The Rights of the Confused

canstockphoto13039994“It’s my right to own a gun. Nobody can tell me how many to own.”

“People are going to kill anyway so guns are not really the problem.”

“You wouldn’t want someone limiting your right to freedom of religion”.

Full Stop.

These are some actual quotes people have written to me in response to my stand that higher end weapons should be banned (or at the very least, heavily regulated). I also expressed that there should be a more streamlined background check process and those who buy up large arsenals should be tagged as suspicious.

“I’m sorry sir, it shows you’ve already bought too many.” That’s what they tell you when you try to buy more Claritin-D than they think you need. But guns? Buy as many as you want. I’ve already talked about this so let’s address one of the other quotes.

The one about religion.

The argument is that the right to freedom of religions is not infringed and neither should guns. I would like to counter that. It is true we have the freedom to practice religion how we see fit but if your religion calls for human or child sacrifice, the Feds would bust down your door and put a stop to it. Religious cults that practice child sex and child marriage are infiltrated and busted up all the time. So while we have “freedom of religion”, we also have restrictions on the most extreme cases. This is what many of us propose with the gun laws. We don’t want to take all your guns away. We just want to regulate the extreme cases that can cause severe loss of life.

I am not sure how this can be in any clearer. Sure, deadly people are going to be deadly no matter what. But the severity at which their actions are deadly can be diminished.

We have nuclear regulations worldwide for obvious reasons. Nuclear arsenals in the wrong hands would be catastrophic for the human race. Just because rogue nations such as North Korea get their hands on a couple of nukes doesn’t make the world rethink their regulation on nukes. We stick with it because as long as it is heavily regulated and restricted, the likelihood of it falling into the wrong hands is lessened.

While we’ve never actually had a suitcase nuke go off in an American city, I realize the thereat is still there. But could you imagine the threat level if we lifted sanctions and regulations on creating nuclear weapons? I feel that it would become a common problem rather than something that is rare.

So I concur. We won’t stop everyone from obtaining high powered guns and lots of ammo. But we can make it harder for them to get and transport. The harder they are to get, the less impact they have. Instead of mass shootings occurring every year, maybe we get them down to every 5 or 10 years. It might not be ideal but at least it’s something. Anything…ANYTHING is better than doing nothing.

One other quote I would like to address: “Look at Norway”. OK, in 2011, a mass shooter killed 77 youth at a camp. In 2011. It hasn’t become a trend like it has here. You can talk about Norway’s 2011 massacre all day, but I give you Columbine (1996), Newtown (2012), Pulse (2016), and now, Vegas (2017).

i’Dea

canstockphoto15950125We live in a world where everyone seems to have something to say. We see it across the internet from Facebook to Twitter and on every site with a comment page. But sometimes, what needs to be said, or what we want to say, requires a little more thought, a little more patience, and a little more fine-tuning. That’s where this little site comes in. It’s a start of something different.

Let me back up a little. I have spent the last week or two reducing the amount of time I spend on social media. This has not been an easy task. It turns out, everything is connected to social media. From television shows and commercials broadcasting hashtags and tweets, to nearly every website asking us to “share this with friends”. I am not against this. I think it’s a great way to share things.

When it comes to deeper reflections and really communicating our thoughts to people, it tends to get lost in the status shuffle. For example, you can post a serious or thought provoking statement and get very little–if any–reaction. Just a few minutes later, you can repost a silly meme and within seconds have several likes, shares, and comments. This would be okay with me if we all used to to brighten someone’s day with laughter.

Lately however, it has become mostly a place for people to put down others. It has become toxic, a place where people are vile and spew verbal diarrhea hiding safely behind their smartphone or computer screens. It’s perfect. Get online, act like a jerk, have absolutely no basis for your argument, and sit angrily stewing at those who don’t seem to understand how awesome you are. Don’t worry, I’m not singling anyone out. I am talking to myself too.

I love sharing pictures with with people. I love celebrating life accomplishments, sharing experiences with friends and families far away, and exchanging ideas with people of different backgrounds. But enough is enough. I’ve challenged myself to only log into social media once per day and try to fill my time with other things. Admittedly, I haven’t been as diligent as I should have been, but I have changed some of my browsing habits.

I decided that I needed a place to write down and share my thoughts and discoveries without the distraction of a click-bait post waiting to lure me into some endless list of things like “The Best Foods to Eat While in a Headlock”.

This is a place to share things I’ve learned and experiences I have had to maybe lift you up and encourage you on your own life journey. I don’t expect a million readers to like and share my posts. But if I am able to reach out to one person and make a difference, then it was worth my time.

To start, since you have been kind enough to read this far, I challenge you to reduce your social media exposure. Set a limit to times you check your newsfeed. In the few times I have done this, I have discovered the time for things I always claimed I didn’t have time for before. If you do take on this challenge or have quit social media completely, I would love to hear your story in the comments.