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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.

Modern Tellings: Detachment In Differential Time

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

One wonders whether certain pieces of fiction are so far beyond contemporary society that they’ve long been rendered fantastic. Even realistic fiction suffers this loss in time, Dickens and Shakespeare become more confusing with each passing decade as cultural touchstones change and points of audience relation disappear.

In those stories people “act differently” or “say things in some other way”. One might even hear of how “the way they see the world is different.” Students experience the texts in different ways than the author originally intended: “Things just aren’t the same.”

But when do stories suffer this detachment via time differential? When does a story become so far off that it is unrelated to our world? Oddly culture decides this.

We have a system where culture reclassifies culture, existing as some swarming, swashing body of material that varies in popularity and relevancy. Certain works never catch while others take decades to find an audience. Some texts lose favor with the culture only to return later to become touchstones. Yet more never connect: bursting into the world only to sink.

This is a fascinating change and on Christmas I consider one story with an existence one wonders is quickly becoming unrelateable: A Christmas Carol.

What would Bob Cratchit do in today’s workplace? Tasked with an abusive employer on top of his life’s stresses how might he react? Given our headlines one wonders whether we can trust Cratchit to suffer silently? In today’s society how do individuals experiencing these forms of stress react? Certainly fiction works to present a popular version of a common reaction and, if possible, the most exciting rendering of the situation in dramatic form? Where might one “modern Bob Cratchit” appear in our story? Consider popular news stories and consider just how some suffer through stress in today’s world. Humility for modern Bob or something different- something much more different with renderings in fiction suggestive of what we read in the news. One fears such modern Bobs.

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