Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh, you're 18? Here's a gun. (On gun control in Texas)

Possibly the most heavily debated topic in politics across the United States, (and even more so in Texas) is gun control.  Since the July 20th shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight premier of "The Dark Knight Rises," 'gun control' has been the main topic of news.  It's even been trending nationwide on Twitter, and is the elephant in the room when it comes to Texas' constant leniency towards the issue.  
Now, Texas of all states, is the most lenient on gun control.  An individual only needs three qualifications to be capable of buying firearms:
1. You can't be a convicted felon within the past 5 years of release or parole.
2. You must be 18, or have parental consent if you are not of age.
3. You cannot be confined in a penal institution.
I know what you're thinking...Let's just all go buy guns now.  In all simplicity, we could.  That's where our biggest problems occur here in Texas.
As seen in the shooting in Colorado, this man has to have some mental corruption to go and try to kill a theater full of teenagers and young adults.  (Let's be honest, how many adults or grandparents do you see at a midnight premier?)  Texas, of all states should re-look at the qualifications to bear firearms in the state.  While, we have a constitutional right to bear arms, there should be some disclaimers to this.  
First, we need to have a way to perform a more elaborate background check.  This could be detrimental in preventing loons from getting a hold of a firearm.  I'm talking, a background check that even mentions recent divorces or bar fights to recent diagnosis' for bipolar disorder/depression.  While these may seem like random events that have nothing to do with guns, divorces can be a huge cause of mental instability, which may then be the justification for someone to shoot up a school or public event.  A simple bar fight, on the other hand, could determine short temperament and aggressiveness, which could easily transfer into a quick trigger.  And, more controversial, is the background check involving what medications the person is taking.  While, yes, this impedes on an individual's right to privacy, (as promised by the constitution) these individuals are most susceptible to shoot up a room, or cause harm to themselves by having access to a firearm.
Finally, the state needs to take a look into the kinds of guns we are distributing.  Joe Blow, at a gun show, could walk away with a M-4 military grade rifle, and a magazine large enough to take down a whole movie theater easily.  Who's to say he won't?  That's where the state needs to step in.  There should be a limit on magazine size for handguns in the state of Texas, as well as the inability to so easily access anything over a hunting rifle.  I honestly think this could help ease the wave of distress falling over our state.  
If we can make a dent in gun control and prevent loons from having the access to firearms, we may have a better sense of security across the nation, and especially across the state.  The first stage of action is to change the ease of gun trafficking in Texas.  From there, we could try to implement a more rigorous background check, that (hopefully) keeps our great state off of national headlines when concerning gun control.  But, this all has to start with a gutsy politician because no one approaches this problem in the state of Texas.  It gets swept under the rug for generations when, in reality, it is the elephant in the room as of 2012.

That's the way Scott sees it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mudslinging: A Dark Art at its Finest

In the latest mudslinging battle between Romney and Obama for voters in this year's election, Obama has been accused of quite an offense.  According to "My Way News," Romney accused Obama of classified material leaks.  This takes mudslinging to a new level.  If, indeed it is proven, this could be a huge detriment to Obama's success in this year's election.  He was accused of leaking classified details about the U.S. raid on Osama bin Ladin for political gain.  
From the TexasFred Blog, Obama's discipline for office is brought into question.  In the blog commentary of the article "Romney accused Obama of classified material leaks," the editor is clearly disgusted.  If it isn't apparent from the first line of the commentary, the editor is clearly anti-Obama and probably a Republican (while we can't rule out a smaller party affiliation.)  The editor is clearly reaching out to all the Republicans and people that are on the fence about their decision for this year's election.  He/she even states that "If Barack Hussein Obama thought it would win him a 2nd term in office he would leak the current nuclear launch codes..." This is quite a harsh statement for someone to make when all the offenses being brought to light aren't even confirmed.  From this statement, the editor loses all credibility.  While yes, Romney did accuse Obama of leaking classified material, the editor takes this accusation too far.  This, is why I believe the editor to have no credibility.  He/she goes as far as to say "Obama is NOT a leader...he lies to America, he will bow to world leaders...etc."  On top of these rash statements, there is little to no evidence to back up the claims (only Romney's word at this point.)   
If this isn't a non-credible source, I'm not sure what is.  The editor throws way to much of his/her personal dislike for Obama into an article that has yet to even be proven.  The only claim this author has in the whole article is that Obama is not suited to be a presidential candidate and cannot be trusted and how he would sell his countries secrets in order to be elected into office.  
Now, while I am no Democrat, and I surely will not be voting Obama this year, this accusation and accompanied exaggerating is one step too far.  The editor lost all class in this article as he chose to pull out anything and everything he could think of (poorly) of Obama.  I am not a fan of mudslinging, especially to the degree this author took, so if anything, I'd say it only upset me about my own party's ruthlessness.
Let's stay classy Reds.

That's the way Scott sees it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Perry: Ignorant, or Insightful (on the new Affordable Care Act)

If it isn't apparent from the headline of this editorial, this critic is obviously not pleased with Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of the new health plan proposed by President Obama.  He entitles it "For better health, pay Perry no mind".  He/she briefly sets the scene then gets straight to the point.  The editor is obviously displeased with the amount of uninsured individuals in the state of Texas.  Almost 25% of our population (or 6 million people) ranks #1 in the nation in percentage of uninsured persons.  Even though this policy would cost a mere 15.6 billion dollars over 10 years, the editor quotes that Tom Suehs (the state's health and human services commissioner) expected an expense more like 27 billion dollars.  So, in the editors mind, this seems to be a no-brainer of a deal to implement.
Although the editor seems completely pro "Obamacare" (as it is referred to across the nation), he/she concedes an argument for the other view.  The editor poses the question, is whether the cost of the plan is more significant than the cost that the plan will shift to those Texan taxpayers and those that are already insured.  If those that are under this Obamacare choose to abuse the insurance plans and overuse emergency rooms for even minor medical needs, taxpayers in the area will feel the hurt in their wallet as the April 15th deadline draws nearer.  Instead, the editor suggests that because these newly insured people (almost 2.3 million by 2023) would be more inclined to make regular doctors visits and thus stay away from expensive ER problems down the road.
From the wording of the article, I'm sure this one is written with the hopes that the 6 million pairs of eyes that aren't already insured stumble upon it.  It has a sense of hope intertwined between the lines on the editorial.  No doubt, this was the intention.  While, I don't particularly agree with the critic's main thesis (that Perry was wrong to decline this plan), the writer does point out some major flaws.  Texas does happen to have the highest percentage of uninsured individuals in the nation.  In the editor's mind, this translates to "Texas would benefit the most from Obamacare."
While this author does voice his/her own opinion, it is a very credible article with substantial evidence pointing out the weaknesses in our state.  There is a good concession to the other side of the argument which also establishes credibility.  The editor concludes while "The Affordable Care Act isn't an elixir that will cure everything that ails American health care," this plan is a step in the right direction.  While I can't argue with that, you won't find me at a rally supporting this particular movement.

That's the way Scott sees it

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No to "Obamacare"?

Currently, as a pharmacy technician, just about the worst thing you have to tell a customer is, "Ma'am I'm sorry but you are in the 'doughnut hole'."  This is what may become commonplace in pharmacies across Texas if Gov. Rick Perry does go ahead and decide to deny "Obamacare".  The 'doughnut hole' (as it is commonly called) is a term coined to state that once an individual has used up a certain dollar amount quota, they must begin to pay out of pocket for their medications for the rest of the year.
States were granted the right to deny "Obamacare" that would add roughly 15 million people nationwide that are currently not eligible for Medicaid to help subsidize medication costs.  If this federal policy is denied by Rick Perry, almost 1.3 million Texans (about half of the uninsured population of Texas) would be denied this newly eligible plan.  They would be forced to stay in the doughnut hole unless the policy was accepted by a successor of Perry.
This decision is aided by the already strained budgets of the federal government, as well as the "lack of confidence that Washington will honor its financial commitments in the long run". These two reasons, as well as the years of frustration with Medicaid's mandate that limit state choices and shift costs to the federal government, are the main stipulations in Gov. Perry's reason for denial.
As I see it, this article is very crucial to all of us in the beautiful state of Texas.  If this policy is accepted, many of our hard earned dollars will be sent to the government to pay for other people's medications.  I, for one, believe that the government already takes enough out of my income, so I'd like to do as much as I can to keep it there (as opposed to being taxed heavier to pay for "Obamacare".)  This article is a gem, and definitely worth reading, because if Obama is elected into office this fall, this could be the future.

That's the way Scott sees it.  

States saying no to 'Obamacare' could see downside