Archive for January, 2013

The Graduated License: Smarter Gun Rights?

January 27, 2013 Leave a comment

A better way to award gun licenses is a “graduated form” where one begins with limited rights and gradually earns more rights through testing, education and experience. The current system awards a gun license with total rights: the newly licensed with zero experience has just as much access as the seasoned veteran. Is this the best way to award licenses?

A better way to award licenses is to begin with a basic level license. Initial rights will limit the individual to a small number of bullets and available weapons. Want more? Earn it via classes and testing. Gradually the individual can earn more rights by proving the capability to responsibly handle the additions.

Such a format would work to stop individuals whose mental states prove too unstable for high capacity weapons. And while nothing can stop illegal weapons and the desires of those who wish to harm on a massive scale, this new form would create a system of prevention that might catch unstable individuals and re-route them to the help they need.

This alternative form should appeal to both gun control advocates and detractors. In this system there is no control imposed on individuals who prove capable. Merit earns rights and the NRA should not only celebrate this format but recognize it as an incredible opportunity. The enjoyment of weapons that comes from expert use will only increase with greater education.

Advanced testing in this form could be completed with NRA guidance and perhaps experienced shooters could proctor these exams for discounts on their own classes. This allows for a community of gun owners to blossom, a group whose entire existence centers around the enjoyment of weapons and the development of skills relating to their use.

What matters less in gun control is the actual control of the guns. We need to recognize the real problem: irresponsible use by those who either don’t know or don’t acknowledge the power of their weapons. Safety stems not from taking away or limiting access. The best system is one that works for more experience and uses merit as the means of greater access. You can have your guns. Celebrate them and use them as much as you want, but show us that you’re capable of respecting what you use and fully understanding just what power you hold for both you and your community.

No Major Needed

January 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Is there room for a major figure in democracy? Formulated on a bedrock of group-think and consensus, how might a lone figure distort the democratic process? We often view our leaders through a nostalgic prism of history- figures become larger than life and their ideas the stuff of legend. Films debut to buttress these claims and quickly the “common knowledge” becomes less fact and more fantasy.

With the recent release of a film on Lincoln we see this process of rewriting taking place. Some historians have highlighted these issues (see Bruce Levine) but no matter the number of statements refuting false history we still cherish created facts. Levine and others write to suggest that Lincoln’s greatness was the creation of the general public- a created narrative framed from the stories used to create our hero leader. While seemingly harmless, this false history hides a more insidious denial of honor as those who fought and died to achieve the accomplishments now linked solely to Lincoln. We simplify at the expense of the souls lost and blood spilled towards a goal.

In the end we have little to offer our knowledge of history given our common desire for great stories. We love our heroes and those who walk among us are even more attractive. The great man among us is both inspiration and trophy. Lincoln may not have been as great as we think we think we know- do we care? In the end we couldn’t care less because we build our heroes high and much prefer the man whose greatness defies collected fact. Let science damned if a story can be told.

Categories: Uncategorized

Clarified to Calcium

January 10, 2013 1 comment

Media reports often delve into areas where topics demand extra clarification. What is that new piece of technology designed to do? When you made that reference you were referring to what recent trend in behavior? Often introduced with the stock phrase, “Of course,” these little moments of additional explanation are designed to aid the unaware but do they work to destroy focus? At what point does the insistent work to clarify leave the audience with a complete lack of focus?

Constant clarification works to insure the forest’s trees are equally visible. Working from a position of concern for the audience, reports that constantly clarify have at their core a fear that missing certain trees eliminate the ability to see the forest. Perhaps there are critical details that must be understood, but if missing certain details renders a story beyond comprehension a deeper question needs to be asked- is it worth reporting?

Does the extra info make a big difference? Do the unaware flee a news report when they’re may help the unaware audience members they often come at such a rate that focus? Perhaps a dangerous hazard to toy with, work that allows the audience to miss certain details in order to see the larger story at play has major benefits. Never let the perfect destroy the good and any work that disregards focus for specificity risks losing more than it gains.

New Tech is New Relations

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Does technology create new forms of relationships? With the evolution of communication technologies we gain new ways of connecting with others. Relationships can now be solely via e-mail. While most technologies are deployed to supplement face-to-face relationships what can be said of those created since technology was developed? How do these new relationships suggest for us the power that communication technology can have on our relationships?

In cases where relationships were created online a greater dependence on communication technology is possible. Relationships that begin online must either evolve away from the platform or expand to fully embrace available technologies. Do these relationships evolve just as face-to-face relationships? I would argue that they do, but depend more so on the technologies that exist online. Just as face-to-face relationships expand to include new activities and behaviors, relationships that begin online and remain there must gather in new technologies and methods of communication that allow the relationship to develop.

More interesting is the process of incorporating technology into relationships. With a movement towards technology an opportunity for distance emerges. We suddenly become capable of having a relationship without face-to-face limitations. Geography and time no longer matter with technology. Herein lies a major choice for those in the relationship. Does one strive to maintain the levels of face-to-face communication or depend instead on technology. At the very least a different relationship will emerge but does one choose to take advantage of these new terms. Perhaps one might learn to prefer communicating via technology and eliminate the face-to-face component of the relationship. Does one prefer the added distance? Is the ability to communicate via technology better than when face-to-face? These new issues stem from greater use of communication technologies and will only increase as both the complexity and popular use evolve.

It is certain that communication technology has changed the ways human relationships exist. Technology gives on the choice of expanding or contracting be it in terms of place and time. How does one want to apply technology to human relations?

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