Sensible Gun Control

From todays New York Times Editorial Page:
“The dark and nonsensical fantasy that the United States government will one day transform itself into a jackbooted fascist state and seize American weaponry has long been peddled by the gun lobby to stir up donations to its cause. It is the reason the federal background check system is not allowed to keep records of people who are approved to buy guns — advocates claimed that doing so would lead to a national gun registry and thus a road map for the storm troopers to know whose door to kick down in their rabid search for a revolver.
But licensed dealers already have to keep records of their gun sales when they conduct background checks, which makes the opposition to the same requirement for private sellers particularly absurd. If those records — which are kept for the majority of gun sales — haven’t led to a registry, why should the expanded requirement?”


Our Voting System and a Changing Demographic

I was on the phone yesterday answering survey questions about the candidates running for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. Of course one group of questions was about my demographic and while answering the questions I thought back over a number of articles I had read about the voters in the last Presidential election, comparing it to the election in 2004.

The difference between the demographics in 2004 vs that in the 2012 election led to an interesting insight: the country is changing to reflect a more liberal demographic. Not in the terms of diversity–that is also happening–but rather in terms of the aging of the population. For example, between 2004 and 2012 many young people who were too young to vote in 2004 came of age and voted predominantly for Democrats in 2012.

On the other end of the spectrum many of those in their fifties are now in their sixties. In 2004 this group was more likely to vote for Republicans while those in their 50’s were more likely to vote for Democrats. As people have aged, the demographic that includes those over 60 has now changed to become more liberal.

In essence, what this seems to reveal is that no matter how hard the Republican party tries to become more diverse, they are still losing voters as older white voters pass away and young people, with more liberal views on social issues, come of age.

This article from the New York Times is about updating the way we vote to enable more eligible voters to participate, especially those growing up with technology. Notice the Republican response.

A Long, Snowy, New England Weekend

The threat of snow began early in the week, by Friday everyone was hunkering down to await the onslaught.  For me that meant catching up on my business.  On Friday I started sewing a new jacket, which I finished on Saturday and then began preparing an email to my customers. On Sunday I started updating my website and my etsy site, which I finished on Monday.  The email will go out on Tuesday with pictures of the new jacket and “voila!” I’m up-to-date with my business, at least for a little while.  Time to get started on the next sewing project.

The amazing thing is that over the last four days I also cleaned the house, did laundry, finished a novel, spent time with neighbors, watched the Celtics win in three overtimes and started putting together a 1000 piece puzzle.  It was a very productive snowbound weekend.  I think I’m going to miss all the creative time this hibernation has given me.

Oops! One last thing. Time to give myself a facial before heading back into the real world.

When Death No Longer Moves Us

When I read the headline in the paper of the massacre in Connecticut I didn’t even stop to read the article. Murders and the deaths of innocents has become so commonplace that I have acquired a hard outer shell to avoid feeling sad about something that will never change.

For years those of us who live in or close to big cities wake up most days to the news that another innocent person has been killed in the crossfire. From the two toddlers and the infant in a nearby bassinet who were killed by armour-piercing bullets that penetrated the front wall of their house as the children watched television, to the young mother and her two year old who were killed as she headed to his daycare site before heading to work. To the young soccer coach who was killed by a stray bullet in front of the children he was coaching.

The stories go on and on. Every summer big cities prepare for the heat by scrambling to create programs for young people to try to protect them from the violence. “City Year” created as a summer program in Boston that hires young people to work with young people to educate and empower them, has now spread across the country. Organizations such as “Mayors Against Guns” have helped to institute new, stricter gun laws to curb the violence. And yet we still hear comments about protecting our second amendment rights. How about protecting our children and their caregivers and providing them with a chance to pursue the other aspects of our constitution, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

I have always marveled that the mothers of Ireland were able to stop a decades-long war by standing together against the violence. I wondered why the mothers of this United States could not come together to stop the violence against our children by fighting for stricter gun laws across the country. I recently happened upon a group called “One Million Moms For Gun Control”. I signed on immediately to help spread the word. Maybe next time there is a shooting of innocents I won’t just pass it over, feeling helpless to stop the carnage. Maybe that hard shell is cracking.

That Which Doesn’t Destroy Us Makes Us stronger

The Republican Party is worried about losing elections to Tea Party supporters as they continue to move to the right. What they fail to realize is that they lost the last election because intelligent, educated, informed Republicans voted for Democrats.

Perhaps Republicans should review their party’s history. The Republican Party came into existence when the Whigs were infiltrated by the “American Party” also know as the “Know Nothing” party. Rather than accept the unenlightened views of this party, the more moderate, less extreme members of the Whig Party started a new party and called it the Republican Party.

Guess what happened to the the Whig party and its extremist members who called themselves the American Party?