let’s talk

In my opinion, the system is broken.  I will not argue against that.  And I know that several of you feel the same way.  However, I suspect that we are coming to that conclusion from very different perspectives.

In full disclosure…  I’m a male, caucasian, libertarian leaning, card carrying member of the NRA.

Not joking.  Those are four truths about me.

I know!  I’m a horrible person, right?  Not only was I born into white privilege but I’m greedy and selfish and I lack empathy.  I might even be racist.  I’m too ignorant to understand that my choices are the wrong ones…

No, I don’t believe I’m a horrible person.  I don’t believe I’m a racist.  I don’t believe I lack empathy.  But, I am greedy and selfish when it comes to my family and friends.  I want the best for them.

The following statements, while not popular, are still my opinions, and I will respectfully listen to and discuss your opinions on any and all subjects, not just the ones I’ve touched on here.  Send me an email.  Leave a comment.  Start a discussion and I will respond.  If you write something that I deem to be something less than respectful discourse I will delete the comment without warning or response.  So, no name calling, please.

You should understand going in, that I am at peace with who I am, I enjoy spirited conversations (arguments), will occasionally defend arguments that are the opposite of the actions I would take in my own life, and these conversation starters are all beliefs that I consider to be truths:

Making it harder for good people to get firearms will do nothing to decrease violence in our country.  Those intent on doing harm, will find a way no matter the laws in place.  I want the option to defend myself, my family, and my property, without having to jump through more loopholes than those who may be out to do me harm.  I believe if every household had at least one gun in it then all crime would decrease.  But, of course, it isn’t just about having that firearm.  It is about learning respect for it, and proper care and handling, which would require more parents to actual live up to that name.

People will find themselves in difficult situations.  This is not a utopia and it never will be.  But, the help should come from their friends and families.  It should come from the connections they have made in their local communities.  And, as a last resort, it should come from charities that have been set up by the generous donations of those who have chosen to be philanthropic in such ways.  The government is too broad a business to effectively monitor and distribute resources to those in need.

Perhaps the banking industry was partially at fault for the recent economic crisis, but I would lay the blame on the borrowers and the government before I held anyone in the banks accountable.  The government forced the banks to make loans to lower income and reduced asset applicants or face being fined for discrimination.  Borrowers purchased homes they could not afford hoping they would be able to afford them in the future or they could flip them.  Maybe a few of them were coaxed into loans by predatory lenders, but they still should have done the research to understand the documents they were signing before they did.  Nobody forced them to take a loan they could not afford.

The current judicial system is a joke.  A tragic, unfunny, travesty of the standard it is supposed to be living up to.  I have no doubt there are people at all levels of the system who are truly trying to live up to those ideals but there are too many things working against them.  Laws upon laws upon laws trying to encompass every scenario conceivable have made it so on any given day innocent people can go to jail and guilty people can walk free on technicalities, on the lack of proof, on one attorney having a better day than their counterpart, on the cost of trial making it easier to take a plea, on and on.  I don’t have the answer, but I do know that we should chisel down the law book to keep it simple.  We need to make the law something we can all know and understand.

And, now, what do you think?  What questions do you have for me?  What are your opinions?  How do you feel about the militarization of our police forces?  How do you feel about the Keystone Pipeline?  How do you feel about the United Nations?

I’m ready to discuss.  (be patient with my replies, as most of you know, my access to wordpress is spotty at best during the day)

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81 thoughts on “let’s talk

    • Yes, I wonder if my comfort level with guns would be completely different if I hadn’t grown up learning how to use, and respect, them.
      I wish I knew a good solution for fixing our broken nation. At times it seems that if we could get the media to shut up for a minute and stop dividing us then we might be more open for communication, to come up with real solutions, rather than growing farther apart… but that would be censorship… and I certainly don’t want to walk down that path.

  1. I agree the system is very broken.

    I don’t agree with the firearms rationale you listed, but even as a bleeding-heart, ultra-left leaning uber-liberal, I am not against all gun ownership either.

    Questions: What do you think is a fair way to handle gun sales and registration? Do you think all types of weapons should be available to any and everyone?

    • I think it should be as easy for law abiding citizens to get firearms as it is for criminals. If someone perceives a threat in their neighborhood they should be able to legally purchase something that day to protect themselves, their family, their neighbors, because the criminals don’t have to have background checks and wait a week for the cooling off period, right?
      There will be tragedies, yes. But, sadly, that is life. I hope they never happen to my family, or any of my loved ones, or, actually, anyone at all… but they will. And I’d rather be prepared, and have the option to buy/use whatever might be used against me.

      • “As easy for law abiding citizens to get firearms as it is for criminals”

        Unless the law abiding citizens are going to become criminals and steal the guns, that isn’t really an answer. You don’t think there should be any background checks at all? (I live in a state that does not have a cooling off period so I can’t speak to that).

        What about background checks that include mental health overview (hospitalization, etc.)? Some jobs can’t hire a person depending on their history with mental illness (high level labs dealing with anthrax, for example)…so would that be the same thing?

        (you know I love ya, right? 🙂 )

      • (Big bloggy love, of course, my friend – that was part of the point of this. We can have different opinions on things and still be friends.)

        I think fewer laws and less regulation might be the answer… though, perhaps the gun stores could require a quick safety and training course for your first purchase…
        Guns may make it easier for unstable people to inflict great harm quickly, but it is not their only option. Can we really regulate every aspect of their lives, and who determines who is impacted, and for how long, and to what extent, and on and on…?

      • Well, that is why I said “depending” on history of mental illness vs. anyone with mental illness. But that’s another thing that is broken: help for those with mental illness. Especially for those who don’t have family (or have family that don’t “believe” in those things) or other resources.

        While it is true other things can cause death, guns are usually more efficient when you get past your standard hunting and recreational “at the range” use.

        I 100% agree some sort of training needs to be done with new gun owners. My father was a cop and firearms instructor. I remember sitting through a “formal” presentation at home when I was 9. But I also grew up with loaded weapons in the house and was sufficiently freaked out not to touch them (mainly because I am a klutz and was afraid of messing something up, not injury or death).

        I may have missed it, but do you think all grades of weapons should be available for “everyday people” or should there be a limit (automatics, etc.)?

      • Automatic weapons are very rare, and almost a non issue at this point. Without proper training they are nearly impossible to use with any sort of accuracy. I don’t see much point in them from a self defence stand point when I can shoot far more accurately, and nearly as quickly, with a semi-auto. Or, are you really asking about “assault” weapons as dubbed by the media?
        Yes, mental health resources and awareness need a major overhaul in this country. I completely agree!

      • I know plenty of people with automatic and “assault” weapons. As in, “I have seen them in their houses, including my brother’s”.

        I had to look it up…in VA, automatic weapons can be owned privately but have to be registered with the state police. Great…but not everyone I know with these types of guns, etc., bother locking them up so that doesn’t help with the keeping them off the street either. But like you also said, they are hard to handle, so why have them if the rationale behind looser standards (ok, there has to be a better way to say that but I have to go in a sec) is self defense?

        (I have a huge issue with ignorant gun owners vs. just gun ownership in general)

        I have to go into meetings the rest of the day, but good talk so far. Maybe we can pick this back up later, when I actually remember the right terms to use for things. Or even if I don’t 🙂

      • I also have a huge issue with ignorant gun owners. But, again, I don’t want to sacrifice my “rights” because some people are idiots.
        I look forward to continuing the conversation later. Have fun in your meetings. 😝

  2. Sadly, I don’t have the answers, either. I don’t know that having easier access to guns is necessarily a good thing.

    As to the financial crisis, I blame both the lenders and the lendees. Yes, I know the government passed legislation that forced the banks’ hands, but as a business I would pay a fine before I lent money out I’d never have returned. Issuing a loan you know will be defaulted on hurts both the bank AND the person you’ve issued the loan to.

    There are a lot of things broken in this country. Unfortunately our politicians will vote the way whoever funded them wants them to. I STILL say that campaign contributions need to be outlawed, but the people who benefit from them would be the ones who would have to approve such a law, and I don’t see that happening. So, frankly, we’re screwed. The rich are still making the laws in our “representative” government.

    • Yes!! Campaigns should have a set limit. You are only allowed to spend x this year, make the most of it. Think of the billions that have been wasted on campaigning over the years that could have been better spent on infrastructure, mental health programs, job programs, etc… Our campaign budgets are larger than some countries’.

  3. The UK has very strict gun laws and in my 33 years I have never seen one, held one or known anyone who owns one. That doesn’t mean that people don’t get shot. The issue is not the guns, it is the people that use them.

    I’ve become increasingly enraged by all the tweets and blog posts that seem to demean the entire white community based on the events of recent months. What angers me more is that I have seen members of the white community join in with this and almost apologise for the actions of a few. Being white does not automatically mean that I am privileged – I’ve had to work my ass off for everything that I have, and I am not apologetic for this. I don’t apologise for being the colour that I am, nor do I expect anyone else to do the same. The reason why I choose to live in an enormous multicultural society is that I love the diversity of my friends, neighbours and colleagues and I learn a lot from them. I don’t blame entire communities for the actions of a few, and I’m sick of being told that my life is easier than others because I was born with pale skin.

    I believe that everyone has the right to be treated equally. I believe that nobody should be denied rights based on race and religion. I believe that supporting your local community is important regardless of the colour of your neighbours skin and that there has been several huge miscarriages of justice, and those communities have every right to be angry.

    However, I also believe that rioting, destroying local businesses, causing millions of pounds/dollars worth of damage, attacking innocent police officers and inciting racial hatred is not going to help the cause.

    • I may be white, but I grew up on 600.00 a month in a small mining town of 2,000 people in the middle of the desert. My mom kept me fed and kept me clothed, but that was at the expense of her having anything nice or having much of the way in clothes. We didn’t have a car or many of the other things that most people had. Very little in my life has ever been given to me and most of what I have I worked my ass off for.

      The whole “white privilege” thing angers me too.

      However, some of the happiest times in my life were back when I was poor but didn’t really know it.

  4. Judicial System:

    After watching my brother lose a battle he should have won in court against GE and watching my girlfriend go through custody and restraining order shenanigans with her ex, I am convinced the system is not so much broken as it is rigged. I think the judicial system is like playing a game in Vegas, you better have deep pockets and know that the house almost always wins.

    Guns:

    As for guns, well I’m not a card carrying member of the NRA but I own guns and I have a California Concealed Carry Permit. I think the gun ownership question is tied in to the rigged and/or broken judicial system. Maybe if gun crimes were dealt with harshly and swiftly, we would have less gun crime? Hard to know for sure. Most people are against violent felons owning a gun and I am in agreement, but all that takes is a swipe of your drivers license in most places. A quick background check and you are done. Playing devils advocate on this though, I have a friend who is a registered felon for something stupid he did when he was younger. Now that he is older he is most definitely not the same person. Doesn’t he have a right to protect himself if he is a genuinely changed and rehabilitated man?

    I know the question of gun ownership and mental illness comes up. Mental illness is covered under PII (personally identifiable information0 rules and is not subject to background checks. Maybe we shouldn’t change the rules there and include those on the background check.

    Registration of guns…doesn’t work, or it least it doesn’t work well. Law abiding citizens register their guns. Law abiding citizens do not use their guns for crimes. Criminals (at least the half way intelligent ones) use stolen guns, black market guns, etc. to commit crimes. Again, make the punishment fit the crime.

    Welfare:

    I grew up on welfare. I grew up in a small mining town, over an hour away from pretty much any other town with any type of job. Family wouldn’t help. In fact, when my mom had a chance to get a job she asked my grandmother to babysit. My grandmother looked at her and said “I raised my kids, you raise your son.” So, she didn’t get the job. Welfare was not something she liked being on, or was proud of, but she had no other option. Now, growing up on welfare and then later having a girlfriend that was on welfare, I have seen how it helps and I have seen how the system is again rigged.

    Welfare is NOT set up to help a person get back on their feet and get off of welfare. Welfare rules and regulations set you up for failure and to perpetuate the welfare system. If you manage to get a job, welfare will take most of your money up to a certain point. So you never make more than what welfare gives you, which really isn’t much. You can’t have a savings account, so good luck trying to save up any money to get yourself out of this bad situation. If you get child support, they take that too.

    Case workers are overworked and often burn out. They don’t perform their jobs well because of this, and the system gets slow and clogged.

    • The system is rigged. I agree. And that rigging transfers across all areas of concern here.
      It isn’t just the welfare system that sets you up to fail. The prison system, per a friend who is currently in jail, is exactly the same way.

      • Yup. I think we have one of the worst prison systems in the world. When you start making prisons a for profit enterprise, rather than a punishment/rehabilitation program….well the industry is going to expand.

      • I’m not sure the system is actually “for profit.” Well, the prison system that is. The judicial system is, and I guess the prison system is part of that… so, another example of everything being rigged together. Ugh. It’s all just a bit depressing, really.

  5. I support your right to own a few guns… I’m not sure if I want people to be able to own bunkers full of military type weapons. Wait… you did say you aren’t going to shoot those of us who have a divergent opinion, right? I mean, please bear in mind that I am also a white male…
    (okay, I really hope you see the humor in what I was trying to say there)

  6. You know what I hate? Insurance companies. Talk about a waste of an industry. People treated each other like such assholes that someone came in with the brilliant idea to have a middle man, a mediator so to speak, so you and I don’t have to deal with each other. Now I pay a premium to a company who will negotiate responsibility on my behalf and come back to me with a sum total of financial responsibility on top of the “consulting” fee (premium) I pay to not have to manage my own responsibilities, with no input from me.

    • I could do a whole post on the scam that is insurance! If we could just treat each other with respect, act like adults, and use a bit of common sense and decency, that whole industry could go away.
      And now we are legally obligated to be insured in how many different ways? Such a waste.

      • It is a waste, and I think there are some instances when it makes things worse. It also removes responsibility. I can go out and live like an asshole, smash your car to bits, and keep driving. I may pay a higher premium, but that’s it. I get a ticket, and keys to a new car, only to drive like an asshole again and smash someone else’s car to bits, repeat. Sure, eventually I will lose my license, but it takes a lot to get there. I just get to be an asshole with no responsibility for my actions until I’ve caused so much destruction someone finally takes notice. Even then, there’s no guarantee I’ll be held responsible in any tangible way.
        I other words…I agree with you. It’s a scam.

      • Ugh. How do we fix it? I have no brilliant ideas, obviously, beyond trying to start conversations like this and getting people to question these “necessities” that are forced upon us.

      • The cynic in me says there is no end or solution. The industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, and if we eliminate the industry, we’ll have to be full on prepared for an economic downturn of epic proportions plus the re-creation of a new industry to take all the insurance cast-offs. Same thing with truck drivers. It’s much more environmentally friendly to use trains, and quicker and not dependent on traffic patterns, but to eliminate an entire sector of jobs, it just isn’t going to happen.

  7. I have written up a comment twice, and I have deleted them twice. I don’t know if it’s cowardice or self preservation. Perhaps the four of us (you, the Queen, Poncho, and myself) could break bread one day and hash this all out. I promise to take the aluminum foil hat off. 😀

  8. You really opened a can of worms with this one… giggles. I haven’t even read any of the comments yet because I do not want to get sidetracked. LOL Firstly, the banks are exceedingly guilty, and I feel strongly there should be jail time attached to the crimes they have committed. If you or I did what they did we would be serving time…mark my words. Allow me to explain… they didn’t just sell fraudulent loans to unsuspecting home owners, they lied and manipulated the facts so that they could. I agree that the borrower should know what they can and can’t afford, however, your average homeowner is no more capable of negotiating a complex mortgage contract than a (crap! strapped for good analogies) but you get my meaning. Banks knowingly did bogus appraisals that inflated the home values so they could lend more than the homes were worth. The home owners had no idea that they were being lied to about their homes value, and the storm hit when the values tanked and everyone was upside down. Legally the banks should never have been allowed to lend the amounts of money that they did. Our lender attempted to do that with us during a refi. Luckily we were smart enough not to take the money. It use to be that banks were not allowed to lie or be predatory, there were rules prior to deregulation, and people came to expect that they could trust their bank to sell them a good loan and not steer them wrong. This is why so many people ended up in trouble…because they didn’t question what they were being told, they didn’t think they needed to. If you think I am cuckoo just do a poll. Start asking people anyone and everyone to explain to you what negative amortization is. Then count the number of people who actually know what it is without having to google it. It is appalling in this day and age that there truly is no one you can trust.
    Moving on…. guns…I totally agree with you. I think everyone should be packing. 🙂 I love the scene from a movie where a robber walks into a bar and attempts to rob it and pulls a gun only to recoil when everyone in the bar draws on the robber. He had walked into a cop bar. LOL That is how it should be…everyone should worry about committing a crime because ordinary citizens might be armed and willing to defend themselves. Militarization of our police force…eeeek not a good thing… but our police force would not need to be militarized if portions of our citizenry didn’t act like animals and would stop committing crime in the first place. Our police force responds to criminal activity, that’s their job. Officers are not racist simply because they are white. It is not the law enforcement’s fault that in certain areas statistically there is more crime committed by certain ethnicities. Does this lead to racism… well yeah…I think it would for almost anyone. We react to what we see and if what we see every day is a stereotypical ethnic crime suspect then that is what we start to believe. I would hate to have to be a cop. Maybe the answer is to limit the number of white police officers in predominantly ethnic areas.
    I have very unpopular opinions about the ferguson incident. I am not racist. If my own son had robbed a liquor store and attacked a police officer I would expect he might end up shot as well. Michael Brown was not an innocent victim who was racially profiled… he was a criminal thug who attacked a police officer. We can argue all day about whether that should have resulted in his death, but the truth is he would be alive today if he had simply been obeying the law. It was totally in his control. Where is that personal accountability!? That said…racism does exist. People are racially profiled all the time, and it needs to stop. Trayvon Martin WAS racially profiled, and had done nothing wrong. The jerk who killed him should have went to jail for life without the possibility of parole in my opinion. He was told to stand down and not engage. He was NOT a police officer, He was just a neighborhood watch person. He profiled Trayvon and decided to start a fight that didn’t need to be started, and when it didn’t go his way and he was getting his ass kicked he killed Trayvon in retaliatory aggression. He should not have gotten away with it. Zimmerman has gone on to harm others and show the world his true colors through domestic violence and continued clashes with law enforcement. sighs… moving on…
    Governments handouts…paid for by our tax dollars…. I just don’t have the answers…. on one hand I agree with you… it should be community, but what happens if the community refuses to offer help and support…do we just let some people perish? For me it’s a bit of a quandary. Okay enough stirring the cauldron… 🙂

    • Hooray for cauldron stirring! Your comment deserves more of a response than I can muster on my phone. I’ll reply again later. Thank you for being a part of this discussion.

    • Our thought on Ferguson our very similar, and so I will leave it at that. I also agree that the militarization of our police force is a bad idea… but, that stems more from my thought that the police should be “peace officers” and not “law enforcement.” That’s not just arguing semantics, but two very different approaches to the same job. If they were simpler around to help keep the peace when we couldn’t settle disputes amongst ourselves, they wouldn’t need to be militarized, and that ties nicely back into your thoughts on more of society being armed as a larger deterrent to the criminal element.
      Banks… Okay, in full disclosure, I work for a bank, so I am going to be slightly biased here. But, I consider getting a mortgage to be very much like voting… just because everyone else is doing doesn’t mean you should just show up and sign on the dotted line. You need to do your research, you need to come to the table informed. Yes, there were predatory lenders, but I would wager that for everyone one of those there was a predatory borrower as well. The ridiculous rate of property value increases from flipping is probably a result of deregulation, but I’d put that more on the heads of the government officials who pushed that than anybody else. If people didn’t understand what they were signing they should have asked questions, hired a lawyer, etc… But, yes, there is blame for all in this situation… the borrowers, the government, and the banks. I just don’t like seeing the banks as the only ones called to task for it. Why aren’t the media asking for all the fraudulent borrowers to be tracked down? Why aren’t they parading around the + interest figures that all the banks have paid back to the American taxpayers for the bailouts (that most of the banks didn’t want in the first place and were forced to take)? In reality, it is the media stirring the cauldron here!

      • I totally agree that the media is a huge cauldron sitrrer and they very often misrepresent the truth which causes much more harm than good. sighs… I personally think there should be laws that only things true and verified can be broadcast to the public. Imagine how nice election campaigns would be if they had to tell the truth. LOL I found the thought of having to hire an attorney to go over a mortgage contract a little disturbing, and I wonder why you wouldn’t support the idea that banks should have to be up front and clear, not shady, and predatory? Also I have tried in vain to come up with a scenario in my head where the borrower could be fraudulent and harm the bank in some way when clearly the buyer is on the short end of that equation to begin with. I have heard that the banks had to pay back some of the bailout and you are right that that fact has not been widely publicized, again…media. There is always more than one way to look at things…hence spirited debate. 🙂

      • Truth in politics? Nobody would ever get elected…
        I can’t speak for all banks, but I know the big 3 (along with most major non banking financial institutions) paid back every dollar, plus large amounts of interest. Some of them were paid back in less than 3 months…
        I am not arguing that banks are blameless, but am tired of them receiving all the blame when there were people in all facets of the industry gaming the system that led to the collapse. The number of fraud cases was increasing exponentially in the years leading up to the crisis. And a lot of borrowers were blindly keeping up with the Jones’ and knowingly buying homes they couldn’t afford once their rates adjusted. If we go on a witch hunt for bank employees, we’d also have to go after every person that submitted bad info on their applications, insurance officers, appraisers, tax officers, and the government officials that pushed all of this into motion in the first place.

  9. Let me ramble out my thoughts. Thanks for the open forum.

    My 15 year old daughter tells me that she gets “dick pics” from boys all the time. All girls do. Plus they are propositioned in school. We hear about it all. We talk about it. She makes good decisions. I trust her. But yuck. The only thing that stops these boys (and the girls who do the same thing) is for someone to send the photos back to the boy’s (or girl’s) MOM.

    To make a short story even longer… a long time ago I was in college. There were no cell phones. But there was a lot of alcohol and drugs. There were rapes. There were guys taking advantage of girls. I was always careful. But there were times when I wished I would have slept in my own bed – but that was on me, even when I was drinking. But if I had been raped I don’t think I would have ever reported it unless I ended up in the hospital. I doubt it anyone would have believed me.

    I was molested by my orthodontist when I was a teen and I never told anyone – because nobody would have believed me. That is what I learned. That That was just the way things were.

    But I knew that most guys were good guys. The guys I had as friends, classmates and room mates were good guys.

    Now I worry about young men who are accused of rape because a girl has changed her mind about having sex with him. Some girls even lie about it when they haven’t had sex with a guy. I’ve saw that happen in college too. I didn’t understand why the F they would do something like that. I figured it was because the guy didn’t like them. But that was my 20 year old opinion.

    I look back and I can see the guys I went to college with and know they would never force a girl into anything – but they all partied. Stuff happened.

    Now young guys are afraid an innocent fling in the night with some crazy girl will get them kicked out of college because the girl changed her mind three weeks later, or got pissed off at him, or whatever. It could even happen with a girl they are “dating.”

    I worry for the boys and the girls. What is it with people who lie? What is it with people who use force against others? Why do people use sex as a weapon? It is so wrong on every level.

    So why do they do it? Where the crap were their parents? I have a zillion answers to this but anyway… Since I’m around teens all the time this is one of the discussions that keeps coming up.

    And all the other points you made… I have to agree with you.

    • An important topic to add to the mix…
      I am terrified for the little prince. In school all I had to worry about was grades and bullies…And those bullies were left (mostly) at school. We didn’t have social media yet. We didn’t have this cultural where one emotional outburst, one shared secret, one mistake online could ruin lives forever. … I am terrified for my son and the world he is going to grow up in. And yet, I have this knowledge that our parents managed to get us through some interesting times from their perspective, and their parents likewise. Each new generation faces new challenges, and the queen and I will do our best to rise to those challenges for him.
      Thank you for being a part of this discussion.

  10. Okay. I hope I don’t ramble. It is way late. I am a caucasian female and a libertarian. I’m not a card card carrying member of thd NRA, but I fully support those who are. I couldn’t shoot a gun to save my life. That said, there are so many ways fo end someone (chokehold anyone?..crocodile dundees this is a knife). I also go to the extreme when i say drugs should be legalized as well as prostitution. If we make this legal, they turn into business dictated by supply and demand, and quality. Who will patronize the brothel who gives STD? I find it most hypocritical that alcohol and nicotine are legal, when i have to present ID for my anxiety med. Our criminal justice system is a joke. Money talks. I love your term peace officer. How refreshing. I also don’t think banks should take the brunt. You know where I work. There are plenty of financial predators outside of the industry. our government is bloated. i do believe in assistance. just dont believe govt is the way to go. i always ask where thd money will come. I could go on, but ive wasted enough space. If this tarnishes your view “about” me, i will have to deal. Thank you, dear.

    • Tarnish? I do believe it is the opposite of that. It’s amazing how similar our views are! Thank you for being a part of this discussion!!
      And I completely agree about legalizing all drugs. Legalize, regulate, tax, monitor, etc… CO and WA seem to be on the right track with marijauna, but that just needs to the first step forward.

      • I’m going to get into trouble for this one…
        Their body, their life, their choice?
        I don’t know. I understand it would be nearly impossible to regulate out exploitation in that kind of industry, and it would probably be the wiser choice to keep it illegal but I do like the idea of people getting to have freedom in choice of how they live their lives (as long as they aren’t having others). (Self harm its fine – again, freedom of choice for their life.)

      • Trouble indeed Mr…. lol I don’t believe for a second that anyone barring a nympho would choose such a profession given a better option. The problem is that women are never truly in control in the pay for sex arrangement. They are so often abused and harmed.. sometimes even killed, and you know as well as I do that nearly anyone under the right circumstances (ie abuse and brainwashing) will choose things not in their own best interest. So I agree with you about choice….we all enjoy the freedom to choose, but there are people who need to be protected. 🙂

  11. I feel it should be very difficult to obtain a gun. If you are a responsible gun owner, don’t you want the process to be tougher? If anyone can easily get a gun, doesn’t it make all gun owners look worse?

    • I’m not sure I follow your logic… what does ease of access have to do with responsibility as an owner?
      If I move into a neighborhood, and everything seems fine at first, but then my neighbor threatens to kill me one day, shouldn’t I be able to go out that very day and get the means to defend my property, my family, and my life? By making it harder for me to get a weapon, the government is putting my life in unnecessary risk? The cops can’t be everywhere 24/7, and I don’t believe they should be either. We should be allowed to protect ourselves with the same type of weapons that may be used against us…

  12. Fuck guns. They’re stupid. But people are stupider and alternately not. I have a hard time believing that we’re not in the golden age of humanity, that we’re better than what’s come before even as we’re worse because not everyone shares in the plentitude. But isn’t that why we write? To remind ourselves of what life should be and what matters? Exploring the dark half… lonely lepers going at it with alarming vigor as the next black man gets gunned down for no reason (or for some reason).

    You know Matticus, we have a hard time giving a shit about people anymore. They’re expendable when we don’t know them, less so when we do, indispensable when they’re part of our lives. We trivialize life, and get upset when people trivialize ours… we demonstrate hypocrisy but it’s strangely the downtrodden (of which I used to be a part) that give me hope because they seem to give a shit. Maybe they have no choice. When I was poor, I cared and gave… now that I’m not, I’m a selfish, privileged asshole, and no lesser words will do. But I want to teach my kids better, and I had better do just that, or what… or what’s the point. NRA, guns, whatever, that’s not the point and it doesn’t matter. It’s what we feel and do and how we choose to regard our fellow people, no matter who they are or what our predispositions towards them might be… or even what their thoughts might be on us. This is one world, under a god who’s never appeared, in the face of a spark of evolutionary life to which we had not right, not really, except that we did, and we grew, and here we are, and here we are talking about something that is so unprobabilistic… but it is, it is, and so are we, and the very fact that you ask these questions gives me as much hope as anything in this world.

    Now let’s find some answers.

    • Trent… fucking hell I love your words. “It’s what we feel and do and how we choose to regard our fellow people, no matter who they are or what our predispositions towards them might be… or even what their thoughts might be on us.” We could take that rambling sentence are start a whole new world, a better world, based on the principles, the ideals, the common sense that is dripping from every word. I’d be a part of that world. I’d want my child to be part of it.
      Yes, answers. Those are important, and worth chasing. And perhaps by asking questions here we can start the conversations that will find those answers. But, I’m just one person, one tiny voice in the cacophony that is the blogosphere, and that is just a blip of a single winking star in the vast expanse that is the internet. My questions will not be heard on their own… and no answers will come.
      We need more people asking questions. We need more people questioning why things are the way they are and how we can make them better. We need more people questioning the need for name calling and the lack of proper and civilized discourse. We need more questions!

  13. Wait a minute, now. It is my understanding that if we make owning a gun illegal, all shooting will stop. Isn’t that how the government solved the drug trafficking problem in this country?

    I think everyone should be on welfare. Then we could all sit and home watching our big screen TV’s and giving our government a reason for existence.

    Also, I cannot believe you would suggest that we live in a less than perfect world! I mean, gee, doesn’t everything make sense when a robber can break into my home to steal from me, slip on a slick spot in my kitchen (I mop the floors nightly, because, perfect world), fall and cut himself on the knife my husband (not me, because, perfect) left on the counter, then sue ME for injuries occurring in MY home and WIN?! And you say our judicial system is broken! What world are you living in, DJ?

    Oh, and it’s ok to be a racist if you’re black. End of discussion.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to apologize for my sarcasm since the reality of all of the issues you brought up has left me an utter cynic regarding an average American’s ability to think. I wonder what would happen to this country if everyone TURNED OFF THE NEWS altogether? To that end, I keep hoping that the show “Revolution” is not fiction. 😉

    • Revolution is …fiction? Dang. I had such high hopes.
      I love your sarcastic reply here, it echoes most (if not all) of my sentiments about the way of the world right now. And, yes, I too wonder what would happen if we turned off the news… I tend to think the world would be a better place.
      I’m not sure what world I’m living in… it changes every day. 😉
      Thank you for being a part of this discussion!

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