Right to Bear Arms
A humanist Perspective
By Kathy Mcdermant
I don’t like to think of myself as particularly political, at least not as far as picking sides goes. I’m on humanities side, and when an issue arises, I like to think that it shouldn’t matter if it is being dealt with by donkey or by an elephant (although if it was handled by an platypus, the might have me) I think that the issues should speak for themselves.
We live in a supposed democracy, and as such I believe that not just the voice of the people, by the good of the people should be considered in every doctrine, bill, law, and rule that is put before us. So with that in mind I go into this weeks topic, the right to bear arms.
The right to bear arms is indeed a controversial issue, and one that has many all sorts of hot and bothered. But I am not hear to talk about the bill of rights, the constitution, or last weeks episode of “Law and Order”, although that last thing is neither here nor there. What I am here to talk about is what is best for us as a people.
There are people out there who sincerely believe that the best way to end school shootings is to put more guns into schools. They say that arming teachers is the best thing that they can do to protect students from shooters…..I know right? Look, I’m not trying to tell you what is or is not lawful as far as our fore fathers were concerned, because I don’t have a clue, but I do know that In a world where gun violence is running rampant the answer is not more gun violence.
There is also debate on what sort of weapons should and should not be legal. A lot of people want the right to own assult rifles and other deadly weapons. I get it. Most of you aren’t dangerous. Most of you wont shoot up a school, or do any harm to anything other than a dear that didn’t know that they were fair “sport”. In a perfect world you guys would be able to have the weapons of your chosing without any sort of debate on whether or not it was a good idea. We do not live in a perfect world.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not trying to condemn you, or blame you, or argue with you. I am pleading with you. Give up your toys so that dangerous people do not have asccess to dangerous things. Keeping our citizens safe is the true American way.
A Practice in Forgiveness
A humanist perspective
By Kathy Mcdermant
I like to think of myself as at least a somewhat decent woman. I care about others feelings, I recycle even when no one is looking, and if I see that someone’s shoes are untied, I tell them. I even run a column not so humbly titled “A humanist perspective”. My priority is indeed people, at least that is what I like to think. The truest test of character comes in the face of adversity, everything else is just for show.
Today my cell phone was stolen. I know right? Honestly a cell phone is an unnecessary commodity. I don’t need it; it isn’t going to save my life, if I am hungry I cannot eat it. The problem is not that the device was essential to me, it is not even that I cannot afford a new one. If we break things down to their simplest form, the problem is that someone else has something that I want.
Yes the phone was mine, yes I paid for it, and yes, I do have the right to expect no one to take it from me. But I am not entitled to it. Did you know that the computing power in an IPhone is greater than that of the equipment’s that launched the first rocket? Of course you did, you probably looked it up on your IPhone. How could anyone possibly make a valid argument that I need something like that? They can’t. I do not need my IPhone, and I suspect that no one else does either.
Reasonable enough right? The IPhone is without question a practice in over indulgence, and in a world where there are a very limited number of resources to go around, there simply is no room for such things. So you’re probably proud of me right now. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “that Kathy sure handles things well. She has a level head and can indeed handle the heat of the kitchen”. Well you’re wrong, and perhaps mildly schizophrenic.
I did not handle myself with dignity or any sort of basic decency really. Instead I borrowed a friend’s phone, and I called my number over, and over, and over again. I dialed that number until I got tired of dialing that number, and then I dialed it some more, until finally I could take no more of it. So I did what any child of the digital age would do. I started texting. “I lost my phone, if you have found it please return it to the lost and found, thank you.” Reasonable enough. After all, I had left it on a chair in the library; it wasn’t entirely fair of me to assume that it had been taken. I had checked the lost and found without success, but that didn’t mean anything. Why at that very moment someone could have been scouring the campus, desperately trying to find the lost and found so that they could return the phone I had misplaced.
But they weren’t. I knew it, they knew it, and if the government is squandering our money on cell tracking half as well as they used to, Obama knew it too. I knew that my phone was stolen when its new owner answered one of my many phone calls, and then hung up. Bold isn’t it? So I sort of threatened them…. “Return my phone to the lost and found and I will forget all about it….that is the only way that I will forget all about it…” And that’s the best that I could come up with.
Oddly enough the threat of me remembering how I don’t have a cell phone did nothing to retrieve it for me. So I tried again. This time a tried a nicer approach. “I’m sorry that I have to be this way. I’m not trying to get you in trouble; I just want my phone back. God Bless.”…..hahaha. Yeah. That didn’t work either. So I gave up. No response, no phone, and in my mind, no justice.
So what’s the take away here? Well the way I see it, there were two victims today. Obviously I am one of them, but you’ve already heard all about that. The other is the young sir or madam that helped themselves to my phone. If you all are like me you are probably at your computers right now thinking to yourselves that you could never steal someone else’s phone, or steal anything for that matter. I couldn’t either, in fact I can hardly fathom it. SO think of what the life of the person who can must be like. Something is missing for them. Maybe its money, maybe it’s a strong moral compass (perhaps an absent parental unit) or maybe even just a general lack of guidance. Whatever it is, they have made an unusual decision, and one that reflects a difficult living circumstance. Something is missing, that is why they had to take more. And whatever it might be that they are looking for, I can tell you this, it will be much harder to find than a new phone.
I Love you, Yes you
A humanist perspective
By Kathy Mcdermant
The word love gets thrown around a lot these days, perhaps even too callously, but I mean it, I love you. I love the you that you are afraid to show the world, because that is the you that you are meant to be, and I love more than anything to see you overcome that fear…..As you can tell, I’m a little emotional.
In one of my journalism classes the other day we were discusses the effects of mass advertisements on our society and man….that stuff is a heartbreaking. So heartbreaking in fact that it makes an aspiring journalist say “stuff”.
The truth of the matter is, we live in a culture where it is practically impossible for a person to be themselves. You can’t eat food if you want to be attractive, you can’t live if you don’t eat food, you cant save yourself for marriage if you plan on being cool, and you cant have sex if you don’t want to be judged. Do you see the impossibilities? I mean think about it, damn near everyone in the world likes cookies and there are still weddings each and every day.
Commercials show us that everyone is thin, everyone is happy, everyone wears short shorts and goes rock climbing on their periods. Its enough to make any normal person question what they are doing wrong. But here’s the thing, I’m starting to believe that it isn’t us normal people that are doing the wrong thing, it’s the media (shocker right?). I think that they are lying to us, and it’s making me wonder who else is lying to us (MAYBE CLINTON DID INHALE!!!).
People in real life don’t look the way that they do on these ridiculous commercials and TV shows. Even Kate Upton doesn’t look like Kate Upton. So what change needs to be made? Should we defy our own biology and become slaves to the media, or should we be ourselves, and let the salesmen learn to adapt to that? I know that it isn’t easy to defy the norm, but you have to do it. You have to decide that the you that you want to be is the you that the world deserves to see. I love you the exact way that you are inside, and the people that you need in your life will too.