Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Unsafe Haven

The big front-page story in Suffolk County, NY is now the quadruple homicide at Haven Drugs in Medford. It is too early to come down with too much in the way of definitive statements as to the motivation behind the crime, inasmuch as more and more facts seem to surface with time. It is the worst multiple homicide in Suffolk County since the now infamous six-victim Amityville Horror in 1974.

It seems that the alleged perpetuator, David Laffer, may well have had some accessory aid and abetment from his wife.

It is very disconcerting to me for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that my after-school job during senior year of high school was at a local pharmacy. In those days -- well before HIPAA and the big deal that is now quite appropriately made over health care information confidentiality -- the Old Man told me in no uncertain terms that he would chew me out if I came in late or had a fender-bender with the delivery station wagon (which he did to me for the former, and to my successor for the latter), but that there would be no second chance if I were to disclose anything regarding what prescriptions were being dispensed to a customer.

In the big drug chains today, the pharmacy operation is basically separate and apart from the other retail business. Without in any way denigrating any of the pharmacists who are employed by a big chain pharmacy (the ones at the local big chain outlet where my wife and I have our prescriptions filled have, with few exceptions, proven to be quite knowledgeable), it takes a certain kind of person to be in the independent pharmacy business.

My observations:

1. The brutality of this crime should give opponents of the death penalty pause.

2. Would the incident have been quite as tragic if the perpetuator had tried to pull off something similar at the independent pharmacy establishment of Jerome Ersland?

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