Gun Control & Mental Health

I sent my letter regarding the Connecticut shooting to ten of my elected officials.  In the hope of keeping them accountable, today I am going to let you know where each of them stand.  I will follow up on this as more details become available.

Colorado State Representative Dave Young: The only person who has responded to my letter thus far.  It was a beautiful response.  His focus is threefold: Better mental health help in Colorado; limit gun ownership for those with serious mental illnesses; close the gun show loophole.  Although he does not agree with me on banning semi-automatic weapons and extended clips, that is okay.  That needs to be done at the Federal level anyway.
Colorado State Representative Steve Humphrey [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
Colorado State Senator Scott Renfroe [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
Colorado State Senator Glenn Vaad  [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper: He helped put together a much needed mental health expansion in Colorado–which needs to be approved by our state congress.  He also called for closing the Gun Show Loophole.  Hickenlooper called for “a debate” to take place regarding gun control, but has yet to release any specifics.

U.S. Representative Cory Gardner [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
U.S. Representative Jared Polis: Polis has also focused on closing the gun show loophole.  He is also very outspoken about increasing mental health help in Colorado.  No word yet on Gun Control.
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet  [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
U.S. Senator Mark Udall [No Public Comment or Response Yet]
President Barack Obama: Obama has been solidly in the pro-gun column his entire presidency.  Fortunately, the events in Connecticut are forcing him to the left.  He appears to be actively pushing for an assault weapons ban.  He has also has talked at length about mental health.  For a President, however, I expect action–not just talk.

I will update this list again in a week or two.  In the meantime, i suggest you write a letter to your elected officials about what you want to see changed.

~Richard

Reacting to Shootings in Newtown, Connecticut

For those of you who have been following me for some time, you know that I am an avid advocate for gun control.  The events of Aurora, Colorado (about an hour south of me) changed me permanently.  I no longer feel like I can sit on the bleachers as shooting after shooting after shooting takes place in my country and my state.  I want to be an active part of the solution.  If you want to be a part of the solution, here’s a short list of what you can do today:

(1) Send condolences to the families.
(2) Contact local representatives and let them know this can never happen again.
(3) Give to charities who help families grieve through these charities
(4) Support loved ones with mental illnesses. If they know they are loved, they are less likely to reach their breaking point.

I am starting off with number two.  I spent the past hour writing a letter to my elected officials (state and national).  I suggest you do the same.  You are also welcome to share my open letter in any way you would like (just let me know).  Inaction is our biggest fault.  Here is the link:

An Open Letter to my Elected Officials Regarding the Shootings in Newtown, Connecticut

 

The Revolution Starts in The Living Room

Join the Kickstarter Campaign to Publish “The Stagner Chronicle”

This is our last full day in Connecticut for my Grandmother’s 80th Birthday.  It’s been crazy busy.  Today is our relaxation day.  We’re all trying to figure out what else we want to do while we are on the coast.  We’ve already done seafood, the beach, and Duchess.  There doesn’t seem like there is much left to do.  It’s been a great trip.

I hope to get back to writing new things in the days ahead (instead of just posting old writings).  I don’t know how long that will last.  I get back to Colorado on Monday and leave for Iowa on Thursday/Friday.  Until then, let me know what you think about the changes around the blog.  Do you prefer the creative writing or the political writing?  Or a good mixture?  Today’s article focuses on the Occupy Movement.

Why Modern Revolutions Fail

Live from Connecticut

 

This has been a long day.  I woke up at 4:30a so that we could be at Denver International Airport for a 8:30a flight.  We ended up having to deplane because the plane wasn’t in working order.  Luckily we only had an hour and a half delay.  I got to see the NYC skyline as we flew in.  God I love that city.  Now there is talk of doing NYC tomorrow with my family.  Only time will tell.

I wrote a memory while on the plane.  Since I told you about the announcement of my sister’s pregnancy yesterday, it felt right to tell you about the day she was born.  A side note: My niece is here in Connecticut with me…about to turn seven years old.  Time really does fly.

Day Fifteen: Birth of My Niece

 

Leaving on a Jet Plane

 

I should be landing in New York in about 24 hours.  It is the start of a very long month.  I can’t wait to be in Connecticut with my family and celebrating my grandmother’s 80th birthday.  I’m so lucky to have the ability to go see my family at least once a year even though they live so far away.  It looks like this time almost the entire extended family will be there–from Florida, Colorado, and D.C.  I can’t wait.

I am going to try to continue giving you guy at least one update a day while I am away.  I feel like I am straddling a thin line when it comes to internet addiction, so I am going to be careful.  If I disappear for a day or two, it is for my own sanity.  I know most writers go insane eventually…but I would prefer for that not to happen until I am at least 30.  Until next time, here is a new Memory for the 50-Day Memory Challenge.

Day Fourteen: My First Girlfriend

 

Hold Your Breath

 

It’s be an interesting few days.  I cannot talk about most of what is going on.  I can tell you, however, that the next few weeks promise to hold almost as much intrigue.  I have less than a week until I start of month of exploring this country.  Connecticut.  Iowa.  Washington.  All in five weeks.  I cannot wait.  I will do my best to continue updating as this Summer carries on.

Two updates today.  First and foremost, I have a new memory for the memory challenge.  I realized I had far too few memories about family.  This one should make up a little ground on that level.  I have also started adding videos of myself reading my stories and poems.  This started off as a Kickstarter supplement, but I love to idea too much.  Let me know what you think.

My Sister’s Wedding

 

Fascinated by Scripts

I know I bid far to low to ghostwrite the script I am currently working on…but I love it.  I’ve written Haikus, Poems, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, and Novels.  The one format that I have never worked with is screenwriting.  It’s very different and dialog-oriented.  Now that I am learning the ropes as part of a job, I can’t help but wonder if I would enjoy doing one on my own.  I absolutely love movies.  Plus, I usually envision my stories in scenes.  Maybe this is the perfect in-between.

Aside from working on the script today, I am getting back into the swing of working on my 50-Day Memory Challenge.  I’m going to try to do as much work as I can over the next couple weeks.  Once the end of July hits, I’m going to get crazy busy.  Trip to Connecticut.  Trip to Iowa.  Trip to Washington.  All within the course of one month.  It’ll be amazing, but difficult to write consistently.  I can’t wait.

Day Twelve: Dances with Cougars