Guns: A Guide for Dummies

I am so tired of hearing the racket that is the gun control debate. Nothing could be such a echo chamber as people who probably haven’t shot a gun trying to elaborate policies that honest to god won’t work. Recent events like the Parkland Shooting and many others keep bringing gun control to forefront of national news. I’m not at all interested in going into every detail about what happened or didn’t happen. I want to talk about guns and the people that shoot them. You may not know it or like it but I’ve shot guns and I thoroughly enjoy guns of all types. I own a small set of Nerf guns proudly. More to the point though, I have shot two real guns in my life.

I definitely want to go shooting again but opportunities are rare especially in a city of 8.6 million people. I experienced my shooting at a Boy Scout camp. I shot a 12 gauge shotgun which was such a thrill. I also shot a little .22 rifle. It was your typical pigeon shot. As turns out I was a good shot. My love for guns began way before I shot them at 15 years old. If you didn’t know I received my bachelors degree in history. One of my favorite topics to study is war. One of the first guns to ever come to American soil was a flintlock. Flintlock rifles are ancient but are some of the coolest replicas you will see. To shoot a flintlock, first you load the lead ball with rod down the barrel similar to a musket. You have to cock the hammer an then you put the gunpowder on the pan.  Now you are ready to fire. When you fire, the hammer strikes the flint which creates a spark in turn igniting the gunpowder and propelling the bullet.

I always found the weapons of each decade of war to be interesting. Weapons have a tendency to evolve. Weapon development has contributed to many of today’s inventions for civilian life (a whole other post). Yet, here we are in 2018 with seeming rampage of school shootings. Many people believe that its because of the technologically advanced rifles and ease of access for buying them. To some degree, I will agree that access to buying them is a little bit looser than it should be. However, the simple fix is psychological evaluations along with background checks. As a rule someone who is on psychotropic drugs shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. The problem that I see is not guns or the background checks or lack thereof.  Gun. Free. Zones.

The stupidest three words ever to put in a sequence. Gun Free Zones– there I fixed it. I have noticed a pattern that all the schools, colleges and places that tend to get shot up are in fact: Gun Free Zones. This is the one common denominator aside from guns in all shootings. Listen, guns are merely a tool like a hammer, knife, truck, or crowbar, these are objects that don’t commit any crime. Honestly, its the gun free zone is that the real killer. For a second just imagine you are a disturbed school shooter. You bought your guns illegal on the black market. Now you need a place to carry out the dirty deed. What place is going to let you spill the most blood without much resistance? Honestly if school or college isn’t in your top 3 then you might be a bad criminal. Needless to say, imagine that same scenario but all the schools have at least 20 people packing heat. If I’m the criminal I’d think twice.

Moving away from being demented human being lets consider my point about other tools that could be used a killing weapons. Gun Free Zone doesn’t cover them. So if you can honestly tell me that you would rather be unarmed than armed to defend yourself and others then wow you are brave. Congratulations. Guns are like nuclear weapons. There is a reason why Trump and Kim Jong Un haven’t already started the nuclear holocaust. Nash Equilibrium. I like to call it: game of outcomes.  The basic principle is that most of the time the best strategy is not to shoot until its absolutely necessary. Kim Jong Un understands that if he nukes the US, we will hit back 1000 fold. The game of outcomes can be used to understand why arming everyone that is not a psychopath would actually be effective in preventing shootings.

Just tell me what the chances that you would shoot between the following options:

  1. 100 people, unarmed
  2. 100 people, 50 armed, 50 unarmed

My guess is that you wouldn’t shoot in option number 2. Unless you had a death wish. Once again its a game of outcomes.

In summation, the point of my guide is rally against Gun Free Zones which are ridiculous. If you think a criminal would follow the rules than why does everyone speed or not turn on their blinker? Both laws and yet nobody seems to mind when they break them. Its not that crazy or insane to think that Gun Free Zones are the problem. Just please stop this insanity. Please!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Have a great day!

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Police Violence and Racial Tensions: War Intensifies

The past events of this week have brought the racial tension and police hatred to a fever pitch. The protest of police shootings has led to retaliation by the same people who feel oppressed.  The amount of death and destruction caused by this police versus colored people is absolutely unnecessary and unfathomable. It is unfortunate that police had to shoot and kill two black men. It’s unfortunate that 5 officers had to die in Dallas because of those same police shootings. Nobody should be dying from unnecessary violence. Not black people, Not police officers. I am beyond mortified by these events and the coming war that will only get worse unless we act to remedy the real problems that exist. This post is not a political grandstand nor is it an attempt to cover up or dilute the loss of life, no matter what color skin.

The first problem is obviously the social construct that is racism. People often forget that racism isn’t just limited towards black people but all people can experience it. It is accepted that black or colored people often face racism in common everyday situations. Unfortunately there are no laws or rules that we can make to fix racism. Racism is born out of our history. America was a slave holding nation in the beginning and after the civil war that same distinction that slaves had become the stigma of colored people. The racist ideas about colored people have never died only adapted over time. Now we see it in voting laws, education, police matter, and much more. Racism has one fix. It starts with you and me. In our everyday lives, we need to treat everyone fairly regardless of skin color. If you are in a position of power then judge people strictly on merit and character. Most importantly, encourage others to do the same.

The second problem is retorhic  of political nature. What I mean by this is that politicians especially liberals and President Obama tend to talk negatively about police. Yet at the same time they pass policies that hurt those people they say they want to help. The rehortic of gun control is also damaging to police and people who carry guns. The same people who want to ban guns are the same people who trust the police with guns. We need to stop talking and start doing something. President Obama does almost nothing but side with the victims. He gives no objective or constructive input on any of the situations that occur with gun violence by police or criminals. It’s unfortunate that the liberal media demonize guns and black people then it makes police shootings seem that much worse. The problem with talk is that its cheap. Politian need to shut up and maybe do something constructive to help mitigate this violence.

Now I want to look at what is not a problem and some possible solutions. It does no good to try to pick a side or try to sympathize with either of the victims. One thing that clearly isn’t problem is guns. There is no getting around the fact that guns will always get into the wrong hands. It happens and always will. We don’t need gun control just need to regulate who gets the guns. I have said this before, we need psychological evaluations every year just like a car inspection. Along with a yearly background check this will combat the number of people who get guns who might be a risk to shoot up some place.

Unfortunately there are limited solutions in tears of laws and rules. But one possible way to quell police shootings is through some stricter protocol of when an officer is actually allowed to pull the trigger. I personally know an NYPD cop. He and I have had conversations about police shootings. One of things that he told me was that officers are typically trained to go on their instinct. If they don’t feel safe then they are allowed to draw their weapon. I think officers should probably be trained to only pull the trigger if there is an absolute and immediate threat to their well-being. Such as if a suspect draws a gun themselves or another deadly weapon. The addition of body cams could help make sure that the officer actually does follow protcol. For me, I am just as concerned for the person who is being pursued by police as the police officer.

Another thing is make gun laws nationwide. The second  amendment guarantees the right to bears no matter what. Unify the gun laws so police know that in every town, county, city and state have the same laws. This way police can act accordingly. If every non-felon who has passed a psychological  evaluation year has gun than its fine. Another important thing if you do have a gun and the police ask you to identify where, then you should comply. The basic concept is that as long as you cooperate you shouldn’t need to worry about getting shot by police whether your white, black or any other color. However, on the flip side if you don’t comply then police should have a right to draw their gun. If you try to touch your gun then I would say they have to right to shoot. Its only fair.

If we don’t make changes to our justice system or to our social constructs this violence will only get worse. Its even worse because the two presidential candidates are totally blind to causes of this violence. Its never been white vs. black or police vs. black. All of these supposed rivals are human beings. We have set up these battles for political gain  or personal gain. This is not a new thing. We need to fix the laws accordingly and be more understanding of other’s struggles. Sadly, only a few people grasp the reality of this violence. The political policies of the democrats and republicans have only made the racism and wealth gap larger. Its no secret that the elites wants to battle each other. Look up Gender 21 or George Soros. Look up the Illumati. Look up who owns most of the world’s money. Its only about 300 families. People need to wake up. If we let these tragedies  control our emotions then we let the government take away more of our rights. Its a vicious cycle.

Just to remember to respect people of other races and respect the police, because like everyone else they have a job to do. Thanks for reading!

Safety over Rights or Rights over Safety?

I often think about the great debate that plagues Americans everywhere. It seems that all the struggles in America come down to the choice of safety and security or group and individual rights. This debate has brought out in detail by the recent mass shooting in Orlando over guns and radical muslim terrorists. This debate is nothing new. One of the problems of governemnt especially with a democratic government is that it allows free choice. Free choice in itself can be good and bad. You can choose to make good choices that help you or others. You can also choose to kill people. Of course, for every bad choice or legally wrong choice there is consequences. Our democratic government has fallen into the trap of limiting bad choices of its citizens. This is a natural process throughout our history as we advance through time. The problem with choosing security over rights is quite simply that it takes away the rights of the people. The people as the constitution states, run the government. It can be noted that dictatorships actually demonstrate a full view of an security state. The power of the government is vested in one person. That one person is the government and makes all the decisions. That dictator controls all the rights of the people. Therefore in theory, the safety of the people is guranteed because adjustments by the dictator can be made. However, many dictators are corrupted and use their power to undermine the safety of the people. Ultimately it undermines their rights. In a democratic government the debate over safety or rights is an issue because we follow a constutition which lays out the specific power limitations of government.

The constitution is a very important document that is not fully understood by many Americans. I want to point that the constitution doesn’t grant the government power to do whatever it wants. The constitution is not supposed to be taken advantage of or used to increase personal power or wealth. The constitution is supposed to make sure that our government does its job. The job description of the government is written in the constitution.  Checks and balances and Judical Review both are instruments to help keep and uphold the constitution. If people reconigze the constitution as a statue of limitations then it totally changes how you see our government. Remember the people run the government. Not government run people.

The constitution also lays out our rights as people that are basic to everybody who is an American citizen. The bill of rights is the most important addition to the constitution because it gives us those freedoms that we enjoy. Many people, politicans and groups argue over the 2nd Amendment. This is the right to bear arms. If you don’t know there are two ways to interpret the constitution, they are strict and loose interpretations. In each interpretation, the right to bear arms means the right to own a gun regardless of the purpose. The amendment actually stipulates two different laws. The first is that of a well regulated militia for the security of a free state. In a strict intepretation this would be out of date since we no longer have militias. In a loose intepretation this would mean that if necessary then a militia could be formed. The second part of the law applies to current events.

The second part states that its “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall be not infringed”. This statement in both interpretations means the right to own a gun is not to be taken away under any circumstances. The narrative after the most recent shooting is that assault weapons should be banned. Let’s set aside the fact that bans have never worked. (Tell me about bans: Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes under 18….how are those working out? If you ever drank under 21 or smoked a cig under 18 or smoke pot in a state wheres it illegal then you probably know that bans don’t work right?)  The problem with banning assault weapons under the second amendment is that there is no legal grounds to do so. A better solution that has no legal ramifications constitutionally is more extensive background checks and psychological evalutions at 1 year interevals. In this case, there is actually a way to choose safety AND rights. Unfortunately, the government would prefer safety because it increases their power. If they can take away your assault rifle then that’s techincally voiding the second amendment and legalizing all guns for bans. The logical solution is that getting a gun should be very hard through extensive background and psychological evalutions. I would propose a similar regulation to that of motor vechicles. You need to register your car every two years, get an inspectation (In NY STATE) every year, and update your plates. Its not that cheap to own a car with all the expenses like insurance and all that I just mentioned. So why can’t we do this with guns?

I think that its clear that our rights our being traded for security. I want to give one more example. The best example of government picking security over rights is after 9/11. Its obvious why the US government took the steps that it did to protect us. What isn’t so obvious is that they violated our rights while doing so. The main culprit is the Patriot Act. The Act gave legal power to government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NRA and others to spy and keep track of all citizens. The means by which this was carried out violated many of the constitutional bill of rights. It far exceeded the power that the government should have had. The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 9th amendments have been violated by the Patriot Act. This was done all in the name of security. You may ask then, how do we let this slip by us? The answer lies in who we voted in office. The congress has become very stagnant with the same people in office for many years. This allows for complacency and inactitivity.  One of the problems that occur in the safety vs. rights debate is that politicans are often on both sides. Politicans tend to claim that will defend our rights. In practice, they usually end up either creating new rights for their own advantage or taking away rights for some to help others. Politicans are plagued with self interest and greed. This is human nature. It seems that being a poltiican only makes these two vices worse.

Since 9/11, we have certainly traded a lot of rights for what seems like the same standard of security. I feel like trading rights for security has never worked. Many political observers have often noted this fact. I look around the world with new terrorist attacks every week, I can’t see how we are any safer. I also want to add another facet to the gun debate that also involves rights. The right to keep arms is usually in your house. However, the right to bear arms would suggest that an open carry policy is the constitutional standard. One of the common dominators of terrorist and mass shooting attacks is gun free zones. These safe zones are not so safe and are usually: schools, colleges, clubs, shopping malls, government buildings, convention centers, stadiums. Many people are against an open carry policy, usually offering the argument that America into Somali, a war zone. However, let me submit to you an example of open carry policy in a US state, a state that has had no mass shootings in recent memory since 1983. That is 33 years with no mass shootings. This state if you don’t know already was admitted to the union as the 49th state. It was purchased in Sewards Folly which should be a dead giveway!  Its in the arctic circle. Its Alaska! Yes, Alaska has an semi-restricted open or conceal handgun policy with similar restrictions on other guns. So basically, you don’t need a permit to carry or conceal a handgun. For other guns and assault weapons you may need a permit or not depends on where. So how can this be?

Well, my friends this is how gun control works. I want to use analogy to wrap up my post. Let’s say that Country A and Country B are neighbors. Country A has a nuclear weapon. Country B does not have a nuclear weapon. If Country A decides to nuke Country B there isn’t much that B can do about it. If both Country A and B have nuclear weapons (Same amount) then if Country A threatens to nuke B. The result will be one of two: Country B threatens to nuke or Country B is nuked and retalites. In a situation where both parties have equal strength of force it will become a zero sum game.  If country B does get nuked then retalites against A then they both loose. However, if they both decide against launching their nukes then they both win. This same logic can be applied to guns. This is usually called deterence. It can be more powerful than any passable law.

I know that personallly I would rather have my rights over safety because rights give you safety. The government can’t protect each individual its just not practical or possible. Allow me to suggest that we start advocating for rights over safety so we can guard the constitution, the law of the land.

Thanks for reading!

2016 New Year, Same old politics.

It is now 2016 and it is the election year. Donald Trump is still leading the polls for the Republican party. Hillary Clinton still leads the Democratic Party for the nomination. Interestingly, the political race has not changed much. With the Iowa causcas coming up in a month or so the stakes for the race to the nomination are heating up. The purpose of this particular post is to recap some ideas about the political race and some insights on what is going on with certain issues. Instead of speculating who may win or who has a better chance, I want to focus on the issues. Statistics and precedents can predict the winners. The winner will obviously become the leader of the free world with the power to influence and create policy. People tend to forget the President is merely a policy creator and influencer. His actual job description is to enforce the law that Congress writes. The executive branch must execute the laws. This seems simple on the surface but in reality, the complexity of issues and the lack of bipartisanship on the part of congress makes a President’s job much harder.  Conservative critics of President

Obama accuse him of using too many executive orders to avoid going through Congress. On the one hand, they have a point because Congress is supposed to pass the laws not the President. On the other hand, President Obama cannot work with Congress because of various extreme views within both parties. The executive order most recently used by Obama was for gun control. A controversial subject and order. I thought it was neccessary and the correct path until Congress decides to act. Let’s face it, background checks don’t obscure the individual right to own a gun. This is especially true if said individual is a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record or psychological affects. 

One hot topic that usually decides elections is the economy. The economy usually includes job creation, minimum wage and corporate taxes. The clear divide between a conservative and liberal policy is simple as lower corporate taxes and minimum wage to encourage job growth versus higher minimum wage and corproate taxes, respectively. There is nothing wrong with minimum wage in principle is a good regulation to keep wages from bottoming out. However, if raised artifically the minimum wage can adversely effect the economy and job market. The democratic party believes in a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage.  I believe that this is a misguided raise. Raising wages without using the market value as a guide is just stupid. I have said this numerous times in numerous ways that the it will end up increasing poverty and decreasing jobs. Common sense will dictate that a person who works at a fast food establishment should not be paid as much as some who works in bachelors degree position. Its not fair to that college graduate who paid at least 30 to 100 grand to attend an university. Another effect of artifcally raising minimum wage is that prices and cost of living will also rise with it. I really wish I could tell the Democratic candidates how dumb they sound.

Another hot button topic is healthcare. Obamacare is just an expensive mess that happens to insure people at an unaffordable and unsustainable rate. The simple fix for Obamacare is get it out of the government’s hands. Allow free competition among health insurance companies. The free competition will help lower prices because the best companies will have the MOST business. Obamacare is primarily a government run organization that picks the winners and losers rather than the market. For those who cannot afford insurance, cut some other useless government programs that cost money and use that money to subidize a strict bracket of uninsured. Once again, this is where conservatives want to repeal but I haven’t heard of a good plan to actually replace it. I think that my recommendation takes a part of the idea of obamacare but makes it better.

My last topic is college education debt. I recently recieved a call from Sallie Mae to repay my loans. (Its a struggle to pay for anything with no job) Fortunately all presidential candidates are putting forward plans to help reduce student debt. One program that New York State has just come out with is Get on Your Feet. I am in the process of signing up. It pays for your loans for two years. Its pretty good. However, what worries me is that these programs are costing taxpayer money. So what I would like to see is where is the money coming from? I feel like some tweaking to certain sections of budget could easily pay for college debt. For example, the military budget could be cut a little bit. The largest military spending budget in the world. I’ve heard college debt is approximately 1-2 billion. Consider that our military budget is about 600 billion to 800 billion. So just imagine if the government would hold the military accountable and cut about 5 percent that could fund healthcare, social security and college debt. Also we could still crust ISIS or anyone else. I actually go against conservatives because they would love to increase military but its not necessary anymore. We need to protect our borders and not worry too much about everyone else.

I hope you enjoyed my two cents. I am waiting in earnest for the nomination winners and looking forward to the debates that will come betweeen them. Those debates are usually the most interesting. Right now, I think Rubio will end up with the nomination for the Republicans. Despite Trump’s strong poll, he is not backed by establishment. Right now in the liberal camp, I think that Hillary Clinton will win. Clinton is the establishment democrat.  Should be interesting to see what happens. Stay tuned as I will update periodically.

Socialist Fundraising and Second Amendment Rights: Bernie Sanders rise to the top

You may or not have heard that Bernie Sanders is on a roll. He recently just became a fundraising legend–supposedly hauling 26 million dollars. He does it without any help from super PACs. The only other candidate to roll without super PACs is Sanders’ exact evil twin, Mr. Trump. Despite Sanders massive monetary support he still lags behind Hillary according to this recent CNN poll. I will say that Sanders has become an impressive challenger for the presidential race. I admire his ability to say he wants something then actually stick to his morals. Not a common quality in many ANY politicians. Sorry about that typo. I have on multiple occasions criticized Sanders for his “cosmetic economic” policies and the like.

I wanted to look some of his other policy positions because of the recent tragic event at a community college in Oregon. This tragedy has occurred in many different instances with different circumstances. It continues to be a problem in American society. Gun violence seems to be constantly popping up. My Condolences go out to the families and the college community that lost 10 friends and colleagues. This should not be happening and hopefully one day we can end this kind of horrible massacre. 

I am a moderate supporter of second amendment rights. I have shot guns and enjoy it. However, I find it unthinkable to ever turn a gun on a person or people. It’s events like one in Oregon that keep us coming back to what to do about gun violence. Logic tells that the extremes almost never work. Before I go into my own strong opinions lets see what Bernie Sanders’ would do about guns? After all, he is a senator from Vermont. In case you don’t know Vermont loves guns. If you have ever been to Vermont, its beautiful, and they love their nature and guns. So I would expect Bernie to have a decent, not too extreme plan to have deal with this problem.

So in his twitter reaction to Oregon tragedy, Sanders tweeted two things:

“We need sensible gun-control legislation which prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them.” – Bernie Sanders

As a nation, we must do everything we can to put an end to this awful epidemic of senseless slaughter. – Bernie Sanders

@SenSanders (twitter name)

I happen to agree with both statements. However, let me point out that extremes such as taking away all guns or letting everyone have guns is a crazy idea. I hope when Sanders says he wants gun control legislation that he means more intensive background checks and psychological evaluations. The problem with most democratic gun control plans is that they don’t actually fix the problem.

The simplest way to explain it is with the 1920 experiment of prohibiting alcohol. The 18th amendment was passed in 1920 that ban alcohol. The result became an increase in crime and drinking. It only led to more people wanting to drink. Drinking could be eliminated especially with invention of smugglers getaway cars. We now know those fast cars that smugglers used as race cars. (Side note: Drinking and NASCAR are like peanut and Jelly for good reason) The 21st amendment repeal prohibition and after that crime decreased and drinking stay the same due to the depression. Regardless of the circumstances, drinking alcohol never really disappeared. The same can be said for illicit drugs which also have laws banning them outright.

So I don’t understand where democrats get this crazy notion that banning guns will solve anything. I believe it was Marco Rubio who put it perfectly: Gun laws won’t work because criminals ignore laws. This was Rubio’s one great shining moment. Anyway, the basic argument can be used for letting everyone have a gun. Many memes on the internet compare it to a war zone and the safety that war zones are not well-known for. It’s a very funny but very lame point. Let’s be realistic that no amount regulation or laws or anything can prevent people from shooting people. (In fact, call me sick but overpopulation could be a problem with lack of drinking water just saying sometimes people have to die…cycle of life) It’s a moot point really to say that we eliminate all violence.

However, the negative outlook doesn’t mean there isn’t positive hope. I believe the best way for Sanders or any presidential candidate for that matter to approach the gun violence would be installing regulations and psychological evaluations. The next step would be to increase gun safety education in schools. Instead forcing kids to do useless math problems or read fairy tales maybe teach them about the dangers of guns. I remember being in middle school and having the ill-effects of marijuana and alcohol drilled in my brain. The alcohol warnings apparently didn’t stick that well, I love drinking. The former however, stuck well as I have never touched marijuana. (weird fear of trying it, don’t ask) Back to my point, I believe that education is the great prevention. It seems to have work with sex. Everyone has had sex education and knows that drill. In the end, you can’t rely on regulations and laws its always about PEOPLE!!!

Let me save the whole sex thing for another post. That’s become quite a big headline with planned parenthood. At the beginning of this post I went over some Bernie Sanders campaign numbers. I highlighted some issues on the second amendment. I gave my strong opinion about the gun violence. I also have felt sorrow for the victims of these tragedies. Something that I am looking to forward to on a more positive note is the democratic debate. I really want to hear Bernie battle the already embattled Hillary Clinton. I haven’t been so excited for a debate since last election. I have been reading different articles and finding that Bernie has a legitimate shot to win the primaries. I don’t like all his policies and refuse to vote for a mainstream candidate but I rather have him win than Clinton. My bias is obvious.

The most important point in this post is that people commit the crimes and people die in the crimes. In the end, its the people who end this violence. We are the People! So vote wisely. Thank you for reading.