I Have a Gripe

June 18, 2016

My Take on the Gun Debate

An Orlando club was attacked this week by another radical Islamic terrorist. He gunned down 49 patrons at a gay club before the police shot and killed him. It was a terrible tragedy that has brought the country together to grieve and pray for the victims and their families.

It has also kicked up the gun debate and what should be done to curb violent acts in this country. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what should be done and they vary widely. Well, of course I felt the need to add my two cents. Here is my solution for federal gun legislation.

  1. No fly, no buy: If someone is on the terror watch list (no fly list), then you shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a gun of any kind. If someone is on the no fly list and it is incorrect, they need to follow up with the FBI to resolve the issue.
  2. Required training: When applying for a permit to purchase a weapon, the applicant should be required to complete a safety course. Gun ownership is serious and should be treated as such.
  3. Safety lock with every weapon purchase: When a weapon is purchased, the purchaser also needs to buy an appropriate gun lock at the same time. Before they leave the store, the gun lock must be in place.
  4. Waiting period: Some people want to make a gun purchase out of fear or anger. Maybe they were attacked and are scared. Maybe they are angry and want revenge. Whatever the reason, there should be a three-day waiting period between the time that a purchase is made and when the weapon is picked up.
  5. Background check: This point goes hand-in-hand with my previous suggestion. During the three-day waiting period, the gun shop can complete a background check on the person. This gives them enough time to collect any necessary information to make an informed decision as to whether or not an individual should own a gun.
  6. Mental-health assessment: This is a touchy one. Everything else so far has been based on “hard data.” This definitely falls under “soft data.”  I would never want a government bureaucrat to make a decision about someone’s mental health and if they are able to understand the seriousness of owning a gun and how to properly store and use it. I believe there should be some kind of check as to mental competence, but it needs to be in line with HIPPA law and not further stigmatizing “mental illness.”
  7. Ban the sale of “auto” kits: Many Americans are not aware that it is already illegal to ar-15own an automatic (“full auto”) weapon. In 1934 Congress passed the National Firearms Act, making it illegal for Americans to manufacture fully automatic weapons for personal use. In 1986, it became illegal for civilians to own newly made machine guns. When the media shows a weapon, such as an AR-15, after one of these horrible events there is an insinuation that it is an automatic weapon. It isn’t. And I think it is inflammatory for the media to do so. What needs to be outlawed are kits that allow someone to make their weapon an automatic weapon.
  8. Knowledge sharing: Every time one of these horrific acts takes place, I always hear from at least one professional, “if I had seen xyz information from such-and-such organization (FBI, local police, etc.), I wouldn’t have sold him the gun.” There needs to be better sharing of information between businesses and the government.

Obviously this is just the beginning of a larger issue, but when it comes to complex issues with high-charged emotions, it is easy to muddy the waters. My suggestion to politicians has always the same: take big issues bit-by-bit. Don’t handle a huge issue all at once. Let your constituents see you working and gain their trust. As you continue to move forward, cooperation will continue as long as everyone checks their ego at the door. By taking a common-sense approach to big issues, we can start to move forward.

June 15, 2016

Fashion News Flash – Real Women Have Curves

Filed under: Fashion — alvb1227 @ 2:37 pm
Tags: , ,

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely HATE shopping for clothes and shoes. Yarn shop? Book store? Fly fishing shop? I’m all there. Clothes and shoes? I would rather have my teeth drilled.

Like many, as I have aged, my weight has increased. I have curves. I am not the skinny kid I once was. Now I understand it isn’t healthy. I work to lose weight by eating right and getting exercise in where I can. Mind you, I was never a fan of exercise. You needed an excuse to get out of gym in school? I was your girl. I thought gym in school was the biggest waste of my time – ever. Why go to gym when I could go to band?

Yet, I digress.

The point is I now have put on more weight than I would like. Still I am not obese. But I avoid clothes shopping like the plague. I wear clothes I have “broken in” until they fall apart. Which is exactly what is happening with my last two pair of jeans. So I headed to my normal “go-to” store – Macy’s.

Wow – what a frustrating evening. Two hours to find two pair or reasonably-priced jeans that fit comfortably.

SuperSkinny

Super Skinny by Levi’s for $88.

First what blew my mind were the prices. Over $100 for jeans? Seriously??? Even Levi’s are quite outrageous. Second, there is actually a style of Levi’s called “Super Skinny.” Crazy. I mean, is being “Super Skinny” too thin?

 

Now, let’s move on to the sizes. I finally discover a brand that is reasonable and has the stone-washed color I like. If you are above a size six, options are quite limited. When I asked for a boot cut in my size, I went sent to the “mom jeans” section. Thanks. I appreciate it.

I am a woman. I have curves. I am tall. Like I said, I could stand to lose a few pounds to be more healthy, but I refuse to be body shamed.

Now, let’s move onto shoe shopping. Again, not a fan.

I have had problems with my hips, knees, and ankles since birth. As a result, I am not really able to wear heels. I need a wide, flat shoe in a size 9 1/2. If I do need or want a heel, I need something wide or chunky. My mother used to call the type of shoes I needed the “pink elephant.” It just doesn’t exist.

I can never find shoes that fit properly. When I do find something I like that doesn’t fall under “old lady orthopedic,” I will actually purchase several pair so I can avoid shoe shopping for as long as possible. My last multi-purchase? Mary Janes by Earth Shoes. Of course the style I liked is now discontinued.

Is there nothing stylish for people like me? I remember awhile back I ran into a woman who found herself in the same situation as me after ankle surgery. She looked like she was ready to burst into tears. I knew exactly how she felt. I gave her some suggestions and helped as best as possible to find something that fit well, was stylish, and she liked. I really felt for her.

So here I am left with shoes that aren’t stylish and mom jeans. I have to believe I am not alone.

DeejaeHarperSo as I said in my headline, I have a newsflash for designers. Adult women have curves and are not a size two. Additionally, we generally cannot afford $100 for one pair of jeans. At that point you are paying for the brand on your ass. Jeans and jeans.

And the same holds true for shoe designers. There are others like me who can’t wear four inch heels. We would like some style beyond “orthopedic.”

But at the end of the day, I refuse to be body shamed. I hope others will resist body shaming as well. Be healthy. Don’t be a size two.

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