I haven't chimed in on any of the things going on down south. First of all my thoughts to all who have been involved with the deaths and losses this year, both directly and indirectly. I have been in your position and I can understand what a lot of people are going through. I don't have comments on any of the "at fault" views that were discussed here. Life is a series of triumphs and failures. Sometimes the "failures" are greater than life itself. The triumphs are what make life larger than just existence.
Regarding the soccer mom - I can totally understand where Mike and others are coming from and that type of attitude (her's) is exactly the "bad press' that boating doesn't need. Not specifically because of the fact that people have died per say, but how those deaths are being percieved by a lot of people who are not part of the paddling community.
I guess all I want to say is this could be a perfect example of educating the general public. Whether that soccer mom is the typical, clueless, know-it-all that many of us have seen in life or not, I would suggest that in order to shed a positive light on a bad situation that "we" as representatives of the boating world need to at least relay the reality of the situation so that it doesn't result in some unrealistic government regulation that could affect a lot of the rivers we all enjoy. Maybe take a few minutes to express your viewpoint in contrast to what the press/news/gossip may be putting out there. A few cooments from your perspective could totally change the way she feels about the incidents and possibly the way she reacts to her kids when they are of age.
Having said that - I probably would have told her the same things if I were in your shoes.
Once again - my thoughts are with everyone who is part of this. It is so hard having someone ripped from your life at a young age. It is always hardest when those people are the "special one's" that impact the lives of everyone around them and push them to live their own lives to the fullest.
You call me on the phone, you say that it is crucial
You stick your fingers in your ears 'til they explode
I guess the business will be goin' on as usual
We must grab each others collar, we must rise out of the water
'Cause you know as well as I do that it's no fun to die alone