Why would anyone be pro-gun?

So this is my first post and, of course, I’m tackling a controversial issue. (aren’t they all anymore?) My fury about guns started a few days ago when a friend was talking about her brother’s shooting competition. This is a family of gun-owners, so much so that my vegan  friend believes in hunting.

Now, her defense of gun falls under the “we need them for protection” category. Ok, fine; but honestly, if there were no guns to be had we wouldn’t need them for protection. England doesn’t allow guns and they seem to be doing just fine. Idealism, you say? Maybe, but isn’t that what we should strive for? If posed the question, ‘would you rather have weapons as we currently do or all weapons be disappeared from the planet’ if your answer is not ‘of course we shouldn’t have any weapons at all’ you have a violent side to you. People who wish for a peaceful, healthy world are often called hippies when really they should be seen as people with the right idea. Why wouldn’t we want this kind of world?

Here’s the other bullet-point from the debate (pun intended!): Is a gun safer than a knife or simple hand-to-hand combat? My friend says hell yes! I think this is ridiculous. A knife cannot stab you from across the street. A fist cannot penetrate your insides and give you lead poisoning. My friend’s boyfriend played devil’s advocate with a simple thought: There’s no such thing as a drive-by punching.

That’s the thing. A gun can kill you immediately, without notice, without a chance at defending yourself. I’m not saying a knife can’t have that same problem; but let’s be real here. A gun’s only purpose in its production is to harm something. Protection is basically arbitrary until you get into a game of chicken with someone else who’s packing. More people who keep handguns in their homes for protection are killed by firearms than those who aren’t.  And I certainly do not feel safe to know that John Q. Public is allowed to carry a concealed weapon at the grocery store simply because he got certified to do so.

And before I hear someone shout out “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, let me prove your point. ANYBODY can get their hands on a gun! Any nutcase can walk into a gun show and take home that day. No Brady Bill here! I would prefer my nutcases to only have access to small unwieldy weapons that cause far less damage.

So, yeah, I hate guns. And even if you think guns do serve a purpose, ultimately you should hate guns too.

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Going the way of Athens

I have heard some concerns lately about the United States being the next Greece, which at face value may have some traction. The United States’ current public debt is roughly 87% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Greece is looking at around 125% of GDP. Still quite a spread, but with the recent healthcare initiative it is hard to fathom that this number might come down anytime soon. In-addition, recessions intrinsically increase the national dept as tax revenues fall and government spending rises with the greater demand for government programs (good thing they say the recession is over). Even with this mounting debt I would still advocate holding off on buying that riot gear anytime soon, as the U.S. has tools that Greece lost when joining the EU.

The United States, unlike Greece, is still in-charge of its money supply and can increase and decrease it at will (for numerous reasons that we will not address today). Greece limited itself years ago when joining the EU and choosing to make their currency the Euro, as this choice removed their ability to manage the country’s money supply. This limitation has become more serious the further Greece has moved away from the fiscally responsible countries like Germany. No-longer can Greece use inflation to control their debt level, and years of less than desirable fiscal policy has really left the country in a bind.

Greece is really only left with a few options to dig themselves out this year:

1)      Continue to look for buyers of government bonds (best option, but demand is slowing)

2)      Possibly combine option 1 with further increases in taxes and huge government program slashes (Greece is hitting escalating resistance inside as citizens are rioting in the streets and performing walk-outs)

3)      Turn to private intuitions and borrow at much higher costs (not the best plan, but there may not be another way to raise enough money by year end )

4)      Give-up and wait for the European Union to bail them out (worst option as the side-effects will be devastating, plus the German people are divided on stepping in to save Greece)

5)      Combined options 1-5 and don’t open eyes until January 2011

Regardless on the choices made by Greece from here on, the costs will be high and the pain will be felt for some time.

Well what about the United States? If the notional debt continues its upward trend, then we will see a rise in borrowing cost, taxes and inflation; however, I believe the government will enact a number of fiscal changes before allowing the national debt to get close to 95% of GDP. This means that taxes are going to have to raise here in the semi-short term as cutting government spending and programs seems more difficult than walking on the moon. Keep your eyes open for the VAT (value added tax) on consumer goods this year or next, and listen for the current administration to specifically refer to ‘income taxes’ when talking about not raising taxes for 95% of Americans.

I would really like to focus more on government spending and taxes in the United States, but this will have to wait for another day.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Conservative Revolution?

I find myself moved by the current uprising going on across America. These grass-root legions are out to protect us as a nation , whether we want them to or not, and are currently sacrificing their time (not money however) to travel town to town to get the word-out.. “America is heading in the wrong direction… gosh darn-it”. Their polarizing mascot has somehow been able to read-enough mind numbing rhetoric off her hand to mesmerize a decent following of so called ‘conservatives’.   Here is where I get lost as I often associate myself with being a conservative;  I do not have a meth induced concept of the current state of the nation. Yes, I do find Obama’s policies to be a bit too left for my tastes, but I also understand how an economy needs to operate during a Great Recession. Unfortunately, government spending is key to revival (more on the this in following blogs).

The underlining question of this post is, Has the conservative party gone crazy, or is there a conservative dichotomy taking place here in America? I am going with the latter as the fundamental values of conservatism has not altered at last check. Ever since the energized, always inspiring, Sarah Palin landed into the Tea Party movement we have seen a core shift. No longer do we truly question the directives of the government intellectually, but instead we attack everything the government (Obama) says and does. This does not feel like the conservative party that I associate (use to associate myself) with. This, to me, is a revolution that will spell disaster for all associated parties involved come the 2012 elections.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 3:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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