Gun posetion/control, marihuana use, same gender marriage, where do popular thinking miss the true point?

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By Isis Win

When I started to write this blog, it was intended to about the mass shooting in Newtown. I changed my mind right away because my emotions involved (I am a parent) are a copy to the millions of people around the world and I have nothing new to add. However, as usual, I always end up reflecting on the true aspects of what I am talking about. The source of the problem, perhaps only about one of them, so this is the direction I took. I hope I make sense to you.

There are several items that occupy the mental space of many people year to year and often, becomes a political investment. Many are trivial, most truly important and a few are a “give me a break!”. We well know that there are two positions to these issues and they fail to agree. Therefore to induce what is needed to arrive to a sound resolution. For the most part, it becomes a rhetorical debate in which every contributor mostly attempts to exhibit having an educated opinion and wants to be heard. This regardless of how sensitive, sensible and how much common sense is involved. These arguments tend to make the entire of each of those issues to be seeing as an exclusively B&W issue.

Gun possession has become an issue of debate among supporters and antagonists every time a serial crime has been committed. However, nothing happens at all. It is true the constitution of the United Stated of America observed a protection to the right of owning a gun. A weapon that at the times of writing the constitution made this nation what it is, what was necessary then and it made sense. Not everyone owned a gun then, but guns were commonly owned and used, because those times required it. Police and military forces were in short supply to providing the needed protection to the citizenship in general. Therefore, more often than not, it was necessary to protect one self. That was not possible when the “enemy” owned a weapon and was ready to use it to perpetrate their crime. Killing was unlawful then, but many times the court of law found a justification to do so because the perpetrator was threatened before the killing. Today, very few cases receive the same treatment. In fact, for the most part those cases instigate a deep examination of the nature of the crime involved, same that creates a long-winded legal process. But it does not provide the right answer at all times. The right answer is to judge and establish the responsibility of a gun user when there was a dead victim and carry on justice. With the proper legal team, unprofessional investigating measures, poor legally police driven management, etc, can let go to freedom true killers. But that is the legal system that is flawed from state to state and the resources that are available to free unjustified killers who have the resources to afford top-notch legal defense. We all are aware of the many famous cases.
Today, the need of possessing a gun is not even to what it was then. However, the constitution protects that right and there is a very powerful organization that is in such as a constant vigil, that such right is not touched at all. NRA protects the right of every gun owner. The right to become a gun owner for every citizen and of course, protects the “right” for gun manufacturers to produce guns massively and make millions of dollars in fire weapons and ammunition. Today, it is stated that there are more than three hundred millions guns in the possession of American citizens. If we would send three hundred million gun users to any of the places that presents a threat to our national security, we will simply eradicate the problem in no time. That is how impressive is the amount of guns that are out there. I wonder if this statistic reflects all the guns that are illegally possessed.
The war against the free right to own a gun has never been about this constitutional right. It has been about what type of guns should be available to anyone not in the law enforcement forces and how they obtain them. As well, it has been brought to the table that availability of massive amounts of ammunition that any person, including not guns owners can easily obtain. Of course, there are laws that regulate all of above, but do they work? Not, if we only look at the fact that we have an average of one killing spree of innocent and unrelated people once a month. A clear sign that we have a very serious problem in the nation. As serious as any measure to be taken to address it. This is the equivalent of having terrorists groups at home. Yet, supporters of gun rights and advocates for change of the established laws. The existing ones simply do nothing about it. This have become a political issue – loaded with non-sense rhetoric and loaded with anger against each other of the factions. The reality of this case is that the #1 group that should endorse, support and create the proper study of the possible solutions is the NRA. But the politics involved, added to the cost of such study, refrain them from arriving to a sound proposal that gathers a general proper consensus. At least while we figure if it really delivers the intended result. Why this is no responsibility of the federal government? Because this issue is not about the constitutional right to own guns. Because there is a deep and complex political weight with this issue. Because there are two parties that attempt to gain support from their followers as a political gain. Because there are several mass manufacturers that will only support what already is in place.  And more importantly, because the public in general loses sight about that the needed goal should be. And there is no answer that fits the bill but a series of measures that literally would block anyone that is not a registered gun owner to use illegal guns or somebody else weapon. It will be required to clean up the existing illegal weapons out there and supervise gun manufacturers production and as well, make them responsible when a non registered gun made by them was used for a crime. We will see how far we go now that the White House stated this is a problem that should be addressed and regardless of the political implications. I tend to believe this is wishful thinking from the WH, because the actual circumstances. The fact of the amazing power of NRA which opposes to new legislation and the massive amount of gun owners that fear losing their right to own a gun.
One of the overlooked items regarding homicide, is what is exampled and glamorized on television. I can’t inventory the shows that are a bad influence to some people. People suffering from depression, repression and frustration and need an outlet somewhere. They are not going to visit the shrink or a priest, so they will manage until they explode. However, I know of one very popular shows on Showtime called: Dexter. Likely you already know what it is about. Dedicating prime time to a television show that glamorizes a serial killer under the mask of a “justice warrior” or some kind of law “Robyn Hood” simply is wrong and bad. It is amazing that shows like that – not only get aired, but they are of the highest ratings. Something should be done in this regard and I wish soon, before it is much too late.
It is prevalent in our nation that level and amount of violence presented in our visual media channels is not healthy nor can be expected to render positive and peaceful results in the minds of many viewers. Only in the US so much violence is displayed, often glamorized and made look like if that is a normal part of our daily lives. Just looking at the many crime shows, many that are excellently produced and acted, we know that there is a serious problem with the material that is available to the American public. I am reminded right away of the time I covered the Senate when a committee inquired the network TV and Hollywood heads of those industries and when they were asked about the reason for so much a and intense violence in our media, the CBS CEO responded something like this. “We are a business and businesses are about income. In our industry we have strong competition and we must try to stay ahead of them. We produce and present what the American people prefer to watch, so we deliver their interests. We include in our programing all sorts of different shows, Including, comedy, learning programs, family shows, among many. The shows that you are referring about, are the shows that have the highest ratings in all the network channels, cable TV and cinema. It is the choice of the public and our service is about giving to them what they want, so we remain in business. A few senators threw  punches to these CEOs but bottom line, nothing changed.

True, people watch what they want. True, media producers are a business for the sake of profit. True, violence is part of our realm. But I question anyone to decide if all that makes sense, although it is clear watching so much of this and that, numbs our perception of things because after all, we know it is not reality. It is entertaining. So why do we prefer to entertain our selves, family and friends watching events that when they happen in real life, we are shocked and despise profoundly. It seems to be a terrible contradiction and looking at the fact that during this ending year we had more than sixty mass violence acts in our public venues, this contradiction speaks for itself. It brings the answer to the question, regarding why some people attack or kill others like if that is something that does not matter or is alright. Like if that is the price to collect for their anguish. Once again, at the top of the true source and reasons that we see so much mass violence in our nation, is because when we try to do something about it, we focus on the wrong item. Such as a possible violation to a constitutional right that is not as justified today as it was more than two hundred years ago. We must keep on mind that when fire weapons were conceived and manufactured, they were for the sake of killing. Weapons were not created as a hobby or sport. But today, it seems that is the way it is and that justifies the millions of guns that exist in the hands of civilians. A couple of days after the attack in Newtown, a neighbor city had a gun show and it was attended massively. We are losing touch with reality but the fact there is that it is not only the people who own all those guns and the people who use them. It is all of us at large because we allow violence to be even a grand part of our daily visual watch. We sponsor those shows. Therefore we all are responsible for it, until we decide to do something about it. Otherwise, attempting against the safety and life of others because we are unable to settle our frustrations, will result on victimizing innocent and unrelated people.
 
Marihuana: How ridiculous is this issue that after the dramatic experience of the nation (crime and deaths) when the Dry Law was in effect, marihuana still is forbidden? For starters, it has been scientifically established that weed does not make the user to behave in any fashion that makes them as dangerous to others when under the effects. It is more prone to be violent under the influence of alcohol and it is not forbidden. However, no one should drive when under the effects of anything that impairs quick reacting, good judgement and plain common sense.That includes several over the counter (such as cold medicines) and prescription class one drugs.  As well, we can’t ignore the huge problem drugs (including weed) have created to many nations, including ours. Tremendous cost to fight it, thousands and thousands of people killed because the wars between cartels and the authorities that aim to clean the problem. And the immense wealth that cartel people achieve, to a point that they can afford to buy law enforcement, legislators and politicians. We are talking about several billions of dollars that do not benefit any nation or legal citizen. And like if that is not enough, people addicted to any drug should be treated as a pathologically ill person and receive the chance to clean their act. That will be less expensive to do, than cluttering our jails with thousands of no criminals. Lets throw in the fact that this problem entices police members to be the first to violate our existing laws. Legalizing weed could become a source of income if the states allow it and federally is not prosecuted. It can be watched properly and efficiently. It will cease the propagation of criminality because its illegality. After all, we can achieve peace as it happened once the Dry Law was removed. Canada has proven that the benefits of legalization override the problems of having to fight it. As well, offering medical treatment to users has proven to be financially possible and reduced the problem dramatically.

Gay marriage: Well, this is the most ridiculous of all the debates in the hands of the public opinion. As well, allowing gays to marry will benefit everyone, instead of siding one way or the other one, creating division among the mainstream. Marriage should be allowed by anyone and to everyone, according the constitution, that establishes that no right given the people at large, can be denied to somebody else that does not fit their bill. As well, allowing same gender marriage does not present any threat to the nation or society. It is a fact that gay people will commit to each other, form a family and live a more or less an average lifestyle. What happens behind their doors is exclusively their own business, not of the public opinion. As well, religion does not have any right to intervene in legal matters that affect the nation and its population. Intolerance does not bring anything positive. Perhaps the most ridiculous of all statements presented by anti-gay-marriage is, that opponents say it is forbidden and considered unnatural by the Sacred Scriptures. Although we can assume everything written in the Bible truly delivers the best of human nature for society and it is a prevalent as it was thousands of years ago, there are parts of the Bible that are not a reflection of our reality today. For instance, the entries in support of slavery, which today, is illegal around the world. My argument there is: If God designed us according to his will and intent, God created gay people and that should be respected. No evidence found by science and scholars is accepted to end this issue at once. Nevertheless, they have proven that this is a natural phenomena and it happens in hundreds of other species. So where is the justification, besides the Bible that supposedly brings this issue to the table as unnatural, perverse, anti-societal? Nowhere and if one would be found, we will know about it in no time. This is a matter of opinion. An opinion from people who are unable to understand the fact the if gay couples are granted this constitutional right, in reality married gays are doing a good favor to society and the nation. They are aiming to behave as anyone else does in our society and that comes with responsibilities and obligations. This is specially important today, when the numbers of married couples had winded down in the last few decades. If there is a societal concern we should address, that is whatever is needed to preserve the stones that make the foundation of our society. Marriage being one at the top and should not matter who marries who. No long age inter-racial marriage was illegal in the nation. This was changed and has not brought any problems but benefits to nation, right? Gay marriage is not different but only something that some people do not recognize because they really know nothing about what is involved or what it means. They simply make a light judgment based on “facts” that are not reliable, true, constitutional and part of true human nature.

These three items had been examined from  the wrong corners by the mainstream and they are constantly manipulated for nothing. Having a sound gun control law will not violate the constitutional right attributed to it. People will still be entitled to obtain a gun. The only change in this regard is that gun owners should take full responsibility of the use of their guns. But the true problem behind this, is a psychological issue of the people who resort to use fire arms and kill any innocent people. A much deeper problem that one day will have to be examined and put in motion the measures that could help them before they need to commit a crime to survive. Of course, criminal will be criminals and controlling them as a much tougher problem. But by removing lack of opportunities for everyone – no exception, therefore poverty and neutralizing the drug lords because drugs are not longer against the law but seriously regulated, will have a much better and positive impact – than what is in place today. Last, disallowing anyone to reach happiness and fulfill their role in life does not lead to anything positive but to please a few people who are unable to open their minds and hearts, because they lack the proper education about each of these topics. It is not necessarily to accept homosexuality if it offends someone. It does not represent that allowing gay people to receive this denied right will populate the world with more gay people. Gays and straight people are born as they are, period. There is nothing that can change this in a normally growing person. Even if trying. This is not a matter of choice or a choice that provides them anything that others lack.

The main problem with theses issues is that, issues like these are not the problem themselves but the lack of ability to understand and be conscious of what truly matters. As well that what matters to some, may not matter to others, so be it! Harmony in our families, place of residence, peer groups, state, society, country, etc, depends on been able to agree to disagree and make our own choices as we envision them. Not the choices of others. We should stop attempting to force others to behave and be, according to our own agendas. We should only oppose to crime. Doing so, can only lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, anguish, anger and the destruction of what sustains what we all care about. The ancient Greeks knew this so well but somehow through our history this is something that today is seeing as utopia. A way of living and organizing, that does not exist today but it happened before. So that is what the true problem is.

We may spend our entire life trying to fulfill our role in life by seeking for items that are out of our control and do not belong to us. True fulfillment and nurturing only happens in within and loving actions and that is what we must care about at all cost. While we, each of us, attend our role in life, we participate positively with our family, society and nation – in a way that it honors who we are, what we do and all the greatness that is plentiful in our world. Instead, we seem to focus more in destroying all that matters, including our selves, as the criminals that destroy the lives of others.
Politics can be one of the best examples of human achievements but in order to get there, politics should aim to join everyone and renegades of how much we may differ with others. Politicians have a great role to perform but very few do so. They are more prone to satisfy their own interests and the interest of those that seek advantage for themselves and support them. A bad role for politics but it takes bad politicians to get there and we have plenty of those. The most ridiculous premise of this, is the fact that they are in power because we allowed them and placed them in power. So here it is the chain that creates a domino effect that preserves what we no longer want: division among us, no resolution of our true problems and a split aim to better our people and world. Science and technological progress have leaped tremendously in the last an a half century but we do not represent the very same distance  and gains as the most skilled and capable of all species in our planet. We are into a self-destruction path that on the long run, is creating more damage, than changing the order that so many oppose to.

Bottom line, what we need the most, is to educate well every single human being in our planet, That means to honor their life, so they do the same for others and to provide them equal opportunities to succeed. The more growth in each of us, the better we will get along. We do not need to change the entire world nor do it all at once. We can work each issue together in real-time and put them behind, so we cover the next one. We have too many needed issues to be resolved on sight and the agenda is huge. One that will affect many generations to come and there is not right nor justified reason to bring more people into a world that offers so much pain, tribulations and a denial of their own self. We all need much but if we don’t provide by our own self – what we need first, we will not be able to educate and nurture those that do know less. We must think with the best of our mental capabilities without denying the scope of elements that compose what we feel everyday and we project into others. Mexican president Benito Juarez said many years ago: “El respeto al derecho ajeno, es la paz” = The respect for the rights of others, is peace.

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What’s up with our Television service?

By Isis Win

Contrary to the majority of the people, I rarely watch network TV. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against television, especially considering I am a visual type of person. But most of the material shown in the networks have nothing that really triggers my interest. However, I enjoy watching NBC TV news, some of the political talk/discussion shows (except all at Fox TV), I am quite a follower of several programs at PBS and occasionally I watch Dancing with the Stars. But that is because ballroom dancing is something I appreciate a lot, especially after taking classes for 6 months long ago. But definitely, I never miss the summer and winter Olympics on national TV or the World Cup. You would rarely see me in front of the “Idiot Box” watching professional or college football, basketball, baseball, etc. games. I love watching sports games right there and experience the catharsis of competition between two rivals and the excitement of the crowd. Nevertheless, I’ve never been a fan of any TV show where competition is the issue. Specially those Reality shows that every single network presents. I admit though, I watched the show named The Voice a couple of times, and it wasn’t bad to my taste. It wasn’t, because the talents I saw during the Blind Competition simply were incredibly talented people – that in my modest opinion, deserve a shot at a professional successful career and that otherwise, are professionally doomed.

My personal view about what the commercial channels present, is nothing close to what I enjoy and enjoy supporting. Not to mention at times, many of those commercials are ridiculous and mostly long interruptions. Although I believe entertainment is a vital, needed part of most people lives, such content should present material that represents something that has a good value in real life. But there is little of real and good value in most TV shows. In fact, many simply present a distorted version of the realities we find in life. And most of those “realities” are the ones that make me wonder: why would someone care about that stuff as part of their entertainment in daily life? But that is a matter of taste or preference. I accept the fact that everyone is different.

Today’s television is not the memory I have of my early days watching TV. Then I wonder, what did change? On the contrary, those who are fortunate to afford cable or satellite TV, have access to so many great TV shows. Perhaps most people consider those not of entertainment value because basically, they are didactic. The instructional type, the learning stuff that we don’t know about or know very little, such as cooking, science, history, travel, etc. However, affording those types of programing nowadays is very pricey for most budgets. I often wonder myself about that expense and my stupidity of spending the cost of my own service. But there are so many others things I wonder about. However, talking about expenses, there are many things today that today are hard to afford today. Stuff that didn’t cost a penny before, or as much, such as drinking water, so many services, gas, ice cream, even the movies I enjoy so very much! Tickets in the neighborhood of $10.00+? Not to mention if you are like myself a traditional movie goer that must have the bucket of freshly made pop-corn and a drink. That set the tag about $20.00+ per movie if you enjoy going alone!

All of the above are the reason I pulled my laptop to write this blog. This reason is very specific and as well, one that I don’t recall from my past TV viewing years. I am talking about a political ad against president Obama I saw between the transmission of NBC news. This ad, likely hit all the national TV stations that broadcast NBC news, maybe in all channels.
This ad presented people who, according to the it, are people who received substantial amounts of “bonus” money from Obama’s bailout to the financial corporations. And it states all of them contribute-d to Obama’s government or the bailout. The punch line is: “Obama won’t admit to supporting Wall Street, but Wall Street sure supports Obama.”

True? False? Or a plain exageration?

Although my first reaction was to think this is a blunt exaggeration of the truth, I was left wondering about any possible truth in it. A concerning truth. However, the face value of this ad is this: a blunt blow to the US president. I have trouble believing that a Super PAC would run into the possibility of being sued of libel. So, I wonder what is the truth? I acknowledge its value as a political campaign ad that aims to take credit away from the incumbent runner for the White House seat. But this premise questions two factors: Why that advertising money is not used to present the good values and points of the supported candidate instead? And how much of that ad is true? Nevertheless, removing one bad (Obama according to their account) doesn’t make the other one right. Frankly, my sentiment is: The White House and Mr. Obama should respond accordingly. And by that I don’t mean to counter attack with a similar ad but to put this matter to where it belongs. To present the truth or expose the lies about it – to the American people at large. But likely Obama will not reply to it because that would be throwing gas on the fire. That is what prompted me to pull my laptop and write this blog. Although political campaigns have done this type of misinformation since who knows how long, this particular republican campaign is the dirtiest and most toxic of all times. I know TV business is to make revenue, and ads make tons of it, but I am starting to believe that TV networks should exercise their criteria to present good material, including their ads in their programing. It is not a matter of free exercise of speech what should be entitled Super PACs what is at stake, but the type of material that the networks allow and not to be broadcasted. They have the right to do so.

My believe about the TV service, national and local, is that they should present – nothing less than – the truth. As well quality.  And if this ad is true, whether it disturbs me or not, it should be something exclusively to be exposed by the press and not in political ads. The entire media should be involved in investigating all details of a case like this one and present the important facts found AS THEY ARE. And to do it – based on reliable facts, facts that cannot be debated or manipulated, to be presented exclusively on their own merits and facts. But this ad doesn’t deliver that. What it does is distorts a possible truth against their opponent to gain that vote, but without merit. This ad is – way more wrong – that any of those distortions of reality and truth that many of the commercial channels present in their shows.
On that note: when I was reporting on communication issues at the Senate and House, during the ʻ80s and when broadcast TV was under scrutiny for their programing because the amount of sexual content and violence, I heard something that simply blew me away. CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox CEOʻs before the communications senate committee were asked: Why do you broadcast such content? This happened after many of the Senate speakers clearly and bluntly stated that the American people do not want that level of violence and sexuality and it is not positive for the American audience. The chairman of the Senate Communication’s Commission asked them why? If I recall well, NBC’s CEOʻs responded: We are in the business of making revenue, therefore we give to the public what they want to see. Otherwise we are out of business. We are a competitive industry and we always try to gain more audience than our competition, who as well offer the content that people want. This statement makes sense, since we are talking about multi-million investments.
Not all content on network TV is toxic. As well, many of those shows on paid TV are alike, even worse! My recollection about television immediately reminded me that many other countries in the world as well have substantial amounts of money invested in their operations , but their content is not as toxic as what American television overall. Nevertheless, I just remember that although it represents an expense that I could put to use in other more useful ways, this is one of the reasons I find myself spending the cost of my cable service: I have a choice!  When I am home, have done my daily chores, read my books, talked to my people, etc, I need to chill out. I call this time a “vegetating” moment in which I pick and choose something that entertains me and enlightens me.

Although not everyone can afford paid TV services, people still have a choice, I think! Not to watch negative television! Now that little voice inside my head that enjoys proving me wrong when it can, just told me: Yep, switch channels but you will find the competition is offering a similar show,  perhaps worse! But I responded, nuh! Anyone can switch to sports TV! But we both missed the entire point. And that point is: is the world and everything else changing that much and that badly? or is it just me? I’ll keep wondering and I will keep you posted.