Christmas Eve Bash

There are some 30 people coming to my parent’s house for Christmas Eve dinner this evening.  I can’t wait.  I love being around my family during the holidays.  I hope all my readers are enjoying their Christmas celebrations.  Not to ruin the spirit, but I woke up with guns on the mind (that’s what happens when you engage in Facebook debates  I guess).  I spent the morning working on another piece regarding my country and it’s disgusting gun-rights offensive.  I just hope something is actually going to be done this time.

All I want for Christmas is Gun Control

 

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

 

Staying Informed in a Globalized World

Join the Kickstarter Campaign to Publish “The Stagner Chronicle”

By the time you are reading this, I should be boarding a plane back to Colorado.  This trip has been exhausting and eye opening.  As my family cycled in and out of the house where my grandparents live, I had conversations with nearly all of them.  Although the conversations usually revolve around personal FAQs, in my family the conversations often turn to politics.

Everyone wanted to talk about the Presidential Election or Gun Control.  Those are the two big topics right now.  I have strong opinions on both (that go against most my family’s beliefs).  Today’s article focuses on Minimalism in reference to economic change.  Namely in America–with regards to the Occupy Movement and The Tea Party.

Minimalist Lifestyle is Step One in Fighting Class Inequality

An Emotional Day

 

What a strange day this was.  I woke up with a start to the news that gripped the nation.  My good friend–Jordan–and I spent the morning sifting through the news to try to understand what was happening.  After getting our fill and debating endlessly about Gun Control and Human Nature, we decided to see The Dark Knight Rises.  We were both slightly afraid of going…but felt a need to tell the shooter to go fuck himself.  Much like getting on a plane after 9/11.  It was a great movie, by the way.

The day only became more emotional when I realized a family member’s long roller coaster with her employers is about to meet its fruition.  I cried for awhile as the emotions of the day flooded in.  I ended up spending the evening moving furniture.  Physical activity is a great way to get out pent up emotion.  So is writing.  After helping my friend’s move, I came back to my coffee shop and wrote, wrote, wrote.  Nothing takes care of pent up emotion better than writing.  My extended writing about gun control is below.

Please Take My Guns