America needs to take a look in the mirror on gun control

It seems I can’t go a day without hearing gun control in the media, so I figured I would throw my two cents in on the subject. As I have said before, I am not a member of the NRA nor do I own a gun, but I believe that we were given a constitutional right to own a gun by our founding fathers. That being said, I find it quite comical the media feels they should give opinions about gun control and violence when they are the one of the main causes. The nightly news which is and was supposed to be a public service features and romanticizes violence than any movie or video game ever could.

You see in the infancy of mass communications,  William Paley and David Sarnoff, went down to Washington to cut a deal with Congress: Congress would allow the budding networks free use of tax-payer owned airwaves in exchange for that public service which we now call the nightly news. The problem was that Congress never added the clause that would have changed our national discourse immeasurably and for the better. They forgot to add that under no circumstances could they make a profit off of this informational broadcasting.

It is because of this exact failure that the nightly news has turned into a reality show, that is no different than the Jersey Shore or Real Housewives. Instead of giving us the most pertinent stories of the day, the networks give us the most tantalizing stories that will catch our attention. It is probably this same reason that many Americans think that raising the debt ceiling means increasing spending. (It means paying back the money we already borrowed. Stop being ignorant!) You see instead of being educated by the news, like we should, we are entertained. Given the stories we want to hear instead of the ones we need to hear.

It is due to this same entertainment factor that we see murder and death on the nightly news on a nightly basis. It is also the reason we can spout off the names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, but we couldn’t name one of their victims if we spent all day thinking about it. It also most seems because we make these mass murderers infamous that the next always needs to top them. They are vilified and put in the news for all the wrong reasons, but the true motives of their mental illnesses are never really covered or addressed…probably because it isn’t as entertaining.

The entertainment factor for the advertisements is most likely why there were so many fallacies reported regarding Sandy Hook. It seems the media got nearly everything wrong because they took a dive for the ratings. Rather than give us the story formatted in an informational manner, they tried give us the fastest, most up to date and most stimulating story. And rather than letting traumatized parents and children decompress, they exploited them for interviews feeding America’s fascination with violence. We could blame the media for their unsatisfied hunger to make money or Congress’s failure to add the clause that their couldn’t be advertisements, but really we should blame ourselves. The networks wouldn’t give us all the violent stories if we didn’t tune in.

Maybe it isn’t our fault though… and no it is not video games either. Since, I don’t recall seeing an influx of architectural engineers after Sim City came out…do you? I think the real cause might be staring us in the face, but no one wants to admit it. America is a relatively young, but violent county. We have only been around for 237 years, however  218 of  these years, we have been engaged in some sort of war/military action. We have never had a single president, who was not engaged in military action nor have we gone a decade without war. In the 25 years that I have been alive, we have only gone 2 years with peace, 1997 and 2000. My parents in their 50′s can actually say the same, as can anyone else born after 1940. If you think I am wrong here are the American military engagements since 1776.

  • 1776-1783 Revolutionary War
  • 1784-1795 Northwest Indian War
  • 1796-97 Peace
  • 1798-1800 Quasi-War
  • 1801-1805 First Barbary War
  • 1806 Sabine Expedition
  • 1807-1809 Peace
  • 1810 U.S. engagement with Spain by occupying Western Florida
  • 1811 Tecumseh’s War
  • 1812-1815 War of 1812
  • 1814-1819 First Seminole War
  • 1819-1825 The Yellow Stone Expedition
  • 1826 Peace
  • 1827 Winnebago War
  • 1828-30 Peace
  • 1831 Sac and Fox Indian War
  • 1832 Black  Hawk War
  • 1833-39 Cherokee Indian War
  • 1835-1842 Second Seminole War
  • 1843 US engagements with Chinese forces and invasion of African coast
  • 1844-1877 Texas Indian wars (other Indian wars during this time, as well.)
  • 1873-1896 US invasion of Mexico (Indian wars during this time as well.)
  • 1897 Peace
  • 1898 Spanish-American War
  • 1899-1913 Philippine-American War
  • 1899-1934 Banana Wars
  • 1917-18 World War I
  • 1935-1940 Peace (longest time of sustained peace in US history)
  • 1941-45 World War II
  • 1946-1986 Cold War (Various military actions against communism starting with the occupation of South Korea and Philippines in 1946)
  • 1950-1953 Korean War
  • 1954 Covert War in Guatemala
  • 1955-1975 Vietnam War
  • 1987-88 Conflict in Persian Gulf and occupation of Panama in ’88
  • 1989 Second Gulf incident and occupation of Panama
  • 1990-91 First Gulf War
  • 1992-1996 Continued engagement with Iraq following the Gulf War
  • 1997 Peace
  • 1998 Bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan
  • 1999 Kosovo War
  • 2000 Peace
  • 2001-Present War on Terror (Iraq and Afghanistan)

Maybe we should stop blaming guns, videos games, movies, music and other outlandish and idiotic causes and start looking in the mirror. It is only then we will be able to truly be able to solve the problem of violence in our society.

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Politicians and the State of the Nation

Tonight, I went and saw Lincoln. The movie was beautifully crafted my Steven Spielberg and could not have been acted any better by Daniel Day Lewis, but that will be the extent of my review of the film. Abraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents, so watching a film on him made me anguish over the state of our current government. We have have politicians who are stonewalling Bills for their own benefit rather than that of the nation. If the leaders of old saw this they would chide them and call them out as traitors. As Lincoln says, “this is a government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Our current Representatives need to realize this before they cause any more harm to the people they represent.

It is quite interesting to how Republicans act today on the matters of Civil Rights, yet Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans of 1865 are the ones who freed the slaves. Our current Republicans are trying to disenfranchise those same African Americans with voter ID laws. Their argument is to prevent voter fraud because it is such large problem. It is so much of a problem that a study done in 2004 in Ohio found that the number of cases of voter fraud in the state was 3. No, not 3%, just 3 single cases… to put that as a percent it is .00004%. Maybe a better way to put that in perspective is that National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.

I don’t mean to bash on Republicans, the Republican ideals that were once great, but they are being stomped out by the Tea Party. The Tea Party has hijacked the Republican party and is currently holding them hostage. We can all understand why the Tea Party was created. It was created due to the current trends following the financial collapse; jobs were disappearing, wages were stagnant and Wall Street used a ton of money from the bailouts for the bonuses. The problem is that the movement was hijacked by the radial right who destroyed the original message and filled it that of the Looney Toons.

If Republicans want to get voters back they should look towards Lincoln and Reagan and try to distance themselves as much as possible from the Tea Party. I think we need to realize that those who choose to believe a made up story over the proven fact of evolution are not fit to lead this great nation nor are those who do not believe in equal rights for all individuals including gays.

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National Media’s Impression of Philadelphia Sports Fans and Andy Reid

I didn’t really want to touch sports much in this blog, but I think it is needed with all the idiotic comments made by the national media in the wake of the Andy Reid Firing. Almost every national media outlet has made comments such as “You can find different coach than Andy Reid, but you won’t find a better coach than Andy Reid” and “Be careful what you wish for getting rid of Reid.” This isn’t surprising that the national media thinks we don’t know what we are talking about, I mean these are same outlets who still bring up a single event of throwing snowballs at Santa from over 50 years ago every chance they get. They also echoed a lot of the same statements when we wanted McNabb out and looked how great he played when he left. Oh wait, that is right he ended up being terrible in Washington and then in Minnesota and retired… which I guess means we were right and they were wrong. Oh well.

Andy Reid was a great coach in Philadelphia, he won a lot of games between 1999-2004. In the years that have following he has had an average record of 8.6-7.4, which is just well average. To put that in perspective, Bill Belichick has had an average of 12.3-3.7 during that same time period. Andy Reid had some good years, but never won a Super Bowl. He also has had some pretty poor drafts and is notorious for poor clock management.

Since people won’t beleive me, let’s take a look at how bad his drafts were: 1999 he started off well grabbing McNabb and two serviceable linemen. 2000 he did well in the first with Corey Simon, and Pinkston was serviceable. 2001 was arguably one of the worst drafts ever, Freddie Mitchell in the first before a few WRs named Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, Chris Chambers and Steve Smith. He then missed on LB Quintin Caver and picked no noticeable names further in the draft. 2002 was probably he best draft grabbing Sheppard, Lewis, Brown and Westbrook in the first three rounds. 2003 was nearly bad as 2001, he picked Jerome McDougle in the first right before Troy Polamalu was selected and a few picks before Osi Umenyiora and to add the embarrassment we traded up. We also picked a TE named LJ Smith about 2 rounds higher than he was projected and before a TE named Jason Witten. 2004 Reid did well in the first with Shawn Andrews (couldn’t have predicted him losing his mind), but there was no one noticeable picked in later rounds. 2005 was a decent draft due finding some gold late with Coles and Herremans, but the earlier rounds leave something to be desired. 2006 was a terrible draft with no servicable players. 2007 was arguably just as bad trading out of the first, like really? and picking no players that are still on the team. 2008 was just are frustrating trading out of the first again! This draft would have been a complete bust if not for getting DeSean Jackson in the 2nd. 2009 yielded the Eagles Maclin and McCoy, but the rest of the draft was junk. 2010 was plain bad, traded up for Graham when we had a need for safety and Earl Thomas was there. We then traded out of our 2nd round pick to the division rival Cowboys who picked Sean Lee when we had a need at LB. We missed on another LB in the next round picking Teo-Nesheim (no longer on the team) instead of Navorro Bowman. It got worst in 2011 with the top two picks not starting and one not even in the league anymore. Overall, I would say Reid is a just below average drafter.

When coaches are hired they are usually asked to present a 5 year plan or how they will win a Super Bowl in the next 5 years. Reid got three of those and was not able to deliver, so I don’t know what the national media is smoking. Reid was a really good coach for about 6 years, the next 6 have been average to bad. The national media should look at what Reid did lately and not what he did almost 10 years ago. I don’t know who the Eagles will get, he might not be better than Andy, but we needed a change and if he gets a ring, I say he is better.

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What is an Assult Rifle?

Lending to me previous post to find an answer to the real problem and to better educated people on firearms. I am posting a video to show the difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic rifle, since most people especially the media don’t seem to know the difference.

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December 18, 2012 · 7:39 am

Maybe Now is as Good of Time as Any

26 human lives were taken from this world including 20 young children with their entire lives ahead of them. I am sure that in the weeks following this tragedy, the media and the public will analyze everything from the killer’s taste in music to video games to his relationships. Everyone will be trying to figure out what was going through this individual’s mind, but the answer is we will probably never know why he did what did, besides the fact that he was very troubled.

It seems as though many are already blaming gun control, yet none of the guns were bought or registered to the young man. NRA and gun control are easy scapegoats, but hardly responsible. I am not a member of the NRA nor do I own a gun, I just think we should look to the logical solution instead of the easiest. They are easy to blame because a gun was used, so a gun control is the obvious solution. Everyone blamed gun control and the NRA after Columbine, only problem was that Columbine was never supposed to be a mass shooting, but rather a mass bombing. Thankfully, the propane bomb they set was wired incorrectly. If it wasn’t the death toll would have been 40 times higher and the solution would have been as complicated as it should have been all along.

No, God or religion wasn’t the cause nor is it the solution. It seems those two opinions are both getting floated around as well. Many comments are being made that this all occurred because we took God out of schools. The only problem is he was there all along, if any one wants to pray in a school they are well within their rights. They removed saying the Pledge of Allegiance or removed the words “Under God” from it when they do say it. I hardly think removing two words from the Pledge caused the killer to do what he did especially when the words were there while he was in school. In addition, those words weren’t even added until 1954 anyway, so it would also be hard to blame that as the cause.

I think the real answer might be the one we already know. The killer had a mental illness and didn’t receive the help he needed. This appears to be the same for at least one of the shooters in Columbine and the shooter in Aurora. Maybe the solution is as simple as it seems, get help to those who need it and as parents, we should to pay more attention to our children so they get that help. It seems everytime an event like this happens we become shocked because all the measures we put in place to prevent it failed, but each time we are also shocked by all the blatant the warning signs, kind of ironic huh.

I only hope that we take a more logical path to a solution, like providing more funding towards mental illness and paying more attention to our children. I really hope it doesn’t turn into mass hysteria like Columbine and children are being suspended for chicken nugget guns and nail clippers. If we stopped focusing on the easy solutions and start focusing on the right ones maybe we will be able to prevent the next tragedy and save lives.

 

 

 

 

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