People for gun control

May 17, 2010

The Columbine High School tragedy was something activist tried to say was caused by the lack of gun control. The two shotguns and rifle used by Harris and Klebold were purchased by a girlfriend who would have passed a background check, and the TEC-9 handgun used by them was already illegal (2000 Lampo). Tragedies like this are what drives the gun control issue they think that a gun ban would stop a criminal or someone else from getting their hands on a gun to commit these crimes.

     Approximately 60 percent of all murder victims in the United States in 1989 (about 12,000 people) were killed with firearms. According to estimates, firearm attacks injured another 70,000 victims, some of whom were left permanently disabled. In 1985 (the latest year for which data are available), the cost of shootings either by others, through self inflicted wounds, or in accidents was estimated to be more than $14 billion nationwide for medical care, long-term disability, and premature death. In robberies and assaults, victims are far more likely to die when the perpetrator is armed with a gun than when he or she has another weapon or is unarmed.

 Residents of homes where a gun is present are 5 times more likely to experience a suicide than residents of homes without guns Although the reader may or may not disagree with the morality behind suicide being illegal, the fact remains that a gun makes it easier to commit suicide in a fit of rage, depression, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, there is conflicting evidence as to whether any kind of substitution occurs (2008 Agresi).

The second amendment gave us the right to bear arms and some states have added right-to-carry laws that require law enforcement agencies to issue handgun permits to all qualified applicants. Qualifications include criteria such as age, a clean criminal record, and completing a firearm safety course so some proposal by gun control activists seem to be pretty rational as to limits instead of an all out ban on guns. These are some examples of ideas a national system for registering guns and ammunition. Part of the reason New York City has stiff gun laws and high gun death rates is that anybody can go from New York to a state with less restrictive laws, get a friend who lives in the state to buy the guns for them, and take those guns back to NYC. (Even though it is illegal) First, a national system would prevent this by scaring those people into not buying the guns legally and selling them illegally, for if the guns are used in an illegal crime, that person can be held accountable. Second, a national system would be more helpful in tracking crimes after they have happened, to bring the perpetrators to justice. Also instant background checks on people attempting to buy guns or ammunition. Brady is still patchwork, and does indeed have its flaws in tracking felons. Felons and ex-cons should not have access to weapons, and many misdemeanors and juvenile crimes should also count against a person’s record. Stiffer sentences for gun crimes. This has been the position of the NRA for quite some time, and it is certainly one with which I agree. Gun education many guns are involved in accidents that could easily have been prevented by a little care or forethought. Perhaps gun purchasers should be required to take lessons in gun safety, at the purchaser’s expense. Again, the NRA has long been a proponent of gun education.

General education study after study has concluded that there is a direct correlation between lack of education and violent crime. Every dollar spent on education now will prevent countless dollars worth of crime damage in the future. Think of all the private and public funds used to pay for gun violence hospital bills, funerals, insurance bills, the actual cost of buying firearms. Now invest that money in education, and watch the crime rate drop.

Hand grip ID tagging this is technologically probably still in the future, but it would be a good goal to work for. The theory is, each gun is “registered” to one’s person palm prints (the legal purchaser of the gun), and only that person can fire that gun. If another person tries to fire the gun, the gun simply will not fire. Thus, stolen guns become useless, and cannot be used to harm anybody in the course of a crime.

Works Cited

Agresti, James D. “Gun Control.” Just Facts.com. 27 June 2008. Web. 17 May 2010. <http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp&gt;.

Asahi, Jason. “A Case for Gun Control.” http://www.asahi-net. Jason Asahi. Web. 17 May 2010. <http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zj5j-gttl/guns.htm&gt;.

No to gun control

May 17, 2010

A big debate that has been going on for years is how gun control or the lack of it affects violent crime. In my opinion gun control should have its limit I think if criminals knew there was a gun in a house they would be less tempted to try to break in. In states that allow concealed guns to be carried I believe criminals think twice before they would try to assault someone if they knew they were armed.  I believe guns are controlled enough and more regulations will not change anything unless there is a full gun ban, while that may be in other countries that is not what this country is about.

Here are some facts about gun control and what it does. One big discussion is assault weapons. In 1994, before the Federal assault weapons ban, you were eleven times more likely to be beaten to death than to be killed by an assault weapon. In the first year since the ban was lifted, murders declined 3.6% and violent crime 1.7%. Nationally, assault weapons were used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all violent crime before the enactment of any national or state assault weapons ban. In many major urban areas and some entire states the rate is less than 0.1%. Even weapons misclassified as assault weapons (common in the former Federal and California “assault weapons” confiscations) are used in less than 1% of all homicides (smith 2010). Also Firearms that can be “readily converted” are already prohibited by law. None of the firearms on the list of banned weapons can be readily converted. Only 0.15% of over 4,000 weapons confiscated in Los Angeles in one year were converted, and only 0.3% had any evidence of an attempt to convert. In most studies they found that most criminals would rather carry a hand gun than an assault rifle.

Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using firearms defensively stated that they “almost certainly” saved their lives by doing so. Firearms are used 60 times more often to protect lives than to take lives. In 83.5% (2,087,500) of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first, proving that guns are very well suited for self-defense. The rate of defensive gun use is six times that of criminal gun use. Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time does a citizen wound his or her attacker, and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed. Of all forms of firearm homicide, 13% are civilian legal defensive homicides. For every accidental death, suicide, or homicide with a firearm, 10 lives are saved through defensive use. When using guns in self-defense, 91.1% of the time not a single shot is fired. After the implementation of Canada’s 1977 gun controls prohibiting handgun possession for protection, the “breaking and entering” crime rate rose 25%, surpassing the American rate (smith 2010). This information clearly shows a lot of the benefits to owning a gun but I also believe owners should be trained to use that gun and maintain it and continue to stay current by requiring owners to shoot it at certain intervals.

Of the States that allow registered citizens to carry concealed weapons they have lower crime rates than those that don’t. The states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. Guns are used for self-defense more than 2 million times a year, three to five times the estimated number of violent crimes committed with guns. (2000 Lampo).  

The idea that some people want guns banned is something that is never going to happen it is a right we as Americans have and will never let go. The facts show that removing guns owned legally will not stop criminals from getting guns illegally as they continue to do.  

Works Cited:

Lampo, David. “Gun Control: Myths and Realities | David Lampo | Cato Institute: Daily Commentary.” The Cato Institute. 13 May 2000. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. <http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4706&gt;.

Smith, Guy. “Gunfacts.info.” Gun Facts – Gun Control | Facts | Debunk | Myths. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. <http://www.gunfacts.info/&gt;.

Gun Control Videos

April 26, 2010

Guns used in self defense.

1. What is the authority of the commentary?  

2. What type of argument is attempted (definition, evaluative, other)?  

3. What evidence is cited? Is the evidence convincing? Valid? Verifiable?  

4. Where do the two viewpoints conflict? How and why?  

5. Which do you judge to be the most convincing? Why?

How to Train Your Dragon Review

April 19, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon Review

Recently I took my seven year old son to see the movie How to Train Your Dragon in 3-D. The movie is based on the book by Cressida Cowell which goes by the same name.  There may be only one movie I have seen this year that I would consider a better movie than this movie. It was a great movie that my son and I loved and would see again.

It was a thrilling and great looking movie with 3-D effects that were very good and not over done with everything coming at you all the time.  Unobtrusive 3-D is immersive 3-D, and that’s the case here. There are a few gimmicky moments in which something flies at the audience but they are few enough to be excusable. And, although the overall quality of the 3-D isn’t up to Avatar standards, it’s as good (or better) than anything we have seen in other animated releases. The visuals do not drown in murkiness and there’s no blurring during fast-paced action scenes. The animators know what they’re doing (James 2010).

The movie is set at a time of the Vikings and their job was to kill dragons. It was simple to them kill the dragons because it is what they do to survive because they were Vikings. The Viking leaders name was Stoick and he was a typical Viking a very large person who looked forward to killing dragons but his son did not see things the same way. His sons name was Hiccup he was very small unlike his fellow Vikings he just was not very good at swinging an ax or a sword to kill these dragons but he would try if only to please his father. Every time he would try to slay a dragon he was told to get out of the way and go hide for good reason most of the time things would go horribly wrong for him and he would usually cause more damage than help any. Hiccup also had a girl interest her name was Astrid, but she was tougher than he was and the harder he tried the more he messed up with her.

At the beginning of the movie Hiccup uses a weapon he has made to hit a dragon and it is the dragon that is considered to be the most fearsome of them all they call him the night fury. The dragons, not surprisingly, are the main visual attraction and come in various shapes and sizes with clever names like the two-headed Hideous Zippleback, or the Monstrous Nightmare. The most fearsome and illusive of all is the Night Fury basically; a fire-breathing stealth bomber in black scales (Sharkey 2010). Hiccup finds the wounded dragon, which he ends up calling toothless, and he tries to finish him of but he can’t so instead he releases him and tries to help him. He learns a lot from toothless and uses it to his advantage in his boot camp for killing dragons by defeating the dragons without hurting them and showing the village not to fear the dragons.

Although some of the lessons that the movie teaches are not knew to most adults they are to most kids and this movie does a great job in showing them that there are other ways to get things done such as using your intelligence not just brute force or the idea that just because something is different it does not have to be scary and you don’t have to kill it. Also one person can make a difference in how people see things some people need to think outside the box or we would still be living in a flat world.    

Works Cited

Berardinelli, James. “How to Train Your Dragon Movie Review.” Reelviews Movie Reviews. Reelviews, 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=2048&gt;.

Puig, Claudia. “‘Dragon’: How to Do Smart Dialogue, 3-D Visuals the Right Way – USATODAY.com.” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World – USATODAY.com. 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2010-03-26-dragonreview26_ST_N.htm&gt;.

Sharkey, Betsy. “Movie Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ – Latimes.com.” Los Angeles Times – California, L.A., Entertainment and World News – Latimes.com. L.A.Times, 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-dragon26-2010mar26,0,5463791.story&gt;.

Teaching my son to use a camera

April 19, 2010

Teaching my son to use a camera

            Long ago I read that “hoarding a good idea is the best way to lose it” (pg. 35).  As I thought about this quote I decided that I was going to teach my son what I knew about operating a digital camera.  Now, he is only seven years old, but he is so smart that I knew he would soak up the information like a sponge.  The following words are about my son, a camera and creating memories. 

            Since my son is a novice to photography I thought that I would start by teaching him what happens when a picture is taken.  I used an old Polaroid camera that I had.  I showed him how to load the film and told him to find something that he wanted to take a picture of.  Being a lover of insects, he found a ladybug that he wanted to take a picture of.  He was so excited, but nervous at the same time.  His little hands grasped the huge camera while his little legs were trying to steady his body, but he was so excited that his legs appeared wobbly as two rubber bands.  I told him to get close to the ladybug and he did.  He snapped the picture and the camera spit out his masterpiece.  I told him to hold the picture and fan it as if it was a hot day and he was fanning himself.  Soon, the picture developed and he learned the connection between focusing on an object with the camera and a picture of the object being produced. 

            As he became comfortable with the Polaroid camera I decided to let him use the digital camera.  I explained to him that the Polaroid camera was an old camera and the digital camera is newer and what most people use now.  Since his hands are small it was very easy for him to hold the digital camera.  I let him take the first picture because I wanted to see the expression on his face when it didn’t spit the picture out like the Polaroid did.  He waited and waited.  He turned the camera around and looked at the front of it like he was waiting for the picture to come out.  He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face.  I took the camera from him and showed him the screen on the back of the camera and he was amazed.  I told him that the picture is saved inside of the camera and we must connect it to the computer to get the picture to print out.  I showed him some of the features on the camera like how to zoom in and out and the things that you could do with different lighting.  Also, I told him that on the computer we could edit the pictures by changing them around and making them bigger or smaller.  I also let him know that we could crop (or cut) someone out of the picture!  He seemed to really like the digital camera so I told him that he could walk around out house and take pictures of the things the he loved. 

            I sat down to watch television and thirty minutes later he returned with the camera.  I showed him that we could click on the review button and look at the pictures that he had taken.  I learned that my seven year old son loves his family, Spiderman, taking a bath, books, and our pets.  Looking back, I am glad that I didn’t hoard the idea and knowledge about using a digital camera.  From this experience I learned that love is like a camera, it’s full of memories.

If You Steal My Car

April 12, 2010

If you steal my car

            I once read that “a prison has a door, but a grave hasn’t” (pg 324).  When thinking about the topic of this paper, if you steal my car, I thought that the consequences of such actions could lead you to prison or the grave.  Stealing my car leads to a host of problems.  What you think of as a benefit to you actually ends up as many negatives for the both of us.

            If you steal my car and get caught by the police you could be arrested and face potential incarceration.  What you may think of as a simple joy ride could also lead to you with a future criminal record.  That criminal record could come back to haunt you in the future when you apply for a job and are denied.  If you are young, this record could follow you for a very long time.  If you are a convicted felon because you chose to steal my car you will lose the right to vote, join the military and other privileges.  If you steal my car and are on a joy ride, but instead find yourself in a high speed chase by the police you could crash and kill yourself or some innocent victim. 

            Likewise, if you steal my car there are negative and undeserved consequences that I must face.  Some of the following consequences are probably everyday tasks of the normal, working citizen that you probably never considered before or during the time that you broke into my car and stole it.  Without a car I will now have to find a different mode of transportation to work, the grocery store, doctor appointments, and school.  My children and I will have to rely on the generosity of friends and family to shuttle us to places that we need to be.  We must rearrange our daily schedule so that we can be available to the people that we will have to depend on.  If we cannot find a ride or afford public transportation on a daily basis, we must face the elements and walk to our destination.

            When a person has to deal with their car being stolen it can cause lots of stress and anxiety.  Not only do they have to find another mode of transportation, but they risk losing their job if they are constantly absent from or late to work.  The threat of losing a job coupled with stress and anxiety can cause many health problems for a person.  These are some of the problems that an innocent victim has to deal with when you selfishly decide that you would rather steal someone’s car than to get a job, earn an income and buy a car of your own.  To top it off, those of us who own a car will now have to pay higher insurance premiums for the crime that you have committed.  Whether you stole my car for a joy ride or to try to sell the car parts, I must try to deal with the insurance companies and police in an attempt to find my stolen car.  If it is not found, I must attempt to purchase another car. 

            As you can see, stealing my car has major ramifications for the both of us.  Perhaps stealing my car has stemmed from smaller thefts on your part, but the consequences for you can also be very deadly.  In the state of Texas, my car is part of my castle; therefore if you attempt to steal it, I can use deadly force to protect it.  So, if you choose to steal my car your decision could lead you to prison, which has a door, or to the grave, which doesn’t.  The choice is yours.

Gun control and violence

April 9, 2010

Gun Control and violence

A big debate that has been going on for years is how gun control or the lack of it affects violent crime. I think gun control should have its limit I think if criminals knew there was a gun in a house they would be less likely to try to break in. If concealed guns were carried there would less temptation for a criminal to try to assault someone if he knew they were armed.  I will inform you about some things that will hopefully change your mind or at least make you think about how gun control and violence are connected.

The Columbine High School tragedy was something activist tried to say was caused by the lack of gun control but Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold violated close to 20 firearms laws in amassing their cache of weapons, so it seems ridiculous to argue that additional laws might have prevented this tragedy. The two shotguns and rifle used by Harris and Klebold were purchased by a girlfriend who would have passed a background check, and the TEC-9 handgun used by them was already illegal (2000 Lampo). So if a criminal wants to get a gun and commit a crime he will get one by any means possible.

Of the States that allow registered citizens to carry concealed weapons they have lower crime rates than those that don’t. The states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. Guns are used for self-defense more than 2 million times a year, three to five times the estimated number of violent crimes committed with guns.(2000 Lampo).  Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds.151 Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using firearms defensively stated that they “almost certainly” saved their lives by doing so. Firearms are used 60 times more often to protect lives than to take lives. In 83.5% of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first, proving that guns are very well suited for self-defense. The rate of defensive gun use is six times that of criminal gun use. Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time does a citizen wound his or her attacker, and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed. Of all forms of firearm homicide, 13% are civilian legal defensive homicides. For every accidental death, suicide, or homicide with a firearm, 10 lives are saved through defensive use.  When using guns in self-defense, 91.1% of the time not a single shot is fired (2009 Smith).

If a criminal wants to get a gun either a pistol or a rifle to commit a crime he will be able to get one. A criminal is not worried about registering their gun or obtaining it legally. So if we as law abiding citizens can arm ourselves and carry guns legally to some it may seem like the old west but we will have a chance to defend our homes and families.

Works Cited

Lampo, David. “Gun Control: Myths and Realities | David Lampo | Cato Institute: Daily Commentary.” The Cato Institute. 13 May 2000. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. <http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4706&gt;.

Smith, Guy. “Gunfacts.info.” Gun Facts – Gun Control | Facts | Debunk | Myths. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. <http://www.gunfacts.info/&gt;.

Epitaph

April 9, 2010

Beneath this simple stone lies anything but a simple man.  He came into this world as unexpectedly as he left it.  He was born to parents who loved music and art.  They had planned to travel the world to visit famous art museums and learn about the things that they had only seen in books.  Their plans changed on January 1, 1964 when he was born.

            As an infant his smiling face was like a ray of sunshine.  He would smile and the whole room would light up.  He was always described as a good baby.  His mom never said that he was a fat baby, but rather fluffy like a little cloud.  He, most definitely, was loved unconditionally. 

            As time passed he grew into a very active toddler.  Even in the younger years of his life he was showing how courageous he was.  He would try to run before he could barely walk.  Often he would climb on furniture and smile at his parents before he jumped off.  Simply, as a toddler he was courageous as a lion. 

            His teen years continued on the same path.  He was described by friends as an excellent team mate, great friend, and sweet as honey.  He made a point to volunteer and help people who were less fortunate than himself. He played football, basketball, and baseball in high school.  He made good grades and eventually graduated.  He made his family proud when he announced that he was accepted into medical school.  It seemed fitting because many friends described him as very smart, in fact, sharper than a needle. 

            Later in life, after graduating from college, he became a doctor, husband and father.  Of the many roles that he encompassed, these three were the most important to him.  His patients often described his bedside manners as gentle as a lamb.   He was a very compassionate man which was very helpful and appreciated, especially from the people who he served.  He decided that he wanted to settle down and start a family.  He married the love of his life and they had two children.  He loved being a father.  He made it a point to laugh and play with his children everyday no matter how tired he was.  He set an excellent example for them to follow.  He loved his wife fiercely.  Behind God, she was second in his life, always.  Although he was quiet as a mouse, he showed her how much he loved her by his actions.  To each other they were faithful as the sunrise.  They truly enjoyed their 26 year marriage. 

            At the end of his life many friends and family gathered to celebrate the man that they got to know as brother, son, dad, husband, friend, and uncle.  They reminded each other about how funny he was.  They reminisced about his love of airplanes and flight.  Many described him as being strong as an ox, both mentally and physically.  They loved his sense of humor.  Everyone counted on him to come up with jokes, but knew that having that much wit could only come from a person who was wise as an owl. Nothing about his was just simple.  He lived with passion, but died, unexpectedly, on a cold, bitter winter day.  Although he left us on a dreary day, we still remember that ray of sunshine and feel his warmth upon us.

The New Health Care Bill

April 2, 2010

The New Health Care Bill

The new health care bill has just passed and everyone is still trying to figure out what is the good or the bad of it. The good thing is it is supposed to cover all those who need health care but can not afford it some bad things could be what it will do for the federal budget.  This bill is supposed to be good for the budget and save the country money. The larger companies may not agree with it saving them money.  

The bill is estimated to cost 940 billion dollars over ten years (CBS 2010). It is also said that it would be reduce the deficit by 143 billion over the first ten years and 1.2 trillion over the next ten years (CBS 2010).

The uninsured and the self employed will be able to get insurance from health state based exchanges with subsidies available for individuals and families that can qualify for the subsidies. By 2014 everyone will be required to have health insurance or they will face a fine with exceptions for low income people. There are also subsidies for individuals and families who need it due to their income level and are getting insurance from an exchange but they cannot be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare and cannot be covered by an employer. 

Medicare had one of the holes in it closed for prescription drugs for seniors as they can receive a 250 dollar rebate. Starting in 2011 seniors can receive a fifty percent discount on brand name drugs. The bill also includes 500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next ten years. Medicaid is also expanding to include 133 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four. The states will also be required to expand to include childless adult starting in 2014. The federal government will pay 100 percent of cost for covering new individuals through 2016.

Insurance companies must allow children to remain on their insurance until the age of 26. Starting in 2014 no one can be denied insurance for any pre existing condition. Also children cannot be denied insurance based on pre existing conditions and that starts six months after the law passed. But already the insurance companies are trying to find loop holes as to what the bill says in this case the insurance companies are saying the way the law is worded they do not have to accept any new children with conditions until 2014. So the holes are starting to appear for this bill.

Beginning in 2012 the Medicare payroll tax will be expanded to include unearned income. Starting in 2018 a 40 per cent excise tax will be put on high end insurance plans or Cadillac plans. There is also a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. Dental and vision plans are exempt from the excise tax.

Employers must provide health insurance if they have more than 50 employees or the company will pay a 2000 dollar fine per worker per year if any worker receives federal subsidies to purchase health insurance. Already some of the bigger companies have said how much of a hit they would take with this plan. Illegal immigrants are not allowed to buy any insurance from exchanges.

So far there are some good things of this bill but for me i do not see all the positives of this bill it is slowly it is being picked apart and it may not be as good a bill as most had hoped or would like for it to be. Medicare will take a hit and some doctors may no longer take it due to how it changes and pays out. The larger companies will lose subsidies they get from the government to keep older employees on their health plan and not let them fall into medicare so to me is sounds like larger companies will do what they have to to not lose money which will cost medicare and add to the budget but only time will tell.