Are Air Rifles Dangerous? Should Government Ban the Use of them?

Air rifles are weapons which replicate the look of real weapons. Designed for collectors, the players of war games, sport shooting and hunting – air rifles can be found in spring powered, gas powered and battery operated power formats. Air rifles are not considered as firearms in most state because it is far harmless compared to the real counterparts.

Are Air Rifles Dangerous?

Air Rifle PoliciesA word of caution at this point, although air rifles are relatively less dangerous than their counterparts, they too can be dangerous if used at close distance, hence extreme caution should be exercised while using them. Furthermore pellet guns used for hunting have a high muzzle velocity and the pellets used have deeper penetrating capacity making them quite dangerous. But with a bit of caution and a lot of care, anyone can use these air rifles to have fun and have a great adventure. Come to think of it, it is not the air rifle or any weapon for that matter that causes danger, it is typically harmless. The danger lies with the user. An air rifle used for the right reasons and the right venue can harm no one – but when used for any wrong reasons, they can be detrimental to anyone.

Should Government Ban or Control Air Rifles instead?

Many people criticize the use of air rifles because they look real. The realism is important when discussing whether the government should ban this kind of weapons. Using air rifles beyond its specific use have serious repercussions. However, some countries allow air rifles as long as it is within the one joule limit. According to their firearm law, an air rifle over the one joule limit can penetrate an eyeball and it potentially dangerous. So if you ask me if the government should ban the use of air rifles? I would say no. The government should not ban air rifles because it hinders human rights to be free to engage in activities for entertainment, training and learning. The government should instead control the use of air rifles by creating laws that will require a person to undergo trainings and seminars on how to properly use an air rifle, proper shooting etiquette and the like before obtaining a permit to purchase and own an air rifle. Moreover, a psychological and emotional examination should be taken to further assess if a person is mentally and emotionally stable to handle and use an air rifle or any firearm for that matter. The government should also partake in providing venues that will allow the use of air rifles for recreational and training purposes. These are some suggestions that a government can do rather than banning the use of air rifles.

Like what I have stated in the previous paragraph, an air rifle or any firearm is harmless, what make it potentially dangerous are the users of these weapons. It is not just the government’s responsibility to prevent the dangers and hazards of any weapon bring, but the primary responsibility lies with the users.

Should Dental Care Be a Part of a Universal Health Care Plan?

Healthcare has been a hot topic for years, especially once plans for Obamacare became well known. While there was a strong force against the initiative, it still pushed through, and now the United States has a form of universal health care, much like our neighbor to the north does.

But how far should this go? While I don’t believe that a man having a heart attack should be turned away from a hospital for lack of health insurance, I also don’t think we should have to pay for the results of others bad lifestyle choices. This gets even worse when you start dental work into the mix.

How Important is Dental Health?

Advocates for a dental plan for all of the US talk about how the mouth is just as important as the heart and lungs and that the government should provide financial assistance for protecting it. In my opinion, the state of your teeth is a direct reflection of how you take care of yourself.

It may not be a bad idea to try and use that money instead to help prevent dental problems early on, much like was done with childhood obesity.

I agree that good dental health is important. An untreated cavity can quickly turn into an infection that will invade the entire body. In the end, we end up paying even more for the subsequent medical care.

Preventive Care

I believe that the better way to provide dental care across the board is first through education. This can start at the elementary school level with field trips from dentists to talk to students about how to care for their teeth.

This program can extend into the high school years and grow more sophisticated as the students do. Dentists can conduct programs on oral hygiene and the proper ways to brush and floss. With the money saved by not having a dental care program that pays for bridges and crowns, the government can equip these students with the tools they need. Electric toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and even water flossers like the Waterpik Aquarius could be given to the students as an incentive to take better care of their teeth.

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Preventive Help For All

Education and free electric toothbrushes doesn’t have to stop at the schools. These can be given out to under privileged individuals who otherwise may have to skip a new toothbrush or toothpaste to feed their family. Dentists may not like this idea very much, but our tax dollars sure will.

There needs to be a better solution than the government always paying the bill since ultimately that trickles down to us. Instead of offering a program that lets people ignore their teeth at no cost to them why not use that money to prevent the tooth problems in the first place?

Watson’s Writings: Antiques and Decorating

What you might not know is that I have a knack for certain things outside politics. Oh yes, it’s true!

As hard as that is to believe, I wanted to give you all an insight into my mind so that you may a) learn more about who I am and b) perhaps learn something interesting about some aspect of life and culture that you might not otherwise have been exposed to.

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Antiques are not just for collectors. Bored by the old standbys home owners are beginning to look towards antiques as a way to add simple elegance to the spaces in their home. Check out the forgotten items in moms attic, or better yet start shopping at thrift stores and garage sales to find decorative items to your home that look great and have a great history.

Kitchen Antiques

The kitchen is a great place to start to decorate your home with antiques. One of my favorites are those bright orange copper utensils that used to be so popular. They create a great focal point when used as a wall display. Another good idea is mixed matched antique china plate ware. This can also be used on a wall, or displayed on a shelf.

For your counter tops you can find beautiful and unique canisters that not only look good but are functional. Don’t worry about finding a complete set, mismatched decorating adds a whimsical charm to the kitchen.

Bathroom

The bathroom is another place where antique collectibles can be put on display. A vintage beard trimmer displayed on a unique hand held mirror takes one back in time (much different but more aesthetically pleasing than what you see today, even over at BeardInstitute.com). Similarly old shaving utensils like straight razors, soap, and soap brush make for a manly look – and who knows, you might actually want to be using them! Lots of men are turning to the past to get the best look possible. You can also find combs and brushes to complete the set. Countertops may also be dressed up with old perfume bottles.

For the walls look for simplistic antique pictures that go with the color scheme of the bathroom. If it is muted, use bright antique prints with large solid colored images. If your bathroom is already brightly painted, try the opposite effect with antique black and white prints.

Living Room

In your living room, or as they say in the antique world the parlour, you can really display your own personal style and use items that stimulate conversation. Some enthusiasts may go all out and use a combination of antique furniture pieces. You don’t have to make that big of an investment to get the sophistication of decorating with antiques.

Thrift stores and boutiques are loaded with antique bric-brac that can brighten up any living space. Candle stick holders, vases, and printed throw pillows are just a few of the ways you can put your love for the vintage on the display.

Bedroom

Using antiques in the bedroom can create a romantic space that is irresistible. Antique bed side tables, lamps and oil prints will all transform your bedroom into a luxurious hide away built for romance. Take your time in picking the perfect accessories that reflect your own personality while inciting relaxation.

There is so much more to antiques than just buying and selling them for profit, or tucking them away in the cellar. Use the items that you love as display pieces in your home to create a unique space of sophistication and warmth.

Your Appearance Matters When Running For Office

They say that it was the introduction of television and his good looks that got John Kennedy into the white house over Richard Nixon. There is a lot of truth to this, as voters are prone to first impressions first, and then forget about what the politician stands for.

If you are considering running for office, even if just a local seat in your community, it would be wise to never take your appearance for granted. Those that dress for success generally achieve it.

Men

Of course men need to be in business attire whenever speaking publicly or at a major event. This of course means dress slacks and shoes with a button down shirt, tie and jacket. Don’t forget details like cuff links and watches. This shows that you go the extra mile to impress your constituents.

For those more casual appearances you can do dress pants and a polo or nice sweater. Stay away from jeans and especially T-shirts. Even if you are asked to throw out the first ball at a game, you should look like you just stepped out of the Brooks Brothers catalog.

Ladies

Female politicians have a more difficult time when it comes to how they dress. Too business like and they appear heartless, too casual and they are not fit to make political decisions. Therefore it is a good idea to mix things up all of the time. A nice below the knee skirt and blouse without the jacket today, all business tomorrow. Heels should always be worn, sorry ladies, but never a shoe that has an open toe or strap back.

Casual attire is good for when visiting schools and other local entities. Just make sure that you are always aware of how short your skirt is and how much cleavage you show. The kiss of death for a female politician is if the voters suddenly feel like she is a little too flashy.

Women have to worry about their accessories too. Never go all out with highly expensive jewelry. This will not win you any votes, but rather turn voters away from you. Try alternative jewelry choices like pewter bangle bracelets and essential oil diffuser necklaces. In fact, I use essential oils in my office with a simple diffuser and I get a wonderfully relaxing aroma all day. The necklace is a double plus as it will eliminate the female politicians need for perfume. Too much perfume is always a big turn off when getting up close and personal with the public.

The First Lady or Man

Jacqueline-Bouvier-Kennedy-OnassisYour significant other must show just as much constraint in how they dress as you do. They should however be a bit more fashion forward. Again, how Jackie O compared to Nixon’s wife made a big difference in how voters felt about JFK.

While running for office is not a walk on the cat walk, it is somewhat of a popularity contest. If you want to get votes you have to make people like, trust and respect you. To start with, that means adjusting your appearance to fit what they believe is the image of the model politician.

My Final Thoughts On Motorcycle Helmet Laws

The subject has been debated for years, should the government have the right to force a motorcyclist to wear a helmet. You know of course that I have my own opinion on this, but this time I think I might surprise you.

There are hundreds of laws on the books that if you just look at the surface, seem like an infringement on our freedom. While some clearly are, I concede that it is necessary to protect the masses as opposed to the one. This is in no way in contradiction to my thoughts on gun rights basically because when you own a gun, it is completely under your control. When you ride a motorcycle, there are too many other drivers around that you have no control over.

It is the same theory behind forcing us to wear seat belts in cars. You think you have keep control over your vehicle on the highway, until some drunk driver comes along and shows you who is really in charge. That’s when you’ll be happy that you decided to be a good citizen and obey your seatbelt laws.

There are motorcycle helmets for women, motorcycle helmets for kids, and even motorcycle helmets for pets. Why? Because riding a bike puts your head at serious risk of injury and chances are that the guy that put you there isn’t going to have enough insurance to cover all that damage.

You are paying physically with the pain and suffering the motorcycle accident caused, we are paying financially for the cost of treating that massive head wound. Whether it be from our tax dollars or higher premiums on our own insurance in the end, someone has to pay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo yes, my thought is that you should helmet up every time you get on your bike. So should your wife, your kid and even your dog. A motorcycle is a fast and unstable means of getting around, and you are at a higher risk of an accident than anyone else on the road.

Drivers don’t see you, this is a fact. When we are out in a big car, protected by a ton of steel around us, we stop paying attention to the little bike whipping around the corner. Your small size compared to other vehicles automatically puts you at a higher risk for an accident.

So does the design of a motorcycle. It is a lot easier to keep control of a four wheeled vehicle than a two, especially when having to break hard. Admit it, how many times have you had to come to a screeching halt and ended up eating some pavement? That never happens to me when I am in my Buick.

You are putting yourself at risk just by choosing to ride a motorcycle which puts the rest of us at risk for having to pay for your injuries. Do yourself and us a favor and at least take every possible precaution, like a helmet, when heading out onto the open road.

Quality, not quantity matters, and why our immigration policy is still dangerous

This may be a sensitive subject for some, but it’s an issue that must be voiced and heard by all. Immigration policies have been slipping through the fingers of those in charge of it, and unqualified, non-contributing immigrants are being let into the country to damage the economy for local residents, citizens and hard working folk who have also immigrated. I’m not saying that immigration should cease, nor that we have too many. All I’m saying is that high quality immigrants with something to offer our economy and society are at a low population that could easily be raised.

The low quality immigrants who come into our country and do nothing but take from us are at an all time high. If our immigration policies were more strict, we could help those who have qualities, skills, and experience that would benefit us to get into the country. We, as citizens, need to have a tough stance on where we stand for these laws and policies. It will benefit not only ourselves, but our generations to come. Entry level jobs that should be helping our recent graduates into the work force are being filled by new immigrants, and this is lowering the success of the people who spent good money in the education system to make a living. In no way is this a racist stance, I believe I am merely stating facts that can be changed if we make our voices heard.

Vancouver

Vancouver, our neighbour to the north, is the first place many immigrants land.

According to a recent census, Vancouver is one of the top growing cities in Canada. It’s been said that this mainly due to the ease of immigration from eastern countries (Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, etc). As the trip crosses no other countries and lands on the coast, the travel time is the lowest it can be if someone from these countries is planning to move to North America or Canada. With so many immigrants coming in, it’s slowly creating an overload for immigration lawyers, and creating a very high demand for them. Some new immigrants are forced to see lawyers that do not specialize in immigration, simply due to the fact that they cannot find an available immigration lawyer to work with.

If we are going keep our economy strong and our citizens working, we need to make sure that we stand for high quality immigrants. If the lawyers are busy with those people seeking to work in our country, it is worth the extra work. High quality, working immigrants are very valuable to our economy and society and they should be rewarded for playing such an important role. It’s those who come to our country to seek our benefits (health care, retirement funds, our way of life) and give nothing back that should not be falling through the fingers of those we trust in charge of immigration.

Please, my fellow citizens, make your voice heard and stand for a strong stance on immigration. We need our country to run strong and free with the help of everyone who wishes to be a part of it.

 

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Why local issues matter

With so much going on the world these days, and seeing it plastered over all sorts of media, we seem to forget the other important issues that affect our lives.

Local issues.

Because these are happening near by, possibly in our own backyards, they will affect us with more power at the present time than overseas issues will. Local issues are those that you see on your way to work, deal with while you’re at home, walking your dog, and going to the store. The issues that arise are going the ones that effect us all more personally and have a direct effect in our daily lives. It makes little sense to me how people can ignore local matters and carry on with their loves like it makes no difference. Take a stand and make a change in your community! If you can, why not take advantage of that?

Local issues may be smaller than those elsewhere in the world that we hear about so frequently, but this doesn’t make it matter less. In this case, it might even make it easier to turn around and make all our lives a little easier.

A recent issue in my city has been the use of dog fences.

There has been a debate on whether or not they should be allowed. This has affected many people greatly. Some locals use them in place of standard fences, as they do not wish to build an eye-sore in their yard or waste the money on it when they can contain their dogs using one of these. Others use them to help train and protect their dogs from getting into dangerous part of their yards or keeping them out of their gardens.

On the flip side, other people think they are harmful to pets, some believe they will not work to keep their neighbors dog in their own yard (therefore disturbing their own home), and others have just hopped on the bandwagon because they are neither for or against these wireless fences.

With the potential to ban them, this has made a big impact on a lot of the locals. They may now have to get rid of or stop using their pet containment systems (wasting the money they spent on it), build fences in their yard (losing the appeal of an open style backyard), retrain their dogs to obey new boundaries, all for the “benefit” of those people who just don’t understand how the units work.

If you engage yourself in the local issues happening around you and educate yourself on things you may not have known about before. This will help you make informed decisions on where you stand and how you want to make a difference in your community. If we can get more and more people on board with this, we can have well educated members of local council, as well as well educated citizens to give honest, well thought out opinions and facts on local issues that have already, or may arise in your town.

Take a moment to be the better person and learn about these issues. They not only affect you personally, but also the lives of thousands of others around you.

Why I Support Gun Rights

One of the most controversial topics in this country is the issue of gun control, also referred to as gun rights; depending on which side of the debate you fall. Those that favor stricter gun control will argue that the 2nd Amendment that guarantees a citizen’s right to bear arms is obsolete, and with the increase in senseless violence and murders committed with guns in recent years, the argument for more gun control is strong and gaining steam. However, I disagree, and this is why I support gun rights. There are many different reasons, but the main one is that I’m an avid hunter and previous generations of my family got almost all their food from hunting. I dont get out as much as I’d like now, but I read up on hunting at sites like HuntingInsight – which is one of my favorites.

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For starters, altering something that’s set in place by the Bill of Rights would be a dangerous and downright scary precedent to make. People abuse freedom of speech by saying things that are untrue, people abuse freedom of assembly by rioting and destroying property, and people abuse freedom of religion by bringing harm to others in their name of a god, but there’s never any inclination to take any of these rights away. People do abuse the right to bear arms by possessing dangerous weapons and using them for activities other than their intended purpose, but that doesn’t mean the right to possess them should be taken away. Those who abuse their rights should be justly punished, and more should be done to prevent people from abusing their rights, but the rights can’t be taken away completely. Altering the Constitution to the extent of taking away gun rights opens the door to someday take away other rights like speech, assembly, and religion, and that’s a slippery slope that we, as a society, can’t go down. (See the bill of rights)

I also believe that taking away gun rights will harm law-abiding citizens more than it will prevent criminals with ill intentions from getting their hands on weapons. Just as drug addicts always seem to find a way to get their hands on their drug of choice, those who wish to commit injustices with firearms will find a way to get their hands on what they want. Despite strict laws and trained law enforcement personnel, drug dealers find a way to get their supply of illegal narcotics and get innocent people hooked on dangerous substances. A ban on guns would work much the same way. Arms dealers (like basil zarhoff) will find a way to get illegal contraband and give it to those who wish to harm innocent people. In the end, the people who will be without guns will be the people who would have used them responsibly anyway, not those who abuse their rights, essentially punishing those who know how to act responsibly and treat guns with respect.

Finally, for better or worse, guns are a part of our society, and removing them would just cause more chaos than it’s worth. Much like prohibition many decades ago, outlawing a person’s right to firearms would only enrage gun owners and make them more obstinate to giving up their weapons. Prohibition did nothing to remove alcohol from our society, it only took it behind closed doors to secretive locations, and the result would be similar with gun control, as there would only be a false sense that guns were no longer a part of our society. The best we can do is to do our best to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who will abuse their rights, not take away gun rights from everybody.

 

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College Funding for Single Mothers: Should Government Be Involved?

As the statistics for single parent families living in the United States continues to grow, these families are often living on the borderline of poverty without financial, emotional, and family support. Meanwhile, the government continues to pose questions about what types of support are useful and which ways that tax dollars can best be spent toward aiding these families in the most helpful manner.

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Single Parent Income Potential

Because of the fact that many single moms have not had the opportunity to finish college, or even high school, the income earning potential for these families is highly limited. This means that single parents, particularly single moms, are not able to progress in their employment situations because of lack of training or education. In addition, the cost of daycare makes a one parent-family in that much more of a difficult place than a two parent family which may be able share the costs through double income. All of these things combined create what sometimes probably feel like mountains against success that cannot be overcome.

Helping Single Parents

Although some people may argue that the government is so far into debt that the economy cannot afford to help single mothers pay for college. On the other hand, there are others who believe that the government can not afford to keep from helping. With 43% of children in single-mother households living below the poverty level, there is obviously already government assistance taking place in helping these families to be fed and have their medical and educational needs met.

In an effort to promote the ability for these families to be able to care for themselves with only one parent, it may be helpful to provide them with the means and opportunities to be better able to support themselves rather than rely on the support of the government funds. One way of doing this may be to provide single parents, particularly mothers, the ability to go to college for a reduced payment or even for free.

In some people’s minds, the idea of providing scholarships and college money for single mothers often takes on the same vein of the proverb about fishing: Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. But rather than discussing fish, the idea in this scenario is discussing the advanced educational opportunities to put single parent families in a better position.

Scholarships for Single Moms

Mostly provided by state governments, although some are at times sponsored by privatized agencies, scholarships created especially for single moms are available to help with not only tuition, textbooks, and living expenses but also with child care, transportation, and other various needs that single parents might face in order to be able to attend college. Usually, instead of providing loans that have to be paid back, these are grants or scholarships which make it so that single parents can attend college and emerge with a degree without a giant pile of student debt. This allows them to move into a viable career and increase their standards of living in a smooth manner.

In this way, promoting the educational and career advancement of single parents brings the hope that these families will be able to be more economically able to provide for themselves. Of course, this does not always turn out to be the case, but when single mothers and fathers are given the best opportunities, it often turns out that they are much more able to be much more productive members of society.

The question of whether or not governments should get involved with the education of single parents is a difficult one. However, if there is a strong chance that helping with college education for single moms will provide them more financial and career stability in the future, then the family not only benefits but the communities benefit. As these families are able to break the cycle of poverty and push through into more financial security, there should be less of a draw on social services and allows them to be productive, tax-paying members of society who are able to provide for themselves.

Image via Flickr by Ashleigh W

Abortion: The Legality and Morality

A continually strong topic of debate, with peaks and valleys at various times, the legality and morality of abortion has been plaguing the United States since the 1960s and even before. The idea that a fetus might be a person with rights is upsetting–likely to folks on both the right and the left of political views. And strong scientific work, as well as increasingly sensitive diagnostic medical testing, has fueled the fire of this debate even more fully.

fetus

Whose Rights are More Important?

In understanding where we stand on abortion, we must decide if our preferences are imposing upon someone else’s rights. In the fight for legalized abortion in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the moral rights of the mother were considered top priority because it is “her body” and “her life”. Not only does this completely rule out the rights of a father, medical advances have shown that there is also another person’s rights which are being imposed upon: the baby.

Maybe just as sad is the fact that there are so many people trying to get pregnant, hoping they can conceive, and willing to pay a great deal of money to increase their chances of fertility. Babies available for adoption are much less common than the parents seeking to adopt a child, yet just as many people choose to end unwanted pregnancies through abortion rather than be inconvenienced to give that child to a loving family.

Even just a few decades ago, it was easy to dismiss a fetus as being something other than human, and there were religious arguments by those who believed that life begins at conception. Until developing scientific methods have begun to prove what those people believed all along: there is no distinct point in time when an unborn baby can be determined “viable”. Yes, there are some who argue chances of survival, but again that minimizes the quality of life of this small person and promotes the life of the mother as more valuable.

As a mother, while I was pregnant I would have been allowed to kill my child in a way that is highly legal and supported (not to mention a big money-making business in the US) but if I chose to wait just a few months and smothered my baby with a pillow as he was sleeping, I would have gone to jail for the rest of my life. (more…)