I Have a Gripe

February 17, 2018

The Continued Gun Debate

Here we are again. Another horrible mass shooting. It kicks up all kinds of feelings; sadness, anger, confusion, and more. It also, brings up the gun debate to the front of the news headlines again. People debate and argue and try to come up with solutions. Some make sense. Some are extreme. I did a blog post about the gun debate back in 2016 after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Like many, I’ve continued to think about this issue and I’d like to add a few more items to my original list.

  1. Armed guards at schools: Announcing to the world that places like schools are “gun free zones” just make them easy targets. Some think arming teachers might be a good idea. I have an even better one. Schools should hire retired police or military personnel as armed guards. These individuals have already received specialized training in how to handle active shooter situations. We use armed guards at banks, federal buildings, and even to protect celebrities. Our children deserve no less.
  2. Threat assessment team: Maybe this is already in place and the public isn’t aware, but there should be “threat assessment teams” at the state and federal levels that focus on just school threats. This requires knowledge sharing across multiple agencies at the local, state, and national levels. The FBI really botched this one, as someone did contact them about this nutcase and they didn’t follow up. That’s why I feel there needs to be a more formal process in place to specifically handle just threats to schools.
  3. Raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21: In New Jersey you need to be 21 to purchase cigarettes. Nationally, you need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. I think purchasing a firearm is a far more serious purchase than either of those items. The age to purchase any type of firearm should be raised nationally to 21.
  4. Education – for everyone: In my last blog post, I said in order to make a weapon purchase I feel someone should need to show proof of completion of a gun safety course. I also feel the public needs to understand exactly what the different types of weapons are in order to have an intelligent debate. For example, “AR” doesn’t stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” It stands for the ArmaLite rifle, named after the company that developed the weapon. AR-15-style rifles may look like military rifles, such as the M-16, however, they function like other semi-automatic civilian firearms. A semi-automatic firearm means it fires only one round with each pull of the trigger. An assault rifle is fully automatic, meaning multiple rounds are fired with each pull of the trigger. Automatic firearms have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934. If we are going to have an intelligent discussion about how to handle gun ownership in this country, we all need to understand the terminology, what is legally available, what is illegal, and then we can know where to begin.
  5. Go after “auto kit” sellers: I also mentioned this in my last blog post, but I want to repeat it. The individuals who create kits and directions to change a semi-auto weapon to a full-auto weapon should be prosecuted and loopholes in current laws should be closed.

I know there are people who would like to eliminate the second amendment. It isn’t going to happen. I’m not a gun owner, but I believe in the right to bear arms – responsibly. For example, the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter was NOT a responsible gun owner. She knew she had a child with a severe mental disorder. She did not keep her weapons secure. She encouraged his weapon use. In my opinion, that entire tragedy should fall squarely on her shoulders. If you have someone in your home that has a severe mental problem, maybe you shouldn’t own a weapon.

I am sure some will agree with me and there are others who will disagree with me. What’s important is that we finally come up with a serious plan. Otherwise, time will fade, people will move on. And then it will happen again. Don’t let it.

January 18, 2011

Counts vs. Quotas

Filed under: General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 11:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So I just saw a segment on my local news about a new book out called Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World. They also highlighted a company that has taken great steps to recruit, retain and promote women. I have to tell you, this bugs me. Yes, I am a woman and yes, this bugs me.

Businesses should look to recruit, retain and promote all employees. Not just women. Not just minorities. Not just to meet some quota. Should business be a reflection of society whenever possible (in a positive sense, that is)? Yes. However, we shouldn’t say “well, we need to hire one woman for every man” or “we need to promote one minority for every Anglo.” It should simple be “we need to hire or promote the right PERSON.”

This also means that those in charge shouldn’t act like a “boy’s club” or whatever other type of club. They should be gender and color blind when making personnel decisions. The fact that we as a society have to have gender or race quotas to try and level the playing field shows that we are in a sad state of affairs.

So, I say programs that promote one gender or race over another do not work. While the intentions may be admirable, it only creates potential animosity between colleagues and questions as to why a person was really hired or promoted. It doesn’t bring out the best in people. It can bring out distrust, and create a poor workplace morale.

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