Before we can have a conversation about guns………..

These days one of the most popular topics of conversation is about guns and gun control.  Should we or shouldn’t we? What about the 2nd amendment? and many other bits and pieces of the discussion.

Most of these conversations are going nowhere fast and it’s mainly because we are so divided about the issue.   How can we get through the division though to make meaningful progress in the debate?

Before people can even attempt to have a meaningful conversation about anything related to guns and gun control, basic facts have to be understood.   If you are talking to each other and don’t have the same understanding of the basics you will never find enough common ground to move forward.

So before we can have a meaningful conversation about guns, certain facts must be established and understood.

  • Assault Weapon and Assault Rifle are 2 different things
    • Assault Weapon (A term that entered the American lexicon in the 80’s possibly as a political term to enable a proposed gun-grab):  An assault weapon is legally defined by State and Federal law as semi-automatic ONLY that cannot fire in burst or automatic mode.  These are meant for civilian and/or police use.
    • Assault Rifle (A military term defining a rifle with burst and/or fully automatic fire capability meant to be used in battlefield situations):  An assault rifle is capable of firing in burst (3 rounds each time the trigger is pulled) or fully automatic mode.   Assault rifles such as the rifles found on battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam are NOT available in your local sporting goods store.
  • Semi-Automatic means you must pull the trigger each time you want a bullet to fire, after manually chambering the first round.  You can continue to pull the trigger without having to manually chamber another round until the magazine is empty.  A bullet is fired, a bullet casing is ejected and a new bullet is loaded into the chamber each time you pull the trigger, until the magazine is empty.  This is where the automatic part comes in.   The original term was Auto-loader.
  • The sale of fully automatic firearms was banned in 1986 except for certain firearms that were already in existence.  While these can still be sold, they are extremely high dollar and limited in availability.
  • Modifying a semi-automatic weapon to make it fully automatic is highly illegal and has penalties of thousands of dollars in fines and years in jail.
  • AR does NOT stand for Assault rifle or Automatic rifle.  AR stands for ArmaLite the name of the original company who designed these rifles starting in the 1950’s.
  • In some states AR-15’s or any other rifle that uses .223 caliber ammunition is illegal to be used for hunting as the caliber does not have enough knock down power.
  • The AR-15 is not a military style weapon in anything other than appearance.   It uses .223 caliber ammunition and cannot fire in burst or automatic mode.   An M-16 or M-16 variant uses 5.56 caliber ammunition and can fire in burst or fully automatic mode.
  • Pistol grips and ‘high capacity’ magazines (typically only a couple rounds larger than the original magazine that was designed for the weapon) do not provide much of an advantage in speed or accuracy.  A person practiced in speed loading can fire as many or more rounds with several smaller magazines as someone using fewer larger capacity magazines.  Pistol grips are mainly for comfort.
  • The intent of the second amendment (detailed by the many writings of the founding fathers) was to provide the citizens protection against a tyrannical government first and foremost.   The constitution and bill of rights offer numerous protections, but without an armed citizenry, the government would have no incentive to honor them.  This has been clearly shown in other countries over the years where murders of thousands and thousands of citizens happened after disarming them.
  • To accept the premise of the 2nd amendment means you also understand that to fight against a tyrannical government requires having weaponry that at least approaches the equivalent of what the government has and is not limited in number.
  • Repeating rifles and early version automatic weapons, such as the Danish flintlock that fired up to 30 rounds before needing to be reloaded, existed when the 2nd amendment was written.

This information is not in dispute except for people who are trying to drive a specific narrative that can only exist when people do not understand the facts.   It is easily discovered by just a little effort.

So I will be very happy to have a conversation about guns and gun control with you, AFTER we establish the facts.



Can the U.S. be like Australia when it comes to gun violence?

Many many comments on the news articles about the high school shooting in Lakeland Florida are chastising the U.S. for not taking a page from Australia’s book and banning all guns.   A church in Australia has even gone so far as to imply that American’s do not love their children because they love guns more.

Is this true?  Do Americans love guns more than their children?  Can we really compare Australia to the U.S.

I think we need to take a step back here and look at the complexity of the issue along with a little history.

Let’s start with the fact that Australia is a continent/country surrounded by water. They have no open borders with drugs and guns flowing across them like water. They have control of their ports in and out. They also have stricter immigration policies than the U.S. and many European countries.  And as much as we would like to believe otherwise, unrestricted immigration is no better for us than no immigration and does play a part.

Solving this issue isn’t as simple as banning certain types of guns or all guns for that matter, however.   This issue is much more complex than a simple gun issue.  Where there are no guns, if the intent is still there, other means can be found.  In the 50’s and 60’s when guns were much harder to get, gangs in New York made their own guns.  Called zip guns they were not only dangerous for those being shot at, but also for the shooter.  They also used knives and bats with deadly consequences.

The 2nd amendment aside, we have significant amounts of proof that stricter gun control laws mean nothing when:

  • You have ‘illegal’ guns coming into an area with strict gun control laws.  Chicago’s mayor has pointed out that while they have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, they have not been able to stem the amount of guns coming into the city from outside.
  • When existing laws are minimally enforced.
  • When people have no respect for their parents, authority or for each other.
  • When the media is willingly complicit, providing more than the shooter’s 15  minutes of glory despite calls for not publicizing that information.

Since the shooting at Columbine so many years ago, examination of various shooter’s writings, conversations and publicized views show that many of them were highly influenced by previous shooters and viewed what is called the ‘competition’ factor very highly, working to determine how they could achieve a higher body count and more days in the news.  Many of these shooters did not get the recognition they so desired in their life,  and among their peers.  They were bullied or felt invisible and so they determined to get ‘recognized’ in a way that they perceive as being successful.  Also noting that since Columbine a majority if not all of the shooters were male, a lack of a father figure, something that has been noted in at least a few of the cases, in the home may also play a huge part in this.

Also people are failing to recognize that violence is on the rise in many countries where it was thought that they had no gun problem. In Great Britain for example, widely known that their police force (Bobbies) is largely unarmed, bobbies are now having to be armed in greater numbers to handle the escalating violence.

What is happening here in the U.S. and on a smaller scale all over the world goes far beyond a gun problem.  Far and above other countries we have a huge breakdown of the family even going so far, despite studies and proof to the contrary, as to deny any correlation between fatherless and broken home situations and so many of the societal ills that plague us.

Are we then heartless monsters who love guns more than our children?  Many would say so, many right here in our country.  People who may not understand that the key to our future is right at hand in the past history of civilization.   We do not live in a vacuum and we can look at what has happened in other civilizations that declined or fell with a bang, and see what led up to that.

The people who drafted the constitution and the Bill of rights, were perceptive men who recognized that lack of certain basic freedoms led to a people who were easily controlled at the whim of whatever ruling person or party that was in power at the time and they wanted to ensure that the sorts of things that happened in England and other places couldn’t happen here.   They also recognized that an unarmed populace had no means to defend themselves against tyrannical rule and that should such happen here, they would be no better off than they were before they left their home countries.

They were also not stupid men who based the 2nd amendment on the capabilities of the the popular single shot firepower that was available at the time, with no idea what could be produced in the future.   Repeating rifles were available decades before the Constitution was written.  This includes a Danish flintlock rifle produced in 1646 that could fire 30 rounds without reloading.  The 2nd amendment provided not only for the protection of the state and country by what were at the time called ‘Militias’ but for personal protection as well and protection against a tyrannical government that might try to overthrow the any government that was being established.

We have been guaranteed certain freedoms here in the U.S..  Freedoms that were hard fought and won for us by the defeat of the British, keeping us from being returned to a way of life that had been untenable and had driven the founders of this country to look for something better.  They worked hard to ensure that the freedoms they were building into the government of this country would last far into a future that they would never see.  It breaks our hearts that our children are being killed, but we understand that the problem is not as easily solved as a knee-jerk reaction of banning all guns.

We understand that giving up our freedoms isn’t the answer.  We can look at examples all around us to see that.  When you look at other countries what you will find is that they are either under the control of a dictatorship of one kind or another, subject to constant war, coups and bloodshed with their countries being run into the ground, killed for speaking out against the rulers or being systematically starved and abused.  Or they are controlled in other ways with a benign or not so benign power structures of Kings, Queens and other rulers, few of which are truly democratic in nature and where privileges and freedoms can be removed at any time without the vote of the people.

So, no, we can’t be Australia, or any other country.  We have to open our eyes and recognize that we have a far greater problem here.  One that won’t be solved by banning a certain type of gun or ammunition or by banning all guns.  One that won’t be solved by being ‘Australia’.

Sanitizing History

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this situation with the statues. 

 I do know that when you start to bleach history or hide it away in a museum that few can afford to visit, what happens is the further the generations are removed from that history the less likely they are to believe that it was as bad as claimed or in some cases that it even really happened.

 They no longer recognize the signs that led up to these events and because of that they don’t act in time to stop similar events from happening.

This is one reason why visual reminders are so important. Many people think that the concentration camps in Europe are gruesome and should be destroyed. But having these places, being able to see the piles of shoes and glasses and see the chambers and the grooves clawed into the walls is a grim reminder that the holocaust wasn’t just some war related issue that was blown out of proportion. It was real and just as bad as people say it was.

 As humans we don’t like to see our failings paraded before us and so we are willing to allow our memories to fade and eventually future generations will have nothing to remind them of the monstrous events of the past. They won’t understand or recognize the attitudes that allowed it to happen. Similar events will be able to happen because we have not ensured that the events that shaped our generations, especially those events that shame us, are kept in the light of day.

Will the removal of these statues contribute to that?  I don’t have that answer.  What I know are these few thing.

  • We must preserve history in such a way that it’s not hidden away and that our future generations will understand
  • We need to work together to do this instead of fighting each other
  • History repeats itself all the time because we do not remember the mistakes of the past

Riding the roller coaster of emotion

I want to start this a little differently.   I have a scenario here and a quick poll related to it.

Let’s start by laying out the scenario.

  • The place:  Crowded parking lot like Wal-Mart or a Mall.
  • The participants:   Driver in a car and a Pedestrian.
  • Visibility: slightly limited

The driver is in the car and getting ready to back out of the parking spot.   Driver looks carefully both ways and the aisle is clear as far as the driver can see.  The driver slowly starts to ease out of the spot when a pedestrian appears and walks right behind the moving car causing the driver to slam on the brakes.

Driver thinks:  I almost hit him!   Why don’t people understand that this isn’t just for walking, people are driving cars here and you can’t just walk behind one that is moving.   What a stupid thing to do!  How am I ever going to get out of here if no one will stop and let me finish backing out.

Pedestrian thinks:  What an idiot.    He should have seen me and stopped.   It doesn’t matter if he was moving or not, I have the right of way because pedestrians always have the right of way.

Put yourself in the place of the driver and think about how you would react.   Then switch places and put yourself in the place of the pedestrian and think about how you would react.



Congratulations if you chose the last answer!

The interesting thing here is that both the driver’s reaction and the pedestrian’s reaction are ‘valid’ emotional reactions.  Emotional reactions should typically be followed by objective reactions and thought however.   Maybe he didn’t see me or Maybe I should have waited a moment more first.   It’s this ability to temper our emotional reactions with objectivity and/or logic that allows us to navigate the ups and downs of living.

Consider a toddler.   They haven’t learned objectivity and they haven’t learned logic.   They are ruled by their emotions, which is why it is so important for Mom and Dad to guide and teach them self control.   Have you ever seen a young child totally out of control in a temper tantrum?  Their high level of emotion at that moment makes it almost impossible for them to regain self control without assistance.  That assistance can take on many forms, from a firm hand to getting the child into a quiet place where they can’t get the attention they are seeking.

Being emotional is a great thing.  Our emotions help us to connect with other people and to form long lasting bonds.   Our emotions drive our compassion and help us to feel empathy for others.  But being emotional all the time has it’s down sides as well.

Living ruled by emotions is exhausting and a frequent cause of ‘mental breakdown’ and hampers the ability to move through daily life without feeling like it’s a constant roller coaster of ups and downs and twists and turns to the point that it’s impossible to get through.

It can cause relationships to fracture and friends to disappear.  It can cause coworkers to want to keep their distance and cause tension between parents and children.  It can color every situation we look at and every decision we have to make to the point that we are unable to make those decisions or navigate the situations.

That roller coaster can take a significant toll on your health and well being.  The price it extracts is more than many of us can pay.

How about you?   Are you riding the batman of emotional roller coasters or are you riding the kiddie roller coaster that has more level, smooth places than ups and downs?

Here are some things you can do to ease off the roller coaster.

  • Read your bible and pray.  Studies show that people who read the Bible and pray have less major stress related health problems
  • Get a hobby
  • Volunteer for an activity that focuses on helping others
  • Visit a retirement center or nursing home and talk to the residents
  • Walk
  • Join a book, sewing, quilting, chess, dancing, dining or other kind of club
  • Start a book, sewing, quilting, chess, dancing, dining or other kind of club

Whatever you do, be kind to yourself and let that roller coaster take a day off, or a few days off or even a few years.


Christianity and Abortion

There are not enough words to express my deep heartache about the current acceptance of abortion by many Christians and churches.  The tragic ending of a life not by accident, disease or trauma, but by deliberate choice.  It cuts to the very heart of me to even consider that not only is it accepted but somehow we have entered into the belief that God is ok with it.

Consider what God has to say.

  • Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them male and female he created them.
    • God didn’t create animals in his image, he created us in his image.   We are special because we are created in the very image of God.
  • Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you as a prophet to the nations.
    • Does God not know us like this as well?
  • Genesis 25: 22-23  But the children struggled together within her and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?  So she went to inquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said unto her:  Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body. One people shall be stronger than the other and the older shall serve the younger.
    • Before they were ever born, God recognized them as distinct and separate from one another,  2 different children with different personalities and futures.
  • Matthew 19: 13-15  Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.  But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.   Jesus said, ” let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”  When he had laid his hands on them, he went on from there.
    • Jesus places great importance on little children.   They are recognized as important in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood shall be shed.  For in the image of God he made man.
    • Spoken during God’s instructions to Noah and his family
  • Exodus 21:22-23 If men fight and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follow, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judge determines.  But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life
    • Harm in this case is implied to be to the prematurely delivered infant.

It is clear throughout the bible that God values human life and has given us strict instructions against murder, which is the shedding of innocent blood.

We have crafted our carefully reasoned excuses on why we should be allowed to have abortions.   My body-my choice, population control, poverty, rape and so on.  We have already established that as far as God is concerned each human is created in his image and that murder is wrong.  We have shown that God recognizes children in the womb as human and distinct personalities and futures.  God has commanded us that the shedding of innocent blood is wrong.    It has been established that there is a penalty for murder and that God considers the shedding of innocent blood murder.

We have willingly allowed ourselves to be blinded to the truth.   Because it makes it easier, no child no worries.  Free to go on about our lives as if it had never happened.   But that’s not the truth.   It doesn’t assuage the guilt, it doesn’t do away with the deep depression, it doesn’t do away with the spiraling down into alcoholism, drugs, promiscuous sex and other dangerous behavior that so many women suffer after having an abortion.   We tell ourselves that it only affects us.   That’s not any more true than the assumption that God is ok with it all.    How many men have been grieved by the loss of a child they never got to know, how many men suffer this?

Oh we can go on about how many fathers don’t pay child support or how many kids live in poverty.   We can talk about viability and how pre-born children can’t survive on their own before a certain number of weeks (full term infants can’t survive on their own either).  We can go on about choice and how we must have free birth control and the choice of abortion all the while implying that we are somehow not capable of making other choices that are available to us (abstinence, adoption etc.)  Those are just distractions, meant to turn us away from the real truth of the matter.   People who run from their responsibilities will always be with us.   Choices are always available to us.  We cannot make something that is definitely, horribly wrong into something that is right by pointing to all the wrong things that people do everyday about other things and by denying the validity of the other choices we can make.

No matter the explanations, we can’t change the fact that the life created in the womb is a living, growing, child uniquely created with it’s own DNA, fingerprints, personality and other characteristics, regardless of the stage of development.  It will never be anything other than a human life regardless of the method God ordained to bring it into the world.

And no matter how we try, we can’t make it right in the eyes of God.


Speaking from the heart…

The need to write these words has been coming on for awhile.   Too much is happening to hold it in.   I am going to speak straight from my heart.

First understand something about me.  I don’t condone wrong, whether it comes in the guise of racism, or violence or whatever and regardless of whomever is the perpetrator of such, family, friends, acquaintances and so on.  Also I am a people watcher.  From as young as I can remember I have been fascinated by people.  How they act, what they do, what they say.   I read all the time.   I read articles and blog posts from all sides of an issue and the comments that are made to them.  The things I write here have become obvious to me over the last year or so in the comments and writings of others.  ‘Others’  refers to people of every color, nationality and gender as does ‘we’ in the rest of this piece.

We live in an fallen and broken world.   It is filled with the schemes and plans of the evil one and humans all too willing to follow him straight into hell.

My heart is breaking right now for our country, for the people who live here.   People filled with despair and no hope, people who have a responsibility to protect and serve, people who want whats right and want the deep divisions to be healed.

There are deeply deluded people, mentally ill people, misguided people and people filled with evil in every walk of life and of every race and color.   Evil is no respecter of persons.  It doesn’t pick and choose by race, country, gender or creed.    We are all susceptible to it.

With this being said, I can’t keep silent another moment.    I have friend, coworkers and acquaintances from countries all over the world.   For many of them I know their hearts.  These words are not directed to them.

#BlackLivesMatter, this is directed to you and those who espouse your views.

You have a serious perception problem.   A huge one.   I understand what you are trying to get across, but you are failing miserably.   If you want to capture the hearts and minds of those around you, you have to live and believe your message and change how you are presenting it.

First, STOP the violence.   Distance yourselves publicly from anyone who would perpetrate violence in your name.   Distance yourselves publicly from those who would pervert your message for their own gain or agenda.  Do your best to stop the destruction, burning and looting.  Be the voice of reason and calm.  You can’t afford not to.  As long as you do not speak loud and strong against the violence and those who are doing it,  and against those who would pervert your message for their own agendas, the people you are trying to reach are going to reject you and your message and even actively work against you!

Second, even though it may be a ‘tired old cliche’ actions really do speak louder than words.   We can’t trust that you really believe that #BlackLivesMatter.  It is turned on and off like a faucet.   You turn it on any time Law enforcement is involved in the death of a black person, but you can’t be bothered to speak out against black on black violence.   Either #BlackLivesMatter or they don’t.  You don’t get to pick and choose when they matter.   They either matter all the time or not at all.  They are inextricably intertwined and can’t be separated.  They have to matter in the inner city, when little girls and little boys are killed by stray bullets that go into their homes and kill them.  They have to matter when young black males shoot it out in the streets.  They have to matter when fathers and mothers, daughters and sons are killed in drive by shootings.  They have to matter when young black people die because they are addicted to drugs. They have to matter when the young black women are at the abortion clinic terminating the life of a black infant who doesn’t even have a chance to matter.  They have to matter ALL the time!  Not just when you can make a story out of it.   You are losing the support of your neighbors and friend and all those watching from afar because they don’t believe that Black Lives really do matter to you.  I have even been told direct to my face that I don’t need to worry or care about those black folks who live in the inner cities of Chicago, Detroit, Louisiana and other places because they will take care of their own.    I see how well that is working and it seems that someone surely does need to worry about it.

Third, we are all the same under the skin.  We have the same body parts, our circulatory system works the same, our DNA works the same, we all have a beating heart.  We are all humans and we are all connected.   You can’t separate your life from my life and the police lives and the military lives and the politician lives and the hispanic lives and the asian lives and the native lives and the white lives.  If one life matters, #AllLivesMatter.   You will have more people willing to support you and not turning their backs on you if you approach this as a solution we can only achieve by working together rather than beating people over the head that #BlackLivesMatter is more important than #AllLivesMatter.   #BlackLivesMatter BECAUSE #AllLivesMatter.  You can’t have one without the other.  This has to be part of your message.  It’s not inconsistent to acknowledge that.

Fourth, it’s going to take all of us working together to forge new relationships and understandings and to solve the issues that are plaguing us today.   We have to set aside biases and hatred and all the other prejudices that keep us from coming together to solve these issues.    Working together mighty things can be accomplished.   This is made very clear in the story of the Tower of Babel from the Bible.  Even God himself said so.

Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Fifth, stop letting the media be your mouthpiece.   They will come and they will report, but call them out when they misreport, don’t let them spin your message.   They are out for dollars and if stirring up trouble will help that, then that’s what they will do. The media thrives when there is strife.   Normal, everyday nice life is boring and doesn’t sell.  So it’s in their best interest to foster violence and strife.

Sixth, stop with the race-baiting garbage and childish antics.   We are all adults here.  We don’t need ‘safe spaces’ to be protected from ideas and speech that is different from ours.   We don’t need to bash people over the head about things they had no control over, such as being born white or black or hispanic or whatever.  Is there disparity in life and the workplace and so on? sure there is, that’s reality.  The world has been largely a patriarchy since time began.   The fact that God designed it that way sort of comes into play here.   There is disparity for women, minorities etc.   Not just here in the U.S.   Go to any other country and see if they don’t favor their own countrymen and women for jobs and such.  Go to a whole lot of other countries and see that woman don’t even have the same basic rights that women in American have.   Go to Asia and see the total disparity between men and women to the point that girl babies are aborted and killed in early infancy at a horrible rate even today in favor of boys.   If you don’t like what someone else is saying or talking about, don’t listen.  You aren’t any more special than anyone else and you have the same freedom of speech and such that the rest of us do.

Seventh, stop taking every little handout from the Government.  The more you are dependent on them, the more they own you.  The more they run your lives and determine your future.  They are using you to further their political agenda.  A free phone isn’t worth selling your soul for.  Work together, support each other.  Learn how to do things, plant a garden for food, work with the boys and girls clubs to help your children, GET INVOLVED.

Eighth, stop acting like black people have been the only victims of slavery.  Stop accusing white people of changing history to suit their purposes while willfully hiding and refusing to accept the fact that the slave trade to Britain and America could not have happened without black tribes and groups of people being willing to round up and sell their own people and because of that bear some responsibility for what happened. Every person group in the world has been a victim of slavery at one time or another and in some countries still are.  You cannot deny and hide this history and the history of Black folks owning slaves right here in America and being part of the problem and expect that anyone is going to be willing to agree with your view of this.  Refusing to acknowledge any history that proves other groups were slaves (even though it was called by another name) right here in America only serves to divide further and drive people away. It IS true what they say.  There is nothing new under the sun.  It’s all happened before in one way, shape or form.

Ninth, when deaths happen involving law enforcement, wait for ALL the facts to come in and be willing to accept that what you see and hear in the beginning isn’t going to be the whole story.  There are always multiple sides to every story, the victims side, the offenders side, the evidence side and the truth is somewhere in the middle of all that.  Remember that the media is only going to tell you what will sell the story.  In the meantime STOP trying to convince the world that a victim who was a career criminal and has an arrest record as long as your arm, was a law abiding, upstanding citizen who was a pillar of the community.   We know better!  It comes out in a matter of hours.  Be honest about who they were.   This will not change the facts.  It will not change the ultimate outcome.  Not being honest only gives the rest of the people another reason to believe that #BlackLivesMatter is a just another group with an agenda that condones and perpetrates violence and distorts facts to get their own way.

and finally Ten!   There are thousands upon thousands of people who want to resolve the issues, who want to stop the violence, all of it.   Who want to come together as one country, one people, who can work side by side, who can live side by side and do life together.  Who can work together to keep our neighborhoods safe and keep our children safe.  Who want to feel safe in a world of people who look different but are the same underneath.  Who want to live in a world of ‘Wondrous variety’.  Not only in the color of our skin but in the richness of our differences.

You are driving them away.  You are losing your audience, because you can’t see the forest for the trees.   Change is only going to come if we work together.   I don’t believe that any of us want an all out war, but that is where we are headed, if change doesn’t happen and happen soon.


To Speed Or Not to Speed?

I am sure many of you are thinking that the answer is obvious, but is it?

I would like to give you something to think about.

We have to start with a few basic premises, so let’s take this for a spin, shall we.


  1. The posted speed limit is the law.  As such you can be ticketed and fined for not obeying it.
  2. We should obey the law
  3. This probably doesn’t apply in smaller cities and towns or rural areas.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s break this down.  Buckle your seat belts because the ride is about to get a little bumpy and there are a few twists and turns.

Driving here in Georgia has gotten quite a bit more complicated, at least on the freeways,  with the passing of a new law.   Called the ‘Slowpoke Law’, it mandates that if you are driving in the left lane on any highway, interstate or expressway, you must get out of the way of faster traffic.   Most of us who have been driving for any length of time should remember the signs on the freeways that read ‘Slow Traffic Keep right’.   In times past most states had a law that the the left lane was a ‘Passing Only’ lane.  You couldn’t just stay in it.  You had to move back over as soon as you passed the traffic in front of you. This law if still on the books is no longer enforced in many states.  ‘Slow Traffic Keep Right’ was designed so those people driving less than the posted speed limit were to stay in the right hand lane(s).

So here is where it starts to get bumpy.   If you are driving on the freeway whether you get ticketed for speeding tends to depend on if you are driving ‘with the flow’ of traffic or not.

So now we have this thing called ‘flow of traffic’  which is code for ‘the posted speed limit doesn’t apply anymore’  and which can vary from lane to lane.  Now remember the posted speed limit is the law, except……..when it isn’t!

And we have what is called a ‘Super Speeder Law’ which means significantly higher fines (hundreds of dollars higher) if you are ticketed for going more than 75mph on any 2 lane road or more than 85mph on any road or highway .  Which also doesn’t seem to apply when the ‘flow of traffic’ is in play on highways, interstates or expressways where the posted speed limit is 75mph. Because of course if the posted speed limit is 75mph most of the people are going to be driving at least 80 or 85.

UNLESS……… you are driving in the left lane on any highway, interstate or expressway.   Then you must move over if a vehicle driving faster than you are comes up behind you.

So let’s think about this a minute.  If I am driving along with the ‘flow of traffic’, which is moving between 10 and 15 mph over the posted speed limit, in the left lane, and someone zooms up behind me (meaning they are exceeding the posted speed limit by a significant amount) I, and everyone in front of me, have to get over and let them pass or I will get a ticket and presumably they are going to tack a speeding ticket on top of that.

So not only have we said that in certain situations the posted speed limit (which we have already stated is the law) is nullified, but we are now going to penalize people who are abiding by the ‘effective law’ (flow of traffic) in favor of someone who is going so fast that they are a serious danger to everyone around them rather than stopping that person and giving them the ticket.

Am I the only one who sees a serious problem with this?   First I don’t think you are going to find any highways, interstates or freeways where the flow of traffic isn’t higher than the posted speed limit.  It’s just where we are now.  Experts now tell us that signs of road rage include driving at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating etc.

With the flow of traffic already being normally 10-15 mph over the posted speed limit, are we seriously going to enable those who show the signs of road rage by requiring everyone else to get out of their way or get ticketed?  Shouldn’t we be targeting the person who is endangering everyone else?

So you tell me, is the posted speed limit the law or isn’t it?





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