Friday, November 1, 2019
Thursday, October 24, 2019
I kind of like that last one. It has a nice cosmic ring to it. “Two-spirit” refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Monday, September 2, 2019
Monday, August 19, 2019
People kill people. Some who commit homicide use guns, some knives, some use rat poison, some use crowbars, some use baseball bats, some use rocks. Some use their bare hands. According to ProCon.org, a non-profit, non-partisan research group, if you take out vehicular homicide, statistics show in 2018 that of the number of unintentional deaths, there were 33,636 people in America who were killed by intentional gunshot. That is 12 deaths per 100,000 population. Of those, 60% of those deaths were caused by suicide. 13,286 deaths (36 %) were the result of homicide. Gun homicides ranked # 15 on the list of causes of unintentional deaths. So 14 other methods were employed more frequently than guns.
Again, according to ProCon.org, there were 35,900 deaths from automobile accidents, or 13 per 100,000 people. Of those nearly 36,000 deaths, roughly 50 % involved alcohol on the part of the person causing the accident. The death rate from automobile accidents has come down slowly as cars have been made safer and laws passed and enforced to help protect drivers and punish those who drive under the influence; however, the death rate has virtually plateaued for several years. So nearly three times the number of deaths from cars versus from guns.
There are over 255 million privately registered vehicles in the U.S. This means the government knows who owns them and, roughly, where they are at any given time. On the other hand, there are estimated to be 310 million non-military firearms in the U.S. A Gallup poll in 2007 showed that over 47 % of all Americans have at least one handgun in their home. Over 40 % of those handguns are unregistered. This means the government doesn't know who owns them or where they are at any given time. Yet, you don't hear anyone clamoring for a ban on cars because of the deaths they cause. It would be impossible. And, people understand that cars don't kill people, people....well, you get the point. Likewise, you don't hear anyone clamoring for a ban on alcohol, even though its inappropriate use is at the heart of more deaths every year than handguns and that is just when alcohol is mixed with driving.
In my opinion, attempting to ban handguns specifically would be a wasteful and hugely expensive exercise in futility, much like Prohibition, and to even attempt it would mean overthrowing the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution not to mention getting over 165 million Americans to voluntarily give up their guns. Some people believe that no one is advocating for a ban on all guns, and, to their defense, no person running for public office has dared to suggest it in their platforms. Instead, most of the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls are advocating that all guns should be “registered”. I believe that will be as unsuccessful as trying to ban all guns. However, according to a recent Washington Examiner poll of registered voters, 41 % of Democrats said they favored exactly such a total ban on guns in the U.S. I have not fired any of my guns in over six years but I am not inclined to give them up and my bet is neither would my fellow gun owners, regardless of what certain media outlets tell you.
So, you may wonder why am I no longer a card carrying member of the NRA? Because I do not believe that a ban or certain controls on handguns and automatic weapons (and workarounds like bump stocks) is a violation of my 2nd Amendment rights. I don't believe, as they do, that any restriction on gun acquisition and ownership is bad. I believe that the sale and ownership of automatic weapons has been and should again be illegal, without option for repeal, with stiff penalties for violators. There should be a mandatory five-day waiting period for all handgun sales coupled with background checks and there should be a mandatory 25-year sentence (life for second offenders) for anyone using a gun in the commission of a felony. Had these safeguards been in place, perhaps there would not have been six wounded officers in Philadelphia last Wednesday.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Monday, July 15, 2019
for parts per .million (PPM) most days of the year. This shows that the deleterious effects of unchecked burning of fossil fuels can be minimized, if not reversed. But what about global warming.