Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts on... Gun control

I would like to preface this by saying that I believe the only guns we should have should be in video games.

My dear readers, this blog is usually full of fluff and nonsense. It's meant to be a vehicle for me to write out the thoughts that run across my brain and not to be a bastion of hard hitting journalism or soul changing philosophy. However, after the events that occurred in Newtown, CT there has been a lot of arguing about why these shootings keep happening. And this has sparked up, once again, the gun control debate in this country. And to be honest, there are valid points on both sides of that particular debate.

But if you really look at the cause of the issue (either the Newtown incident or gun violence in general), the problem isn't the guns, that's just a symptom. The problem is PEOPLE. In one of his comedy specials, Chris Rock proposed a unique idea to resolving the issue of gun violence in this country:
Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost $5,000 dollars. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollars, we wouldn't have any innocent bystanders.
This statement, while meant to be a joke, has two pieces of remarkable insight. 1) That there are more ways to deal with gun violence than banning guns. After all, the GUN is protected by the U.S. Constitution, not the BULLETS the gun fires. 2) To really get to the source of gun violence you have to manipulate the PEOPLE. Charging $5K a bullet changes the entire framework of how people relate to guns. It's not just a few hundred dollars and a 15 day waiting period, now it's a MAJOR expense. You could buy a car for $5K, put a down payment on a house, go on a cruise, etc... So, is it really worth it to go shoot someone at that price? It gets you thinking and changing your behavior. This is called manipulation.

Governments have clued into this a long, long time ago. This is WHY they delve so deeply into controlling the information we receive. Controlling information controls what conclusions you make based on that information, those conclusions build your worldview, which controls how you think and react to the events around you. This is mind control. REAL mind control. Just on a very subtle scale. But at the end of the day, when you strip all the fancy terminology, it's just manipulation. However, the issue right now is how to reduce gun violence in schools.

And to be completely honest, I think Chris Rock's idea is a good one. so, up the price on all ammunition!! And then funnel all the proceeds of the inflated pricing into a pool of money for each state with IRONCLAD laws(meaning no legal wiggle room) that explicitly states the money will fund the following:

1) An expansion of school budget to hire a small squad of unemployed veterans to protect the school.

This lowers our unemployment rate (helps the economy), gives our veterans a sense of purpose (they are protecting our country's greatest resource our children), so suicide rate amongst them will drop, gives the school expert personnel to run school shooting drills, teach gun safety to the children (which will cut down on accidental shootings), help with PE (which can reduce the country's obesity problem), give self defense training to girls (reducing their chances of getting raped in the future), and increases the available staff for things like study halls and detention (freeing up time for teachers to get other work done).

2) The creation and maintenance of state run mental health programs so that the people of this country have access to way to ease the stresses of their lives and prevent them from going "postal" and shooting up schools.

Let's be honest. If the shooter was in therapy, he wouldn't have been shooting up the school. And with the awareness of the programs, people will become more mindful of the warning signs, in themselves and in their loved ones. Everyone goes through tough times, and invariably what gets us through it intact is the other people around us.

In the end, the idea is solve the problem from BOTH sides of the issue and not to argue over whether just getting rid of guns is the answer. Let's get real here, if guns weren't freely available, the Anarchist Cookbook (go and download it, it's freely available) shows many other amazing ways of killing people, including several delightful types of bombs. And people can freely murder each other with knives, belts, shoes, pillows, sticks, rocks, plastic bags, and the ever present hands and feet. Hell, in a TV show I watch when they ran out of bullets, they switched to swords. There has never, is never, will never be any shortage of available weaponry with which to be violent.

No, the real answer is work with people. Give them opportunities to express themselves; to vent their frustrations and anger in safe, non-lethal ways. Eventually, we can get to the point where we don't want to shoot each other. However, this is a long, involved process taking a great deal of time. In a country as attention deficient as the US, I'm not sure we can ever get there. But I hope that we can take the time and make the smart policy changes to get us there.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Into Darkness

I found out that Paramount has released a teaser trailer before the release of the real trailer on Dec.17th. I have just watched it and it looks AMAZING!!! I can't wait until next summer!!! Here's the video:

I saw that trailer, and I was like WOW! And this is the "announcement" trailer for another trailer (which, yes, I think is completely dumb, but there's nothing I can do about that), can you IMAGINE what that's going to be like? Oh, and the actor doing the voice over, Benedict Cumberbatch, is a personal favorite of mine, most recently seen in the BBC series, Sherlock, playing none other than Sherlock Holmes himself.

If you wish to see him without going to the UK, check out The Hobbit. He'll be playing the part of a Necromancer, joining his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman (young Bilbo Baggins). I remember being worried about the first installment in the Star Trek reboot, but when I watched it, all worries were taken away. It hit all the right character notes, had a great cast, and had a great, engaging storyline. It looks like Bad Robot Productions is keeping things going with the sequel. This makes me wish there were a Star Trek show on TV, though. *sigh*

Until next time, my dear readers, live long and prosper.

Funny Thing Happened This Morning...

Here's a bit of humor to start your day, my dear readers.

I found out this morning, that my apt holds grudges. I don't know why it's pissed off at me, but I must have done something. Here's what happened. As I was leaving the apt this morning, I saw one of my roommates getting ready to go to work. I offer a ride and they agree. I open the apt door, then open the screen door(which has a loose lower panel), say, "Okay, I'll go warm up the car", and step outside.

In retrospect, I realize that was my mistake. Stepping outside.

The battle started with the doormat. The little fucker slid just as my foot landed so my leg just went out from under me. The screen door then screeched at me and smacked me while I was falling to alter my trajectory and I ended up falling to my right. I was wearing my backpack, which cleverly blocked the porch floor's attack. But, that pissed off the side wall who proceeded to crack me in the back of the head while angrily shouting, "Muthafucker!!"

As my head rebounds off the wall, the lower panel of the screen door puts King Leonidas to shame yelling, "SPARTA" and detaching itself from the rest of the door and flying directly at my face just in time to add the energy from my rebounding head to its strike.

Their anger sated, for the moment, they disengaged from me and allowed my roommate to help me regain my feet. When they asked what happened, I realize that the blitz attack happened so fast, no one else but me saw the real events of the attack.

I would like to say that I held up a lot better in this fight. I really do, but I can't. They caught me by surprise and it was 5 to 1 (doormat, screen door, wall, floor, and lower panel) odds. Plus, I'm a lover not a fighter, so I was doomed from the start. If this happens again, I hope I'll be ready and handle myself better.  

But, I swear to you, my dear readers, that is EXACTLY what happened. So, beware of your apt, it might just be pissed at you, too!