Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gun Laws

Considering the number of gun-related deaths in the United States (3,300 since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut,) why would anyone with a grain of reason oppose comprehensive background checks?

The strongest argument for opposing any changes whatsoever to the 2nd Amendment comes from the NRA, gun manufacturers, and conservative politicians, who proclaim that the U.S. Constitution is an infallible document and should be preserved at all costs. Hogwash! No one wants to take away the right to bear arms. But those driven by common sense want to see some reasonable legislation that will help keep guns out of the wrong hands. I’ve heard all the clichés: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” “If a criminal wants a gun, he’ll find a way to get one.”

A black market does exist for guns, particularly assault weapons. But do you think for one minute that every criminal has access to these illegal weapons? So if background checks prevent just one would-be-gun-related death, then it would be the right choice to require that all gun buyers pass a background check. That one person could be your husband, daughter, or sister.

Also remember that the 2nd Amendment was written over 200 years ago. Times have changed. Society has changed. Technology has changed. When the 2nd Amendment was written, the only guns available were single-shot flintlocks. That’s a far cry from an automatic assault weapon with a 30 round magazine.

So, why would anyone oppose background checks?  First, politicians who represent red states know that the majority of voters in their state are hard-core, pistol-packing cowboys. Any politician from a red state that backs any change whatsoever to the 2nd Amendment better update their résumés. But even more than politics is the stronger issue: money. Background checks will result in fewer gun sales. Fewer gun sales result in less profit. Need I say more?

So basically, we have powerful and influential lobbyists from gun and ammunition manufacturers, not to mention the NRA, who care more about the bottom line than human life. You may have a hard time admitting it to yourself. But how many times in history has the all-mighty dollar trumped reason, morals, and logic? Let’s just hope that Congress has enough integrity to do the right thing.

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A Rough Couple Months

Sometimes life comes at you from all angles. The last few months have been a challenge both professionally and personally. I haven’t really felt well for a long time. Muscle aches. Lightheadedness. Overall, just feeling crappy. My doctors tell me there’s nothing wrong with me, but I know my body and something’s going on.

Trying to get an appointment with my primary care doctor is like trying to get an audience with the Pope. Whenever I try to make an appointment, his assistant puts me through the third degree. Most of the time, my doctor prefers to diagnose over the telephone, a practice that really solidifies my confidence in him. Yes, I know. The obvious is for me to find another doctor. But no matter who refers you, no matter how many reviews you read on Yelp and Angie’s list, you never really know if you’re going to connect with a doctor until you’re ill and it’s his-her job to figure out why.

I think the thing that annoys me most is the fact that doctors (yes, I’m generalizing), are great at determining what’s NOT wrong with you, but very poor at figuring out what IS wrong. Enough said.

Moving on, I finished Hypocrisy, book #4 a few weeks ago and sent it off to my agent for her evaluation. The good news: She loved the story concept. The bad news: She feels it needs some work before we submit it to my publisher. As you might imagine, after spending eight months banging away on the computer keyboard, working nearly every day, it was and is disheartening to hear that the book needs more work. I do find solace in the fact that nearly every author—including the heavy hitters—goes through this.

Instead of immediately tackling a rewrite, I thought it would be wise to walk away from the book for a while and start something fresh, hoping a new project would jumpstart my creative juices. Well, I’m about 9,000 words into book #5, titled, A Piece of You (yes, let your imagination run wild), and although I have the beginning and end pretty much figured out, the middle is posing a real challenge. Such is the life of an author. Sometimes this author-business makes a traditional 9 to 5 job quite appealing. Then again . . .

 

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