Little can be done for the pain and devastation of losing a child, a sister, in the prime of her life. But let’s hope Lafayette’s Murphy family at least can comprehend how many others’ lives have been altered by the tragic loss of 24-year-old Nicole, a talented soccer player and med student — just an all-around standout person. In every corner of the community, help is pouring in. And on Tuesday, July 20, many more will come together for the Sammy Kershaw and Friends benefit concert at Parc International beginning at 6 p.m. Joining Kershaw are Jamie Bergeron, River Road, Jared Lane and Geno Delafose. Tickets are $35 and are available at all Acadiana Popeyes, Burgersmith, Pizza Hut, and Coyote Blues locations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Tragedy befell the Murphys in June on what was to be the trip of a lifetime to the World Cup in South Africa. Nicole was killed by an allegedly drunk driver, and her brother Brian is recovering from major head trauma. The family’s medical costs are astronomical. As of last week, Popeyes, Theatre League of Louisiana, Pizza Hut, Schilling Distributing, Acadian Ambulance and Acadiana Bottling had come together to put on the concert. Many more will likely follow.
As crude oil from the BP disaster continues to flow into our beaches and marshes, information on the spill is evidently flowing out with less frequency. It might not rise to the level of media blackout, but the Coast Guard and BP have been making it a lot harder for news outlets to get the story on what’s happening. First it was BP and its private security goons harassing reporters, but last week Admiral Thad Allen, commander of the spill response, did a one-80 on his transparency pledge and imposed a 65-foot distance between reporters/camera operators and booms, according to CNN. Now, an oil-soaked pelican — an iconic image from the spill and its devastating effect on coastal ecology — huddled on a barrier island surrounded by booms will be off limits. Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t make it go away.
What would Jesus do? Packing heat in a house of worship is probably not high on the list. What would Jindal do? Sign a bill allowing just that. Gov. Bobby Jindal provided the punch lines for the rest of America when he put his Hancock on a bill by Rep. Henry Burns allowing churchgoers to carry concealed weapons in the house of the Lord. There are caveats in the bill: the gun toter must have a concealed-carry permit, the pastor must announce the presence of firearms to the congregation — “Bob’s got a Glock in the third row, y’all. Can I get a hallelujah?!” — and the carriers must undergo eight hours of training, because having a .22 in the pew is different than having a .44 on the floor in the drive-thru at the Burger Barn. Burns cites the danger of attending church in tough, inner city neighborhoods as the impetus for the bill. We like Rep. Barbara Norten’s response: “If you need to have a gun in church, you need to go to another church.”
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