopher Thomas Meiners b. September 6, 1959 (Barbara Becht) +1
Colleen Marie Milburn b. September 3, 1960 (Danny) +6
Mary Michele Renbarger b. October 9, 1961 (Tony) +4
Gregory Wayne Meiners b. May 29, 1963 (Kim Thatch) +2
Lisa Marie Rohleder b. September 3, 1964 (Nick) +3
Lynn Marie Hesse b. August 7, 1965 (Bill) +5
Michael David Meiners b. March 16, 1967 (Angie Reynolds) +3
Mark Kevin Meiners b. April 26, 1969 (Tracy Kardols) +2
2007 COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW OF TERRY BY JOHN QUINCY via lkyradio.com
Terry’s earliest radio work
After doing fill-in work for the regular cast, Terry was soon paired with an older, streetwise, gently jaded hippie named Ron Clay.
They were an instant smash hit. It only took a few months for the competition to steal them away for $5 more per week and all the Bryan Adams records they could steal.
Terry retells the story in this 2007 interview: LKYRadio.com
Ron & Terry’s ”Morning Sickness” show on WLRS moved to WQMF-FM in January 1983. After the LRS owners sued for breach of verbal contract, a Jefferson County circuit judge ruled that the pair could change stations but the name of the show and the sketches remained the intellectual property of WLRS.
It was the first and last time the word intellectual was ever associated with either Mr. Clay or Mr. Meiners.
“The Show With No Name” became a monstrous hit for 96-QMF until Terry’s departure for WHAS Radio in June 1985.
SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME
Louisville: Where our name is a multiple choice.
By Terry Meiners
Updated September 11, 2010
Originally published July 26, 2004
Louisville, Ky. — Everyone here agrees that this city’s nickname is pronounced “The Ville.” So how is it that so many people call the complete name Loo-uh-VULL? More than half of the area’s residents call this city by its hillbilly name. Some even dumb it down to the lowest of lows and mumble LUH-vll.
Funny how no one says EVANS-vull. It is universally called Evansville. Same goes for Clarksville. Simpsonville. Jeffersonville.
There is no vull or any other bull. They’re villes.
Everyone in town correctly hits the “ville” in both Taylorsville Road and Shelbyville Road.
When some yokel mealy-mouths the name of LOO-uh-vull, it is simply a case of slurred speech. The listener is getting a country boy’s twang on a defined set of syllables.
How hard is it to say Louisville? Louie + ville = Louisville.
The city is named for King Louis XVI of France. Louis (in French) = Louie. And don’t say that you don’t use French terms. Ever used the words rendezvous, champagne, or Chevrolet? You didn’t Americanize those words to say ren-DEZ-vows, cham-PAG-nee, or chev-row-LET, so you adjusted to French pronunciations.
For anyone who contends that L-o-u-i-s is pronounced LOO-uh, please explain why no one calls the Missouri city with the arch Saint LOO-uh. Lou-uh-vull people refer to neighboring cities as “Innu-napliss” and “Cin-su-nadda,” alien pronunciations in those actual cities.
The first half of our city’s name is pronounced Louie. The same mushmouth that produces LOO-uh-vull usually spits out other hillbilly staples like VEE-hick-el, ADD-dress, DEE-tails, and IN-shurnce.
As for the second half of Louisville’s name, when would the letters v-i-l-l-e ever sound any different than VILLE?
The front of your car has a grille, not a grull. A doctor prescribes a pill, not a pull. Darth Vader is a villain, not a VULL-in.
No one speaks of our population as Loo-uh-VULL-uns; we’re Louie-VILL-yans. The city’s nickname is The Ville, not The Vull.
Louisville’s inability to enunciate its own name stems partly from a lack of leadership. Greater Louisville, Inc. surrendered long ago by touting a list of 5 different pronunciations of the city’s name, followed by the cop-out slogan “Your kind of place, any way you say it.”
It’s the broadcasters that are perplexing on this issue. They are professional announcers who prize their pronunciation and elocution skills, yet a majority of local broadcasters dumb down their skills and mimic locals by saying Loo-uh-vull. Oddly, they don’t similarly patronize the residents of Shively and Highview by imitating the southern pronunciations of their communities. (HAH-view and SHAH-vlee).
Let’s separate the posers from the precisers:
Broadcasters who cave in and say LOO-uh-vull include Rachel Platt, David Scott, Elizabeth Woolsey, Claudia Coffey, Andy Treinan, Monty Webb, Melissa Swan, Tony Cruise, Matt Hobbs, Scott Reynolds, John Belski, and Dawne Gee. Since they’re in the business of speaking clearly, it must be assumed that they’re “reaching out to the regular guy” by dumbing down their own skills.
The LOUIE-ville proponents include John Boel, Renee Murphy, Barry Bernson, Mandy Connell, Candyce Clifft, Lindsay Allen, Jennifer Baileys, Fred Cowgill, Bob Domine, Vicki Dortch, Kevin Harned, and Terry Meiners. We’re in the business of speaking clearly, too, but give the regular guy enough credit to know he understands us.
Most national correspondents opt for the elocution-driven LOUIE-ville, although some sports announcers come to town and quickly adopt the hillbilly version to placate the unwashed.
Louisville seems to be unique in its ability to crush newcomers into talking hillbilly. Notice that professional broadcasters in New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Norfolk do not patronize their local viewers by saying “Nawlins, Bah-stun, Nu Yawk, and NOF-fuk” on the air.
They’re professional broadcasters, not disingenuous posers.
Say my name, broadcasters. It’s Louie-ville.
The most laughable display of Poser Broadcasting is on WVEZ-FM, which broadcasts a professional jingle with people singing “Loo-uh-VULLLLL!” The gifted singers (whose #1 talent is to crisply enunciate every single syllable) are directed to intentionally slur a station identification jingle.
Any playlist of songs with Louisville references are mostly of the LOUIE-ville variety. Willie Nelson’s “8 More Miles to Louisville,” Rick Bartlett’s “Louisville, KY,” and Hazel Miller’s “Look What We Can Do, Louisville,” come to mind. A few hip-hop raps from recent years use “LOO-vull.”
A Southern accent is beautiful when it melts the corners of elegant words. But Louisville is a particular set of standard sounds. LOUIE + ville. Enough of the Dukes of Hazard pronunciation of Louisville, let’s treat our great city with a loud and proud correct name. LOUIE-ville.
I revisited this previously published column after reading this piece on the editorial page of The Courier-Journal:
September 11, 2010 Forum flashes: Good moves, bad moves
What’s in a name?
“You like potato, I like potahto …” So wrote the Gershwin brothers about the funny way people can take the same word but pronounce it differently. There were many others: Tomato, tomahto; oyster, erster; bananas, banahnas; Havana, Havahnah …”
They could have added the word Louisville to their list.
This endless debate — is it Lou-ah-vul, or Lou-ee-ville, or Louise-ville — has been going on since the settlers pitched tents near the Falls of the Ohio. But by 97 years ago, it had become enough of a dispute that someone named W.A. Gunn of Lexington sent a letter to the Filson Historical Society noting “most people [call] it Louisville, English style, but many [give] it the French accent with ‘s’ silent.” He asked the group to discuss the matter and decide which was proper. On July 30, 1913, in a response, the society, then known as the Filson “club,” announced that they preferred “Looevill.”
We’ll say “potahto.”
From: Patricia Houtchens [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2013 11:08 AM
To: MEINERS, TERRY A
Subject: Listener Email from www.whas.com
I guess you’re celebrating another example of the homogenization of local dialects: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/02/27/kimmies-harpin-boontling-a-dying-american-dialect/?hpt=hp_t3
After you finally get everyone to stop calling the city where they were born, Louavull, then you can go to Narlens and tell those folks how stupid they sound because they don’t pronounce/enunciate their city’s name like you do. I find it so hypocritical that you never cease to tell your audience that we all should celebrate our differences – homosexuals/heterosexuals, democrats/republicans, U of L/U of K, whatever, but you have no tolerance for those of us who perpetuate their Southern dialect because it’s not how YOU say it. One of the reasons I love taking road trips is that it gives me the opportunity to listen to the local dialects – I LOVE that Southerners don’t sound like Canooks nor New Englanders nor Mid Westerners… Maybe you should relocate to California or wherever – somewhere everyone sounds like you do – alike, bland, boring. As for me, I’m PROUD that our local pronunciation of our city makes us distinctly “Louavillians.”
From: MEINERS, TERRY A
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2013 10:23 PM
To: Patricia Houtchens
Cc: MEINERS, TERRY A
Subject: RE: Listener Email from www.whas.com
You’re not paying attention. I only laugh at professional broadcasters who come on the air and give the Southern “Lou-uh-vull” pronunciation. Did you hear any professional broadcasters in New Orleans come on the air and say “Nawlins?” No, you didn’t. They’re professional speakers, not colorful locals.
I find it hypocritical for people who enunciate their words for a living somehow wanting to “respect the locals” by dumbing down their skills to patronize the locals and say “Lou-uh-vul.” Yet they don’t seem to respect the locals enough to say “Shah-vlee.” Somehow they use their elocution skills to say SHY-vlee. See the diff?
By the way, you trumped your own logic in your last sentence. If it’s “Lou-uh-vull” to you, how can you recite the same letters differently when you say “LouaVILLians?” Shouldn’t you call us LouaVULLuns?
The nickname is The Ville, not The Vull.
That horrible tornado slammed into…where? Henryville.
Poser broadcasters aside, 100% of the population seems to know how to pronounce Taylorsville Road, Shelbyville Road, Simpsonville, Clarksville, Jeffersonville, Evansville, and a litany of other villes.
I like calling out my colleagues on their phoniness. Don’t vilify me.
A Southern accent is charming but professionally limiting to most people in the speaking arts. Would Jennifer Lawrence receive the same film roles if she talks like Turtle Man?
Most of America is condescending toward those with a Southern accent, and guys like Larry The Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy exploit that mockery to make a living. In the end, they are monetizing the rest of America’s bias.
If you prefer to dismiss religious people, be ready to replace the billions of dollars in social services they provide worldwide. Our economy would collapse if it had to replace the services faith-based organizations provide.
Catholic Charities has fed millions with tens of millions of dollars. They fight for social justice, against the death penalty, and rebuild communities destroyed by drug abuse and irresponsible parenting.
Religious organizations still have people in Haiti cleaning up earthquake debris long after governments lost interest. Hurricane Katrina relief is still in the hands of faith-based groups.
Who provides the lion’s share of rent-free space for Alcoholics Anonymous and a host of other 12 step groups to keep addicts sober? Who builds homes for the poor, installs electricity or running water in third world countries? Who started House of Ruth, providing services to patients and families dealing with AIDS/HIV?
They are the religious people who are constantly derided as haters, simpletons, and controlling fools. Before casting aspersions upon someone with whom you disagree, at least have the decency to respect the social services they provide for the betterment of all. Even better, sign off your computer and pick up a shovel. They could use some help.
Some people immediately complain that religions receive tax exempt status which would provide money for more government controlled social services. Religions are not corporations creating products. They provide social services as an extension of a spiritual mission.
Do the same people who complain about churches receiving tax breaks ever use the tax code to their advantage? Do any of the complainers use the mortgage interest deduction, child tax credits, or other tax deductions to ease their tax burden? Surely not. Faith based organizations provide the societal safety net that diminished government funds cannot cover.
Who shepherds people transitioning back into society after prison terms? While most people walk to the other side of the street to avoid convicts, they are embraced by faith based groups who assist them in trying to become productive members of society. The government does nothing except employ parole officers to monitor ex-cons’ activities. Benevolent people are the convicts’ only hope of becoming reintroduced to society.
Lots of people run to their local missions to “give back” every Thanksgiving. They serve meals and take out the garbage and sweep the floor and then go home and feel good about “teaching the kids about others who are less fortunate.” Guess what? Those poor people are hungry the other 364 days of the year. And who feeds them day after day after day while you’re tucked into your nice neighborhood? Those rotten faith based people are at it again…being good to the downtrodden EVERY day, not just for a momentary Thanksgiving guilt-averting cameo appearance.
Oh, and what are the names of those places? St. Vincent de Paul. St. John’s Homeless Shelter. Wayside Christian Mission. St. Joseph Orphanage. All those Saint and Christian words sure do get in the way of arguing that religious people are a pack of intolerant haters. Who’s doing the heavy lifting for society?
I am not advocating for any particular religious affiliation. I am simply pointing out that they provide valuable service to society and should not be compared with riotous zealots rampaging in middle eastern streets over a movie. Lighten up, religion bashers. Everyone has a place in our society.
COACH CAL IS HALF RIGHT. WE’RE ALL NUTS.
Christmas came four days late in Kentucky’s largest city. The University of Louisville beat the University of Kentucky in men’s basketball 80-77, snapping a four-game losing streak to John Calipari’s Wildcats.
This annual game creates an emotional explosion in people all across Kentucky. It’s not just a game, fans of both teams will exclaim. It’s THEM. The Bad Guys. The Ones We Shall Never Embrace.
A 2010 flippant Calipari comment about his school’s lone footprint was inflated into the merchandising slogan “Louisville Doesn’t Exist.”
Some Cardinals fans label Calipari as “PayPal Cal,” suggesting that he’s paid players in violation of NCAA rules. Not true. He’s suggested new guidelines to allow for stipends.
Skepti(Cal) Louisville fans got a fresh “told you so” moment after the game when game film showed two Kentucky players did a secret switcheroo at the free throw line but that wasn’t necessarily at Calipari’s direction. UK officials later said the right player took the free throws. The video shows otherwise.
It is the madness of college basketball in a state with a myriad of other treasures that all become secondary to hoops.
And the losers typically smother their pain in sarcasm. From @NotJerryTipton on Twitter: “Louisville fans totally pumped right now. It’s like food stamps are being handed out, if they handed out food stamps once every 4 years.”
Kentucky is the reigning national champion with a terrific new team and an incredible recruiting class waiting to begin play in the fall of 2013.
None of that matters when there is joy in Louisville and disappointment in the rest of Kentucky.
Rick Pitino, “Traitor Rick” to many Big Blue faithful, once coached Kentucky in a blazing hot streak of Final Fours and one NCAA title. Now that he coaches “Little Brother” Louisville, some Cats fans say it’s like watching your ex hook up with your worst enemy.
Louisville’s athletics department is hailed as one of America’s most profitable. Kentucky needs to upgrade its home arena to best Louisville’s shimmering new KFC Yum! Center (financing challenges notwithstanding).
Pitino and Calipari have had a long, competitive relationship that’s fueled by mostly non-verbalized respect. They’re practically the same guy.
And the fans of blue and red are really the same guy; they just don’t want to redneckognize it (Thank you, Honey Boo Boo). Earlier this year, two geezer patients in a Georgetown, Kentucky dialysis clinic went to fisticuffs over UK and UofL’s first ever Final Four meeting.
Seconds after this latest game ended, UK fans were quick to go online and derisively reboot the Cardinals slogan/hastag L1C4 “Louisville First, Cardinals Forever” to “Louisville one, Calipari four.”
UofL fans love to taunt UK fans for burning couches in the streets during Kentucky’s recent championship run.
Back in March during Final Four week, Calipari famously told media members that his aggressive fan base is “nuts.”
Calipari: “Let me just say this. Our fans eat everything. They are piranhas. If you have an agenda, and you write a story that is agenda-driven, they will take out everything you have written and prove it wrong and then look at your background and look at what you’ve done,” Calipari said. “If you are going to attack Kentucky, just be right. If you have an agenda for another coach, to create something, I’m just telling you they are piranhas. They will come and eat your yard, your house. These people are nuts.”
The truth is that Louisville fans are nuts when it comes to this game, too. There is a segment of Louisville fans that believes Kentucky fans are racist. Other Louisville fans are stuck in the 1980s when Denny Crum’s Cardinals were dominating the game. Some Louisville fans taunt Kentucky fans for UK’s pre-Calipari history of multiple NCAA violations.
All American sports fans talk smack. Go anywhere and Big State U gets most of the public funding, political power, and fan base. Little City U controls the metropolitan area but is looked upon warily by the residents of the state at large. Ohio State/Cincinnati, Tennessee/Memphis, Penn State/Pittsburgh…it’s the same template everywhere else but in Kentucky, BASKETBALL IS KING.
And that’s what makes Kentucky’s statewide craziness so fun. You’re either aligned with the brawny bully State U or digging in with the City U underclass. It’s all good.
There’s nothing new to basketball insanity in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Yahoo Sports writer Pat Forde, then of ESPN.com, captured the craziness in 2005 when Louisville advanced to the Final Four as Kentucky fans had to stay home and pray for anyone to stop UofL from winning it all.
Their prayers were answered when Illinois blasted Louisville out of the national semifinal game.
Louisville fans should rejoice today. Kentucky fans should savor their status as defending champs.
There’s another come-to-Jesus basketball game on the way. Could be in March. Could be in December. Go ahead and start talking now. Yesterday’s game is in the books.
20 FIRST GRADERS HAVE BEEN SHOT IN THE HEAD. IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT GUNS AND THE JASON BOURNE FANTASY
by Terry Meiners
December 21, 2012
WHATEVER YOUR POSITION, YOUR ARGUMENT IS SAMPLED HERE
No reasonable person wants to take away Americans’ guns for hunting, personal protection, or as collectibles. But personal responsibility must be attached to the decision to be armed.
Following the Newtown, Connecticut massacre of 27 people, including 20 first graders shot multiple times in the head, it’s time America had a serious conversation about who has guns and how to keep them away from mentally ill or criminally motivated people.
Gun enthusiasts are quick to say that it’s “too soon” to talk right after a massacre like Newtown. “Out of common decency” the NRA waited to respond.
If it’s “too soon” after the most recent slaughter of innocents, just roll back to the Aurora movie theater victims. Still too soon? Then let’s go back a year to the shootings of people near Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Every mass killing extinguishes life, so let’s talk about any victims’ souls you think aren’t too soon to address. The point is that it’s time to talk about murderous rampages and the availability of guns to carry out these atrocities.
Newtown notwithstanding, children die by guns every day in America.
ONGOING INTERPRETATION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
The First Amendment provides for free speech, but it had to be more deeply interpreted in later years to address issues the founding fathers hadn’t considered. Obscenity and “shouting ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater” are two examples of restricted speech. The FCC delivers fines to broadcasters who exercise free speech that violates community standards, none of which are described in America’s founding documents.
Despite gun enthusiasts’ complaints, the Second Amendment is also open to further interpretation to account for societal changes. The only adjustment to the right to bear arms has been to deny convicted felons from gun possession.
NRA’s “meaningful contributions”
A week after the carnage in Newtown, the National Rifle Association responded by suggesting that every American school hire an armed security guard.
NRA detractors immediately recalled the notorious 1999 Columbine High School shootings where two armed, trained law enforcement officers shot at one of the assassins and missed. The 2007 Virginia Tech massacre of 33 occurred with an entire campus police force on duty.
A week after the 2012 Newtown massacre, the NRA blamed “gun free zones” as the root of America’s vulnerability, and blames the media for reporting on massacres as a catalyst for more of them.
The NRA disseminated its information through the very same media it lambasts. And nine days after the massacre, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press for a vigorous debate where he would not concede to any changes in gun laws.
Does all of America have to surrender to a Wild West mentality where everyone is armed, constantly locked and loaded and ready to kill?
Or is it time to toughen personal responsibility consequences for gun using criminals, guardians of mentally disturbed, and gun owners who don’t lock their weapons from winding up in the hands of both of them?
The NRA suggests that America open access to a nationwide database of mentally ill people, a process others say is already in place and has failed.
The NRA comments came two days after a press release stating that the organization would offer “meaningful contributions” to assure that another Newtown massacre would never happen again.
Twitter users responded:
sort-by: Newest | Most Popular
JOSH HARA 2 hours ago
Good thing the NRA isn’t in charge of fighting fires.
MJ 3 hours ago
If you need an assault rifle with 30, 50, or 90 round clips to protect yourself maybe you just suck at protecting yourself.
JOHNNY MCNULTY 3 hours ago
The only way to prevent planets from exploding is more Death Stars!
MIKE POLK JR. 4 hours ago
Only received 2 death-threats while tweeting through #NRA presser. I think this country is finally turning the corner. #Kumbaya
MAX SILVESTRI 4 hours ago
There were two armed guards at Columbine so it’s weird the NRA didn’t bring those guys up on stage to talk about how well that went.
MIKE DRUCKER 4 hours ago
Someone should tell the NRA that it’s absolutely normal to have a tiny penis.
JEN STATSKY 4 hours ago
Where does a guy w/the name “Wayne LaPierre” find time to make crazy statements about guns in between all the tying damsels to train tracks?
SETH MEYERS 4 hours ago
NRA: If we banned schools there would never be another school shooting.
POURMECOFFEE 4 hours ago
We must fight back against the violent fantasy of video games by making the actual landscape of reality look like Mortal Kombat.
LOLGOP 5 hours ago
I didn’t watch the whole NRA press conference. Did LaPierre end up releasing his hostages?
ERIN GLORIA RYAN 5 hours ago
Can’t wait for the NRA’s new anti-rape campaign where everyone gets a penis.
CHASE MITCHELL 5 hours ago
Just want to point out the NRA’s plan to stop school shootings is literally the plot of Kindergarten Cop.
MICHAEL IAN BLACK 5 hours ago
Oh cool, George Zimmerman is going to be protecting my kids in school.
TRAVIS HELWIG 5 hours ago
“To protect every gun, we must arm every gun with another gun.” -NRA
KEPLY PENTLAND 5 hours ago
I am genuinely shocked that LaPierre’s solution isn’t to arm the children themselves.
BIG-DUMB-CHAD.GIF 5 hours ago
This Wayne LaPierre, he’s really not the sharpest armour-piercing assult round in the clip, is he now.
JUSTIN STANGEL 5 hours ago
NRA blames Natural Born Killers for violence and Cannonball Run for people who drive too fast
—compiled by www.happyplace.com —
NRA members, just 1.3% of America’s 315,000,000 citizens, beg to differ
The NRA claims to have 4 million members who are “moms, dads, sons, and daughters.” That’s a little more than one percent of the population of America. Gun manufacturers give millions to the NRA for its political activism work, resulting in higher gun sales and a level of legal indemnity. Some refer to the NRA as the NRSA for “National Rifle Sales Association.”
Why aren’t gun owners completely responsible for any heinous activity associated with their weapon(s), even if the owner is overpowered or burglarized? When a person buys a pit bull dog or a swimming pool, the owner is responsible for securing its property against creating harm for anyone else.
Gun owners are not held to the same standard. Republicans preach “personal responsibility” for all but somehow that concept stops at gun ownership, although there are limited means to receive monetary damage awards.
Gun enthusiasts are quick to ask why cars, alcohol, and baseball bats aren’t banned, since they can all be used in killing a person.
A car is manufactured to transport a person from one place to another. A baseball bat is built to hit a ball. Alcohol used in moderation is harmless.
A gun is manufactured for one purpose, as illustrated below.
For the gun lobby and gun enthusiasts, this is the go-to message:
What happens to confiscated guns in Kentucky?
Insider Louisville tracks what happens to guns taken from criminals in Kentucky. They’re no longer destroyed; they’re recycled. State laws demand that confiscated weapons are resold where they can possibly be used in future criminal activity.
IN KENTUCKY, BASKETBALL IS KING. BOTH CALIPARI AND PITINO SPOKE OUT FOLLOWING THE NEWTOWN MASSACRE
Rick Pitino and John Calipari both followed Jim Boeheim’s lead and addressed the need for heightened gun control.
NRA MONEY IN KENTUCKY POLITICS
Just as Kentucky’s prominent basketball programs rely heavily upon well-connected donors, so do the Commonwealth’s politicians rely upon NRA donations to their campaigns.
Surprisingly, Tea Party favorite U.S. Senator Rand Paul has not accepted money from the NRA. He has stated that the Newtown massacre is a “mental illness problem” and not a gun problem. That stance can’t hurt his potential 2016 presidential campaign with the NRA crowd.
THE JASON BOURNE FANTASY
Many concealed carry advocates contend that the Newtown shootings would have been avoided or scaled back if the school teachers had been armed. They will tell you about various shooting situations where a civilian with a weapon thwarted or reduced the kill count because a law abiding citizen pulled a weapon.
Surely some carnage has been avoided by armed citizens, but how many catastrophic gun incidents have been caused by guns left within the reach of children playing? How many legal guns have been stolen and subsequently used in crimes? How many legal gun owners have been overpowered and had their weapon used against them?
In light of the Columbine catastrophe where two trained officers took shots at an assassin and missed, why do lightly trained civilians think they’ll shoot with more accuracy in a chaotic shooting situation? How does an armed civilian come upon a shooting scene and quickly determine if another person with a gun is a perpetrator or another civilian trying to thwart a shooter? No one is identified by a uniform so how does the well-intentioned gun owner know whom to shoot, all in a lightning quick crisis situation?
It’s ludicrous to think an armed mother eating a salad with her child in a restaurant suddenly hears a noise, then immediately morphs into the Hollywood character Jason Bourne, a CIA trained killing machine. She instantly discerns that an armed person wearing body armor is not a law enforcement person, dives for cover, quickly pulls her revolver and neutralizes a killer while avoiding shooting innocent bystanders.
The reality is that an armed civilian makes the situation more dangerous by drawing instant fire as she fumbles for her weapon, perhaps discharging it into innocent people scrambling for cover.
Imagine the heightened danger of teachers with guns, particularly when a weapon winds up in the hands of a mischievous school boy trying to impress his friends or exact revenge on a rival.
Without continuous SWAT-like training, the civilian-turned-Jason-Bourne fantasy is more likely to increase a body count because of incompetence or simple failure to secure firearms from getting into the wrong hands.
PRIORITIES: THE MEDIA PUNCHING BAG
Many people feel as though media attention is misdirected, citing selective American carnage without global perspective. (see below) Others contend that mass shooters crave attention from media follow up that gives a dead shooter a notorious legacy. That’s unknown because silenced insanity doesn’t leave a road map.
THE LAST WORD:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg emailed reporters after the NRA’s unsympathetic press conference following the Newtown shootings: “Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”
Between now and the November election, the daily news cycle peppers us with breathless updates on “undecided” voters.
Anyone who claims to be undecided at this point is a liar. Whether people are willing to admit it, they vote based on what the outcome means to them financially. They’ll lie and say their vote is based on a candidate’s platform; i.e. the environment, education, health care, abortion rights, gun laws, or their fears for the circumstances of others.
Selflessness sounds great as a mission statement, even when it’s steeped in self-delusion. Survival is paramount for everyone, so in one’s heart of hearts, it all comes back to a personal financial outcome. ”What will I get?”
People vote based on their potential tax rate, fears of reductions in medicare or medicaid, access to prescriptions, union benefits, an ability to work the tax code to their advantage, their 20-years-and-out pension plan, their social security draw, welfare, etc. It all comes down to “What will this candidate do to my revenue stream?” or “What can I get for free?”
Of course, nothing is really free. Each person’s “entitlement” is provided by all the other people generating tax revenues for the U.S. Treasury. Everyone, rich or poor or somewhere in between, uses the government as their sugar daddy to either get paid or dodge higher taxes.
And because we are a nosy people, our financially motivated vote is also lathered in what other people are getting or missing.
Each of us has beliefs about who needs help and who is just a lazy bum. These very personal determinations vary wildly among the population. But when it comes to identifying with a political message, no one is caught in the middle. Either you are a fan of government checks, or you think there are too many people riding on the hay wagon while others do the pulling.
Americans vote with this undercurrent gurgling in their brains: Who among fellow citizens, based on certain life conditions, should receive government money and for how long? People know how they generally feel about these questions right now and are spiritually aligned with whichever candidate best mirrors their sentiment.
Some live to hate the rich while others fight to join their ranks. Some think the rich don’t pay their fair share and that the government should redistribute their wealth among lesser earners. Some think the wealthy should be demonized for hoarding assets while others struggle in low paying jobs. Some have forgotten that a few of their friends went on to graduate school for advanced degrees in medicine, science, and law. Meanwhile they instead opted to drop out, work at menial labor, smoke weed, and/or withdraw from society’s duty roster of service. And now they demand “fairness” of asset distribution although they didn’t apply themselves academically like those higher paid people.
Life isn’t equal. Neither is motivation. America guarantees a “Pursuit of Happiness.” That “pursuit” word literally declares that action must be taken, that happiness is not granted without effort. True happiness is in the pursuit, regardless of outcome. Trying is living. Risk must be rewarded and rewards must not be rescinded. Otherwise, why take risks?
The latest poll has the presidential candidates deadlocked at 46.3% vs. 46.4% for a total of 92.7%.
The disingenuous 7.3% of willy nilly “undecideds” get more attention than a Kardashian on a team bus.
Either you’re a believer in “job creators” or you think Lebowski level lethargy is an acceptable contribution to society. Campaign activists will declare that you’re either a maker or a taker, a miser or a moocher, independent or dependent. Just stop it with the “undecided” lie. Your hands are either pulling the rope or upturned for help.
All that’s left to decide is whom to back in 2016. It could be a rocky financial ride getting there.
EMPTY NESTING: Columns from when both of my sons left home
THE CLOCK ALWAYS WINS
Trembling over the words, I looked into my 22-year-old son’s eyes and said, “This is all I’ve ever wanted, to live to see you off into the world.”
Today is the day that Simon T Meiners leaves for California to start his new job and his adult life, emptying the family nest in Louisville.
A similar gut wrenching scene played out a few years ago when Maxwell Meiners, now 25, left for college. He blazed his own trail, graduated from WKU, and is now building a burgeoning career in Louisville but from his own residence.
Both of my sons developed into fascinating, inspiring, and conscientious young men. Max’s co-workers rave about his intelligence, work ethic, and zeal for life. Simon is a passionate advocate for the downtrodden; a young man who relinquished most of his creature comforts in solidarity with those who struggle to survive. His gentle manner has lifted the spirits of countless friends.
I dreamed big for both of my sons and they burst through those limited visions with massive efforts toward the betterment of others. In many ways, they taught me how to serve others more effectively.
And now, the family path was about to come upon a new thoroughfare. The years of family trips, football in the yard, singing karaoke, and Saturday morning “truck driver breakfasts” were fading to black.
The younger son was ready to set sail and make his indelible mark. Dad’s denial couldn’t stop today from arriving.
Simon picked up his diploma early this morning at U of L, posing for a photo as the administration building clerk poked a boombox to play Pomp & Circumstance. Then he bee-lined over to my house to collect a few final must-haves for his departure.
When I heard the front door chime ring, he walked in with that same happy smile that’s greeted me a million times. But we both took some time before saying anything, opting instead to start with a gruff Man Hug.
“I dreamed of seeing you and your brother make it to manhood and I can’t believe it’s here.” As I fumbled for more words, Simon reached out for a real hug and we savored the moment to let our tears roll freely…silently.
On a nearby table, a digital photo frame clicked through joyous images captured along the journey of Meiners family history.
“Remember that you have an unbreakable safety net of family members who are always a text or call away…when a big decision arrives, step back, consider tapping into some family wisdom, and then move forward with your final decision.”
“Thanks for everything, Dad. I’m nervous but I’m excited,” Simon told me. We hugged hard and I kissed him on the side of his head just as I’d done as his life began.
After a few more minutes of silence, I let go of the embrace, wiped away tears, and walked out the door without further comment. I drove to work a quivering mess.
Simon’s mom and brother would take him to the airport an hour later.
When I returned home from work, his diploma was displayed on the living room mantle next to a picture of him he’d left behind.
A quick scan of his room was too painful to withstand for more than a few seconds. The silence was crushing, and the inevitable reward of fruition was too uncomfortable to process quite so soon.
Back in August of 1988, my reality superseded my dreams. I had become a father of two; “one for each arm” I would giddily tell well-wishers. I’d promised both boys only seconds after their birthing that I would always be there with love and protection.
God had given me a dual opportunity to lead, listen, embrace, shield, err, and allow these children some variance from my rigidity. One day they would both be ready to walk into the world unescorted.
That day is today. Our family path has a new tributary, and it is Simon’s to travel alone.
I am so deeply grateful that I lived to see this day and feel this sense of bittersweet completion. I am grateful for the journey and know that the light at the end of it shall join all of us in perpetuity.
Max and Simon, you are men of integrity. Your mother and I sometimes meddled too much, but we were lucky enough, just wise enough, and occasionally patient enough to allow you both to flourish on your own merit.
May your life paths be filled with enlightening moments, gentle interactions, and deeply comforting couplings.
So many people have told me of your unprompted acts of kindness over the years that I am certain that you have premium hearts and endless compassion. You both excel at listening and learning, so I have no doubt that you’ll know when you need to lead.
Our splintered journeys will one day direct us to meet again at The Light, and never shall we part ways again.
Posted 16th July 2011 by Terry Meiners
Labels: terry meiners simon meiners empty nest max meiners
THE SON SHINES
A college-bound son makes for a bittersweet family milestone
By Terry Meiners
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Louisville, Ky. — At 6:49 this morning, my son Max gently tapped on my bedroom door and announced, “I’m ready to leave, Dad.”
My heart sank. His face was beaming. He wore his Western Kentucky University shirt, a pair of jeans, and a look of utter delight. Today was his day to drive to Bowling Green and move into his college dormitory.
I was smiling on the outside and dying on the inside.
We walked out to the driveway where his truck was already running. Max was packed, loaded, and eagerly awaiting whatever adventures life is ready to thrust forward. “I filled up the tank, the tire pressure is correct, and I’ve got my cell phone,” he assured me. “And I’ll make an ATM deposit at the bank on the way out of town.”
I cradled his head just as I’ve done thousands of times, but this moment was as precious as our very first hug only seconds after his birth in 1986. Memories raced through my head. There was lots of laughter, the vacations, the music, the joke telling, and his fruitless attempts to teach me how to get better use out of my computer.
But today there was no time for one more pancake breakfast. We couldn’t take a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood in the morning mist. No chance for a chat about nothing in particular.
So I stood in the driveway holding his face and running through the whole checklist of life. I went through the Cliff’s Notes version of the importance of personal integrity, honor, compassion, humility, security, safety, and financial management.
As his piercing blue eyes stared into my water soaked eyes, he nodded at my advice and said, “I love you, Dad. Thanks for everything. I’ll be fine.”
He drove away while I stood beaming. And as soon as he turned down the street, I cried for all I was worth. The rest of the day has been an emotional roller coaster. I sat in his bedroom for a long time and looked at his photos and mementos. I caught myself staring at his parking space several times. The kitchen counter area fell silent where Max was usually IM’ing friends and laughing at streaming video on his laptop.
This empty nest business is an unpleasant reality. Today’s first chapter only stokes up my panic over my younger son’s eventual departure in a few years.
But my wife and some close friends gave me reassuring words. Our friend Lynn, a mother of three grown children, said, “You’ll feel that pain again to a lesser degree after Max’s first visit home. Then by Christmas break it’ll get even easier to deal with. And then when he’s home all next summer you’ll look forward to when he leaves for college again.”
Starting during my adolescence in the 1970s, I’ve had a recurring dream about a blue room containing only a record player repeatedly spinning a 45 of Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.”
To me, the blue room always signified a son. The music was the soundtrack to my feelings for him. And the presence of a woman in the next room told me that she and I would not stay together, but that our son would grow to become a man of integrity.
On the day of Max’s birth, at least 10 years after I first had the dream, I got into my car in the hospital parking garage and when I turned the key, “You Are So Beautiful” was on the radio.
The basic story played out. I actually have a pair of sons and they’ve both grown to be honorable young men with dreams all their own. Max is intrigued by broadcast news production and political science. Simon, who’ll turn 16 this week, will likely pursue law and professional athlete management. But he might want to host a radio show, too.
Their mother and I divorced when they were one and three years old. She and I have minimal contact. But our sons have flourished despite being raised in a broken home situation. Their mother has done right by them in monitoring their educational pursuits. We’re both mild disciplinarians and abundantly affectionate with our children. My wife Andrea has given the boys a third perspective of guidance and affection.
Yeah, there have been tensions related to divorce and separate homes. But nuclear families produce their problems, too. Our fractured family seems to have risen above tumult to generate successful parenting results.
Max’s early morning departure was an appropriate symbol of the dawning of his adulthood. Today our sweet, conscientious, strong-willed, articulate, affable, and honorable boy is now a man.
I hope he doesn’t do all of the stupid, reckless, dangerous things I did when I was a freshman at UK. But what I don’t know won’t hurt me. All I can do is have faith that he and his new friends will have the collective sense to remember their parents’ direction and play it safely.
Tonight I played the mp3 of “You Are So Beautiful” on my computer. My dream is unfinished. His and his brother’s dreams are just taking shape. Good times, boys, good times. That’s all I’m dreaming for you. And for millions of other parents who stand weeping in their driveways this week.