After the Sandy Hook tragedy many possible solutions to gun violence have been debated. Discussions have ranged from gun control legislation, to calls for greater emphasis on social morality. While some of these ideas have merit, why is there not more discussion about educating American youth about guns?
America has long had a culture that supports gun ownership. It is part of our rugged individualistic identity. When America wanted to stop drunk driving, we didn’t simply make the activity illegal or ban liquor containing certain amounts of alcohol. Broad initiatives were created both from the public and private sector to educate teenagers and adults about the danger of drunk driving and responsible drinking.
When America wanted to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and STDs, we didn’t simply criminalize sex, we made Health class a mandatory requirement to graduate high school and taught safe sex. When America wants to reduce the number of gun related deaths, should we not have mandatory education for children about gun safety?
Accidents with firearms cause thousands more deaths each year than mass shootings. Gun safety, responsible gun use, learning to respect the power and deadly force of a gun, and even conflict resolution could be part of the curriculum. “Active shooter” drills, like fire drills, could be practiced. Some form of this training could also be required before someone is allowed to own certain types of weapons.
Banning assault weapons won’t change the ones that are already out there. Also, the guns used at Sandy Hook were registered to someone other than the shooter, so it appears greater registration is likely to have little effect. Just like dealing with alcohol and teen pregnancies, an abstinence only approach dealing with guns (or with assault weapons) won’t work. America must deal with the reality that we are a gun culture. More education, while addressing the root of the problem, rather than the method, should be part of a broad plan to prevent these types of tragedies.
I am interested in readers’ opinions about U.S. immigration policy/border security.
(1) Generally speaking, do you think Hispanics are opposed to border security in the U.S.?
(2) Is one automatically a racist if s/he supports limits on legal immigration and expects immigration laws to be enforced?
(3) If you could create a immigration policy, what would it look like, and what would you do to those who came here illegally?
The Wall Street Protesters [hereinafter referred to as “Fleabaggers,” (like the Teabaggers, but because these protestors are unclean…you get the joke)] and Texas Governor Rick Perry [hereinafter referred to as “Rick ‘Everything’s Bigot-er in Texas’ Perry”] have been busy fearmongering this week.
The Fleabaggers, spurred by Obama’s call for class warfare, have been busy this week coveting what others have. Some on the Right claim they don’t have a clear and consistent message yet, but I think their message is clear – we live in a America and were brought up to believe that everyone deserves a trophy for participating, not just those who succeed, so now we want our trophy http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/ i.e. we are entitled and someone is to blame for our failure.
But who are to blame for the lack of success for these Communication and Philosophy majors? Not themselves! Why would you even think that you capitalistic pig!?! Someone must be to blame, but whom? Not the government because that makes too much sense, so the answer must be the wealthy; those who were able to succeed in the current system. The wealthy must have created inherit inequalities in the system which rewards what society (i.e. the market) deems valuable. That’s the ticket! To support this they will provide evidence of the gap between the rich and poor widening http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/oct/08/reducing-poverty-should-be-top-priority/. So what is the Fleabagger solution to eliminate this gap? Envy, fear, covet, and attack the rich. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576625081679793052.html
But what does this have to do with the holocaust you ask? Easy, Jews are the ones that are succeeding financially, so they must be more to blame then other groups. “Jews’ median net worth was $423,500 according to a 2004 U.S. Department of Labor survey analyzed in the book, nearly five times higher than the population’s median net worth of $86,000, and nearly 19 times higher than black Protestants’ median net worth of $22,800.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/study-religion-can-affect-your-soul-_-and-your-wallet/2011/10/11/gIQAVAU3cL_story.html But who am I kidding; no one would ever blame one group for all the problems of another group to support their political agenda. Luckily, since political rhetoric has never turned into violence none of us has anything to fear.
Rick ‘Everything’s Bigot-er in Texas’ Perry also took his turn fearmongering, by using a surrogate to state that Christians should vote for Christians over non-Christians such as Jews. Not really. Rick ‘Everything’s Bigot-er in Texas’ Perry’s surrogate really stated Christians should vote for Christians over non-Christians such as Mormons, and claimed Mormonism is a cult.
I used subterfuge to illustrate the point that no one would ever say not to vote for a political candidate because they are a Jew or a Muslim, because Jews are a minority and historically discriminated against, and because Liberals would be like flies on you-know-what if a politician ever made disparaging remarks about voting for a Muslim or called it a cult (and rightfully so).
Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) are a minority and historically discriminated against, and so you would imagine that Liberals who claim to support the little guy and favor equality would relentlessly attack Rick ‘Everything’s Bigot-er in Texas’ Perry. But what is ironic, is that some liberal media outlets are actually discussing the Mormon/cult issue as it if where a valid question. Liberal bigotry is even more evident when black and white statistics show Liberals are the ones least likely to vote for a Mormon http://www.gallup.com/poll/148100/hesitant-support-mormon-2012.aspx. Some would call this unusual since the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a democrat and a Mormon. But I think it is clear that many liberals will give a pass on bigotry when it suits their political agenda (the defeat of Romney, the candidate most likely to upset Obama in 2012).
Conclusion: An ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ mentality is alive and well in America.