Gun Control is Complicated

Depending on where you live and the gun culture you live in, gun control is more complicated than you may think.  The idea that we need to get guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them is one of  the most important issues we face as a country.

Banning assault rifles makes perfect sense for those who believe that there is no place for them in our society.  There is also those Americans that believe the opposite.

Where it gets complicated is determining who should be banned from acquiring and owning any gun or lethal weapon.

People that suffer certain mental issues and display behavior that could cause them to take another human’s life is very key to the gun violence in our communities. There are also those individuals who have fabricated their own reality to justify their actions, sometimes even just to garner attention by surrealistic means.  If you stop and think about it, killers including terrorists were not born killers or terrorists.  Some times these people are easily persuaded to be part of evil activities as a result of letting themselves be influenced by others.

Along with sensible gun control, we need to strengthen the policies, procedures and communication among those groups that can identify a high risk person before they can cause harm to others.  If it is a matter of resources at the local, state and federal levels, we need to provide it.  If it is a matter of oversite and accountability, we need to provide and enforce it.  There are tens of thousands of gun related incidents each year in our country and we need to stop learning from each of them and take whatever action that is necessary to stop them.

Politics has no place in the debate, partisan or not.  Civil, thoughtful and law-abiding citizens need to be heard, no matter what their position and beliefs are.  Personally, I don’t think that special interest groups such as the NRA should have any influence even if that sounds unrealistic and nieve.

For hundreds of years, the entire constitution has been the documented representation of our laws.  This includes the second amendment and all other articles, amendments and subsections of the amendments.  Our solid and enduring bill of rights and the constitution as a whole is what separates us from any other country in the world.

It is just plain and simply not true that the rights provided for in the second amendment are at risk.  The constitution is designed to allow for certain controls which are designed to protect all citizens, not just those who draw lines of opposition. These controls are prevalent throughout the constitution, not just the second amendment.   Regulations such as not allowing for automatic weapons, military weapons, shortened shotgun barrels and so on are in place to provide solid protections for everyone.

I recently watched a story on one of the news networks that reported on the views of Army Lieutenant General Hertling regarding the acquisition and possession of assault rifles by gun collectors and enthusiasts.  It makes some sense and it’s easy to support his position.  It is also worth noting that hunters don’t select an AR-15 out of their collection to take with them when they go hunting, not if they want to eat the game they catch.  The majority of assault rifle owners only fire them at gun ranges and in controlled shooting environments.

All that being said, assault rifles are the reason that we have mass shootings that result in record numbers of casualties.  When an innocent person is shot by an assault rifle, they have little chance for survival given the grotesque damage that it’s bullets cause.  As for me, I am of the belief that we need to stop the murderers from ever being able to buy one, even if that affects those who are not planning on killing.  Therefore there is a strong, fact supported argument that justifies the regulation of such rifles.

Gun control effecting those with mental disorders and criminals such as drug dealers, gangs, religious fanatics and so on is where it gets complicated.

The media speaks of banning the possession of guns by those individuals who have been adjudicated as suffering from a mental illness and deemed dangerous. The truth is that the vast majority of those who suffer from mental illness will never be discovered by a court or even a hospital.  Generally, this group will isolate and only contemplate harm to themselves.  This is however, the most dangerous group of people because there is no way of identifying them before they go off the reservation.

If you live in or near a medium or large city you will hear of deadly, gun related incidents every day, and I mean every day.  In most cases a conflict within these groups is what triggers the violence.  One of the problems we face is that a gang member is not going to walk into Cabella’s and legally purchase their weapon.  No…they can easily acquire their guns and weapons on the street illegally without any registration or background check.  incidentally, the structure of these groups is typically organized and more often than not, deadly.

In the not to distant past, the supreme court has made a provision in the constitution that allows for a person to use a gun to protect themselves and their families.  This to me is very important for those who know how to use a lethal weapon for protection.

I believe that arming teachers in our schools is not a good idea.  There is an unreasonable risk of something going wrong resulting in their death or the deaths of more people.  There is however the argument that members or former members of law enforcement or the military should be considered as an exception.  I think that could make sense.  I don’t think that these individuals are going to whip out their gun every time a fight breaks out among the students.  Overall, I still think it is a bad idea to equip teachers with guns and an expectation that they be the solution for the broader problem.

The efforts of young adult students who are hell-bent on forcing change needs to be taken seriously by all Americans.  Not only are they organized and credible, they have been able to keep their cause in the minds of all of us as a result of their persistence.  I seriously hope that they can endure over time.  As a group, they have also been able to influence those in government who would otherwise just plod along furthering their agenda without regard for the wishes of their constituents and the American people as a whole.  Because of social media, these groups have been able to further their agenda unlike any time in the past.  If you are old enough, remember the draft and peace protests of the sixties.  These opposition groups were made up of young Americans, just as we have now.

It seems to me that some of the baby boomers and the few WWII era citizens who are still alive, come across like these groups are made up of kids who just want to make noise.  Remember, that the next couple of generations are already becoming the ones who are the gatekeepers of the future of our country.  Our experience and wisdom is important, however we won’t be around for ever.

As for the millennials, they will only grow, mature and gain the experience that they will need to succeed in this world.  We can’t take them lightly.

At the end of the day, I personally have not met or associated with people who look at our country as the place in the world becoming full of doom and gloom.  For a majority of Americans, we live our lives without fear and with a sense of security unlike anywhere else.  We face our challenges and we help those who can’t help themselves. We are incredibly generous and supportive of others.

For me, today, my biggest challenge is figuring out what I want for dinner and when Street Outlaws is on Television.  This weekend, the weather is supposed to be nice so I will probably work on my truck then head to Costco to sample myself to a free lunch.  Many Americans will be out volunteering to help those who could use their help or they will participate in being involved in groups that are dear to them.  As for me, next week I will have to figure out how I am going to pay some bills…You get the idea.  It doesn’t change the fact that there are some very serious issues, sacrifices and tragedies that some of us have or will face at some point in our lives. Whether is seems cliché or not, we do live in the greatest country in the world, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This article purely reflects my personal opinions…There is a couple of hundred million other American’s whose views and beliefs are just as important as anything I can come up with.




The Power and Influence of Young America.

In the immediate aftermath of the killings in Florida, we as people of this country will be the beneficiaries of the efforts of our young Americans to effect change.  As I watch these men and women speak to their cause,  I am fascinated by their thoughtfulness, articulation and civility.  You can not help but listen and contemplate their message as well as encourage their actions.  They are not children with a fundamental message that lacks courage and maturity.

Because of this,  they stand to make history.

Because we, as Americans have been exposed, mostly through the media to the mechanical workings of our government, these men and women have the unique knowledge to create a strategy unlike that of any time in our past.  For this, we can thank President Trump.

Because they are working within the real framework of the government to demand change, their efforts should stay fresh in our minds.  Because congress moves slowly, the processes and protocols that these activists will need to get involved in will continually keep their story in the public eye.

What are the answers? what are the specific details?  What are the priorities of the groups?  We may not know until the snowball continues to roll down the hill but we can be rest assured that something affirmative will happen.

I have said in many of my previous posts that the millineals will be the stewards of our country very soon.  Remember, all of these younger adults are starting to vote.  These young adults and soon to be adults already demand sensible governing and this important issue on keeping guns away from those that shouldn’t have them demonstrates their principles.  If you, as a law-maker are trying to preserve the outdated principles and agendas of the past, good luck, you can ignore the change but you won’t be around to see our government return to order.

My personal thoughts on how they can affect change on the subject at hand are far more unorthodox than what might make sense to many.  It is worth pointing out that knowledge is power and the value and values of the young American is evident through out our country, not just Florida.


Political Bias In Congress, In The Media, And Within The Administration. Is It Really What America Needs?

two fighters   The Nunes memo release sheds some light on very serious culture issues within our government and media.

The levels of bias between the two government parties is being raised to a potentially dangerous level given the constant us versus them behavior.  I say dangerous because each opposing party is constantly trying to discredit the other with their political point of view and applying it to some very important legislative issues.

There seems to be no middle ground.  There seems to be an attitude that one party is right on any given issue and that their counterparts are wrong.

How can 530 plus legislators all be wrong, according to their adversarial counterparts?  How can their constituents and the citizens they serve be so wrong in supporting and electing them?

I was taken back by one of the comments that Nunes made during an interview with FOX news surrounding his relationship with his counterparts on the Intel Committee.  He said that he has had to play whack a mole with them throughout the investigative process. To me those kinds of comments represent his level of maturity and a condescending attitude.  It makes me question his intentions and agenda.

His actions are just one example of party bias in both parties.  The democrat’s are not afraid to express their distane for any republican efforts.  The republican’s are not afraid to express their distane for any democratic efforts.  There is always gridlock present when it comes to furthering some very important legislative issues. When it comes to the President, it is a whole different world.  Below are some bullet points that I feel offer some insight into why our government is so dysfunctional.

  • We need to seriously take a look at what our congressional representatives are doing to further the agenda and important issues for their constituents.  If you reflect on what they promised to do and what actions they are taking towards that end, you can see that some of them purposely or involuntarily fall short. In other words,they can’t or won’t fulfil their promises.
  • Congress is a peculiar animal.  Just think about the phenomenon that happens as soon as they get into office.  They start working on the next election.  That I don’t get.  It is important however, to recognize that most legislators do the work of their constituents and thoughtfully accept responsibility for their actions relative to national issues.  It is to me, unfortunate that those who don’t, negatively reflect on the affirmative and positive activities of those that do.
  • The adversarial posture of some can at times appear to be juvenile.  Just like in high school, many of those who represent us act like their popularity within their peer group is more important than their basic responsibilities.  It is also sometimes obvious that we have law makers that have antiquated and obsolete points of view and principles. I think this contributes to why there is so much stealthy corruption, racism and good ol’ boy posturing.
  • Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), the dysfunction of our two-party branches of government will come around to reflect the culture and needs of Americans today.  I think that our government will also come around to respond to, and represent our commitments and mutual interests of our allies.  The solution is obvious, we need to inject a more current open-minded roster of ladies and gentleman into our government.  They will continue to need the mentorship of those who wield wisdom, knowledge and historical context in order to educate them an bring them into the fold.  By the way, I am referring to those that know the mechanics of government and maneuver them to the benefit of the country.
  • When we look at the media, there are several examples of inappropriate behavior. Watching some media coverage can be like a car accident.  You weren’t involved, but you can’t take your eyes off of those that were.
  • There is conservative media, liberal media, far right and far left media, conspiracy theory and propaganda media.  Think about it, they all have listeners, viewers and readers who subscribe to their viewpoints and representations.  That is the beauty of our country and the provisions of our constitution.
  • There is also some in media who behave irresponsibly or debate a  point of view just because they have a talent to manipulate their audience.  It is kind of like an attorney.  They are sworn to vigorously represent their client, no matter what the truth is.  This is a common practice among those in media who pander to their audiences with the goal of improving them or their company’s bottom line.  I personally believe that there is at least one member of the mainstream media who has abused his first amendment right and crossed the line to the point where he is meddling in our government processes.  Often I think his actions can be construed as criminal (you know who I am talking about).
  • With a couple of major exceptions, most media organizations succeed as a result of there responsible, research, knowledge and dissemination of information that is important to their audience.  Like I say, with the exception of a couple of dangerous media operations,  those that are effective are still in business, those that aren’t, are gone.
  • incidentally,  the “expert” contributors on some of these outlet’s panels are more amusing than expert.  This is not to say that most aren’t fascinating, knowledgeable and informative.  I am just saying that some are just plain out there.  Sebastian Gorka is an example of one of the many that are just plain strange.
  • What does “everyone knows this” mean when Trump speaks to a point during discussions with the media?  Why does he run his presidency on the advice of a couple of people in the media?   I can understand why he is critical of our institutions, he doesn’t know how they work.  Why does he always say that our country is a mess?  Isn’t he the maid?
  • By the way, many talking heads lately, try to compare the crap that is going on today to previous administrations, especially Obama.  At the rate Trump is going, he will be the benefactor of the worst number of scandals of all times by the end of his term.  Of course, he will say that he had the fewest and less serious ever and the scandals that he did face, he fixed them himself.

If you are interested, this link will take you to a Wikipedia page that lists scandals by Presidents and Congressional men and women.

Historical Scandals



The Truth About Chain Migration. It is Really About Family Reunification.

diverse images

First off, let me say that the term “chain migration” is a terrible way to describe family reunification.  To me, chain migration is a term better suited to describe the migration of slaves.

President Trump is hell-bent on eliminating the family reunification program because he believes that people who migrate to the US to be with their families are murderers, ignorant and in no way contribute positively to the success of the United States.

Family reunification is simple.  When a foreigner migrates to the US and is issued a green card, they can petition the government to allow them to bring a member of their family to the US to be with them.  The program is limited to spouses, grandparents and immediate siblings.  The application and vetting process takes many years and does not guarantee that the family member will be allowed to come to America.

The system is not perfect and has been exposed to abuse and fraud.  To me, the program needs more oversite and enforcement rather than dismantling.  Remember, we are talking about legal immigrants.

Also, the family reunification program applies to all countries.  Trump is focused on the Hispanic population and he purposely avoids bringing up participants from other countries.  For example, what about European migration, what about the Asian and Indian communities.  Ironically, some people from these countries can also be “Bad Hombres”.  Trump’s comments about welcoming more people from Norway shows that he does not have a grasp on the world labor market.  In the case of Norwegians, a majority have no interest in coming to the US.  Actually, the same applies to Canada. If I am not mistaken, with regard to the imigration of the criminal eliment, the Pilgrims didn’t always include the best citizens of the countries that they migrated from.

The Mexican and South American populations are made up of people and their families who want the opportunity to live the American dream.  Some misinformed Americans including the President and his advisors don’t understand or desregard the positive impact that a majority of the Hispanic population have on our culture and economy. Statistically, this group of immigrants, along with DACA recipients are or become some of the most productive people in our country.

For as long as I have been on this earth (a long time),  there has always been the argument that immigrants are taking American jobs away from American people.  What jobs are they taking?  There are over two million jobs in this country that remain unfilled.  What this administration needs to focus on is training a population of people to fill these jobs, many of which are in the technical and renewable energy industries.

Bill and Melinda Gates are doing what the country should be doing.  They epitomize the concept of the free enterprise and capitalistic systems that make up the fabric of our society.  The ability of employees to grow and prosper is fundemental.  This includes the cultivation of our immigrant population.

Border security, the practice of Russian women coming to America to stay in Trump hotels and have babies; the opioid and drug crisis; the gang crisis; the education crisis; the womans movement among other topics are for future posts.

I just wanted to way in on the important issue of our president’s plan to reduce the legal immigrant population.

Popular Political Talking Points. In My Opinion.

I think these talking points that are common in our daily lives deserve some of my onorthodox input and opinion.

Congress:  Currently, our government’s legislative branches are generally not working the way that they are supposed to.  The Republican party is advancing flawed legislation, repealing sensible regulations and obstructing and dismissing any Democratic party efforts to advance their agenda.  The Democratic side of government does not have a clear and productive agenda.  Instead, some Democratic law makers spend most of their time expressing their dissatisfaction and disdain for the Republicans.  In all fairness, there are members of both parties who take their roles seriously and work towards the best interests of their constituents as well as their role to work for citizens of this country as a whole.  For those that don’t, they need to step down or face a certain demand for their replacement.  This includes party leadership.  It is as simple as that.

The President:  The role of the President is to represent the best interest of all Americans.

Our president is expected to behave in a manner that reflects strong leadership, statesmanship, compassion and common sense.  While in office, the President is to focus all of his energy and efforts to this end.

The basic requirements for the job include a solid knowledge of the mechanics of government, the rules and processes of the legislative bodies and the necessary structure of the executive administration.  Another requirement is the ability to champion causes that improve American’s quality of life, safety and security.  He is required to represent our country abroad through solid relationships with our allies and on the flip side effectively manage relationships with our enemies.  As with all branches of government, the President is required to provide oversight and interaction with state and local governments including providing needed resources of the federal government.

If the President is unable to fulfil his responsibilities and job requirements, he should step down or be terminated and replaced by a qualified candidate.  As a business man, he should know this.  Again, it should be as simple as that.

The First Amendment:  This common and well publicized provision of our constitution affords all americans the right to speak freely without reprisal from our government or any group or individual that opposes us.  With this right comes responsibility.  The first amendment does not provide protection for individuals who purposely propagate malicious, defamatory or libelous statements against another,  This includes making accusations of wrong doing towards any person that are not supported by facts which could be recognized by a “reasonable” person.  The processes with in our system of justice would be the place to make such claims or statements.  Once again it seems pretty simple to me.

Free Press:  Put simply, our forefathers made provisions for the Free Press to have access to all branches of government in order to inform the public.  The first amendment, however, does not protect activities of any member of the press that includes any form of media to purposely report false information designed to damage or defame any individual in government through unsupported and non factual claims of wrong doing.  Ultimately, the free press establishes a form of checks and balances by playing a role to hold government accountable.

Russia:  Russia is an adversary of the United States, not a friend.  Any efforts by our government to recognize them differently, would not be in the best interest of the security and principles of the United States.  Any relationship, whether political or business related must be measured and reflective of the fundamental values of our country.  We need to remember that Russia does not value human life and global civility. This is contrary to the principles of the United States and our Friends.   As far as mutual agreements, Ronald Reagan used to say, extending any trust between the two countries must be verified.  It is ill advised to treat any relationships with Russia and other adversaries differently.

North Korea:  The North Korean government is an example of an authoritarian society that has little regard for the health and well-being of their population or actually, anyone else in the world.  Through propaganda, the government is able to garner allegiance even when their citizens suffer sometimes unbearable living conditions.  Kim Jong Un is one of the most dangerous and immature leaders of any country we are subjected to.  He couldn’t care less who he kills in order to establish himself and his country as a nuclear world power (or at least he thinks so).  Interestingly, Russia and China are a couple of his allies.

The Environment:  Sensible people of the United States expect our country leaders to do whatever they can to improve and preserve or environmental health.  Pollution in many forms needs to be addressed with appropriate consequences.  The only way this can be accomplished is through sensible regulations and enforcement with regard to the practices of our citizens and businesses.  The same priority is evident in the commitments of many other countries.  It is probably a stretch however, to believe that all countries will live up to their commitments.  The administrative office of the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with enforcement as well as corrective actions and established activities administered by scientific and real world expertise.  If the Secretary can’t or doesn’t want to do his job…he should be replaced.  That is pretty simple to me.

Education; Energy; Urban Developement; Health and Human Services and Treasury:  In previous posts, I detailed my take on specific administrative departments and the functions of their leaders.  These departments are currently being run by people who have no clue of what their responsibilities are.  It is not worth trying to explain them.  If I were their boss, I would get rid of all of them.

The State Department:  The State Department is one of two of the most important departments in our government.  The other is our defense related departments.  With out the functions of this department,  we would be at war with many countries.  Our allies will be unable to understand any substantive activities, supportive positions and mutual expectations.  Appropriate diplomatic relationships relative to our enemies is almost non-existent.  We have a president who maintains that he can represent us better than anyone else in government.  Representing diplomacy through Twitter and interviews with hard right individuals in conservative media will most likely not end well.  It is imperative that he allows our Secretary of State to do his job and build an effective organization to accomplish our goals.

The Russian Election Meddling Investigations:  The Mueller investigation has a purpose and is happening as a result of the concerns of the American people surrounding the circumstances of Russia’s meddling in our free elections.  The investigation as it has evolved now includes the possibility that a group or individuals involved with Trump’s businesses or election campaign are complicit in the activities of the Russian government.  The Mueller investigation is the most comprehensive and effective of any of the legislative bodies and their specific investigations.  I strongly believe that it is in the bests interest of the American people to support the special counsel, accept their findings whether crimes were committed by Americans or not.

The President and Republican Efforts to criticize and undermine the counsel’s investigation by suggesting that there is political bias that is influencing the investigation of the FBI is self-serving and dangerous.  The principles and missions of the FBI is fundamentally and overwhelmingly bi-partisan.  Trying to get the country to turn on them really points out the possibility of  sinister motives by the accuser.  Ironically, Imagine a person who lives in a community that believes they can’t trust law enforcement.  (remember the fuzz and pigs of the late sixties).  The vast majority of them will still call 911 when a crime involving them is committed.  Who are a misinformed and misanthropic group of republican’s and some media going to call when they are subjected to a major crime.  It won’t be their cousin, it will be law enforcement including the FBI.  The services of law enforcement including medical assistance are not pre qualified based on an evaluation of party affiliation as some might suggest.  There is a very interesting component to particular groups insistence of a scandal.  It has been recently revealed by the media that a very small group of republican representatives have been meeting secretly to put together a plan to derail the Mueller investigation.  Is it just me or wouldn’t this group represent the most hideous example of political bias?

On this topic and as an aside, have you ever noticed that when one of your kids have done something wrong, you know it, even though they unleash a plan to cover it up.  The tells are obvious and usually include them attaching themselves to you and over and over denying any involvement even when you don’t ask them.  They also blame shift.  Is this happening in our government?

Personally, I think that our government needs to clean up their act.  Those who do effectively function in their positions need to expose and neutralize those who don’t.  I still have faith in our institutions.  It may just take a while for them to get grounded again.

My Unorthodox Take on America


As we come to the end of another year, we need to stop and take stock of where we are as a free and prosperous society.

At times, our faith in our system of government is tested, even though it never should be. Since 1776, we have aspired to be the greatest and strongest country in the world.

Our constitution and financial standing has survived every test that could be thrown at us.  Our form of government is the most durable form of government on the globe.

Our freedoms are backed up by a constitution and laws designed to protect our livelihood, safety, opportunity and to afford us the right to live without fear.

Our form of government can not be undermined by anyone who seeks to compromise or destroy us.  We are strong and face conflict head on and we will always prevail.

We value life and in doing so, we accept our role as stewards of democracy around the world protecting whose who can not protect themselves.  We partner with our friends whenever they need our help.  Since we are all the product of immigration, we welcome those who seek the freedoms and opportunities that our country can provide.

We are compassionate, generous and we truly do love our neighbors as we do ourselves. Generally, we live our daily lives with optimism and civility.  We generally spend our lives confident that our government represents us and functions in our best interests. We are not afraid to challenge those who don’t.  We can demand change and support those in government who recognize the importance of our principles.

We will at times get discouraged.  Sometimes we are faced with enormous personal challenges, social inequities, ignorance and evil.  We have faith that as a society, we will eventually overcome all obstacles to achieve our common goals and reinforce our core values.

We have the right to disagree.  We have the right to speak freely.

Remember, yesterday is today’s history, today will be tomorrow’s history and our young are our future.

Remember America is already great…the Greatest.  We can’t and won’t let anyone try to tell us differently.