*Please Note*
As of July 2015 many photos have been intentionally removed.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Not 'Fer Nuttin'

I’ve been searching for an ideal way to express myself on the topic that will follow.
Expressing one’s self on a sensitive issue is not an easy thing to do these days. Odd as it may be, communication is easier than ever before in the history of mankind, but I’m not sure we do it well.
A person I admire told me long ago that this blog will serve as a record of how I feel on any given topic. This person mentioned such a thing will be priceless one day for my kids to reference. So in the internet latent regime of memes, Instagram posts, and Facebook rants, here is my contribution on a matter of current events.

Recently there was another mass killing event at a public school. Too many people simply going about their daily life were murdered for what is surely no good reason. Murder is a sad reality of life on this planet, and has been around as long as humans have lived in community with one another. Even in the Bible, you only have to turn a few pages before you read a story of one brother killing another. My point: murder has always been here. Clearly the matter is nuanced nowadays and with good reason. Mass murder is a horrible thing for sure, and when visited upon innocent children it becomes even more egregious and evil. For better or worse, it seems that society wishes to find the solution for this problem in one of two ways:
1.       Mental health (laws, policies, etc.)
2.       Gun control     (laws, polices, etc.)
These may be the perfect ways to approach the problem, they may be the worst ways. Perhaps the solution exists in a combination of the two. I’ll be honest, I have no idea. In spending time writing this I simply wish to make the topic personal, and express my own thoughts on the matter.

Thought # 1: Creating new humans.
It is generally recognized that the modern internet came into being in 1990. The first iPhone was sold in 2007. Think of all the change that has resulted from just those two realities alone. Its reasonable to say that the proliferation of the internet and communication such as it is, has changed humans more in the past 20 years than ever before on the planet. More than the wheel. More than the automobile. More than the telephone or printing press. People are simply being re engineered (or influenced) to think and behave in new and different ways. I believe it would be foolish to consider this is not having an impact on mass killings, visa a vis those committing them.  

Thought # 2: Family structure
Families take on many new looks these days. No Mom, no dad. Step mom and or step dad. Two moms, two dads. And of course, any possible combination of all of the aforementioned. Its not for me to say where the right and wrong in these realities are, I’m simply saying such a varied approach to raising humans is a relatively new phenomenon in the spectrum of the family structure. One thing specifically I wish to point out…. Never before in American history have more families been required to send both parents into the workforce full time. With both parents working full time, at often 2-3 jobs, I have to believe this has a profound impact on the humans we are creating.

Thought # 3: Healthy minds and bodies
We are now living with the first generation of people raised almost exclusively on food grown in factory environments. Use of prescription medication of almost every kind is at levels never seen before for any age group you care to name. Cancer rates, obesity, diabetes, auto immune illnesses are all off the charts. In so much as we are quick to say anyone who shoots up a school is “sick” I believe the way we eat and medicate ourselves, is a contributing factor and will continue to be so.

Thought #4 Government intervention
Frankly, I don’t see the government as having a great track record with much of anything. From our nations budget, to homeless veterans, to wars that will never, ever…ever end, history seems to suggest that increased laws and oversight seldom leads to a beneficial outcome. Health care, prescription drug abuse, a failing education system that is increasingly unaffordable, the list goes on and on. People, in my opinion, continue to look to some form of governmental body to solve problems. I believe society almost never benefits when this happens.

Thought # 5 Nerfing the world
We don’t like hardship. We don’t like pain. We don’t want disappointment or to struggle. We want everything now, from an app on our phone, in 30 seconds or less and we want a trophy for every small accomplishment. Every generation has sought to make things better for the one that follows. Our grandparents fought wars and went through the great depression. In turn, they wanted to ensure their kids went to college and could afford their own homes. Fast forward a generation or two and every teenager needs an iphone and has to play on as many sports teams as possible 5 nights a week. I believe this is creating weak people with poor problem-solving skills. I suggest this is also a factor in the increasing amount of mass shootings.

 Thought # 6 Various headlines
1.      Gun control and/or the 2nd amendment
I’m glad the constitution and our founding documents exist. I do recognize they were written almost 300 years ago when people wrote with feathers and wore wigs all the time. Clearly much has changed. I don’t believe our current system of government on any level is effective in today’s modern world. If I were forced to debate the 2nd amendment specifically, I would say thematically it was written to keep government reach at bay.

         Bump stocks, large capacity magazines, and the like.
Just about any of these things can be 3D printed for almost no money by anyone with an internet connection. Therefore, outlawing this or that is pointless and simply costs you and me more tax dollars, writing laws that are not enforceable.

3       Arming teachers
Listen, my mom was a career educator.  I assure you, she should never be given any weapon under any circumstances. I’m a definite NO on mandatory arming of someone/anyone who does not wish to carry a weapon.  However, in the event that a teacher wishes to be educated properly and carry a weapon, have at it! Let’s face it, there are thousands of teachers across this country who own weapons already and are quite proficient with them. I’m OK with such people bringing their guns into the classroom.
Have you ever met a navy seal or other special forces operator? These people are critical thinkers of the highest order. They are routinely paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach and coach leadership principals every day. How can we attract some of them into the role of professional educators?
Maybe parents should be given a choice. Do they want their kids in a school staffed with armed teachers, or unarmed. 

Hunting rifles and handguns only
A regular theme is that guns are fine, up until a point. People often express that rifles for hunting or handguns for self defense are fine by all accords. Some only object when a weapon has a "high capacity"magazine or can fire at a rapid rate. In my opinion just about all discussion around topics like this are pointless for many reasons. What is "high capacity" is it 10 rounds, 30, rounds, 9 rounds? Is killing nine people less evil than killing 30?  How about that handgun you have no issue with for self defense? How many rounds(chances) does that gun owner deserve to protect his/her kids in a moment of extreme stress? I assure you, from experience....one or two shots is almost never, ever enough to hit a target. Many people speak on the topic of guns having vast experience(s) with them. An equal amount of people, however, have never put one in their hand or been within earshot of one being fired. Yes, everyone has and should have an opinion on the matter. Being passionate about a topic and educated on the same topic are two very different things.

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