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“How relevant are they really?”

As we enter a race for a new president of the United States, one of the topics of interest pertains to the place in which guns have purpose in our lives. And I am not referring to law enforcement officers, but civilians. The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution clearly states we have the right to bare arms. What does that mean? Does that mean I have the right to bare any arms? Is it limited to certain guns? Or did that mean something different for the time period in which people were living during the time the document was written.

The lines starts to blur between what is an acceptable gun to have and the right to access such guns. Pistols are clearly alright by most, but a high powered gun like the AR-15, tends to rub people the wrong way. Me myself, it’s hard to say because you do have questions. Why does one need something such as an M16, AK47, or the AR-15. What are the provisions one should have placed on them when you want to own a fully automatic rifle. Even the language is subject for debate because gun owners and enthusiast alike disagree with the populace over what is an assault rifle or not.

Well let’s first observe the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The document was written at the end of the year 1791, and since then debates have gone back and forth for the past 225 plus years. When we talk about the 2nd Amendment there are two areas of interest: gun control and gun rights. When taking away the gun (control) you start to infringe on people’s sense of security (rights). But what is a right? Rights are established in a society to give people the freedom and alienable ability to live how they choose so long as it does not negatively effect the lives of others (social morality).

Now when you are lax on the gun, people feel their rights are not being infringed upon. Well what has people up in arms about the topic. In the recent years, there has been a stretch of shootings using high powered rifles like the AR-15. Victims of those lost reach out asking for stricter gun control. While the gun owners feel the laws are fine the way they have always been. But today it’s a fight; between the owners not wanting to give them up and the government trying to restrict usage of certain guns. The government simply says we are trying to lower the risk of higher victim count. Gun owners say the government are using mass shootings as a platform to put policy in place to harm them for others irresponsible behavior.

Being responsible is very important to take notice of. Why? Because the majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. They realize the severity of owning a gun and work to keep themselves from getting into a legality situation. Their argument is that the majority of gun violence comes by way of illegal handguns. Illegal is key because if you’re willing to own a gun unregistered and brandish it in public, you’re not concerned with policy by the government. Another argument is that gun owners feel the government is using a crime statistic, which comes from urban gang violence, to push their agenda. While not addressing that issue (inner city crime), which to them (gun owners) seem like a much bigger problem.

But the government says otherwise in their claims. They feel by restricting the amount of rounds one is able to possess; even in the case of a mass shooting casualties are lessened. We also have politicians who want to go as far banning all guns that don’t fall under the equation of handgun or shotgun/rifle designated for hunting deer and other small to midsize game. The government would further say that when the 2nd Amendment was written, it was suppose to be intended for muskets, not M16 assault rifles. Now gun owners would disagree stating that the individuals then were merely using the technological weaponry of their day. But the rebuttal from the government would be the forefathers could not have foreseen assault rifles. These men were also slave owners, which gives the government an in to imply that the forefathers were not right about everything as well even if you think the forefathers would have agreed.

In the end, the fight will continue between the two sides: those for guns and those for gun control. America already has more guns per capita than any nation globally, quite odd considering we are not in war time. It will continue, so long as the people feel infringed upon and the government feels cause to interfere in ones’ life if they see ones’ life or lifestyle to be morally unfit and a threat to this nation.

Walk Away Slowly: Steps to Take When Leaving an Abusive Situation

There are women cross the country in abusive relationships, both verbal and physical. Having a boyfriend or husband that is mentally/physically abusive and/or controlling to the point it creates fear must be handled with care. It’s bad enough that you are being verbally attacked, but once it goes physical you have to learn to back away slowly. Any man who feels comfort in hitting his girlfriend/wife would take it even further eventually. But backing out quickly could put you as a woman in harms way as well. There are immediate means such as police restraining orders or breaking it off face to face. The first action could force him to leave temporarily, but at the end of the day, it’s only a warning and a sheet of paper. The second option of face to face break-ups could place you in an even more dangerous position. Because now he’s in front of you, meaning in arms length. If he’ll strike you in a relationship, then he’ll most definitely do so during a breakup. So as a woman, what do you do when you are with such an aggressive person. There is a third option of bringing others into the situation, but you only put their lives in jeopardy. So there leaves the fourth option; taking steps walk away slowly.

When stepping away from an abusive relationship, you want to do so slowly. What I mean is a multistep process of removing yourself from the person. As psychologically damaging as the abuser, you have to work to be even more psychological and manipulative. For example, a first step would be playing into the man’s control. You cater to the full extent, without question. You ask why, well because this will create distraction with the person. Cook, clean, do whatever to cater to the utmost of your ability and his ability. To him it may appear he has gained full control, but to you this is the first step in removing yourself away from him. This distraction is the time you need to engage in your next step, a plan. Devise a plan for your exit. This plan can come in the form saving money, searching for a new better paying job, and even scouting cities to completely remove yourself. For example, saving money; some women are with men so controlling they don’t even have a voice over their own finances. Learn a skill, a craft, a side gig to getaway for even a short time period. It could be I’m going to the grocery to store to pick up a few things, yet you’re making moves the whole time. Now this can get dicey, especially if he’s keeping tabs on long you’ve been gone. This might be a time to reach out to a trusted person. Anytime you need to run an errand, have them run the errand while you conduct business. An example would be a woman is with a guy who tells her be back in a few hours from running errands for the house. Her side gig is a beautician; meaning she has one hour to make her money, meanwhile her trusted friend is performing the errands. When that time is up, her and the friend meet, swap food, household products, or any other tangibles and proceed on. The errands are complete as her man demands, and she is able to make her money.

Leading into step three, is the saving of your money; bank it. The great thing about banks, is that they are confidential means of hiding money when you are with such an abusive partner. Open a bank account where you will be stashing your money. Oh and a bit of advice, try not to bank at the same institution as the household money. Because even though banks are confidential, they are not absolutely without flaw. You run the risk of someone telling your boyfriend/husband at the bank, “Hey, saw your wife today, or your girlfriend just left not that long ago.” This is not guaranteed to happen, but could potentially happen. Once you have chosen a banking institution begin to routinely dump money into the account. Don’t think of it as hiding money to escape an abusive relationship, think of it as a short term investment in your mental stability and safety. Changing the wording in addition to your thought process before the circumstance of leaving can create a more sense of urgency. When you can’t make a gig, and he gives you money for a task, learn to skim of top by lying. This tends to be a little more dangerous, but if it’s something he has no prior knowledge of it’s possible. What I’m saying is he gives you money to run an errand, you know a place to get it cheaper. All he knows that he sent you to get something for $50, gave you $50, but you know a place that sells it for $30. If the products look similar, buy the cheaper one, pocket the $20 left and save this amount. Remember $20 is nothing, but it’s an investment.

Step four, location scouting is a key aspect of leaving. Research locations where you want to live once you leave. Depending on your situation, it could be the same city, or more severe circumstances may force you to leave to an entirely different region of the country. Scouting can take place anywhere at anytime. The greatness of today’s society that is different than women of the past is the availability of the internet. The internet has made it possible to scout via anywhere. Now, scouting is so vital also if the woman has a child, especially by the man. The good aspect of not having a child is you’re scouting for you, but when a child is involved you’re scouting for two. As a side bar, when in an abusive relationship keep tabs on everything he is saying and doing to you. This means time, dates, what he said, what he did; everything. This way in your escape it’s easier to get away even with your child. As types of legal ramifications can occur with a child, so show proof of why you’re leaving and why your child is safer with you. Also while scouting, research jobs where you will be living, if a kid is involved schools, cost of living, and proximity of help in case the abuser tracks you down. Going down your checklist, nothing should be left to chance.

Step five, is the coming together of finances for moving. This is the stage when you put down the deposit of your apartment, gather furniture, if a child is involved prepare them for their new school, have moving trucks on stand by. All the appropriate essentials need to be in order for your exit, especially leading up to the day of departure. Clothing should be purchased you are in need of a new wardrobe as well as any other household needs. If you’ve save enough for a car, don’t leave in your new car, go to the car and meet it. You don’t want to leave and run the risk of someone telling you significant other, “Hey, I saw your girlfriend/wife leave a _____ car.” “It was a new _____, the color ____ and she had your kid with her.” You travel to the vehicle, then leave, cover your tracks.

Step six, the departure; leave as smooth as your exit plan. When I say smooth, you leave smooth. It should be as simple as getting up for work in the morning. If he leaves first perfect, if not, then you leave, know when he’s gone and return. Have it all planned how you will take your child away if that applies. By the way, the best time to leave with a kid is during the summer months. They are not in school and it’s easier to matriculate into somewhere new starting the year than in the middle of the year. Make sure clothing is near for easy access, and that’s all you leave with. Forget furniture, let him keep it, for you will have your own in route of your new place. Outside of clothing maybe a family heirloom or some photos. As part of the departure, when you leave make sure wherever you go, be sure to contact the police department immediately. Why, well because you inform them you have left your abuser, this way they know ahead of time in case he is successful at tracking you. Another thing, for the women with children, maintain all documents of times and dates of abuse; even photos if useful. Because once again, leaving with a child can cause a host of legal problems. Be prepared to show documents you have accrued, as well as expressing fear of going to police. It’s a gamble, but women have won these cases.

Step seven, is cutting ties with people who could put you in jeopardy of being harmed. People can’t help themselves, and may inadvertently lead him to your whereabouts. Only people who wholeheartedly trust, and under some circumstances you may have to leave everything behind; even some friends and family. Be prepared to do so, be prepared to start over. Remember that it’s for happiness, your happiness, and your emotional stability. Think about your child if there is a kid involved. And finally, always, always proceed with caution depending on the severity of your relationship. Stay safe and proceed forward.