HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAY!

Today is Ray Bradbury’s birthday. He would have been 96. So, today I thought I’d treat myself to a gift to honor the author. Among my list of favorite authors, Ray Bradbury roosts upon one of the higher perches. Even the back of my business card is adorned with a Bradbury quote…

I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows, or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.

So, today I found an interesting photo of Mr. Bradbury and had it printed at the local drug store, where I also picked up a simple picture frame. Now on the shelf above the desk where I do most of my writing, Ray Bradbury roosts as well to perhaps serve as a muse.

raybradburyphtoYeah… It’s a little “beefcakey,” but damn if it ain’t Ray Bradbury. I also have another photo perched above my desk to serve as a muse—my daughter, Jean Louise…

jeanlouisemuseI look forward to the day when I introduce Miss Jean Louise to Mr. Bradbury’s work.

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Originally posted on my “dad blog” — DAN a.k.a. DAD.

It’s my normal practice to steer clear of political debates on the internet. Generally it is a no-win situation with whoever you are “debating” with in regards to whatever issue you may be “debating” about. A “dad blog” might not be the ideal site to discuss political issues, but in this case I am making an exception.

While it’s been awhile since my last post regarding my experiences with fatherhood, I did have a post ready to go up today–but this is not it. I was going to discuss a much lighter issue than gun control. But dammit, I’ve had it. With the combination of the recent tragic event in Orlando and watching the news coverage on television while my nearly six month old daughter blissfully coos away unaware in her playpen has brought me to a point where I’m just not going to be compliant any longer. I have always been a proponent for gun control, while still believing in the fundamental rights of the 2nd amendment of the United States of Constitution–which reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

If you ask me, the public Militia necessary to the security of a free state isn’t being very well regulated. Now, I’m not looking to debate the matter here and have turned the comments for this post off. I am using this forum, as well as my other blog at GeekPunk.com, and Facebook, to post my views regarding the current state of gun control and my hopes for a safer future for my daughter.

Personally, I do not own a gun. I’m not necessarily against ever owning a gun. As a kid I had my own .22 rifle and went shooting a few times under adult supervision. As an adult I’ve got to the shooting range and fired various handguns. If I do ever own a gun you can be assured that it will be locked in a case, with a trigger guard, stored unloaded, and it’s presence unknown to anybody other than myself and my spouse. That, or it will be kept at a gun club or firing range since that will likely be the only place that it’s ever fired. But, I don’t plan on ever owning a gun.

But, we’re getting to a point in our so-called civilized society where our law makers seem more concerned about matters of gender when it comes to marriage and public restrooms than they do about victims of mass shootings. I shouldn’t have to be cognizant of where and how I’ll dug for cover when I’m at a public event or location with a crowd–let alone how I’ll shield my daughter from gunfire should the need arise. But, the current events–including the recent tragedy in Orlando, FL–dictates otherwise.

As of this posting there have been 178 mass shootings within the United States so far this year. Since the firth of my daughter January 3rd there have been 658 people wounded and 284 people killed due to mass shootings.

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As of January 01, 2013 there have been 1213 mass shootings in the U.S. Also, 0 days since last mass shooting. (Four teens shot in Fresno on June 12, 2016,) This information was obtained from massshootingtracker.org. Yes, there is a website dedicated solely to the tracking mass shootings in the U.S.

I’m not addressing the “pro gun” folks out there. You have your believes and your opinions as to your rights, but it’s just not worth the argument. I am addressing those of you that believe there should be more suitable gun control in this day and age, or those of you that haven’t given it much thought. If you’re “pro gun” go ahead and click your mouse on the “back” arrow and go about your regular web surfing.

Alright. Still with me?

Again, I’m not “anti gun.” I’m also not “anti car.” But, I don’t believe that you should hand the keys of a souped up race car to anybody who can drive to take a spin around the block. Again, I refer to “A well regulated Militia…” as stated in the 2nd amendment. You have all read or heard the argument about if guns were regulated in the same fashion as automobiles.

As for cars there is a title and tag at each point of sale. In order to operate a car their is driver training as well as a written test and practical test in order to obtain a license to operate the vehicle. Certain health requirements must be met in order to retain your license. Each vehicle must have liability insurance. And, there are regular renewals and inspections.

As for guns… Nada. At least not to the degree of vehicle ownership and operation. Again, if you’re pro gun and feel that there is no cause or reason for gun control please go about your business as this post is not for you. Now, if you’re concerned about the current state of affairs when it comes to gun control and public safety, or you’ve just been passive regarding the matter thinking that there’s little to nothing you could do about the matter, I’ve got a favor to ask you.

This is an election year. There are a total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress up for election this November–34 Senate seats and 435 House seats. Your current lawmaking representative may very well be up for reelection and you should learn if you share the same opinions when it comes to gun control. You can find out who your representative is in the United States House of Representatives by entering your zip code here. This site will provide you with means in which to contact them and to express your views regarding gun control and ask what they as lawmakers are willing to do make matters safer for their constituents and their families.

Here’s another nifty thing that you can do regarding your representatives… Go to OnTheIssues.org to find exactly where they stand on gun control and other issues. You might as well have some ammo if you’re going to volley your concerns with your elected officials.

And, while we’re on the subject of gun control, let’s talk about one specific firearm that has the dubious distinction of being used to slaughter first graders, movie goers, and holiday party guests, as well as 49 nightclub patrons this past weekend in Orlando, FL . The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was used in the following mass shootings:

Dec. 2, 2015 — The AR-15 was one of the weapons Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik used to kill 14 people and wound 22 more in an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

Oct. 1, 2015 — Christopher Harper Mercer fatally shot and assistant professor and eight students in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. He was armed with an AR-15 and other weapons.

June 7, 2013 —John Zawahri was armed with an AR-15 when he went on a rampage at the Santa Monica Community College outside of Los Angeles. He killed five people and wounded four before he was killed in a shootout with cops.

Dec. 14, 2012 — Adam Lanza used an AR-15 purchased by his mother to murder 20 first graders and six staffers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He used a handgun to kill himself as the cops were closing in.

July 20, 2012 — The AR-15 was part of James Holmes’ arsenal when he opened fire during the midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

There is no need for a civilian to own an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The gun is not ideal for hunting nor home defense. The gun is however, ideal for killing people–many people in a very short span of time. This gun has a military-spec trigger and a magazine capacity of 30 rounds. One does not need a license to buy or carry a rifle like the AR-15. And unlike a handgun which has a three-day waiting period when purchased, there is no such waiting period for an AR-15.

AR stands for “ArmaLite rifle,” after the company the developed the gun for use by the U.S. military in the 1950s, and the military version (M-16) is nearly indistinguishable from the AR-15. Colt currently holds the AR-15 trademark, but various versions of the gun and its parts are produced by over 280 manufacturers.

So, maybe we can concentrate our efforts by at least getting this gun off of the market and considerably more difficult to obtain than walking into a local gun shop after having a bad day. Please consider signing the petition to ban the AR-15 from civilian ownership. (Note: I actually woke up in the middle of the night last night with the thought to draft such an online petition. It turns out that I’m not the only one with the same concerns.)

I’m tired of it. Please do me a solid and give the matter of gun control some serious thought and if you feel that we as a society or seriously lacking proper procedures for gun ownership and civilian safety then I ask that you let your views be known to those that represent you in government. If not for me, do it for my kid.

Thank you, and remember to vote this November.

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