As one Year Ends Another One Starts

 A Quote on moving forward using the lessons on the past to assist and guide.

 

Well what do you think 2016 will be like? I have been reflecting on the past year, sat here with my coffee and some very nice cake musing on what to write. We have taken a three week break over the holidays next meeting 11/02/16 so not  a lot to feedback.  I am not a resolution making typing of person but I do like to reflect over the year and see what has been good and what has not; finding personal growth that I need to take with me into the new year or abandon as not helpful.

These holidays have been richer by the inclusion of the new friends I have made through the group, who over the past year have shared their culture and themselves with me and whom I have invited to our home to share our Christmas festivities. It has been wonderful, seeing my kids and theirs play together without doubts and fears – other than the normal kids bickering! The adults just enjoying each others company in a comfortable simplicity that is missing in the world today I think.

My mind wanders to the refuges across the world at this traditional time of peace, are there lives any better this year than last. I would hope so but in reality I do not think so. The closing of nations doors to these people in desperate need is the panic reaction of  a frightened populace or their political representatives. Whichever way you look at it we are not only letting these people down we are letting ourselves down. Our nation is so many layers, each one fighting the other and too many people sitting on fences. I know about that because I have sat on one, in fact just got off it to back the responsible gun laws. This year has seen far too many tragedies brought about by the ownership and use of guns. We are suppose to be a civilised nation, leaders in the world but I am sorry to say I do not see that. In fact I am more inclined to support the view of the writers of The Newsroom and  Will McAvoy’s statement on America not being the greatest nation. I love America and want to see it at its best but we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and stop being afraid to change and adapt. So my wish for the New Year of 2016 is to finally have people actually listening to what is being said and done, not just hearing it but listening to it fully, querying maybe not agreeing but actually really listening and then hopefully understanding and positive change will follow.

All the best to you and your families for 2016 lets make things happen this year rather than letting them happen to us.

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Making a Decision to Support Sensible Gun Laws

 

After the San Bernardino Shootings we must advocate for stricter gun control measures

Hi there and I hope all of you have had a good Thanksgiving. We certainly did and I planned to write about it today but events seemed to have overtaken that. It just does not seem appropriate to ignore what again is happening, another shooting, 14 killed and no one really knows why. There is speculation of course, there is ISIS, problems the couple might have had, to be honest at this moment the whys do not really bother me. Its the fact yet again someone has taken a gun and shot a innocent group of people. Not acceptable!

Our group met today and the the agenda went out the window as the discussion on guns flew around the table. As a group we are getting to know our fellow members. We have made great strides in trying to cross cultures and understand each other. We have strengths and weaknesses, not all of them evident but in this we agreed we will support the action for more control over guns.

This is a huge decision for us, and one we have to take back to our communities, some of whom are still divided over this issue. Protecting ourselves with guns is not working, access to guns is too easy and the attitude that violence is the answer or solution to a problem is escalating. In a smaller scale we reflect the bigger picture, we have been reflecting about what our contribution into this arena should be and we erred on the side of prevaricating. Something our politicians are very good at. There is a strong group of folk who defend the right to own guns, to keep their liberty. What is liberty in a society that is turning a blind eye to its own spiralling destruction. I shared a commentary on gun violence that I found by Mike Joseph Stern who writes for the Slate. In it he questions what is the price we pay for liberty and that it is time to reevaluate. That people need to take action, make a stance. Full circle back to our group deciding not to decide in an attempt to not commit. That changed to today, for us this was decision time.

So now we have made the decision we want to see more control over guns where do we go next with it? Who do we talk to? Who do we communicate with?  How do we help initiate these changes? We were a little stumped here, due in part I think to the emotional discussion that preceded the decision making, actually making a plan of action seemed anti climatic. Some discussion followed but will be picked up again at our next meeting; one idea floated, was to hold a community meeting to open out the discussion and our decision. I really do not know if it is the right time or not. What do others think, help us to represent you by sharing some of your thoughts and feelings.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the shootings in San Bernardino.

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When will something be done about the spiralling violence?

 

Gun Buy Back to remove the weapons from circulation

The craziness continues, another mass shooting and so many dead or injured, not too mention the shock reverberating around America, or is it? Are we becoming immune to the trauma, is all the political debate just posturing? Are we as American citizens actually going to do something other than go around in circles and lose sight of the original discussion, are all the debates just rhetoric? I am afraid the last seems to be the political way forward. Obama opens some doors a crack but nothing is happening. Why is nothing happening? What is the hold up? Just for those who can’t remember how many incidents we have had re mass shootings take a look here. Scary

I listened to an Australian comedian explain it, I was actually speechless after listening to it, it actually made sense!! I found the video via Vox but be warned there is some bad language in it. I had not even looked out of the US for anything re guns, never entered my head but have been reading about the Australian gun law. In brief; after a mass shooting of 35 people dead and 23 wounded in Tasmania in 1996, the newly elected government led by Prime Minister John Howard enacted gun control measures. At the heart of the incentive was a huge buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country’s new gun laws

  • prohibited private sales.
  • required that all weapons be individually registered to their owner.
  •  required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.)

Now this weeping gun reform did have support of around 90% of the Australian people, this was shown by public polls and relating that to our country I cannot realistically see that amount of support being given. Alhtough I am totally in favour of us trying. Australian has not had a mass shooting since the 1996 one. I am not saying Australia does not have its violent crime, or that gun related crimes have totally disappeared but the fact remains there has been no mass killings. Surely something worth taking on board. I know we are not Australians but seeing as how we cannot find the answer oursleves maybe we should swallow some pride and look at what others have done and learn from them? Educating ourselves won’t kill us but the guns surely are!!! I also know Gun Buy Back is not a new idea and has been used in the US before but it needs to come from government with support from all states or we will get no where or just continue in this spiralling violence.

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Home Schooling Policy

home schoolingWhat is your opinion on the home schooling  policy that allowed  a Virginian school district the right to question homeschool children and their parents about their religious beliefs?

The concern that was being reported was that parents felt it inappropriate and unconsionable that children would in fact be facing what amounts to an interrogation combined be a school board on their beliefs, an action that would be totally inappropriate and unsettling for both child and parent.  Our concern is slightly different in that the policy appears to  only applied to Christian homeschool teenagers. Now while that might seem Des to be a postitive thing for different religious beliefs, it shows clearly that the policy makers lack of awareness of the religious diversity in our Commonwealth. If the concern is that children are not getting adequate religious instruction that surely that applies to all religions. That this cheap jerseys poicy is against state law seems again to suggest policy makers are sometimes unaware of their remit.  

State Law allows children undergoing  religious training  to be taught at home without having to defend their beliefs. And that is what we wish to see continued as long as the schooling is adequate and that is monitored then interference by school boards into the religious education is not acceptable.  In cheap NFL jerseys this article Ny it as quoted that the ??????????????????????? policy was really to check if homeschool children actually wanted to be homeschooled. Why could they have not just cheap jerseys asked? Why only consider Christian home school children if they think children are being coerced into home school? The policy has been provisionally repealed by the Goochland school board, you probabley wholesale nfl jerseys read in the news but that repeal will be voted on at an in camera meeting of the local school board involved, so the outcome is still undecided. Virginia has excellent religious liberty statutes and to see them threatend in this way is very distressing and raising concern about what might wholesale NFL jerseys come next.  Let us know your opinions on this policy and how it has been implmented and what you would like to see happen.

 

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