20 October 2016
Gun owners: Let’s talk
Many of you have heard about the event on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Turkey Sag office of Jane Dittmar, congressional candidate in our 5th District. I was the woman that was sitting in Jane’s office when a Trump supporter parked outside, posted Trump signs, and began staring into the office. Even though he was within his rights, this was an uncomfortable situation for me, especially when I was alone in the office. At some point, the protester tucked his t-shirt behind his holster and stood in such a way as to be sure I saw his gun. He has the right to do that. It’s not illegal. Then his friend joined him and also made his weapon visible. I didn’t want to overreact, but I couldn’t help thinking about stories where nothing was done about a person displaying a gun, and the results were horrific. Later, since I am responsible for the volunteers in Dittmar’s office, I felt that I had to make authorities aware of the situation.
Neither Hillary, Jane, nor I want to take your guns away from you. I would love to see more gun safety measures to protect gun owners and their children, as well as the public. But that’s different from saying I want you to lose the right to carry your weapons. If your weapons were still muskets, as they were when the Second Amendment was written, it wouldn’t even be up for discussion. But why didn’t this young man think about how I might feel? I am an older woman just trying to support my candidate. Why didn’t this young man go to some busy location to support his candidate? Does his candidate encourage this kind of behavior, this kind of intimidation?
During this volatile election time, I urge Fluvanna gun owners to show some consideration and constraint on Election Day. We are neighbors. My hope is that I can influence you to consider how your neighbors might feel if you appear at the polling places carrying weapons. You have that right, and I know that. But we all have the right to be comfortable as we cast our ballots in this election. After this election we will still be neighbors.
Every vote counts
This election may be close. It could be a disaster for you if you don’t vote:
- If you depend on Social Security. Trump and Pence want to cut or Social Security or “privatize it” to Wall Street investors. Trump now promises to maintain Social Security and Medicare, but would follow the Republican platform by gutting these programs. Garrett would support those cuts.
- If you depend on Medicare or Medicaid, or if you couldn’t get medical insurance until “Obamacare” forced insurers to accept older people and people with pre-existing conditions. Garrett and Trump would reduce funding for these programs.
- If you want quality education for your children and affordable college. Republicans would reduce funding for public schools and colleges. Democrats will support public education.
- If you want reasonable jail sentences for first-time offenders and want the system to be fair to all people. Republicans want long sentences, not paroles. They believe “safety” is more important than equal treatment for all people. Democrats want equal treatment for people of all races, and want sentences that encourage offenders to get jobs and pay taxes.
- If you want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes. Garrett and Trump would cut taxes for corporations and rich people. Republicans claim that tax breaks create jobs and investments and that money will trickle down to less-wealthy people. “Trickle-down” failed when Ronald Reagan tried it: it made corporations and rich people even richer, but it failed to create jobs or investments. The rest of us were worse off than before. Democrats will make the tax code fairer to average working people.
- If you want good relations with other countries. Under Trump and Garrett, other countries would stop cooperating with us. Our foreign trade would drop. We would be more vulnerable to attack.
- If you want reasonable regulations to protect the environment and ensure health and safety. Republicans would cut the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Health and Safety Agency.
- If you want the Supreme Court to be representative of the American people, not packed with extreme conservatives.
Every vote counts! So make sure you are registered and vote on Nov. 8.
Domestic violence affects men too
Kudos to Ruthann Carr for her excellent and informative article on domestic violence, and thanks to the Fluvanna Review for publishing it in its Oct. 6 edition.
Domestic abuse and violence represent a serious problem affecting our families, children and our communities in general. Public awareness based upon clear and accurate information is the key to reducing and preventing it. Unfortunately the kind of information we see and hear in the popular media is often inaccurate, incomplete, and manipulated to serve particular political or social agendas. Therefore it only adds confusion and does not serve to effectively address and reduce the problem.
Carr’s article is exceptional. Her examples reflect the fact that domestic abuse is not limited to female victims of male perpetrators, but is also committed by women upon their male partners and by partners in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships as well. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in seven men age 18 or older in the U.S. has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in his lifetime. One in 10 men has experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Harvard Health Publications report on its website, Helpguide.org, that as many as one-third of domestic abuse victims are men.
The vast majority of services for domestic abuse victims in the U.S. are for women. Domestic abuse services do what they can to help male victims, but practically speaking the availability of shelter for abused men is minimal. The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognizes the problems that men experience seeking help. Their website, Thehotline.org, provides very helpful resources, as does the Harvard website, Helpguide.org.
Domestic abuse services recognize that men are often reluctant to report abuse by women because they feel embarrassed, or they fear they won’t be believed, or worse, that police will assume that since they’re male they are the perpetrator of the violence and not the victim. If you or someone you know is a male victim, take action and get help. Although it is particularly difficult for men to admit that they are victims, no one deserves to be victimized by abuse.
Donations help people
Dear kind people who donate everything to Goodwill,
A very sincere thank you to everyone who donates clothing and household items and everything else. The difference you make is appreciated very much.
All of the time the words “thank you” are not enough, but when all you can say is “thank you”
It becomes more than enough.