Guns, Violence and Roses in America: The Seven Years of the Obama’s Administration

Americans, we’ve come a long way. We have passed through stages and decades of exploitation, physical violence, annihilation, war, racial slavery, hate, racial segregation, power and control, military industrial complex, divide and conquer, The Industrial Revolution, exceptionalism, isolationalism, The Wall Street, NRA, Tea Party, Republican, Democrat, Federalist, Constitutionalist, The Bush’s Wars, The Clinton’s mayhem, The Occupy Movement, Police Violence, and now Trumphism. Americans are good people and we should not forget that. Some would correctly argue that we are still dancing to the drums of some of those periods or events listed above. But as a nation, we’ve come a long way and yet to make this nation great.

Yet, there are those among us willing to do significant harm to others and I don’t think religion is fundamental to that process unless we are spoon-fed with information by the media powered by political motives and selective bias in news reporting to influence us to think how “they” want us to think, act and behave. Humans by nature like to cast blames on others for their errors. If you are a christian we see that from the very genesis of the biblical account of our origin.

We create the images of the violence we see in our streets and in our neighborhoods of our towns and cities each day. A society breeds what we put into it just like a computer processes what we input into the system. If we input trash, we get trash out. Violence breeds violence!! Hate breeds hate. Yet, we can conquer violence with non-violent acts.  Society shapes us and we also shape society.

Today, we have more guns in America than any other time in our history and on planet earth. Guns are now cheaper than food and now proponents see guns as a fundamental human rights contextually contradicting the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Are we “more Americans” with a gun? Or should I say, do we feel more safe with a gun?” Certainly, gun does not make us more American or any safer either. The more guns we have the more it is likely for gun-related crimes to be committed. Guns by itself do not kill people, but people use guns to commit crimes. You could say well I possess gun not to kill anyone except someone who traspasses on my property or someone who breaks into my home, etc and I am within my legal right to defend myself, my family and property. That is a valid point. However, with the number legally own guns and those that are unknown out there our society is doom to see guns-related crimes each and every day!

Guns are now available everywhere and even a little toddler can easily access one from his or her parents. Our obsession with guns and violence are reinforced by video games, movies and the violence that we see in the streets of our cities and towns. Today, we think we are safer when we have guns. Guns don’t make people safe. It is people who make people safe.

More guns mean someone will be shot and killed. More guns means more violence and more violence means insecurity, mayhem, total anarchy, deaths, and injuries, which has physical, economic, social, health, and emotional consequences.

Today in America, mass shooting has become the new normal. We hear about it almost each month somewhere in this country. America is the only industrial country in the global north and east where the obsession with guns breed violence, more violence begets deaths and deaths beget pain and pain begets sorrow, while sorrow begets anxiety of individuals and society. Today, society has become immune to guns, violence and deaths using each to justify the other. Whether guns breed violence or violence is a consequence of our obsession with guns is yet to be answered. However, we need to change this paradigm.

As the news of mass shootings flood the various media outlets in this country both offline and online, one thing is assure….individual and public fear, total trepidation, nervousness, unease, fright, disquiet, dismay, consternation, anxiety, and the most effective emotional state of all “ALARM.” The media in a way reinforce all these aspects and yet waiting for the next hot spot for another mass shooting coverages of all sort.

Right on all of that, we have a very ineffective political system that is bought by lobbyists of all sorts who drag their feet to make decisions on guns control.

We cannot make America great again by allowing our children to be killed. It is our right to defend our country and home and that is why we have military experts for that. Today, one-in-nine Americans has anything between 2-3 guns at home. This excludes illegal guns possessions.

Regretfully and somewhat appreciated for the sake of victims of mass shootings, the President of this country has spend more time giving speeches after the event of a mass shooting than any other issue. It now looks certain that Obama or any other president after the November 2016 election will give some sort of funeral-related speech of a mass shooting or visit those affected areas and families, which is a good thing. However, the frequencies of these trips and speeches seem to be the new normal from the White House.  What we need is not an emotional 30 second tear from a President and the so-called moments of silence for the victims, but action on guns control and an end to it!!! It almost appears certain that our president is ready to give another speech each month as mass shootings become “normalized.”

“We shouldn’t kill people who killed people to tell them that killing people is wrong.”

President Obama has had hard time trying to nail a deal with congressional leaders and those of the house to put some very “tight jeans” on guns.

During the first seven years of the Obama’s administration, we have had 22 violent mass shootings events accomplished cross 14 US States, which include Washington D.C. During this period, we had 240 confirmed deceased (including the perpetrators) with 280 injured.

Understanding this simple principle and rule of life promotes a peaceful world, love and stability. Violence can be defeated by love and love overcomes violence. Love breeds love and not hate. Violence is a product of hate and other bunch of stuff.

Frankly, the violence we see today are not so much about guns control as much as those violence are indications that we as a nation have to come together and really heal our wounds.

Figure 1: Location or Place of Mass Shootings

Figure 2: US States in which Mass Shootings Occurred in the current 7-years of Obama’s Administration

Figure 3: Mass Shootings by States [including D.C.]

Figure 4: Mass Shootings by US Cities

Carbon emissions from 2015 fires in Southeast Asia greatest since 1997: New study

fire-drone

fire-drone


MEDIA ADVISORY


Carbon emissions from 2015 fires in Southeast Asia greatest since 1997: New study

28 June 2016 – A new study of the forest and peatland fires that burned across maritime Southeast Asia in 2015 has found that the carbon emissions were the largest since 1997, when an even stronger El Niño also resulted in extended drought and widespread burning.

Using a pioneering combination of regional satellite observations, on-the-ground measurements in Kalimantan, Indonesia, and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) modeling framework, the study’s authors determined that the daily carbon emissions released by the fires in September and October 2015 were higher than those of the entire European Union (EU) over the same period.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, was carried out by a team led by Vincent Huijnen of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and Martin J. Wooster of King’s College London and the NERC National Center for Earth Observation, and included Daniel Murdiyarso and David Gaveau from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Read about the study on Forests News here.  Access the full paper here.

In September and October 2015, dry conditions and the delayed onset of seasonal rains contributed to extensive landscape fires, with the resulting smoke strongly impacting air quality in the region and the health of millions of people.

This research team is the very first to have measured the ground-level smoke composition from active peatland burning in the region. They combined that data with satellite information to derive the first greenhouse gas emissions estimates of the 2015 fires, finding that 884 million tons of carbon dioxide was released in the region last year – 97% originating from burning in Indonesia. The corresponding carbon emissions were 289 million tons, and associated carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions 1.2 billion tons.

Satellites provided data on the heat output being radiated by the fires, as well as information on the amount of carbon monoxide present in the surrounding atmosphere. From this, the total carbon emissions were calculated by combining those measurements with the newly determined emission factors of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane measured at fires burning in October 2015 outside of Palangka Raya in Central Kalimantan province – one of the hardest-hit fire sites.

“There have been some isolated studies before where people artificially set fires in the lab to try to understand the chemical characteristics of peatland fire smoke in Indonesia. But no one had done this on natural fires, and especially not on the kind of extreme fires seen in 2015. We are the first people to do that,” said Wooster.

The results indicate that regional carbon dioxide emissions from landscape fires were 11.3 million tons per day in September and October 2015, exceeding the EU’s daily rate of 8.9 million tons. Further, 77% of the regional fire carbon emissions for the year occurred during that time – at the peak of the fires.

The scientists also compared their results to those of the 1997 El Niño-related fires in the region.

“In 1997 the drought lasted longer, the fires were more severe and a lot more forest burned. In 2015, fires mostly burned on degraded peatland covered with shrubs and wood debris,” said CIFOR scientist David Gaveau.

The study’s results have wide implications for future research, whether it is in respect to studies of landscape burning or the impacts of fire emissions on climate and public health, and they contribute to better understanding the need for fire prevention and improved landscape management.

“What is important is the applicability of a study like this in helping policy makers to use more accurate fire emission factors to design policy and act to prevent further fires and greenhouse gas emissions,” CIFOR scientist Daniel Murdiyarso said.


For more information about this article, please contact:

Contacts:
Martin J. Wooster
King’s College London and NERC National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Email: martin.wooster@kcl.ac.uk

Daniel Murdiyarso
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia and Department of Geophysics and Meteorology, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, Indonesia
Email: d.murdiyarso@cgiar.org; Tel: +62-251-8622622 (Office)



Article Disclaimer: This article was published at CIFOR on 26th June 2016 and retrieved on 7th July 2016 and posted at INDESEEM for educational and information purposes only. The views, thoughts and findings in the article remains those of the authors. Please cite the original source and INDESEEM appropriately.


 

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