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Archive for July, 2012

In the coming days, weeks, and probably months, the tragedy that is the Aurora shooting on 7-20-2012 will draw the debate about American laws when it comes to guns. Obama and Romney will skirt around the issue, but will not take a firm stand in an election year and that says a lot about the debate that must be had.

I am a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as well as the Consitution as a whole. I own a gun and will be purchasing another in the coming months. Not because of this tragedy, I have been in the market for months, but in spite of this tragedy. I believe that our Founding Father’s inserted that right into the Consitution because it addressed the times of the day and it addressed the future of America. Many American’s then lived on the frontiers of the early nation and faced threats from animals and foes. Furthermore it was an armed populace that allowed for the formation of militias that fought against the British not only in 1775, but also in 1812.

Now any student of history must also take into account the fear that many of the Founder’s shared of a standing army. The 2nd Amendment was in many ways the Founder’s attempt to preserve the nation while at the same time avoiding a standing army, whom they were concerned could be used against the government and the people. Previous history had shown that standing armies had turned or were used by others to remove the government from its post. The Founders, especially the educated among them, were readers of history and knew the risks. Therefore the protection of the nation can be found in the Second Amendment’s wording “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now today with a standing army of millions, many argue that the 2nd Amendment is outdated. While others argue that the very standing army that opposition to the 2nd Amend. address is exatcly why it must be preserved i.e. the American populace’s right to protect their security and their state from the potential tyranny of a government and it’s military.

The reality of the situation is this: There are MILLIONS of weapons in the United States and many of those weapons are purchased and owned by law abiding citizens of this nation. They use them for home/business/personal defense, hunting, sports (target practice), or simply for the preservation of the right that the 2nd Amend. affords every American. These people follow the rules of owning weapons, lock them in safes, and protect them from falling into the hands of criminals or worst, children. They take classes on gun use and safety and through the law, follow the law in obtaining licenses to carry these weapons on their person at all times. They join groups like the NRA, but they also support groups that support gun safety, and even gun regulation.

However, there are also millions of weapons in the hands of criminals. These criminals do not follow the laws and regulations placed on weapons, and willingly acquire these weapons for various reasons from crimes such as robbery to harsher crimes such as gang violence and drugs. While the attention of the US and even the world is on the tragedy of Aurora, the number of dead in that case are average numbers of dead NIGHTLY in urban cores of this nation. These deaths are ignored…why? Because they are not sensational enough or as considered as tragic as a school, mall, or in this case, a theater shooting? The answer to that question can only be answered by those who control our media, however innocent lives lost because of gun violence is tragic and it is tragic on all scales be it a movie theater in a suburban nieghborhood or South Central Los Angeles or Southside Chicago (where the death rates are rising).

When it comes to gun laws, it becomes mute when  it comes to criminals. These criminals already fail to follow laws, yet they still carry guns. Many Americans who voice their opinions positively about the 2nd Amend. address this very issue and argue that suggested laws punish not the criminals but law abiding citizens. Automatic weapons are illegal in many US states,  however there is no shortage of them in our urban nieghborhoods (like California where they are illegal, but the use of these weapons have been well document, especially during gang violence).

The reality of Aurora however is that James Holmes, the piece of sh*t, who committed this crime purchased his weapons LEGALLY. He acquired a Glock .40, AR-15, and a shotgun via local gun stores. He purchased (based on reports) ammunition totaling over 6,000 rounds. He also purchased kevlar vests and pants, and well as a tactical kevlar helmet. And furthermore, based on CURRENT (7-21-2012) reports, he also acquired tear gas canisters an materials to build a home set for explosion. Futhermore, according to reports, he did this within a 60 day period. One must question how a PhD student can afford what amounts to THOUSANDS of dollars in weaponry? As of right now it has only been reported that he worked as a med student at DU. As this young man began stock piling weapons, where were the red flags, especially by friends and family members? Not one person close to him questioned the amount of weapons he was purchasing or where he got the money to essentially become a one man Army? I am sure the answers to this will come to light in time, but for me, that is where the debate about weapons needs to begin.

It is always after the fact when people say “Man, I should have noticed something was wrong.” Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc. The saddest thing about it though is that the media, the talking heads, the politicians, the pundits fill the airwaves with speculation that becomes a reality, that even the truth has difficulty penetrating. The reason is because once the narative has started, been accepted, and become reality, the TRUTH is usually never heard or is simply ignored. Like Columbine and the bullied, loner, graphic games and music narative. It became the reality of Columbine, even though Dave Cullen’s extrodinary work “Columbine” showed that that was not the case.

As a gun supporter and believer in the 2nd Amendment, I also believe that weapons should be regulated, that back ground checks should be enforced, those with mental illness should not be allowed to purchase weapons unless they go through a much more thorough back ground check, and that large purchases, especially large purchases within a short time line, should raise flags. However, I also believe that Americans who follow the laws should be allowed to purchase weapons, and continue to purchase weapons.The simple reality is that even with back ground checks and stricter regulation, James Holmes, would have acquired the weapons he used in Aurora. His only criminal action was a speeding ticket and no evidence YET of mental illness. And even in a law is passed tomorrow that the ownership of guns are illegal, a man bent on owning one will get one, as the gang and criminals of our nation has proven.

The fact is, the coming debate that will surely occur is going to divide many in the US. Anyone who speaks out against stricter laws will be deemed a fanatic by the other side, and those who speak out for stricter laws will be accused of circumventing the 2nd Amendment by the other side. Aurora, like Virginia Tech and Columbine, will pull the shirt strings of many and will lead to compassionate, and given the current state of politics and debate, abbrassive debate. In my opinion if you want to draw both sides into an actual productive discussion you do the following: Expose and continously expose the deaths because of guns that takes place acrosss this country. Focusing on a single incident like Aurora will simply led to the “It’s and isolated incident and more people are killed in car accidents than gun crimes.” When the focus does become one incident, then it makes the oppositions point. However, if American’s are exposed to the REAL gun violence that takes place each and every day in the US, then it mutes the oppositions arguement. The REAL numbers of gun violence needs the exposure that currently is ignored. As long as the national media continues to hold true to Doughboy’s prolific quote from “Boyz in the Hood” that “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care whats going on the hood,” then the reality will continue to be down played or ignored.

With that being said, whatever laws that are passed must take into account the law abiding citizens 2nd Amendment protected right. Laws can be passed that benefit and protect the 2nd Amendment, however both sides need to sit down and agree with what is best that not only addresses gun violence but protects Consitutional rights. The far right of the issue needs to realize that there are some people who SHOULD NOT be allowed to own guns and that there are some guns and gun materials  (especially 100 round magazines) that have no use in a law abiding society. And the far left needs to realize that there are law abiding citizens who own guns, and that their rights should not be trampled upon.  It is my hope upon hope that this can be done. Let passions lie and let reality stand up and enact change. Until this occurs, no give will take place and the next Aurora is just waiting to occur.

And a couple of final points. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Friend or family, pay attention. If you notice something that just doesn’t seem right, like someone buying 4 weapons in a 60 day period as well as massive amounts of ammo and balaistic gear, sound the alarms. And finally, wait until we know the truth before we allow the media and the talking heads write the narative of Aurora. We as a society need to do a better job of thinking for ourselves and refusing to allow the media to dictate our reality!

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Over the past few weeks the Obama Administration has rolled out the attack machine on Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Polls indicate that they are having an effect, however with a media that fails to report the full story, it is not surprsing.

One of the most effective adds is an attack add by Obama’s PAC showing a steel worker describing how Bain Capital destroyed his steel company. It’s been effective because it is one man talking about the destructive nature of Bain. However the add fails to mention key points. First, that the company by 1997 had dropped from 4,500 employees to 1,000 and the owners came to a conclusion, sale or close. The reason, overseas steel compeition, especially from China and other Asian markets (thanks to the unregulated free-trade agreement). Bain invested over $100 million in the company, retrofitted it, and kept it viable until 2001. By then energy prices and new overseas compeition had netted the company $53 million in losses. Rather than hold on to a company that was no longer viable, it was sold. (See the story here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303360504577410573651845802.html). On top of this, Mr. Box, the star of the Obama PAC ad, is not a huge fan of either Bain or Obama saying in reference to Obama “I think Obama is a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do. When he had a Democratic Senate and Democratic Congress, he didn’t do a damn thing. He doesn’t have the guts to say what’s on his mind.” (see story here: http://news.yahoo.com/star-pro-obama-ad-isnt-big-obama-fan-182157898.html)

According the the Romney campaign, Romney was CEO of Bain on paper only, but during the time of this company closing and other outsourcing attacks, Romney was in Utah working on the Olympics. Let’s just say that wasn’t the case, however this was not the case and in fact an Obama campaign bundler was in charge at the time (http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/oops-obamas-top-bundler-jonathan-lavine-was-in-charge-of-bain-during-gst-steel-layoffs/), and take it for what Obama claims. Bain capital invested money in struggling corporations, some succeeded, others failed. That is American business. It hurts, it sucks, and some will argue it is wrong, but that is the nature of the beast. However we must look at this not in the terms of what would we do if given the opportunity. For instance: You are a large investor in a corporation, lets say Apple Corp. We invested money, but suddenly via poor sales and shoody new products Apple suddenly reports massive losses. Now you have a choice A. You keep your money in failing company? or B. You get out while you can, hopefully with some profit? Most right minded folks would say A. However those who pick B are either lying to themselves or they have no idea what investing is.

Bain invested in companies. Like the Kansas Steel plant in the ad, some were ennetially successful, however circumstances brought about their demise. Others like Staples, were winners and continue to do well, even with stiff competition from two large competitors (Office Depot and Office Max).

What I as a voter take from this is that Romney is better suited to make corporate/economic decisions than the current President. He knows what it means to be an investor and also knows when bad investments are not worth holding on to. Compare the profits and investments of Obama with Solyndra and Romeny with Staples. Or how about the Chevy Volt. How about Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Spectra Watt, Eastern Energy (http://www.naturalnews.com/034717_Solyndra_green_energy_failures.html), or Electric car battery company Ener-1, who within a year after recieving $118 million in Stimulus money  filed Chapter 11 (http://cnsnews.com/news/article/electric-car-firm-received-biden-visit-and-118m-stimulus-funds-files-bankruptcy). All together, so far, $6.5 BILLION of tax payers money was invested in now BANKRUPT corporations. Atleast Bain used investors money not yours and mine!

On outsourcing. If you have ever been in my geography class and seen my lecture on China, you will know how I feel about outsourcing. Obama has made a big deal out of the outsourcing done by Obama, and it is not surprising that it has been effective. Most American’s who have fears about America’s future are concerned about manfacturing and outsourcing. However, should it sway your opinion of Romney? In my opinion the answer is yes and no. Yes because of the outcourcing, but no because of where the message is coming from. First it is coming from an Administration that has accepted over $100 million in contributions from Bain. Millions of tax payers money has gone to overseas “green” corporations via the Stimulus (http://washingtonexaminer.com/wh-and-dnc-admit-that-2009-stimulus-spent-money-to-create-jobs-overseas/article/2501888). On top of that the Adminstration, via the Stimulus, gave millions to General Electric, whose outsourcing practices are well documented. As for this being a campaign issue for Obama, I think he should first clean the skeletons out of his closet before pointing the the skeletons in Romney’s closet.

One of the bigger issues, that will surely come out in the coming months is Obama Care and Romney’s Mass. Health Care plan. Obama makes the arguement that the National Heathcare plan was based on Romney’s Mass. Health Care plan. However there are some differences. The biggest of which is that Romney’s plan was done at the state level, not the national level. Second, the Health Care plan by Romney was not 2,700 pages, the Mass. House and Senate saw it, were able to read it, and were allowed to VOTE on it….niether was the case with Obama Care.

Now what about Romney and his tax returns? What is he hiding? Off shore accounts? If so, SO WHAT? If you had the wealth of Romney and had to deal with the excruciating taxes, your telling me you wouldn’t do the same thing? What I hate about this is the fact that Obama uses this when 1. He refuses to disclose any of his school records 2. Has failed on his promise of transperency 3. Attacks Romney on “potentially” the same practise his largest contributer, George Soros, uses. Let’s look at chartibale contributions, of which Obama doesn’t even compare when it comes to Romney.

The simple reality is this: sustained +8% unemployment, +14% unemployment for African-Americans, +12% unemployment for Latinos, Billions in wasted Stimulus money, added $5 trillion in debt and rising, continued poor job reports and and adminstrration who has not met with his jobs panel in 6 MONTHS (http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/oops-obamas-top-bundler-jonathan-lavine-was-in-charge-of-bain-during-gst-steel-layoffs/), an ever growing trade deficit, a Health Care plan that will raise taxes, and a president who has vowed to raise taxes on those making 250,000 or more (I know three people in my life who make that, and are not the 1%, but employ atleast 140 people who have health, dental, and eye care as well as Christmas bonuses, combined). That record is not worthy of another four years and honestly, of Romeny doesn’t right the ship, I will be saying the same thing about him in 4 years.

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