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Both my loyal readers know that my days are filled by doing nothing all day long and rarely being done by bedtime. So goes nothing.

I don’t know about you but I have to say that our mean-spirited milieu has been coming home to roost. When our current president ran for office I repeatedly noted on these pages that "words matter" and that crassness is not a healthy thing for a civilization to adopt or get desensitized to.

Like most folks, I’ve become desensitized to the latest mass shootings, they have invaded our social order and like a metastasizing malignancy we’re being invaded by a prejudiced, bigoted virus, similar to Ebola.

We can’t seem to eradicate this cancer. Some of us blame access to guns, some of us blame parents, some of us think it’s racial, some of us think it’s religious, some of us blame capitalism or socialism, and all of us seem to want our government to do something.

My question is what is it that you want our government to do or better yet what can they do? The bottom line answer is not more than we the people allow it to do. The government could not only outlaw guns it could confiscate them. Of course then only outlaws will have guns. They could ban assault weapons with 100-round magazines (not many hunters use those) but what do we do about those that are already on the streets and easily accessible on the black market? Do we jail those who violate the gun laws?

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My answer is that I think weapons of war should be fully regulated and those who carry a gun should exhibit the ability to use it safely before being allowed to own such a weapon. To me it seems like it’s more important to license the folks who want to take on the responsibility of owning a gun than it is to register the guns. After all, we are told time and again that it’s not the gun that kills, rather it’s the person with their finger on the trigger. And that would be my opinion.

Back to what do we do about someone willing to massacre strangers in a mall, school or gathering. We could quit gathering in places but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. We’re already being watched and it’s not uncommon to see a video of the latest incident so that's not a solution. We’ve heard the stories of the good guy with a gun taking out the bad guy with the gun, but those are rare and although I think I’m a good guy I don’t want to wear a gun. Besides, those things are dangerous. Both my loyal readers know I’m quite capable of shooting myself in the foot at any given moment.

So what can we do about all this? Maybe the best we can do is stand up to the mean-spirited cacophony that has permeated our milieu. You know, the liberals versus the conservatives, each side thinking that any sense of give and take will bring life as we know it to an end.

Every serious religion in the world teaches some sort of golden rule that indicates to all of us that when life is over we will not be measured by what we did for our self, rather by what we did for the world around us. Did we do our best to build inclusive islands of health composed of compassionate people that do all they can to leave this place better than they found it? Or did we do all we could to eliminate those who differ from us? It’s up to you.

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Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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