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Taking a whack at solving the world’s pressing problems

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We all have our own thoughts and suggestions about how to solve the world’s problems, so please allow me to offer mine.

• We should consider eliminating the instant replay system now being used in most professional sports or else do away entirely with the officials assigned to call those games.

There is no reason to have both.

Some would argue instant replay is needed to ensure all calls are made correctly. Fine, but why should officials even try to make the correct call if everything is going to be reviewed and possibly reversed later?

Implementing the instant replay system several years ago has led to nothing but controversy, confusion and arguments, with no one being totally happy. Sports in general survived just fine prior to instant replay and could probably make it longer even if this technology disappeared.

Viewing an athletic contest on TV where instant replay is involved has become more like watching a Science Channel experiment, playing a game of bingo and watching a reality quiz show all rolled into one instead of simply watching and enjoying a ball game.

• In order to save time, money and eliminate questions, maybe we should run a one-time series of television, radio, newspaper or online ads saying something like; “Even though all medicines, prescription or over-the-counter, are designed to fix what ails you, they can also kill you — even if taken correctly.”

That should be enough to take care of any and all legal questions that might arise later.

• We need to pass a law requiring that all cellphones registered to anyone in the United States can be used for no more than a total of one hour during each 24-hour period.

Whoa — on second thought, this might not be such a good idea!

Even though most lives would likely be made more productive, the number of murders and/or suicides would also likely reach astronomical proportions in a hurry.

My bad, I wasn’t thinking.

• Two shooting attacks took place last week, one in Dayton, Ohio and the other in El Paso, Texas, killing a number of victims.

Meanwhile, since those events occurred, another estimated 1,200 people have also died in car crashes on our nation’s highways.

This prompts wondering why we haven’t seen an outpouring of concern about this development from politicians, celebrities and other expert analysts — with TV cameras rolling, of course — offering their proposals aimed at eliminating all vehicles in order to stop this needless slaughter of humanity on the highways.

After all, those who lost friends or relatives in grinding car wrecks likely feel as bad about it as those who lost loved ones in the gun attacks.

If this were to happen, however, we might also begin hearing from those proposing we do away with things like fire, airplanes, tornadoes, boats and sharks, all of which were also responsible for deaths during the past week.

While plenty of people much smarter than I have offered their ideas on how to stop the shooting attacks, here is another one.

We could station 15-20 heavily armed guards at entrances and exits to all stores, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, schools, businesses, swimming pools, golf courses, stadiums, offices, day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, factories, post offices, airports, train stations or anywhere people tend to gather in groups.

For scheduled events like concerts, plays, athletic contests, weddings, funerals, graduations or banquets, the number of armed guards should be increased, and metal detectors, airport scanners, TV cameras and lie detectors should be installed.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have everyone planning to attend these events first complete a questionnaire to determine whether they have a history of mental problems, have been laid off from their job, have ever been mad or upset with a spouse or other relative, have ever gone online to learn about guns or have ever thought about staging a terrorist attack.

After receiving and analyzing all data, experts could then send more armed guards along with psychiatrists to locations where they think attacks might be more likely to happen.

While these suggestions might sound totally idiotic and impractical, and I’m sure they do to many of you, they’re not a lot worse than some we’ve heard over the last few days.

Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at