US Gun ‘Control’ Laws are Irresponsible – Plain and Simple

US Gun ‘Control’ Laws are Irresponsible – Plain and Simple

Guns-Kids

You’ve no doubt heard by now of the 9 year old girl who accidentally shot and killed her instructor at an Arizona firing range. If you haven’t heard, here’s how the story goes. A family, on vacation, thought it would be fun to take their children to a firing range so that they could learn how to fire a gun. Let’s just stop there for a second. What parent, in their right mind, thinks that handing a gun, with live fire, to a 9 year old is a fun idea? A 9 year old people, seriously! Am I the only one who sees that as being the first fatal flaw with this type of society?

Well, let’s continue. The little girl, was handed the gun but not just any gun, oh no, they put an Uzi in this child’s hands – that’s right folks, an Uzi is a semi-automatic pistol that was first used by Israeli Defense Forces.  Hmmm, defense forces, yup, I can understand them holding guns. A 9 year old, not so much?

The 9 year old girl is shown how to use the gun and fires one shot at the target in front of her. After that one shot, her instructor thought she was ready to experience ‘full-auto’ and takes the safety off. That’s when the girl fires again, is jolted by the recoil, and ends up firing the gun into the instructors head, killing him.

So there you have it folks – a man, who is an army veteran by the way, is now dead. A 9 year old girl has experienced what it feels like to take another human life and has to now live with that for the rest of her life. What does the man who operates the shooting range have to say? Well, he’s shocked, of course, because he never thought this would happen. Especially because he has a strict policy of only allowing children 8 years and older, that’s right, I said 8 years and older, to fire guns – under adult supervision and the watchful eye of an instructor, of course. Oh well now I can understand where this guy is coming from! With a strict policy like that, even I wouldn’t have seen this coming. NOT!

People, we’re talking about kids here! I know that some of our American friends down south cling to their 2nd amendment right to bare arms more firmly than they cling to their own lives – that’s a whole rant in itself, but we’re talking about children being handed weapons that are designed to inflict harm and kill. There’s no other purpose for a gun – it’s meant to ‘protect’ you and inflict bodily harm to whatever it is you feel you need protection from. Is that really something you feel is appropriate to put into a child’s hands?

Listen, I have a 9 year old nephew who I love dearly and who I believe to be of great intelligence. He’s a kid who understands emotions and the consequences of his actions extremely well. Would I ever, even for one second, believe that it would be appropriate for him to hold a gun, loaded with live ammunition, in his hands? HELL NO! There isn’t a single person who could convince me that doing so would be ‘okay’. He’s 9!!! He may be the most intellectual and emotionally capable 9 year old on the planet but the fact still remains that he is 9 years old. He can’t possibly understand the responsibility that comes with holding a weapon that is capable of taking a human life in his little hands. People, I’m 34 years old and I don’t even understand that!

So what happens now? Well, the instructor who was killed will be buried and mourned by his family. Maybe he’s a father, a husband, an uncle, a brother, a son – whatever he is to whomever he leaves behind, his loss will be felt deeply. And the little girl who accidentally took his life, she will have to come to terms with what she did. Lord only knows how she will do that. And the parents of the little girl, they will have to learn how to deal with the fact that they are responsible for her and have to accept full responsibility for putting her in that situation. They have to accept the responsibility of all the consequences that came from this bad choice that they made.

If you ask me, nobody wins! There have been more shootings in the US than I can even count in recent years. And each time the gun control debate comes up, after one of these horrific tragedies, the NRA (National Rifle Association) speaks loudly about their beloved 2nd amendment and say things like “we need to have more people who know how to use guns properly stationed at schools and other public institutions to protect our people.” Oh yeah NRA, keep telling yourselves that. Maybe that will help you forget the fact that your lobbying and your seriously screwed up sense of reality has caused the deaths of countless men, women and children in the US.

As far as I’m concerned, their blood is on your hands. Sure you can say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I agree with you. However, guns make it a hell of a lot easier to kill people. Perpetuating this notion that you have the right to bare arms and protect yourself gives these people who decide they want to carry out mass shootings a reason to justify their actions. In their minds, they are protecting themselves from all the people who were mean to them or made them feel like they were outcasts. It puts guns in the hands of those who are mentally ill and lets them take innocent lives.

All because of your ‘God given right to bare arms’.

I’m So Digitally Connected / Addicted

I’m So Digitally Connected / Addicted

Digital-Addiction

What’s your idea of an appropriate amount of time that can pass before you reply to an email? 1 hour? 1 day? A few days?

I was recently reminded of just how accustomed I have become to the ‘new normal’ in communication. A dear friend of mine had emailed me and it took me 3 days before I had the chance to email her back. When I replied to her email, the first thing I did was apologize for the delay in my response, letting her know it had been a very busy week. She emailed back and said there was no need for an apology because she grew up in a time when she would send a letter and receive a response a month later. Yes, a letter! Her comment made me laugh when I first read it but as I thought about it, I realized that I too grew up in a time before the internet and email (I think I was 10 years old when the internet first became popular).

For what seems like a very long time now, I’ve been completely connected/addicted to the internet and emails. So much so that I’ve had the idea of taking a ‘digital day off’ and writing a blog about my experiences but I just can’t bring myself to do it. A whole 24 hours without a phone, internet, computer, tablet, anything that connects me digitally to the outside world! I think I’d crack in an hour! Seriously! I’m so attached to my phone that I actually feel naked if I don’t have it near me or in my pocket. Is there a support group I should be joining or 12 steps I need to be climbing?

It’s quite remarkable when you think about how relatively new all this digital connectivity is to the mainstream population, and how quick most of us have been to adopt it. I’m a self-proclaimed Apple geek (and proud of it) but the iPhone I clutch in my hands was only introduced in 2007. The first iPad didn’t come out until 2010. That’s not that long ago. However, it feels like life wouldn’t be the same without either of those devices today. They have become such an integral part of my daily activities that being without them would feel so foreign to me.

As foreign as it may seem today, it wasn’t that long ago when when we wrote letters to each other instead of emails. When our social networking consisted of picking up the phone and actually speaking to our friends and family. When we printed out the photos we took on our trips, carefully placed them into photo albums and then flipped through the pages with our friends, instead of simply posting them on our Facebook walls.

You get the idea – life did exist before all this digital connectivity, and some might argue that it was a better life. After all, in those days, the friendships we had were nurtured and developed through conversation and human connection. These days we may have hundreds of friends on Facebook but how many of those are actual connections and not just random acquaintances?

Certainly makes you think, or at least it made me think. So a big thank you goes out to my dear friend who reminded me that true friendships and connections transcend digital connectivity.