Tuesday, August 6, 2013

America Is No Longer the Home of Free Speech and Will

America. Home of the free and brave—well sort of. If you’re too brave, it might hurt you. Take Edward Snowden for example. Like a ballpark announcer would say, “He’s Outta Here!” Snowden will settle for Russia at least for now, and even if he waits and waits and waits and tries to hop on a plane to the U.S., he’ll be hunted down and headlined in the press like Whitey Bulger.

We really aren’t the home of free speech and will. At least not fully and completely. We can analyze, review and offer opinions—even sneak into the White House—but those who really try and make change via free speech are smacked down like an anger ball on a desk.

Fear Not but Laugh Like Renfield

It’s important to note that while the average U.S. citizen can’t do much to better America; neither can the President says Slate Magazine in the article, “The President Can’t Actually Do Things.”

The president can “propose” things but in the world of D.C., it seems our senate and congress representatives think of the word “Propose” as a fighting word.  “Let him propose away! Ah ha, Ah ha! We can’t hear you!”

The faces of every senate and congress member remind me of Dracula’s Renfield—lost in his own little world of craziness and upheaval. What do I hear when they speak? I hear Renfield’s famous laugh from the very first Dracula movie starring Bela Lugosi.

Never heard the original Renfield laugh? The video below shows my favorite, the 1931 original film and nobody since could make the hair on your neck stand up like actor Dwight Frye.

Congress and Senate folks don’t really care about us. They care about having power, influence and wealth. The ones who really care are booted out as soon as their deceit is revealed! Zealot! He must be stoned!

We can’t say certain things to threaten the president or his family and that’s okay, but apparently we can’t Occupy anything (at least not for long) or protest too much or we will be judged (and reported) as that horrible idealist—because the Renfield’s in Washington do have their friends in the press.

We are literally at the mercy of our leaders and unfortunately, we put them there and now we can’t get them out! No one listens to those who really try and make a change every election—“vote them out!” These folks are touted as lunatics (mostly in the press via the government) so we sit back, agree and do nothing.

Where’s Our Will?

The government, as much as it has tried, has not stepped into the 21st Century. It still believes it can hide things from us, move us around like puppets and put money anywhere it wants to—even to save Apple.

We are in the fated line of going nowhere. We are zombies awaiting our last trip to the Soylent Green factory. We are too afraid to argue. We are afraid because our government makes us fearful. We do what they say, including invading our bodies in airport security lines—because we’re told if we say or do anything, we shall be punished, arrested or worse. We have no voice. We have no representation. We are truly lost in the most conventional sense.

“No one is spying on you!” (Replay Renfield laugh).

Much as a battered woman believes she is not worth anything due to abuse after abuse, we too have settled into sameness (or shame). If I hear one more American say, “There’s nothing we can do about that,” I think I’ll have a word or two to say to that person but I’ll be laughed at or shunned.

Jesus or Plato and Socrates—these were true zealots, thought to have evil powers that were simply not allowed.

Try speaking out too loud or doing something strong like leaking U.S. documents and you will be shunned, shot, jailed—maybe all three.

Our borders should have signs that say: “Zealots, Dreamers and Idealists Not Allowed.”

Is that why we fear immigrants? In fear of them offering a new idea? Maybe.

I feel sorry for my grandson and while he’s too little to understand (or care) about his free speech or free will, I hope by the time he grows up, there are zealots and dreamers that are talked about and praised in schools everywhere—from sea to shining sea.

If you believe in free speech and free will, why aren’t you doing anything about it? As one, I can use my voice. Why not do more you ask?

Well, the economy has left me with a lack of funds and I don’t think Kickstarter will fund a political upheaval.  If I, however, had access to anything that could make Americans stand up and say we’re done, then I would surely do so.

Words, however, are a small start. I least I think so.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bill Maher No Different Than Rush Limbaugh

According to the Daily Caller, the-I’m-always-right Bill Maher “criticized the New York Times and MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews.” The HBO Show, Real Time with Bill Maher aired on Friday, July 26, 2013 where Maher, who claims he loves Chris Matthews, apparently now dislikes the New York Times and Matthews and has showed his smart-aleck attitude and graded both of them as evil—well not his exact words.

What Maher did say about the New York Times:

“I’ll just say one more thing, and then we’ll get off of this, which is that as gross as Anthony Weiner is, I find it even grosser the way the media tut-tuts, points fingers, shames people, (and) makes them go on shaming tours.”

Maher continued: “I’ve seen Eliot Spitzer have to go on every show and have people point their finger.” He then touted the New York Times for saying: “Mr. Spitzer, like Mr. Weiner, is a political animal.”

As far as hammering a nail in Matthew’s coffin, Maher pointed out Chris Matthews, a Kennedy admirer and author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero and Matthew’s love of President Bill Clinton were hypocritical.
Maher stated:

“My friend Chris Matthews, I like him a lot. I see him endlessly talking about how awful—he went on and on for a whole year about his book about John F. Kennedy. He (Matthews) loves Bill Clinton. Never stops kissing his ass. Those two guys did things way worse. I mean, Kennedy was so much more reckless. He was screwing (a) mafia mistress, East German spies, 19-year-old White House secretaries two at a time in the pool. Bill Clinton, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey—true, you know, sexual harassment. There just seems to be no sort of consistency in the media.”

While I admire the Daily Caller for recapping the show and these words particularly, in reality—at least to me, Bill Maher is no better than Rush Limbaugh—except that Bill Maher was once a comedienne and frequent guest actor on Murder She Wrote—before some TV executive thought he was a political/talk show genius. Not to say actors or comedians can’t become talk show hosts, but really Mr. Maher, that’s all you are—a talk show host, you are no political animal or spinner.

Just as Bill Maher has fans so does Rush Limbaugh. But how can Maher say he’s any different if he offers his opinions off the top of his head—almost in like he’s on an improve show—and those opinions change from season to season and lately, show to show.

Maher blasts whomever he wants, whenever he wants and the audience laughs, sometimes applauds and some head online after the show to get a longer dose of Bill Maher—Ugh!

If you want “consistency” in the media, why don’t we start with you Mr. Maher? You loved Obama the candidate. Now, every chance you get you find something wrong with the President and his efforts.

I can hardly wait for the next presidential run because I know you don’t like Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton so maybe, just maybe you’ll be hoping Sarah Palin runs for President. If you backed her, I for one would not be surprised—not one little bit.

Yes folks it’s true, Bill Maher is no different than Rush Limbaugh and neither are “consistent” with their criticisms—but with Maher—he’s really looking for laughs, not the truth.

Please don’t send me Rush Limbaugh supporter comments—I don’t like him either.

Image credits via Flickr by DonkeyHotey

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lance Armstrong, Aaron Hernandez, Cap’n Crunch and Paula Deen: The Week in Review

It is weeks like these that make me want to sigh—a lot. First, we have an outlandish statement from doper Lance Armstrong, the possibility of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez being a “serial killer,” and now citizens of America are questioning the true rank of Horatio Magellan Crunch’s (aka Cap’n Crunch) military rank—and then there’s the Paula Deen fallout.

Lance Armstrong

Apparently, Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles because of doping has told  the French Media—right as the 100 Tour de France gets underway—that, “It is impossible for anyone to win the Tour de France without doping.” Really Lance?

Perhaps Armstrong should rethink his words. It is definitely possible for someone to win the Tour de France without doping—they just may not do it as fast. It may take them hours or days longer. To say doping is the only way to win means Lance is just digging himself into a bigger hole and the one he’s in already is very deep and very dark. Nice one Lance, you are still hanging on to the belief that you committed no offense.

Aaron Hernandez

It is true statistics show 60 percent of NFL players own a gun. So what? I own a few—some collectibles, some not. It is my right to own a gun. The problem with Hernandez is he is now charged with shooting a supposed friend, Odin Lloyd, execution style. Surveillance video shows him arriving home with his gun in hand, hopping out of his vehicle and then well, just relaxing—chillin if you will.

So the police searched his home, he’s held with no bail and now his SUV has been taken from his home because it’s been connected with a drive-by shooting in Boston in 2012 that killed two people—so the head count goes to three.

Then there’s the time Hernandez shot someone in the face in Florida. So is Hernandez a serial killer? Will his defense team say he heard “voices” telling him to kill? Did the Patriots where he was once a team member notice violent behaviors?  Bet the farm he was abused as a child, had an drug-addicted parent, uncle or babysitter.  It appears Hernandez will go to jail and if it’s only for the Odin Lloyd murder, does it really matter—he’s jailed, locked up and take away the key.

To blame NFL players who are taking advantage of their right to bear arms is just another angle the media will use to lengthen the “media time” behind Hernandez’s acts and that’s a shame.

Cap’n Crunch Not a Real Captain

Apparently Foodbest blogger Charisma Madarang has challenged Nabisco, the makers of Cap’n Crunch cereal by stating the Cap’n on the box is not a captain at all because he only bears three stripes when a military captain boasts four.

All I need to say here is perhaps Madarang should remain—a blogger. Enough said.

The Paula Deen Scandal

I feel like I’m a lot like Paula Deen. Not that I’m a master chef, nor do I hail from the south. I did, however, grow up in the smartest city in America—Pittsburgh, but I digress.

Why do I feel like I am like Paula Deen? If I was in a deposition—and I have been—in many, once I swear to tell the truth, I tell the truth!

I guess gals like Paula and I should learn when to not tell the truth while under oath and fudge it a little. If Ms. Deen had, she wouldn’t be in the situation she is in now.  If I had lied in a deposition, I would not be in the position I am now in—but that’s my private life. I’m not a liar and I don’t think Paul Deen is either.

I also felt bad about the criticism she received after telling Matt Lauer on the Today Show that she is shocked by the language she hears from young people working in her kitchen. Critics are saying, she should “control those young people” and “fire them for using the N word.”  The reality is many do use the N word and apparently it’s okay to call one the N word as long as both participating in the conversation are African American. If one is white and the other is black, it’s not okay for the white person to call the black person the N word.

Why is it okay for people to call me a cracker or a Wop because I’m Italian? That offends me. Should I dislike my Latino and black friends who call me a cracker and never speak to them again? If I sued them would they lie in a deposition? You bet. Enough already with Deen. I do believe her when she says everyone has used the N word at least once in their life whether it was a noun, verb or dangling participle.

Well, that’s my week in review and all of the media these stories are getting is overshadowing a sad and newsworthy story—that of Nelson Mandela—a hero among heroes.

For now, I’m off to eat my “Commander” Crunch—at least until his true rank has been investigated by NCIS.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Edward Snowden’s Whistleblower Leaks: The Beginning of a Truthful Government?

By now all U.S. citizens (and the world) know of Edward Snowden and his national security document leaks. Whistleblower? Maybe. Criminal? Probably not. Is he making our politicians angry? You bet.

What are the consequences of these leaks and as far as truth, do we believe our government when they deny spying on Americans, accessing emails, text messages or other personal information without a warrant? That my friends, is the one part of this entire situation that is making Washington D.C. scared—very scared—and rightly so.

Three Days of the Condor Comes True

In the Robert Redford movie Three Days of the Condor, his character reads books for the CIA. Yes, that is his job to seek out the bad and evil conspiracies authors may have penned in their creations. But this movie was released in 1975, hardly the age of computers, smartphones, emailing, texting and telling the world your thoughts on social media sites.

Do I personally believe our government leaders when they say no American citizen has been targeted or researched by the government? Not at all and I would bet I have at one time or another fallen on the list of those “looked into.”

When the auto industry catastrophe happened and President Obama formed his save the auto industry group comprised of people who knew nothing about the auto industry, I was fond of calling him The Auto Czar—a lot. That debacle was very sad—not so much so for the automakers, but their franchised dealers and the employees of those dealerships.

Although I was never one to argue Obama wasn’t American and was hiding his birth certificate because those people really need a life, I have written much on the Web about him and why he only obtained the presidency because some strong leaders in Washington wanted him for the job. He wasn’t much of a junior senator and when he while he was a politician in Chicago some of his antics were downright mean—I’ve written about those too.

I have penned blogs on Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush and my dislike for both of them. Rumsfeld mostly because I really believe he had some “power” thing going on in his head and I never liked how all those Blackhawk helicopters flew over my home in Taos, New Mexico when Rumsfeld came home for a vacation.

I’ve dissed tons of government officials—Kennedys, the Bush’s (all of them), Clinton for his bad behavior, John Boehner and other republicans for their stupidity and stance on arguing just to argue---the list goes on and on.

So, I’m pretty sure there are people in Washington that sit in windowless rooms all day and read, monitor and report about those who pen the unpatriotic. This doesn’t bother me much but I’m also pretty sure if some of my stuff was read by the eyes of those in secret power, it was dismissed as just an angry American with no agenda—just the right to free speech.

I will also continue listening to Cat Stevens songs as long as I live, even if he is on the “no fly” list. He’s not Yusuf Islam to me—he’s a guy with a great voice and songs and when I was in high school, I thought he was dreamy—still do if I look at the old photos of him on the Web.

Am I a danger to our country? No, I’m just the average Jane but I have a blog. I also don’t think Edward Snowden and his document leaking is a danger to the U.S.

Frightened Government Leaders

I saw Bill O’Reilly interviewed on the Today Show the other day and Matt Lauer asked Bill if he thought what Snowden did was illegal. O’Reilly took his time to reply and sighed. He said he did think Snowden was guilty of breaking U.S. espionage laws but was he a criminal? No says O’Reilly and I agree.

I’m not going to write about what Snowden leaked—there’s already enough information about the leaks floating around along with quotes from Snowden on why he leaked what he did—The Guardian is one source and TechDirt wrote a piece quoting mostly from The Guardian report (links below).

The result of Edward Snowden’s whistleblower leaks are that he has our government’s attention and they’re pissed.

Unhappy Americans

Since 2008 and the economic collapse, while our leaders tell us every day the country is growing stronger economically, the average American doesn’t see it or feel it. Most of us are still struggling to pay our bills and get back to where we were. The Traditionalist generation might not fear America as much as most of us do, many of them lived through the Great Depression and they learned to make do with what they had.

Today’s Americans are not the same. They are angry, afraid and they don’t trust the government. They don’t believe their leaders tell the truth, they are tired of democrats and republicans arguing and the only thing they can trust is the truth revealed in their paychecks—and they’re not seeing any improvement.

Our benefits have been cut, employers are taking full time jobs and making them part time jobs so they aren’t required to offer health insurance and the medical community is mad because becoming a doctor might not be the prosperous career choice it once was due to Obamacare. That’s okay with me—we needed to do something with health care—so what if that podiatrist has to sell his yacht? He can join the rest of us who wake up afraid, angry and confused.

I’ve read Edward Snowden could be returned to the U.S. because America does have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong—but not a “political” one and Snowden’s “crimes” may fall under that category—at least his lawyers will argue the point.

Obama Can’t Do It All

As Barack Obama has evolved, I have learned to respect him more and more. He seems “accessible.” He wants to be “honest.” He wants to tell Americans the “truth.” The problem is he can’t.

Obama has to follow the rules of being the president. He must obey his set of laws and keep secrets Americans will never know that hide in all those anagram agencies—the CIA, NSA, FBI, HLS, DEA, etc. 

He can’t just walk up to a podium and say:

Well Americans, this is what happened today. We found a spy in Arkansas and we’re bringing him in to waterboard him until he tells us what he did and what terrorist group he hails from. And we will be diligent with our torture until he speaks! If he dies during torture, so be it.”

He can’t “say” that—no president can.

Americans don’t trust our leaders anymore and that’s the sad part. I believe that’s why Edward Snowden leaked the documents he did. He too may have been fed up and probably has experienced his friends or family members suffer from the economic downturn. He may have watched an aunt or uncle, sister or brother or a friend lose their job or home.

ALL of us are frustrated but Edward Snowden happened to be in a position to do something about it. Occupy Wall Street didn’t work. Protests don’t work. Our leaders don’t “hear” us. They are happy arguing amongst themselves and taking home fat paychecks and love their health care benefits. They haven’t lost their retirement funds or pensions.  They’ll be fine at 65. They have no fears—because they are not one of “Us.”

It’s a shame really. I for one hope Snowden’s actions do make Americans angry. Angrier than ever before. Not just about what was leaked, but about everything that makes us angry enough to finally say enough is enough Washington. America was formed to be ruled by a government elected by the people and for the people.

Somewhere along the way, those ideals have been lost and that my friends, is the real shame here.


The Guardian -
TechDirt -

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Does the IRS Tax Scandal Really Mean?

Big government and secrets have always been around and the IRS debacle is no different but what does the IRS tax scandal really mean? It might be less disturbing than reported, at least in my opinion.

Let’s see, we’ve got the past history of Jack Lew’s Cayman Island hidden bank roll and tons of money going his way from former employer Citigroup right before the economic crisis.  Then there’s Lew’s not-so-good grades while OMB Director. The President in awe and shock of the debacle touting heads will roll. And, it’s all in the open now, that the IRS is purposely targeting Tea Party members.

One of the statements above is not like the other—meaning it’s not true. Which one? “The IRS is purposely targeting Tea Party members.”

Really you say?

A Report of the “Unclear”

So, the Inspector General goes on a journey and issues a report, called, “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”  (May 2013), and the Government is stunned and shocked. John Boehner says IRS leaders should be “jailed.” President Obama will obviously support any investigation into this “Tea Party” pick-on-us issue basically because he was “ordered” to by Democrat and Republican leaders.

I read the IG’s report and like Brad Friedman, I also believe this so-called scandal has been blown out of proportion.  The Cliff’s Notes version, if you will, is really an order for IRS employees to be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) for those applying for tax exempt status—those who desired the 501(C) 3 “charitable status” and organizations wanting the 501(C) 4 “social welfare” status.

So, because some of these requests came from organizations with Tea Party members mean all of the sudden the Democrats are out to put them in their place? Let’s pick on those requests where only the words “Tea Party” are mentioned? Sorry folks, that’s not how the IG’s report reads.

Media Misdirection

I watched a Law & Order episode the other day where Jack McCoy is now the interim AG and young Mike somebody or other has McCoy’s old job as lead prosecutor. In the episode, McCoy yells at Mike for arresting and charging a famous news reporter for hazy reasons. The ever-passionate young prosecutor says to McCoy:

“Hey Jack, you grew up with Woodward and Bernstein. I grew up with Geraldo Rivera, so try and see where I’m coming from.”

This one statement made me think about the IRS scandal and what it really means. It’s nothing new about government. They’ve been invading our privacy for decades no matter what party is in charge and when the media gets involved, it’s the “popular IT-guy” or “network” that leads the American people in the direction they want—no matter what generation. Somehow a report from Morley Safer just wouldn’t hit Americans as hard as one from Anderson Cooper—at least not today. Americans are trained to listen to these network “It” people and ignore the old-fashioned, tired and almost gone.

Here I must say thanks to all the reporters out there for getting it wrong and those short news stories on the IRS scandal that don’t uncover all the nooks and crannies.

Why Tax-Exempt Requests Should Be Targeted

Our economy still remains tough for all of us. We hear reports all the time about this well-known person or that political figure in trouble with the IRS or those who get to pay less taxes than the average American and we get pissed off right? We all want to be rich like Romney and find a way to use umbrella corporations so our tax bills are lower—sounds like a smart thing to do, and if the tax laws say you can do these things easily, then who is really at fault here?

I say it’s the organizations that don’t deserve a “tax-exempt” status and maybe the IRS has finally said enough is enough. How many organizations are making money and hiding that money by the fortune of being granted that tax-exempt status? Something to think about for sure.

This is my conclusion and you can make your own. Nowhere in the report does it prove or have data that Tea Party people were targeted. It also doesn’t prove some campaign contributions weren’t handled properly under tax laws.

It would be nice to have the whole story, not snippets on the 11:00 O’clock news about the non-researched and inaccurate.

It’s sort of like a little snowball rolling down a hill, a White House hill that is, and once it reaches the bottom, the media has turned a report into a scandal.

The last part is what’s really scary or is it that we are too lazy to investigate these issues on our own and instead rely on those who deliver the sort-of-true?

What do you think?

Images via Flickr cliff1066tm and Derek Bridges 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Business Owners: The Problem Isn’t Gen X or Gen Y—The Problem Is You!

Business owners and supervisors who fall in the Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964) age group scratch their heads, throw up their hands and bang their heads against the wall trying to understand why their “young” workforce isn’t doing their job.

Instead of looking at Gen X (born 1965-1982) and Gen Y (born 1983-2000) as the problem with your workforce did you ever think the problem might be you?

Pac-Man Is Gone Forever so Deal with It

The “youngsters” as you call them who don’t conform, want flex time or beg for telecommuting aren’t being defiant—this is what their generation expects—and deserves. Think about this for a moment Baby Boomers.

The Traditionalists who raised us never spoke up to a superior, completed any task without question and almost never asked the boss for a raise. Enter their kids—you the Baby Boomer. As a Baby Boomer you dropped out in the 1960s and 1970s, wanted to express yourself freely and were enticed when bulky PCs became the norm to make your work easier.

Baby Boomers challenged authority, demanded better pay and they got it. Why? Their Traditionalist bosses understood change is inevitable. They dealt with it and instead of stopping what they thought of as an uprising, they embraced it.

Become a Game of Thrones Leader

Time marches on and once again what you call an uncooperative workforce is really what you used to be. Remember your parents? They hated your clothes, your music and chastised you for missing a day of work because you were hung over after a Led Zeppelin concert.

Enter Gen Y and Gen X. Their music is different and so are their work habits. They demand technology and like you once were, aren’t afraid to speak up. They purposely seek a quicker way to get things done because awaiting them after work, depending on where they fall in age is their wife, partner and kids—these are the things important to them.

It’s not that they don’t want to do their job, they just don’t work the way you used to. Many of them are also healthier than you because they grew up knowing smoking was bad and exercise was good for them. They want to skateboard, bike, hike, attend webinars and sure, be a little wild but is their wildness really different from what you did?

How to Change

Once you accept the problem is not Gen X or Gen and the problem is you, what can you do about it? A while back I wrote an article for Bright Hub, Types of Communication Styles: Bridging the Generation Gap and if you’re a Baby Boomer boss you need to read it.

Here are some tips to understanding the young workforce:

  • Give them the technology they want and if they send you a text, so what, they are still communicating.
  • They expect a pat on the back for a job well done so why not give it to them?
  • They will ask you for more money, flex time or some other benefit you may think is ridiculous but before you say no, think about. You won’t have to think long, however, because Gen X and Gen Y are prepared to “show and tell” you why their request makes sound sense.
  • These generations hate being uniformed and out of the loop so keep them in it.
  • Stop the long and boring meetings and instead have short and to the point gatherings and give them a task or purpose to jump on, not just a “think about what we can do and we’ll discuss it in our next meeting.” They want to do something now, not a month from now.
  • Their ideas conform to the 21st century so listen to them, don’t shoot them down.
  • Communicate with lots of visuals, they relate better to these. It’s not that they don’t want to read, it’s more of, these visuals reveal what I need to do quickly, not that long and boring novella HR created in the dark ages.
  • They are creative and proud of it, so let them be innovative.
  • You’re never going to get those smartphones out of their hands but did you ever think they’re doing something with them to enhance job performance?
  • They really do think you’re a dinosaur so prove them wrong.

If change is inevitable, you need to learn how to embrace it like your parents did. You also need to utilize employee engagement techniques. Engaging your employees is the new buzz in creating a motivated and reliable workforce—it’s not just a trend that will go away.

Engaged employees are happier at their jobs and even you, the dinosaur can surely agree loving your job is a good thing.

To business owners everywhere who are in the dark ages of Baby Boomerness—the problem is not Gen X or Gen Y, the problem is you so learn to embrace and change and be open. And, never feel like you’re being attacked—these youngsters as you call them will also have to deal with a new generation when their children grow and enter the workforce and that’s when you can sit back and give them a little advice.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Rules and Regulations for Gun Control in the U.S.

The question about gun control in the U.S. is on the minds of all people today. We had too many shootings last year and the last—Sandy Hook Elementary, outraged America.

I don’t think we need stronger laws on gun control we just need to change some of the requirements to get a gun.

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg brought up a great point on the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings by saying 90 percent of the gun crimes in his city were committed using illegal guns and I suspect that statistic is true in almost every major city.

Criminals will get the guns they need—this is something no one can stop no matter how hard they try but in all of the shootings we saw in 2012, the person responsible did have some mental health issues and I think reform has to start and end with mental health and some other stipulations.

New Rules

My recommendations for reforming gun control in America requires only two changes to the current rules for obtaining a gun—two rules folks—how hard is that? And, responsible gun owners, the NRA and other gun advocate groups, I think, would agree these are fair rules.

Rule #1 for Gun Control - Initial Certification

Instead of authorized gun dealers doing a simple background check that only takes like 30 minutes in most states, the initial certification should include:
  • Faxing your family doctor for his/her opinion on whether you can own a gun
  • Contacting your health insurance carrier to see if you take any psychiatric medications
  • If yes to the above, faxing your mental health care provider to see if it’s okay for you to own a gun
  • The ability to search a database of the guns you own
  • The ability to search a database on anyone who lives with you to see if they own a gun
  • Fingerprint submission
  • Any criminal charge – minor or major and no gun for you
  • Check to see if you are on registered sex offender list
  • Check driving record and if you have many violations or parking tickets, no gun for you
  • Provide a list of the guns you own including serial number, model and state purchased
  • Submit proof that you have taken a gun safety course from an “authorized” instructor
  • If you shoot an intruder in your home, you must go to rule #2 and recertify – heck cops have to get investigated for shooting another person so why not the average American?

I realize this seems lengthy but for gun enthusiasts and hunters especially, just plan ahead because you may have to wait some time. If you are gun competitor or professional shooter or instructor planning ahead is not a hard thing to do.

Rule #2 for Gun Control - Recertification

Many licenses require renewals or recertification—teachers, realtors and doctors have to obtain continuing education for license renewal, so why not gun owners? Many states offer driver’s licenses with expirations dates 10 or more years from date of issue so recertification is important for gun control.

Recertification would require the same rules as in Rule #1 and folks must recertify every two to three years.

New Rules Would Take Planning and Organization

Before all you gun enthusiasts “shoot” me here, if you have nothing to hide, why should you care? I realize many of you will look at my two rules for gun control as an invasion of privacy but how many more children need to be killed by a gun to convince you something needs to be done?

Remind yourself of just how much we need to change something by viewing these photos of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary.

My husband and I do own guns and while they are collector guns, it doesn’t mean we couldn’t kill someone with one of them if we were bonkers or a felon right?

And, I think we should let a SWAT team or First Responder team set up my new rules. Why these groups? They seem to be very capable of handling problems in an instant so they are my choice—not the U.S Government, not the FBI or the CIA—not even the NRA! With their help, we could have an organized and usable plan by the end of 2013.

I don’t want to take away the rights of Americans to own a gun—any legal gun. Something must be done to regulate gun control in the U.S. and to me; this seems like a good start.

Any comments, supportive or negative are welcome! Help me improve my plan for gun control!