Monthly Archives: March 2018

Ban Guns, surely you Jest

Ban Guns, surely you Jest

Congratulations to our young people for standing up for the rest of us. Recent polls show that the vast majority of voters are in favor of improved gun control. Some folks interpret that to mean banning guns. That could not be further from the truth. The vast majority are in favor of gun ownership, never mind the 2nd amendment. Certain elements, on both sides of this subject, are creating an unnecessary polarization and as a result no action is being taken.

The facts are that the US leads all first world countries in gun violence and not by a small margin. My impression is that there are two main contributors to this. First is the issue that our young people are pursuing. When I say “young people”, almost all of these advocates are younger than my grandchildren. Among the elements and at the forefront is minimizing the availability of assault weapons. That is easy to resolve if only our elected representatives would take action. If it is so easy, then why has it not happened. My suggestion is, as usual, follow the money.

The 2nd issue is not so easy. It has to do with the culture of violence that we have facilitated in our country. We have 5% of the world’s population and incarcerate 25% of the total world’s inmates. Our homicide rate is 5 times that in Australia and when a homicide occurs, who is always the first person of interest according to the police? It is always the spouse and next it is family members closely followed by “friends”. In fact, the majority of homicides in our country are committed by this group. I have no idea how to resolve this issue, but it definitely deserves some thought. Banning assault weapons will have little positive impact on this issue.

What I do know is that there is plenty of room for agreement by the majority that will have a positive impact in reducing gun violence and the homicide rate. Australia proved that it can be done without violating our right to gun ownership. It is extremely sad that the “adults” in our society have so far failed.

Just a bit about me

A person who is very close to me suggested that I post some info about my background for the blog:

At the time of this posting I will be 73 on my next birthday. I was born on VJ day and grew up in a military family. Dad was a West Point Graduate and served as a pilot in WW II and Korea and as an advisor in Vietnam for a total of 30 years service. He was married to his high school sweet heart for 72 years and passed in July of 2016. Mom is still with us and will be 98 this August. I graduated from University with a degree in finance in 1967 and attended an MBA program until entering the Air Force as a supply officer in 1968. I left the Air Force as a captain after four years. I had a 25-year career in wholesale distribution in a variety of senior management positions, including president of a company with $750 million in annual revenues. I had a 2nd career in the accommodation industry as the owner of a bed and breakfast and eventually a hotel and small chain of budget motels.

I have been retired for 9 years and love to travel. Our travels have taken us to Canada, New Zealand, Fiji, Norfolk Island, Peru, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Venezuela, Scotland, Iceland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Panama, Belize, China & the Canaries. My primary hobby is fishing and my favorite locations have been Alaska, Costa Rica, Brazil, San Diego, Canada & Mexico.

My current activities involve quite a bit of community involvement. My past and current involvement has included: Champion of the Destination Harrison spoke for CORE (Central Organization for Revitalization and Enhancement), Coordinator for the Establishment of the Historic walking tour of the Harrison Historic District, Historic walking tour guide, Harrison SCORE Counselor, Team player for the following CORE spokes: Assessment, Retail, Funding & Entrepreneurship, Member of the committee for the economic advancement of Boone Co. (wet/dry petition),Event Director for the Ozark Fitness Challenge 2011 & 2012,Past CAPTC (CVB) Commissioner, Member of the annual Teen Summit Committee, Member of the Safe Routes to Schools Committee, Coordinator for the “Advance Harrison” downtown renovation group, Member of and fund raiser for the YMCA Founders group, Member of the task force that organizes the annual county teen summit on substance abuse, Past Owner Men’s Oxford House #2, Past City Alderman 2010 – 12 (Ward 4),Past Treasurer for Giving Back Industries and accountant for Mac’s repair shop, past Finance Director for Ozark Arts Council, Member of the Regional Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee; serving on the Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Placemaking Subcommittees, Board of Director in the House of Hope project and the Hope Continuum, Consulting with the Harrison Housing Authority on affordable housing for lower income residents, Managing partner for a private “affordable housing” private investment LLP, Member of the Harrison Trails Committee, Entrepreneurship and business planning instructor for the E-ship University curriculum in support of the Chamber Economic Development Effort, Member of the Harrison Sister Cities task force, Co-chair of the Prevention Committee for the Boone County Recovery Project, North Arkansas College Instructor for “Financial Life Skills” course, Partner in the ACC Transitional Housing Project for Boone County (The Lotus Recovery Center), Substance Abuse Mini-Grant committee.

In addition is have been involved in the following special projects: Worked with Windstream to provide a special program for HHBA members which resulted in free Wi-Fi for the downtown historic district, CORE road trip to review downtown renovation projects in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Russellville & Stuttgart (2x), Coordinator for the CORE historic art auction which netted over $10k for CORE project implementation, Citizen road trip to review the Manhattan, KS economic revitalization, their new Flint Hills Discovery Center and a visit to the awesome Boliver, MO YMCA, Co-coordinator for the rehabilitation transition housing project (to provide temporary housing for recently released offenders.

Belief systems revisited

Belief systems revisited

 In a prior post I explored the good and not so good issues regarding beliefs. My personal view is to attempt not to judge any belief system as long as the “golden rule” is a “core” tenant. In my opinion, the details beyond treating others as you would like to be treated are not as important.

There are many thousands of belief systems with ardent supporters. If I had been raised in a different environment of indoctrination I am convinced that I would be a subscriber to that belief system, at least for a time. Based on my personal experience I am convinced there is not only “true path”. There may be thousands?

I raised as a Roman Catholic throughout my formative years. Mom was Catholic and Dad was Methodist. Mom’s mother was raised a Baptist, but converted to Catholic when my mom was 12. Converts are often the staunches believers and mom is no exception. She took control of the kids’ education. As a result, I attended Catholic School through grade 10. My indoctrination was intense. I served as an alter boy and sang in the children’s choir. I was VP of my 9th & 10th grade class in an all-boys Catholic high school. Religion class was mandatory for all ten years. We studied both the bible and Catholic Dogma. We were convinced that the path we were one was the one and only true path to salvation. While I did not really enjoy all of the church activities, I was a believer.

Over time & travels I started to question my faith. Could my path be the only one allowed? Why were so many others convinced otherwise? What about the abuses of the Church (Popes operating as kings and ignoring celibacy)? What about the Inquisition and the purge of the South American natives?

Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of dedicated, well meaning, priests and nuns that personify the golden rule. I absolutely admire their efforts. I also recognize that there are numerous other belief systems that provide important moral and ethical paths. My view is that if a “faith” has the golden rule at its “core” and it is working for you, then I fully support your path. If you do not subscribe to an organized belief system, but strive to live a moral and ethical life then again, you have my admiration. I like to believe that I fall into this last category, albeit with much room for improvement.