This is a spoof of a sign, but our lax gun laws might as well say something like this. Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved. The Flickr photographer obtained this from StopGunViolence.org.
People who know me now wouldn’t recognize my politics back in the day. I used to vote as a Republican. Now I’m about as liberal as it gets. I also come from rural Mississippi and have deep roots in conservatism, country, and Southern culture, so I’m the odd man out when it comes to most residents in my native state or where I live now (Tennessee). My personal political arc may explain to you why a dedicated liberal like me somehow has so many conservative friends and family members who violently disagree with my views. They haven’t changed, but I have.
One of the things we knock heads about is gun control. It’s a bleeding-edge news topic every freaking week in our gun-happy country, but they’re just all shrugs and “More guns!” about it. (They totally want to say, “Thaaaaaaaanks, Obama,” too.)
Our country is seeing too many mass killings. Our cities (like nearby Memphis, Tenn.) are overrun with individual shootings and murders. The weekly police and sheriff reports I edit for my small newspaper almost always have a few cases of someone being robbed or threatened while looking down the barrel of a gun. We are fearful but complacent. But numbness and denial won’t protect us.
Enough is enough.
I stand 100% for stricter gun control laws. I stand with the 100+ organizations that are members of the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence. If I had my druthers, here’s what gun sales and ownership would look like in the U.S.:
- Forbidding people on the terrorism watch list from buying or owning guns.
- Required gun safety and maintenance training before guns can be purchased.
- Required gun liability insurance before guns can be purchased and before permits can be renewed. Even the freakin’ National Rifle Association (NRA) recommends buying this kind of insurance; see their endorsed policies here. I think it should be mandatory. Here’s what the NRA-endorsed policies would charge you as of June 22, 2016. It’s not that expensive, folks. Less than $17/month if you want their MOST expensive policy.
- Stricter scrutiny of applicants seeking to buy guns. I just read the Senate version of the “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2016” (SB2934) and see that there’s a mile-wide list of exceptions that should make gun fans feel relieved. How can anyone with a conscience oppose this?
- Commonsense restrictions on open carry practices. I feel less safe, not more, with armed knuckleheads and their itchy trigger fingers busily patrolling the aisles of stores. (Business owners: When I’m in your store and I see a weapon on someone other than a trained law enforcement officer in uniform, I leave without making a purchase.)
I really don’t know what to do with my blog anymore. It seems like the older I get, the more my life accelerates. I don’t have time to blog like I want to, but I’m loath to leave my outdated contents out here, untended like an abandoned front yard. Don’t mind my knee-high weeds, y’all.
Some things I’ve thought of include:
- Changing the site to reflect links to my résumé, social media presence, and work contact information. But work is not all that I am. Maybe I could devote a page to this, though.
- Using the site just as a reference library where I can store the memes I use in chats with friends on Facebook. But it’s one thing to pop a meme into a FB post, and it’s quite another to amass stuff like that online when other people have developed it. If I do this, I think it will have to be on a private page just for my own use. It *would* be nice to have all the funny little pictures and interesting quotes organized and ready for my use somewhere, though.
- Using the site to shorten uninteresting or fruitless interactions. For example, use some or all of the site as a place where I can refer people who take up tired old arguments that I feel very “been there, done that” about and no longer want to rehash. I sometimes have to remind myself I’m not the jackass whisperer. It would be nice to have a place where I’ve posted my thoughts, arguments and links about major issues that I care about but no longer want to discuss ad nauseum. I can just say, “See my magnum opus on reproductive rights at this link.”
- Posting all the silly stuff that I enjoy in one spot, like pictures of the badass little squirrels in my back yard.
- Keeping lists of things. Such as my favorite podcasts, funny random thoughts, etc. I like to make lists.
Whatever I do, I think I’m going to start thinking of my blog as basically a place where I can kick off my shoes, snuggle up under an afghan and be comfy, because it’s just for me. I’ve lost that urge to EDUCATE THE WORLD (such non-humility, lol) or to seek atta-girls (I feel okay about just being me without that validation).
I also don’t want to tolerate trolls and the tirelessly obnoxious people with keyboards and a lax approach to taking their medication, so I may or may not continue allowing comments. I’m DEFINITELY going to keep comment moderation on, if comments continue, though.
Does it seem weird to want to do that on a spot so public as the internet? (Whoops, there I go, seeking validation again!)
I never intended to take a blog vacation of more than a year, but some serious life events intervened. I am thankful to say that life is now back to “normal” (as close as it gets anyway, lol).
In the interim, I have lost interest in chronicling my journey toward understanding the details of Obamacare. It’s too large of a project for me to continue slogging through it when I don’t have the passion for it anymore. So I will put that project aside, at least for now.
~ Carolyn B.