Saturday, February 24, 2018

My position on the gun debate, FWIW.

I don't own a gun, not interested in owning a gun, I support the 2nd amendment, but I also think it's been stretched way beyond the intent of the founders.

This country has a disturbing hard on for guns that concerns me. Unfortunately, barring an amendment of the Constitution, we will never get rid of guns. And anyone who knows about the Constitution knows that it was designed from the jump to be a pain in the ass to amend.

I have no problem with RESPONSIBLE gun ownership. I don't understand why people need to keep an arsenal in their homes, but as long as they use them responsibly and keep them properly secured, nothing I can do.

We need to figure out how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the bad guys. I support tougher background checks including for history of mental illness. I support requiring gun purchasers to take a gun safety course or show proof of previous training and to show proof of secure storage of their weapons. I support longer waiting periods. I also support any person being convicted of gun violence resulting in the death of human beings being locked up for life without parole. 

While gun ownership is a right in this country, unlike most rights afforded to US citizens, the right to bear arms also carries the possibility of people getting hurt or killed by those exercising that right. So, in my mind, the granting of that right should come with some qualifications and requirements not afforded to other rights.
Purchasing and using a gun is not like purchasing say, a pair of shoes.

I do not support the arming of teachers, unless that teacher is an ex-cop or a veteran. However, do not make the assumption that every veteran knows how to handle a gun. I only fired a gun once in the Navy.  In boot camp, where we spent two days field stripping a .45 and firing one magazine of bullets at a target. No qualification tests, no marksman badges. Teachers are in school to teach.  Without the concern of some kid trying to steal the gun. Or them trying to defend themselves and a classroom of terrified kids from some waste of life who wants to shoot up a school.

I'd prefer to have an armed cop or two in the schools. Personally, I'd love to see anybody who shoots up a school, church, or any other public gathering to be executed on the spot a la Judge Dredd, but the Constitution frowns on that sort of thing. Something about fair trials and all. That's pretty much my feelings on this whole kerfuffle.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Guns For Everyone!!

What the hell. Let's just give everybody a gun. Put a Colt .45 in newborn's creches, give Smith and Wesson .38's  away free if you buy 8 gallons of gas or open a Christmas club account.

Let's give AR-15's to trick or treaters for Halloween. Give AK-47's out with diplomas to graduating seniors. Teach the dog how to shoot a Tec-9. Put snub-nosed revolvers in Cracker Jacks and cereal boxes.

Put a display of Glocks next to People magazine in the grocery store check out line. Give out Kimbers to employees with their paychecks. Pass out Sig Sauer's to the old folks with their Social Security checks.

Let little Johnny and Suzie bust out their Mossberg shotguns at show and tell. Let them cook off a box of buckshot at recess. 

Hey, we can't stop people from shooting up schools, churches, concerts, nightclubs, etc. Might as well just let everyone go around packing heat.  Even the folk who are a cheeseburger and fries short of a Happy Meal!

Why not? Guns for everybody!!!  What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Let's Arm the Teachers! Sike!!

Let's arm the teachers!

We may not have enough money to pay for school supplies, or pay the teachers enough to deal with the little psychos on a regular basis, or heat the schools, but we can call down to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and get them to print up a few hundred million to pay for training and guns to arm them in case of an active shooter situation.

Police officers go thru weeks and months of training to learn how to handle an active shooter scenario. Let's give each teacher a gun, a few weeks of training and expect them to perform as well as a police officer with years of experience.

And they have 15-20 terrified, screaming, crying kids to deal with on top of some mental case diaperstain with a death wish shooting up a school. Somehow, I don't think this will go over well.

Tell you what. Just put a cop or two in the schools. Teachers have enough shit to deal with educating our wacky ass kids. Let's not add to the by making cops out of them. 

This batshit cray-cray has 'NRA' written all over it. I guess the NRA is looking at it as a bunch of potential new members.  #JustSayin.

Monday, February 19, 2018

4 Year Degrees at a 2 Year Price

Know what I'd love to see? Though it'll never happen. I'd like to see the community college concept extended to four year degrees.

I went to a community college (CCAC Boyce '95), So I know what they are and how they work. They provide a no-frills basic 2 year college experience for the commuter student who just wants to go to school, go to class, and move on.

No dormitories, no dining halls, not much in the way of student life. No frats or sororities. Some athletics, but  not an all encompassing  program like at, say, Pitt or  Penn State.

Not a bunch of extras that tack unnecessary expenses on to students bills.

I would like to see community colleges offer 4 year degrees. It would save students a ton of money. A 4 year degree from a community college would cost a fraction of what the same degree would cost at a traditional college.

Now a 4 year degree from a CCAC wouldn't have the prestige or cachet of a credential from a Pitt, Penn State, or RMU. But if the schools offered a strong academically sound education that can give students the tools they need to enter the workforce, how important really is the name atop the sheepskin?

I've been thinking on and off about this subject since my CCAC days.  The regular four year schools would have a fit. They'd never allow this to happen. But I think the idea has some semblance of merit. #JustSayin

The Day I Met Mister Rogers

50 years ago today, Mister Rogers Neighborhood aired for the first time.

True story.  I was working the stage door of the Benedum Center back in the '90s. And apparently, Fred Rogers was filming a segment that showed him entering the Benedum thru the stage door. So he comes walking past the security desk and I lose it.

Now working the stage door, I saw all sorts of local and national celebrities, and my thing was that if they spoke to me, I spoke back but I didn't go looking for autographs or anything like that. Had to be professional. 

Although I became a fan of Chita Rivera because she was very nice to me when she came into town to do 'Kiss of the Spider-Woman.'  I do not have similar feelings for Jerry Lewis, but that's another story for another time. 

Aaanyway, Mr. Rogers comes blitzing past. I didn't say anything and after him comes David Newell, better known as Mr. McFeely. I say hello, he answers back, very nice guy, and he asks me, out of the blue, if I'd like to speak to Mr. Rogers. Of, course! I said.

A few minutes later, Fred Rogers stops at the security desk, shakes my hand and talks for a few seconds. I about fell out, I was tongue tied and didn't dare ask him for an autograph.  I did not want to waste the man's time. 

Long story short, he was in person exactly as he was on TV. Very nice, soft spoken, a true gentleman. I'll never forget that day. It's Mister Roger's World and we're just living in it.

#ABeautifulDayInTheNeighborhood #JustSayin

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What do we really require of our Citizens?

Can anyone tell me what a citizen's duty is to this country?

About the only obligation a citizen  has in the US, that I can see,  correct me if I'm wrong, is to pay taxes. And some of the schemes people come up with to avoid that are mind-boggling.

We don't require our citizens to vote and depending on the election, I've seen as little as 10% vote in a special election and less than half in a primary or general election.

What about serving on a jury? You should hear some of the excuses I hear from people wanting to be excused from jury duty. The last time I got a jury summons was in the late 2000's. I got picked for a three day trial, did my service, got my $27 and went my merry way. Haven't gotten a summons since. If I get one, I'll appear and go thru the process because I believe that is one of the duties of a citizen.

We don't require our citizens to perform national service, military or otherwise.  We don't really require a hell of a lot of our citizens.

Which is quite ironic given all the hoops we make potential citizens jump thru to become citizens. I wonder how many natives could pass the citizenship test? I bet less than half.  Americans aren't exactly the most read of people when it comes to our institutions.

I just wonder sometimes why we make such a stink about immigration when frankly, there really isn't all that to being a citizen here. Like I said, correct me if I'm wrong.  #JustSayin