Tamir Rice

As you’re reading this, you probably already know that 12 year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by officer Tim Loehmann, a rookie on the Cleveland police force. No criminal charges were filed against Loehmann leaving Cleveland and most of America frustrated, angry and sadden on this day.

I’m going to get straight to the point on this, guys. Guns and little boys go together like girls and Barbie dolls. They go together like old white dudes and capitalism. There are so many gun-related incidents in America, it’s pretty much expected at any given moment something will trend on social media like “Roosevelt High School” and as soon as you click the link it’s automatically a school shooting or someone has been shot. With that said, this does not surprise me in the least.

In Rice’s case, reports were of a black kid walking around some playground with a gun, pointing it at people. In the video it shows a police cruiser drive right up on Rice, the officer gets out and shoots Rice fatally killing him. Turns out the gun was fake. And according to everyone on Twitter, he was just “playing”. Well, guns (real or fake) are not toys. Toy guns usually come with an orange tip on the barrel of the gun to indicate that the firearm is fake. The gun that Rice had did not have any orange tip therefore in the police officer’s eyes (Loehmann) he can only assume that the gun is real. Do I think Loehmann could’ve handled things differently? Absolutely. On the other hand, maybe Rice could’ve left his “toy gun” at home.

I just don’t think it’s safe for kids to be walking around outside with toy guns anymore. I also think America has a sick obsession for guns and gun violence. Everyone seems to want a gun just to have one. My co-workers are always telling me the type of guns they want to buy and when I ask them why they want one the answer is always “I don’t know. Just to have it”. Don’t get me wrong about guns. I own two; one for hunting and one for home defense. I think if the country is going to have anywhere from 245 to 360 million guns around, I’m certainly not going to be left out.

The problem I see is too many Americans talk a big game when it comes to firearms. I’ve heard time and time again about how if someone broke into their home, they’d kill them with one shot like in the movies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Keeping a loaded gun in your dresser drawer all year and occasionally handling it to look cool in front of your friends won’t make you an expert marksman. At 2am when you’re dead asleep and someone comes through your window, and you’re groggy from sleep, it’s dark and you are unsure of what’s downstairs, your heart is racing and you’re shaking from adrenaline and fear…you honestly think you’ll go downstairs like a cowboy and blast the bad guy away? Without any proper training or significant time at the gun range, I seriously doubt it.

Guns are everywhere in America. Movies, video games, laying around on the book shelf, in glove compartments of cars, under floor mats and in the closet accessible by anyone. It should come as no surprise that Tamir Rice was walking around outside with what appeared to be a real gun and was shot by police. It really shouldn’t come as a shocker. This country is founded on a constitution that says we should all have a gun in our homes. We have that right. With that right comes a lot of responsibility. Guns are not a novelty item. They aren’t toys. They require proper training, knowledge and intelligence to use in a safe manner to avoid shooting yourself or someone else. This idea that guns are “cool” and I just want one because I can has got to change.

Concealed Weapons Permits should be given out to be people who can demonstrate the need for a firearm while outside of their home and can also demonstrate responsibility while having that firearm. Many people on social media have already put that argument out there that Ohio is an “open carry” state and Tamir Rice should’ve been left alone. The police have a responsibility to respond to any call regarding a firearm. Ohio may be an open carry state but open carry doesn’t allow anyone to walk around town pointing guns at people.

We’ve created this gun-crazed society in which we live in, people. And sadly, we as a country, are unwilling to change it. How many more school shootings do we have to hear about before change happens? How many kids are going to be gunned down by cops for carrying around a toy gun because the parents are either too lazy or too inept to understand the severity of pointing toy guns at people? Where’s the “guns are not a toy” talks these days? When are we going to break this obsession we have as a nation over guns? Probably never. So as long as America continues to obsess and want guns, sadly, the more deaths we must accept.

 

 

Advertisements

Baltimore Riots

The details are murky. Baltimore is in shambles. Police are on high alert and the local government has deemed a state of emergency. Baseball games have been cancelled, police have been injured and hospitalized, local businesses have been burned and looted and there’s not much anyone can do about the ensuing chaos.

The media portrays a bunch of black people running around destroying the city. Throwing rocks at cops, smashing police cars, fighting innocent people; savages and thugs as some might call them. It’s a hard situation to decipher. Whichever side you land on, you’ll be met with ridicule and hatred.

People defending the cops continue to say. “well, if you don’t want your ass beat, don’t break the law!”

People defending the blacks continue to say, “who cares about his rap sheet! He shouldn’t have been killed while in custody!”

Both sides are genuinely correct.

The police have a responsibility to the people. Just because someone is a hardened street thug or common criminal, does not give the right for police officers to treat anyone like a sub-human piece of trash. The three major cases that have been in the spot light are the Michael Brown (Ferguson) case, the Eric Garner (New York) case and now the Freddy Gray case in Baltimore. Each case is unique and of course we can not predict how a law enforcement officer handles his every day responsibilities. We empower these people to uphold the law, keep our communities safe and help people who are in need. To be a police officer, one must exercise good judgment, common sense and be professional at all times. These people are not robots. They’re human beings with emotions. Obviously the job is not for everyone.

The shocking thing to me is; the American culture likes to protest about a lot of things that aren’t conducive to a healthy society. Lately, it’s been about police brutality and defending criminals. I understand that the Eric Garners and the Freddy Grays were sons and fathers. I understand that they have brothers and sisters and mothers who love them. What I don’t understand is how the black community can blatantly disregard their way of life that might lead to police contact. I’m not saying the police weren’t out of line. I’m simply saying their actions might be the reason for their situation. To not put that on the forefront is irresponsible.

We, as a human race, have a responsibility to get along. We have laws that we must protect and abide by. When we don’t play by the rules, we have to face consequences. On both sides.

But the social media responses are shocking…

“Can’t we all just get along?”

Give me Liberty or give me Death

Give me liberty or give me death! Give me liberty or give me death! Give me liberty or give me death!

The biggest issues in our beloved United States of America right now are gun control and abortion. The right wingers are adamant about not allowing for more strict gun laws, background checks, mental health evaluations. With all of those aforementioned new laws in place, would it really help reduce gun violence and keep wackos from shooting up schools and apartment complexes? Some would agree and some would disagree. But most say it’s an invasion of our 2nd Amendment rights. The problem with the Constitution is it’s not 1787 anymore. It’s 2013. And as we evolve as humans, as a nation and as a world, things need like the Constitution need to evolve as well. We don’t still use rotary phones, do we?

I have a few guns to my name. Two handguns and a shotgun. I love guns. I love to shoot guns and I love to carry one around town (I have my CWP, by the way). And as you look at the history of our country, we have implemented laws to keep Americans safe, right? Like, certain places guns can no longer be carried into. Gun free zones. You know, like in Wyatt Earp days where you had to hand over your gun to the bartender. In cities, you can not discharge your firearms. And when you get pulled over by the police, in some states you must declare your weapons as soon as the police officer approaches your vehicle. Isn’t all of that against our Constitutional rights? Hey, I have a right to my firearms. Who’s business is it where I have one in my car!

Abortions are another huge issue in this country. People claim it’s murder. Some claim it’s not murder because a fetus isn’t a “human being” yet. Everyone has a different opinion of when life actually begins. Some claim when there’s a heart beat. Others would say as soon as the egg is fertilized. You know what I say? I don’t give two shits what you think. If someone wants to abort their child, baby, fetus, egg, it’s not your decision. It’s theirs. It’s not like we have a herd of American women running around having a blast, drinking margaritas, aborting their babies. It’s probably not an easy decision and it’s probably pretty traumatizing. But people have their reasons. And you probably have nothing to do with any of it.

When I think about the United States, I envision a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats, bickering at each other to do this and not do that. What’s best for you may not be best for someone else. And vise versa. We have freedoms in this country. We aren’t ran by dictatorship or tyranny. We aren’t North Korea. You have the freedom to shop at Wal-Mart or not. You have the freedom to buy a firearm or not. And you have the freedom to abort your child for whatever reason. Whether it be from being raped or falling on hard times or getting drunk at a frat party. Do I advocate abortions? Not so much. But I’d rather a child come into this world with a fighting chance instead of being raised by some irresponsible dead beat mother who got fucked at a drunken frat party, wound up pregnant, dropped out of school, can’t hold a job, and wound up on the welfare system for the rest of her life and her childs. And then her child repeats the process.

The thing with both of these issues is no one seems to be able to provide a solution. People are going to have sex in this country. And people are going to buy guns and shoot up schools in this country. It’s going to happen. We’ve identified that, at least, right? So let’s provide solutions to the problems. With irresponsible sexual relations comes unwanted children. Who ends up paying for all these unwanted children? Mostly tax payers. I’d like to pay for my own kids, thanks. I’m for contraceptive (obviously I’m not a Christian or Catholic, go figure). I’m for safe sex. I’d like to think I’m responsible. The unfortunate aspect of this is; you might be responsible but your neighbor may not be. So we prepare for the irresponsible ones.

Gun control works the same way. Although you may not like extended background checks, waiting periods, mental health evaluations, you’ll probably be all for that shit when your fucking kid gets waxed by some asshole on a murderous rampage. Or are you going to play hero, strap on your piece, tramp on down to the local school and put two in his chest and save the day? Probably not fucking likely. Washington State has a three-day wait on firearms purchases if you don’t have a CWP. Three days. You think I’m happy about that shit? Fuck no. But if it keeps some low-life scum bag from buying a gun from a local dealer and killing people because someone cut him off on I-5 that day, then hell yes I’m for it!

The whole point of reducing magazine rounds in magazines from ten to seven or whatever the fuck they wanted to do was to force the gunmen to reload more often hence giving police or whoever more time to take his ass down. Too many people have said, “well, what’s that going to do? What difference does three rounds make?” Maybe a life or two? I don’t know. I’m just spit-balling here.

The whole point of America is freedom. Personal freedoms. I like my freedom. I like to wake up everyday and stretch out, sip my coffee, read my newspaper and not have to do shit if I don’t want to. I don’t want to live in a country where I can’t do something because some other asshole American doesn’t believe in or because he/she doesn’t think it’s right. If I want an abortion, I’ll get an abortion. And I don’t need YOU up in my face about it because YOUR opinion doesn’t mean shit to me anyway.

 

America, the great nation of consumerism!

1: the promotion of the consumer’s interests

2: the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods

— con·sum·er·ist noun or adjective

— con·sum·er·is·tic adjective

In 2011, the United States consumed about 134 billion gallons (or 3.19 billion barrels) of gasoline, a daily average of about 367.08 million gallons (8.74 million barrels). This was about 6% less than the record high of about 142.38 billion gallons (or 3.39 billion barrels) consumed in 2007.

In 2011, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential
utility customer was 11,280 kWh, an average of 940 kilowatthours (kWh) per
month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 16,176 kWh and Maine the
lowest at 6,252 kWh.

Studies show the average American eats at Mcdonalds on an average in a single lifetime about 1,800 times.

U.S. household consumer debt profile:

  • Average credit card debt: $15,204
  • Average mortgage debt: $148,818
  • Average student loan debt: $33,005

Why is all of this relevant? Because we, as Americans, buy a lot of shit. In my lifetime, I’m certainly guilty of it. I grew up in a household with multiple television sets and the newest game console. Sure did! Now, as I matured, I realized how worthless all this crap is in America. Tv’s, cars, iPads, iPhones, CD’s, movies…the list goes on of the shit I no longer buy. I had such an extensive music collection of probably over 300 music CD’s. Later, I traded it all in for money because I wanted to get rid of shit. I uploaded every CD onto my computers hard drive. At $15 dollars a CD, times 300, that’s $4,500. How much do you think I got back on that collection? Maybe $3-5 dollars. Maybe. I probably barely got $1,000 in return.

Think of all the stuff you buy. Think about every time you move into a new house or a new apartment and you go out and buy a new furniture set at Walmart or IKEA. You buy it because it’s there to buy.

We, as Americans, buy a lot of shit. Yet, our politicians claim our country is broke. We are not broke. We are a nation of consuming. That’s what we do. We consume and waste. We consume and waste. If you’ve ever sat in a restaurant and people watched (which I don’t recommend) you would see what I’m talking about. Try it one evening. You’ll see how many plates are returned to the waiter with plenty of food left on the plate to eat. People just throw it out. And I’m not sure why. I was raised in the generation of “waste not, want not”.

Have you ever lived in an apartment complex and went out to throw trash away and saw chairs and mattresses and tables and all sorts of shit surrounding the dumpster? It all gets thrown away. I think in this country we have this image to uphold. Buying everything in mint condition, name brand stuff. Never used or second hand. Who wants something used? Yuck!

I’ve downsized my life quite a bit and I’m certainly not advocating that you do the same. My first motorcycle was brand new. And I learned a valuable lesson through that story. Now I buy used. And I’m just as happy with the used motorcycle I have now. Probably more happy then when I had a brand new bike. Instead of going all out and furnishing my new apartment with new tables and chairs, I bought a cheap tv stand from Wal-Mart, bought a used tv off Craigslist and try to live within my means.

I don’t like it when these politicians claim this country is broke. We aren’t broke. We have plenty of money floating around the United States. Look how we live if you want proof. We live better than 90% of the world. Our poorest in our country is in some countries their richest. That says a lot. And it seems no matter what income bracket anyone is in, they can still afford iPhones and nail appointments.

$156.5 billion. Apple’s total sales for the year. The biggest chunk of that came during the first quarter, when the company brought in $46.33 billion in sales.

$41.66 billion. Apple’s profits for the entire fiscal year. Once again, the company’s biggest quarter was its first, buoyed by sales of more than 37 million iPhones.

$121.25 billion. Apple’s current cash pile. It was about $81 billion at the end of this quarter last year, and up about 3.4 percent from its previous quarter.