#guns #shootings #intruders #visitors
Shoot first; ask questions later.
That mantra may have applied in long-ago wars.
But it seems to have been revived in modern-day America.
A black teen-ager rings a doorbell at the wrong address when he went to pick up his younger brothers.
The house’s occupant, with a storm door between him and the young man, shoots the teen through the door.
By most accounts, no words were exchanged before the gun was fired.
Normally, when someone rings one’s doorbell, the first instinct, if the resident does not know the person, would be to ask, “may I help you?”
If that Kansas City resident had just asked that question prior to using his gun, a young man with a promising future likely would have responded that he was looking for his younger brothers.
Further conversation undoubtedly would have cleared up the fact that the young man needed to go to a different house with a similar address not too far away.
Similarly, a young woman was killed when the car she was in accidently turned into the wrong driveway in Upstate New York.
Since then, two cheerleaders were shot in Texas when they accidentally got into the wrong car. And, a 6-year-old girl and her father were shot by a neighbor upset that a loose ball had rolled onto his yard.
These incidents reveal not only a fear of the unknown, but also the impulse to deal with that fear by using a gun. They also reveal that inadvertent mistakes can be very costly – but they shouldn’t be.
Certainly, one has the right to protect his or her home, life and belongings from intruders.
But, shouldn’t one ensure, to the best of one’s ability, that visitors, even ones who may be lost or have mistaken a destination, are not intruders who intend to harm or rob, before using lethal force?
It could be argued that other factors may have contributed to the reactions. It also could be argued that if one does not act first, and the (perhaps mistaken) visitor is indeed an intruder, that the resident is more likely to be the innocent victim.
Perhaps it may come down to the type of person one is, or the views of the outside world that a person holds.
But it still rests on assumption of the worst without necessarily having a reason for such an assumption.
One could ask what might have happened had the resident not owned a gun, or not had his gun readily accessible to take to the door.
But few would dispute one’s right to protect his home.
But that right of self-protection does not give the person the right to shoot someone for no apparent reason, because he or she made a mistake and went to the wrong place.
One could ask the shooter whether he or she had ever made such a mistake, and what kind of reception he or she would expect from a stranger for making that mistake.
The lesson here may be to ask before shooting. Or, at least, tell the person to keep his distance until the purpose of the visit is ascertained. If the person refuses, or otherwise threatens, then all bets are off.
A few simple words – “may I help you?” – can prevent a lot of tragedy.


#QuietQuitting #jobs, #employers #employees #GiveItYourAll
The phenomenon is called “quiet quitting.”
Workers do the minimum at their jobs so they can pursue other things outside of work.
Michael Smerconish featured at segment on this on his CNN show Aug. 20, 2022.
He interviewed a young engineer who was doing this at her job, so she could pursue an entrepreneurial side hustle outside of work.
Smerconish asked her the obvious question, to paraphrase: if your side hustle doesn’t work out, how do you think your current, or future, employer will feel about you?
Though it’s advertised as something relatively new in the workplace, it’s very likely that others have done this in the past.
It’s been said that if a job were not work, they wouldn’t pay you. It’s also been said that a worker, particularly a young worker, should not expend the entirety of his or her energy at a job. Instead, he or she should do what he or she needs to do at work, and save energy for activities at home, hobbies or, yes, even side hustles.
To be fair, some jobs pile more stress on workers than the compensation covers. Some employees resent that, but stay in the job anyway, for whatever reason.
On the other hand, as an employee, you should feel enough dedication to your work, and, yes, to your employer, that you give that employer your all – within reason.
Some jobs with narrow descriptions often expand into other duties, and an employee might resent that. “It’s not my job, man.”
Still, employees should feel enough dedication – not obligation – to their employers to do what needs to be done, if they have the ability, even if the duties are not spelled out in a job description.
Make no mistake: some employers will sense such dedication and take advantage of it.
The solution seems to be an employer-employee relationship in which both parties are not just satisfied, but enthusiastic. The employee will do what is asked, expected and more, while the employer happily compensates them well. That compensation may not be entirely financial. It can include creating a work environment in which the employees feel not just appreciated, but cherished. The employer-employee relationship should be less transactional, and more of a bond.
Such environments don’t exist everywhere. In fact, some may say such environments are rare.
Today’s tight labor market makes it incumbent on employers to make their workplaces such that people want to come and stay. And, while they are there, the employees WANT to give it all they have.
But, employees have a part to play. They have to create their own happiness at work. In some places, that is not possible. But, if the employer is making the effort to create a good culture, the employee has to make the effort to embrace it.
There is nothing wrong with side hustles, or having cherished activities outside of work. But, if you have a job, give it your all – again, within reason.
Another lesson here may be that if you are a “quiet quitter,” don’t advertise it to the world.


#NashvilleProtests #StateLegislatures #guns #SchoolShootings #AssaultWeapons #LegislatorsExpelled
Recently, thousands of students walked out of schools in Nashville, Tenn., and elsewhere to protest the Tennessee legislature’s lack of action to deter school shootings.
The previous week, six people – three adults and three 9-year-olds – were killed in a shooting at Covenant School in Nashville.
The capitol steps were overwhelmed with students, parents and others calling for mitigation measures to deter gun violence.
As Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, there are more school shootings by far in the U.S. than in any other country.
Yet, as Downey writes, some legislatures seem to value the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over second-graders’ lives.
In fact, two Tennessee state legislators were expelled from the House of Representatives, and a third survived expulsion by a single vote, for joining in the protests.
But the legislatures nationwide can learn from the Nashville protests.
First, the legislatures’ agendas may not be the same as those of some parents, students etc. Some of these protesting students will succeed the current occupants of legislatures one day, and their vision of a safe society may be very different from that displayed by some legislatures today.
Therefore, legislators of today can either begin taking measures to mitigate gun violence and gun possession among those that should not possess them, or they can leave it to the next generation to start to fix the problem. By waiting, there is no telling how many more children will get shot.
Better security in schools is a great idea, but given the power and availability of sophisticated and deadly weapons today, potential assailants can just shoot their way past security. Therefore, more security may save some lives, but not all.
The framers of the Second Amendment could not have had any idea that such killing machines would be created, and how certain members of the public would cherish possessing them as their “right.” Back then, it was all about defense against colonial tyranny, and the sophisticated weapon of the day was a one-shot-at-a-time musket.
Downey points out that there are more guns than people in the U.S. The more guns we have, the more likely it is that some, if not many, will end up in the wrong hands.
Also, some life happenstance can quickly turn some law-abiding gun owners into people who are no longer law-abiding.
If a law-abiding gun owner loses a job, loses a business, loses a loved one or has something else happen to him or her, does he or she suddenly feel so helpless that he or she may be tempted to take revenge, even against people who may have never wronged him or her?
In summary, as may have been demonstrated in Nashville, the next generation will have had a different experience with deadly weapons from that of their current elders. They may not be so easily swayed by those whose interest is in selling more guns.
When that generation takes over the political arena, attitudes likely will be very different. We, as the current generation, can do those children a big favor and begin to act now. Very few object to gun ownership for recreational, even self-defense purposes in some cases.
But the weapons that can expend multiple bullets very quickly are neither recreational nor defensive. They are mass killing machines. What purposes, other than evil, does it serve for so many of these weapons to be in the hands of a wide civilian population?
We can either begin to fix the problem now, or, certainly, the next generation – some of whom would have heard or witnessed gunfire in their schools as children – very likely will.


#systems #stress #SystemsUnderStress #GovernmentalSystems #machines
When you nail, screw or otherwise attach something, the first thing you do is pull on it, or put weight on it, to make sure it is secure.
When you put a system in place, you don’t always know how well it will work until it is stressed.
That goes for all systems, including governing systems.
Many governing systems today are under stress, including those in the United States, Israel and other places.
Such systems have been stressed before and survived. Today’s stressors, however, may not be like past ones.
In many ways, these are tests for the security of the system. But these realities are more than tests. They can determine the survival of the systems.
Think of these as not just historic moments. Think of them as first-in-a-lifetime stressors.
How a nation emerges from these can give its people assurance that the system works, or can show them how easily it can be abused, misused or even destroyed.
The people of that nation need to hope and pray that not only will the system survive, it will be better for it.
As with any other stress test, there could be temporary breakdowns. Things can go wrong. Hopefully, things won’t go so wrong that they cannot be repaired.
As people of such a nation, we must not deliberately interfere with the system. We must let it play out. If the system is to work into perpetuity, we must accept the outcome, whatever it is.
Of course, we can have opinions. Of course, we can debate how things SHOULD work. Such discussion is not only healthy, but can help make things easier or better when the next stressor comes.
Think of it this way: if you have a machine that is under stress and working very hard, do you stick your hand inside while it is running? In most cases, you don’t.
When it stops, or if it breaks down, then you get into it to make repairs.
Many times, the machine will not only tolerate the stress, it will do what it is supposed to do.
Governmental systems don’t stop when under stress. They usually do what they are supposed to do.
Sticking one’s hand in the middle of them while they are running is perilous.
When the stress is done, it then is incumbent on all of us to evaluate how the system performed, and, perhaps, make changes so it performs better the next time.
When there is unnecessary interference, we may never know how well the system would have performed.
In short, if the system is designed well from its inception, it will perform properly under stress.
Let the system do its thing. Eventually, the stressors will be gone and the system will show us how well it did.