Now, here’s something to get upset about

In the fifth version of GTA, players assume the role of one of three criminals, and then drive around a fictional city and commit or witness crimes including: carjacking, assault, drug use, murder, prostitution and rape. Actually the company claims the rape scene isn’t actually rape; rather, it is meant to “imply cannibalism” — because that’s so much better.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, September 28, 2013

There are a lot of things a parent can, and should, get upset about as it relates to their children, their education and things to which their kids are exposed.

A lot of people were upset because of the Common Core State Standards for education that would have replaced the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in 2014. But Gov. Rick Scott recently put the brakes on those plans, so now all is wonderful in education in Florida, and tea party types can go back to sticking their heads in the sand.

Seriously. Tests don’t educate our kids, and they aren’t what we should be getting worked up about as it relates to their development or education. But the tea party needed to do something to appear legitimate so it got worked up about Common Core.

If there is ever something to get fired up about, or if you ever wondered why we’re raising a morally tone-dead generation of citizens, take a look at the recently released video game Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5).

In the fifth version of GTA, players assume the role of one of three criminals, and then drive around a fictional city and commit or witness crimes including: carjacking, assault, drug use, murder, prostitution and rape. Actually the company claims the rape scene isn’t actually rape; rather, it is meant to “imply cannibalism” — because that’s so much better.

The video game had sales of $800 million in its first day of release. By day five, it had broken the billion-dollar mark and is on track to become the No. 1-selling video game of all time.

GTA

The game is intended for adults, but it is apparently all the rage among teenage boys who are its unspoken target audience.

A mom with a 13 year-old son was over at our house last weekend and she said her son has been begging for GTA5. So she did some research on it and told him he can’t have it, and why. He kept begging for it, and she kept telling him no. At some point he frustratingly told her, Continue reading “Now, here’s something to get upset about”

Addressing gun violence one bumper-sticker solution at a time

But would banning ice cream sales result in a reduction in the number of rapes? Almost certainly not. Why? Because the correlation does not demonstrate the causation. Looked at another way, they have a shared cause, but there is no correlation. The cause in both cases is hotter temperatures. That is, rape is more likely to occur in warmer months, just as ice cream sales shoot up during the hot summer season. Banning the sale of ice cream to reduce rape makes about as much sense as banning guns to reduce violence.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2013

Most anyone who has taken a statistics class has heard the example of the incidence of rape rising when sales of ice cream increase. Does that mean rape is more likely to occur as ice cream sales rise? The evidence says yes.

But would banning ice cream sales result in a reduction in the number of rapes? Almost certainly not. Why? Because the correlation does not demonstrate the causation. Looked at another way, they have a shared cause, but there is no correlation. The cause in both cases is hotter temperatures. That is, rape is more likely to occur in warmer months, just as ice cream sales shoot up during the hot summer season. Banning the sale of ice cream to reduce rape makes about as much sense as banning guns to reduce violence.

We get bombarded with stats, figures and polling data every day. Much of this, particularly the polling data, is next to useless. But it doesn’t stop the media from fixating on often-times meaningless numbers to tell a story. Real facts and figures are harder to explain, thus the preferred use of polling numbers.

But hard facts don’t lie. According to the FBI, in 2011 there were 8,583 firearm-related Continue reading “Addressing gun violence one bumper-sticker solution at a time”

Take more steps to protect our kids

Take more steps to protect our kids

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published October 12, 2011

Last week Joseph Kenneth Oliver Jr. was arrested for aggravated child abuse after he dropped 9-month-old Aaliyah Siler on her head. According to police, Oliver said he was playing with the girl by tossing her in the air when he accidently dropped her. The child began crying. When she wouldn’t quit crying, Oliver took her to the bathroom and intentionally dropped her on her head two times, police say. He then put the battered girl in her crib, where she remained lethargic for several hours before Oliver took her to the hospital.

Little Aaliyah later died, and police have since upgraded the charge against Oliver to first-degree murder.

Oliver is no stranger to police — he has a criminal history that includes multiple charges of domestic violence and a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer. Mr. Rogers he is not.

Unfortunately, cases like Aaliyah’s are all too frequent.

While nothing will bring her back, society has a duty to protect other innocent children, and something needs to be done — quickly.

In Florida we now require Continue reading “Take more steps to protect our kids”