There’s been an observation which was pounded into my head many years ago that has led to some unique insights in my life, and that observation has been –

“There are no right answers to the wrong questions.”

This means if no legitimate answers will ever be forthcoming, no matter how many times or the manner in which the question was asked, then the question itself must be changed. All too often we subconsciously insist on remaining stuck in a loop, blindly convincing ourselves we are not in a flawed environment and thinking that if we explore long enough, an exit will present itself.

Now, there is another philosophy I also turn to when looking for life’s solutions, and it involves changing one of the worst questions anyone can ever ask which is, “How can I please everyone?” It’s universally agreed that this path is a dead end, but this doesn’t stop vast numbers from foolishly pursuing what is obviously an impossible task. Not only is it massively unrealistic to even contemplate, I think it’s next to unachievable to even please a majority of people. How then must the original question be altered so that a viable outcome presents itself? If pleasing everyone is completely nonrealistic endeavor, then how’s this for the next best alternative, “Is it possible to piss off everyone equally?” I’ll bet after you’re done laughing a light bulb will start to go off. Here’s the logic of this approach. If it is indeed possible to take an issue and come up with a solution that pretty much upsets everyone on both sides of the aisle, then that solution has strangely caused balance between opposing forces.

I’ll let that sink in for a second…

With this new methodology in mind, let’s apply it to the hottest topic in the United States right now, gun control. First off, for the Love of God, stop calling it “gun control.” It’s insulting right out of the gate, and nobody who owns one is going to align with the idea of being “controlled.” I suppose we could say “There’s no right reaction to the wrong tactic” which is damn close to asking a wrong question to begin with. So, before we go any further, let’s find another more agreeable and sensible headline to the issue. How about calling the topic at hand “firearm responsibility”? Does that sound both less aggressive and more on point? For one, almost everyone thinks being responsible is proper behavior, and personally I prefer the term firearm instead of gun because it’s more descriptive of the function of the item. There’s power and purpose in communicating the correct vernacular, so this step is vital.

Eliminating guns in the United States is, for the moment, folly, therefore pointless and a waste of time and energy. There’s way too much push back from those who both own and manufacture these items. On the other hand the fact that there are approximately two and a half guns for every man, woman, and child in the country (816 million…) is a horrifying realization to those who are uninterested in personal use or ownership. Before we delve further into the subject, let’s look at the law that allows arms.

The Second Amendment says this –

“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.”

Here is where we come to an idea which will piss off everyone when a solution to the clash between those who favor and those who oppose, is sought. Here is where we finally reinforce the first four words of the Second Amendment. On one side are gun owners who insist on keeping their guns. On the other side are people who insist on disarming potential threats. Here’s an idea that will do BOTH at the same time…

Let’s put high regulations on the type of AMMO people can buy.

You want to keep target shooting? Fine, you qualify for all the non-lethal bullets or cartridges you want. You’re a hunter? Okay, you qualify for rounds that will do the job for you, however, the shells will be marked with a lot number and when you want more, you’ll need to turn in a certain spent percentage to get more. Does this sound drastic? Does it allow guns to stay in the hands of gun owners? Does it violate the Second Amendment? Does it bother you that no one will be forced to give up their arms? Does it make you mad just reading this? Good… because here is where we will start building respect for the rights of those we disagree with, which is the real problem un this country right now.

I’m well aware, and actually agree with the observation often repeated by advocates that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” The same can be said about… vehicles. Approximately two thirds of the people in the United States have driver’s licenses. That’s a big percentage when you eliminate the numbers of elderly and underaged. In any case, as responsible citizens, we are in agreement nationwide that those who get behind the wheel (private properties not included here) are required to have passed an aptitude test before they are allowed on public roads. Not only that, if they comply with the law, they are ALSO required to carry insurance so that those who are victims of all manner of accidents have safeguards in place for situations of irresponsibly or unforeseen incidents. It’s also well known that if you drive more complicated and larger vehicles, then a certificate proving increased competence is required along with higher insurance rates. Now, do people indeed drive without either licensing or insurance? Of course, happens all the time. Laws don’t keep criminals from conducting illegal actions, but that’s not the point. Here’s the REAL point. Would the elimination of both licensing and insurance for drivers also lead to an increase of highly irresponsible behavior including a huge jump in the death rate on the roads of our nation? What a stupid question. We have laws in effect because it’s agreed upon by EVERYONE that the absence of said laws would lead to total chaos, so do me a favor, keep this argument in mind the next time you spout “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” If we approach firearm ownership with the same sensibilities as we do vehicles, then does this not now bring into focus as well as enforcement those first four words, “A well-regulated Militia…”? 

And by the way, one more thing…

The idea we have “rights” is not what most think it is. The truth of the matter is ALL rights, even if they are given, are kept by earning them. The reason this is true is because the opposite is true, all rights can be lost. How? Through irresponsible behavior of course. Jails and prisons are full of people who are proof of this observation. Gun ownership is no different because no one would agree with the notion that irresponsible people should have access to lethal methods of solving problems or expressing themselves.

Have fun arguing this solution because in the end, we’ll all end up on the same side because of it.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood



no-texting-while-driving (1)

People debate the topic, but I’ve heard few, if any, solutions. After doing some quick research online I’ve found the top reason for automobile accidents is, obviously, distracted driving. Within this rather broad category texting ranks at the top, radio and personal audio devices come in at number two, and the fifth is eating. Not to put to put my neck in the noose, but I’m guilty of all three, though texting I’ve kept to stop lights. 😉

While there are laws designed to address the issue, they do little to deter those determined to keep up the habit. I drive a lot, and most people (yes, I really do mean more than half) I pass or glance at are preoccupied with handheld devices. I suppose technology will eventually perfect the ease of use with voice commands, but what do we do in the meantime?

So, at the risk of pissing off a lynching party, here is my proposal. I feel a failsafe device could be installed that does two things. One- If pressure and heat aren’t registered in two places on the steering wheel for less than say, ten seconds, then a loud annoying alarm sounds in the cab. Two- All the outside lights begin to rapidly flash letting other motorists know what the offending driver is doing. Yea, I can hear the crowds groaning in opposition already, but I think I can solve their objection to the idea.

Don’t make it mandatory, offer it as either an option or as required by the courts; more on that a little later. If installed, the rates in insurance might drop dramatically, especially for young drivers. This wouldn’t be for everyone, that’s for sure. Many, including myself, like to drive using only one hand, but we are talking about a severe solution to an even more severe problem.

Our vehicles are packed with safety features. To those just beginning drive at the turn of the century some6b1ef39acddee577aad6affd4c0c0389 one-hundred and fifteen years ago airbags, back-up lights, turn signals, seat belts, electric starters, anti-lock brakes, and even windshield wipers would probably come across to those folks as overwhelming, expensive, and unnecessary.  Even today most use most, and a few reject a few. Heck, all of us know someone who still refuses to wear their seatbelts.

Let’s say there’s a driver who has been in multiple incidents where texting was an issue. Perhaps the courts would allow leniency to this individual if they were to install this device on their vehicle. Don’t forget, breathalyzers that will disable the starting system if an elevated alcohol content is detected ARE installed in some cases by court order to monitor and offer some freedom to people who must drive to earn a living. Extreme? You bet, but it IS a solution, at least for the moment. And let’s face it, how hard would it really be to get used to using both hands on the steering wheel if it meant lower insurance bills and in some cases keeping your driver’s license? This seems to be a rather small price to pay in the long run.


I envision a locking battery-powered steering wheel cover that sends a remote signal to the lighting system of the car in use. The interior alarm would also be connected in the same fashion. There’s no way our technology can’t come up with a relatively inexpensive and easy to install  setup.

Those who own and run commercial fleets might want to maintain even more discipline from their drivers using this idea. Let’s face it, they already have the options of speed governing controls and GPS tracking.

I’m open-minded to other solutions but I haven’t heard anything past writing more laws. If you’ve got another idea I’d love to hear it.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

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