Tag Archives: US

Guns or Roses? The Statistics of Concealed Carry Incidents in US

Guns – they are there to protect you. However, in the wrong hands, they can be deadly. And we obviously mean that as literally as possible. The news is packed with school shootings, street gun fights, terrorist attacks – it makes you paranoid even if you see a shady person fidgeting with a pocket.

Now, some would day that guns are good things: if every sane person had them, they would prevent the lunatics from committing mass murder. They would be the rose that protects the masses.

Still, are all those people good guys? Indeed, they might have a license to carry a concealed weapon in public – and they likely won’t end up thrown in jail if a cop found them carrying the gun. If they have a license, they are harmless and responsible. Or are they?

The Attempt to Prevent Shootings

In 2007, it was fairly easy to get a gun permit. Anyone who was over 21 years of age and was otherwise not prohibited from holding a handgun (for example, a felon or someone that was deemed mentally incompetent) could have a gun permit. Your average next door neighbor Joe could have a gun in his pocket and you’d have no idea.

In 2016, however, Barack Obama took it upon himself to decrease the risks of mass shooting and violence. He took executive action that every gun holder should go through extensive background checks, as well as psych evaluation. If they even had a shadow of doubt that there was something wrong with the person’s composure, then they would not receive the right for a license.

So, why did he do that? It’s fairly logical, if you really think about it. Statistics show that in 2016, the United States had nearly 300 million guns – which means one gun for practically every citizen of the population.

These guns can be used in two ways: for offense, and defense. What raised the question of security, however, was the fact that in only a year, countless gunfire casualties occurred. Thousands of people were injured – and thousands lost their lives because of it.

The Gunfire Statistics

Casualties caused by gunfire and concealed arms were fairly widespread in 2015. There were a total of 372 mass shootings that year – in which 475 people were killed and another 1,870 were injured. Mass shootings are incidents in which four or more people are injured or killed during a single shooting – including the shooter.

The situation looks rather gruesome when it comes to school shootings as well – and they are getting worse over the years. In 2015, there were a total of 64 school shootings – which is a small number compared to the 346 school shootings that happened in 2017. The statistics of how many of them have a permit have not yet been revealed. However, considering that most of these shootings occurred in college, it s likely that they owned a permit for these guns.

Over the years, there were also many other mass shootings involved. In 2017, an incident at the Hollywood International Airport led to the death of 5 people and the injury if 5 others. The gun holder, Esteban Santiago, had a permit for concealed carrying – which is why no one initially questioned him about the fact that he was carrying a gun. Esteban was, in fact, a killer with a permit to shoot.

The Dangers of Concealed Gun Carrying

Let’s say that the gun is in possession of a mentally-balanced person that would only use the gun for self-defense or for the protection of another individual. That is generally the case when it comes to these gun holders – and in most cases, the civilians are safe.

However, accidents can sometimes happen. Just like people can lose their bags, IDs, or things, they can lose their gun. These guns can end up in the hands of criminals or mentally-deranged people – causing even more casualties. The original intentions for carrying the gun may have been god – but the results may end up being disastrous.

When people start carrying guns around with them, things will eventually get heated. If there were no guns around, things could have easily been thwarted. But nowadays, even a relatively sane person can have a breakdown and hold up a gun. If they don’t shoot the people around, they will be shooting themselves with it. About half the suicides in US are committed by concealed handguns.

Final Thoughts

Concealed handguns may seem like a good way to protect yourself – but the ease with which they are given is certainly concerning. The psychological tests are more thorough now – but people are also smarter.

Plus, since those permits last for a very long time, you can’t know when something can go wrong. You can buy it simply for defense – and then use it for offense after you had a breakdown. They are literally roses: they make you feel better with their scent, but they can also prick you with their thorns.

How McDonald’s coffee cup lawsuit affected the legal system?

McDonald's coffee cup

The film ‘Hot coffee’ is a documentary that looks into law reforms in the United States. It focuses mainly on tort reforms that have changed the course for the judiciary within the country. The film was made by Saladoff, who has had over 25 years in the medical malpractice industry of the legal system.

This film looks at how the legal system was severely affected by a spirited campaign that ultimately led to a weaker civil judiciary. It assesses the impact of the right wing crusade on the ultimate fate of the civil laws that govern the country. The film Hot Coffee shows the need to abolish tort reforms to protect the American public.

Hot Coffee focuses mainly on the Liebeck v. McDonald’s case and also known as “mcdonalds coffee cup lawsuit“. In the film, it presents a case of greedy clients who sought to manipulate the judicial systems so as to earn millions in the process. Looking at it further, the audience comes to understand the underlying truth of it all.

From one angle, it shows how the American public was duped into supporting anti-tort reforms that promoted its evils. It shows how major corporations were able to turn the public against tort reforms, by portraying their apparent shortcomings. It looks at the details of the case which the American public never came to fully understand in its entirety.

The case was about an aging 78 year old woman who spilled coffee on her lap while trying to put cream and sugar. She was at the moment seated at the passenger side of a parked car. The coffee caused second and third burn degrees on hap lap and the jury ultimately awarded her $2.7 million. The public however, believed that she spilled the coffee while driving.

Major corporations within the United States have worked had to push their agenda for tort reforms at the expense of the general public. There have been several cases in which the public has been duped to believing that all of them are frivolous lawsuits brought against large companies. However, the tort laws are supposed to be in the interest of the public. Companies have funded tort reforms so that they can be able to shield themselves from expensive lawsuits and compensation.

The torturous stories presented in the film, such as Jamie Leigh Jones’ show how companies have worked hard to alleviate any liability that would be laid on them. Thus it allows these companies to be able to escape responsibility with just a slap on the wrist. Tort reformers argue that unlimited money judgments affect corporates, and disrupt the American society, but this is not reason enough to remove liability. The punitive measures are meant to protect the public from negligence from the corporations themselves.

The tort reforms being pushed forward will cause more harm than good for the American public. The legal system is meant to protect the public from such exploitations. Frivolous lawsuits exist have damaged the reputation of many companies, but in a few of them, the cases are founded on strong evidence, thus need to ensure that the plaintiff gets justice.

The film Hot Coffee presents a strong case for why the American public should not support tort reforms. Viewing the cases presented in the film, one is able to understand the overall impact of these cases. We also get to analyze the case from a critical point to understand the information.

Does it Take Three to Tango? Russia, China and US Relations

Russia, China and US Relations

What does it mean “to tango?” Well, this metaphor can be seen in a good and a bad way. Technically speaking, the tango involves a variety of moves made by two partners. Sometimes, the moves may be in tandem – other times, they may be moving in the complete opposite direction.

Like when couples brawl, make up, fight again, someone sleeps on the couch, and then they get together again. This dance is tense – but at the same time, it makes you wonder: what will happen next?

The Political Tango

Since the first world wars, there were several tangos. Russia fought together with the Allies of World War I, making a team with the United States in their fight against Germany. In World War II, Russia once more fought alongside the United States – pushing back the Axis force.

During the Cold War, their tango started taking yet another direction. Russia and the United States were making different, opposite moves – this time, one against another. But this is also where the tango took a third “person” – namely, China.

At first, China danced with the United States – leaving Russia to watch their tandem dance. They were all in synch – until China started going through a civil revolution of their own. Russia started doing the “opposite” tango again with the United States.

A new republic was founded in China – and the country started to dance again. This time, however, it was Russia who stepped in. After China and Russia have formed an alliance, they were going after the United States with new forces. It was a “teasing” dance, where everyone showed off their moves – although there were also several “jumps” that made the war into a violent one.

The dance was long – and the moves were very complicated. The “dancers” became tired, and they decided that the dance should come to an end. This is when a summit was called to sign a truce. For now, the world should be at peace – at least, for a little while.

The Tango Continues 

Once more, these three powers show that the tango is not the same just with two “people” – and Russia, China, and the United States once more began  to dance. Russia had its presidential election in 2018, China had its 19th Party Congress, and Trump was beginning his second year as president.

This, obviously, paved the way for new relations between the nations. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jimping already had a close personal relationship – which means that they would dance in tandem at this point. They would do joint military exercises, energy agreements, and joint economic development to make both nations grow stronger.

Trump, on the other hand, started this tango again, in the opposite direction. The US saw Russia as a “rival force” – which is why the nation started working on its military power. It eventually became a dance of “my moves are much better than yours.”

At this point, you could say that the US moves make Russia and China dance much better together. The new trading taxes from China to the United States put China at an economical pressure – creating more common ground with Russia this way. The fact that US warships keep sailing through the South Sea of China doesn’t make things any easier.

At this point, however, Trump is at least trying to restore relations with Russia. When the two presidents met at Helsinki, they alluded to the possibility of an alliance. Talking about the past collaborations between the countries, they agreed that two nations with great military power should not be in conflict with each other – but in alliance with each other.

There are, however, people that believe this to be unlikely. During a discussion at Carnegie-Ttsinghua Center, several scholars discussed the future of the nations – as well as the future between them. They believed that Russia would always try to aim higher – with Putin mainly focusing on making Russia a leading power. While still trying to maintain a peaceful line, Russia and the United States are still in a rather tense relationship.

In the meantime, the relationship between China and Russia is getting stronger. While China may still fear the implication of an alliance, the fact that the United States is stepping on both their tails is actually pushing the two states closer and closer.

The Conclusion?

This is just as a tango should be: several moves in tandem, others in opposition. Each move is a consequent of the other – which will reach to the final dance. At this point, we can’t say for sure how their tango will end. China and Russia are in synch, and they are getting better. The United States is trying – but it still trips every now and again. What we do know is that every dancer is at least trying not to step too much on the other one’s toes.