Guns in America, the endless debate starts again

The mass shooting in Las Vegas from this month has so far killed 59 people and has caused the injury of over 500 people. According to police, one gunman is responsible for the carnage that was left behind. The shooter committed suicide when police entered his hotel room.

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Photo of people trying to hide during the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada in the USA. Google Images search.
LV Shooting Google Images
Photo of hotel gunman was at when he was shooting people at he concert. The winds shown in the lower right is where he was shooting from. Photo from Google Search Images.

But, not only is this another national tragedy for the United States, it has restarted up the debate about gun control. This is a very emotional hot topic in America and there is no easy solution.

The Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution reads: “Article the fourth… 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.” According to this part of the document that the United States was formed by, it is pretty plain, the RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

I think this leaves no room for debate, everyone has the right to keep and bear arms in the USA. One gun or thousands of guns, we have that right to own them all.

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Guns and ammo, they are a part of America, just like our apple pie and ice cream.

It seems that guns have been a part of the United States since the very beginning. There are many different opinions on being able to carry a weapon in the USA. You are reading mine now. I have been around guns, rifles, shotguns, and pistols almost my entire life. Since I was 21 years old and even to this day I have always carried a weapon with me most of the time. I have a valid concealed carry permit.

So, back to the shooting. According to Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account she wrote to put politics aside, but then makes a political statement in the same tweet. She says to fight the NRA “to stop this from happening again.”

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Photo of Hillary Clinton from a search by Google.com, images.

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Okay to Hillary and all the other people who want to change our Constitution. Let’s just say for the sake of argument a law was passed to outlaw weapons in the USA. Would this have stopped what happened in Las Vegas? I don’t think so and this is why I say this.

After the 1998 Port Arthur Massacre in Australia the Government passed the “National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996”, restricting the private ownership of high-capacity semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing.

I visited Australia several years ago. While there I was speaking with a friend that lived there. He told me that the government bought weapons from the people and didn’t care if they were possessed illegally at the time or not. After this law as passed there was a period of time to turn in your weapons.

He went on to explain the police warehouses were “stacked to the ceilings” with weapons. I also spoke with a police officer while I was there. The laws are so strict in Australia, the police officer cannot carry a weapon home and must account of all the ammo after each shift when they turn the weapon and ammo in. By the way, this was within the past 7 years I was there and they were just starting to change of from a revolver to a semi-automatic weapon.

Yes, gun deaths are down in Australia, but they still have homicides and mass murders. The difference is that most are committed with chains, axes, knifes and various other means. The thing to understand is if someone wants to kill someone, they don’t have to use a firearm.

Now, where does the USA rank in homicides worldwide. Not including wars and suicides, the United States ranked 107 out of 218 countries in homicides in 2014. We are not even in the top 100 countries. This report was put together by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. According to same study, firearms was the choice of weapons in the majority of murders worldwide, there were still many that did not include firearms.

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Now, the people who want to regulate firearms will tell you if we regulate the firearms, instead of 50 plus dead, there may be only 3 or 4 dead. Wow, that’s great, unless you happen to be one of the 3 or 4 that was murdered.

The bottom line here is no matter what the USA does, people will always find a way to kill other people. This happens all over the world, in many different countries each day. So, with keeping this in mind, I will keep my firearms so I can defend myself against people who would like to harm me and my family.

The Southern Shout Out has spoken, now it is your turn.

It’s not a protest, it is disrespecting our country

Forest Gump said it best in the movie, “stupid is as stupid does”. What does it mean? It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you do something stupid, it is still stupid.

NFL League
The NFL Emblem, ©National Football League. Obtained from Bing Images.

I just read a news article that said POTUS is a racist because he challenged the NFL players and their manner of protest. I saw another article that had the headline of Trump is trying to do away with the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. Has the main stream press gone “stupid is as stupid does”?

It’s not about race and it’s not about freedom of speech. It is about disrespecting our flag and National Anthem, which filters down to disrespecting our country. Sure, it is okay to protest, but there are other ways to do it. In my opinion, the way you protest shows where your heart is at.

Just because POTUS makes a stand (which I support) a lot more players and owners decide to join in and disrespect our country. So now, let me ask this. Does two wrongs make it right, of course not.

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Statement from the Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on the NFL players showing disrespect for our country. Photo from Facebook, Carolina Panthers post.

These players and most owners do not care for our country, they care about their wallets. This is why they stand together. They think it will help their bottom line, however they may be surprised on this one.

If this was just a race thing POTUS would have used a racial slur or word in his rebuke of the practice of taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. He didn’t. Players of different races are disrespecting the country we live in so POTUS wasn’t talking to just one race. Please explain to me how it is a race thing.

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President Donald Trump, current United States President 2017. The photo was downloaded from bing images.

The main stream press has to have a reason to exist, so they create reasons. Just like this issue of disrespecting our country and changing it to a race issue. They know they get more readers by making something to be racial.

I heard one of the NBA players making out how POTUS was showing the wrong example to everyone by doing what he has done. He went on to say POTUS was the leader and in the highest position in our country and was not leading properly. Wait, the NFL players are showing the wrong example, stupid. These players and heroes to our kids are showing disrespect to our country.

POTUS is doing exactly what POTUS should be doing. Standing up for our flag and the United States of America. The NFL players should be playing football while in front of the cameras, not protesting in our living rooms and bars through the medium of television while being paid to play ball.

Until the NFL changes the way it is doing things and shows its players can respect the country we live in I will not be watching anymore professional football games. That is a real protest, maybe some would call it a boycott. Now, I lived for the NFL season, but I love my country more than football. When the NFL starts losing money and sponsors over this, it will change. It is a money thing.

Congress should immediately revoke the NFL’s charitable status if they still have it. In 2015 the NFL was still a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.

If this disrespect of our country spreads to other sports that I watch, I will no longer watch them as well.

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The NFL Boycott meme was downloaded through google.com. It from the website of downtrend.com.

There seems to be a national movement to boycott the NFL football games on November 12th, the day after Veterans Day in the United States. Even if it is very successful the main stream media will say it failed just so they can get more reads. However with this being said, I am okay with this boycott.

You can call me “stupid is as stupid does”, but I still love my country.

My additional article on this subject can be found by clicking here.

The Southern Shout Out has spoken, now it is your turn.

Acme-McCrary steam whistle is silent – for now

The Acme-McCrary steam whistle is silent for now. According to Brenda Johnson, Director of Human Resources for Acme, the steam whistle stopped blowing on May 8, 2014. One of the few departments that were left at the downtown location was moved to another location. The steam whistle operated from steam that was generated by a boiler. That boiler has not been used since the move on May 8.

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Brenda Johnson beside an photo in the offices. Photo ©Bill Ballentine

Do you miss the whistle or do you have any memories about it. Share them in the comments below. 

Although an exact date is not available, she believes it started bowing in the 30’s or 40’s.

The whistle has been a part of the Asheboro community for 75 years or more. Many people remember it blowing and they would look at their watch to see if the watch was accurate. What a lot of people don’t know is that the whistle was manually blown at 7 am, 12 noon, 12:30 pm and then at 3:30 pm, which was later changed to 3pm. The whistle would remind employees it was time to start work, go to lunch, and come back to lunch and then when you could go home. So the whistle was only as accurate as the person that was supplying the steam.

The last person that was responsible for that process was Don Hill. Don worked in the maintenance department and he was the man that controlled so many memories of that sound. He started to work for Acme-McCrary in May of 1999 and he still works there today.

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Don Hill standing beside the steam whistle that no longer blows in downtown Asheboro. Photo ©Bill Ballentine

I asked him if he was ever late blowing the whistle, he grinned and said “Maybe just a couple of times.”

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A photo of the now silent steam whistle on the roof of the Acme-McCrary building in downtown Asheboro. Photo ©Bill Ballentine

John Ogburn, the Asheboro City Manager remembers the whistle. He remembers as a boy growing up in the Greystone area of Asheboro hearing it blowing at 7 am. He knew it was time to get out of the bed. When asked if he would like to hear it blowing again, he responded with “Even though it is part of the past and nostalgic, it may need to stay in the past. If it was to start up again I hope it would be a signal that manufacturing at the Acme McCrary downtown facility has restarted.”

I can remember growing up many blocks from downtown and hearing the whistle blowing. It always reminded me of the time when I heard it.

Mrs. Johnson supplied a copy of a “Letter to the Editor” that was written by Nancy Stevens (date unknown) which was published in the Courier Tribune. The beginning of the letter started with “After listening to the Acme-McCrary whistle for almost 90 years, I didn’t realize I loved it until someone complained about it. It would be interesting to know how many people have listened to that whistle and fed, clothed and educated their families by listening. If it stopped blowing, I would miss it. Hope it blows loud and clear as long as I live”

Mrs. Johnson at its peak the downtown location had as many as 300 employees. Now it has around 75 employees and most of that number is office people since the downtown location is the corporate headquarters for Acme-McCrary. Neal Anderson is the current CEO of Acme-McCray.

In case anyone is wondering, the longest active employee that is still working there is Irene Cox. Congratulations on working there for the past 66 years. She started in 1948.

The Southern Shout Out has spoken, now it is your turn.

The NFL and not standing for the Anthem

Shaming the flag, shaming America

Another season is here for the National Football League (NFL) and another season of multimillion dollar babies not standing to respect our country. It is not about free speech, it is about the NFL not policing the players. Now let me say this, the average player makes $860,000 per year in 2015, so not all of them are multimillion dollar babies.

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Just as they should be, proudly showing their colors. The United States Flag and the Christian Flag. (Photo ©William Ballentine)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should be ashamed of himself for not standing up for America first. He has claimed in the past that it is not an enforceable action for the NFL to take. Please tell us Commissioner why it is not enforceable? It seems that the NFL can hand out fines for uniform violations, end zone celebrations, fighting, the way the players interact on the field with the referees, and actually other things I haven’t mentioned. But, this isn’t enforcable, really?

I believe it has more to do with revenue than with being enforceable. It seems that the NFL is more concerned about the bottom line than with the best in line for our country. Here, one of the most watched and followed sports in America has the chance to say enough is enough and do something positive for our nation, and they don’t do anything except let the disrespect go on.

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The NFL Emblem, ©National Football League. Obtained from Bing Images.

The sponsors are caught in the middle of this issue as well are the owners. The sponsors have to answer to their board members and the owners have to answer to their fans. The owners hands are tied by the NFL.

Then there is the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). I am sure they want to stay as neutral as possible so they do not hurt their image with the players, the NFL or the fans.

Now, let’s just say a little about the freedom os speech thing. I agree we all have freedom of speech WHEN WE ARE NOT ON THE PAYROLL OF SOMEONE ELSE. These football players are employees of their teams and are paid by the teams, through a process of the owners sharing profits, which is another issue.

The players should have to act in accordance with what the teams want, not what the players want. In North Carolina you can lose your job by doing “your thing” while on the time clock of your employor. Heck, some have lost their jobs for doing their thing while they were not on the time clock.

I would like to see the sponsors stand up for our country and start pulling ads from the television networks and the NFL.

The owners should start including in the contracts of the player conditions that the player has to stand for the national anthem and show the proper respect for the flag as defined by national protocol. If it is in the contract then at least the fans and the sponsors know if the teams are patriotic or not, depending on how the teams take care of the issue.

If the player violates this contract he could be suspended by the team, fined by the team or be fired by the team without penalty to the team. In other words, the team would not have to finish paying out the players contract.

As a last effort the NFL teams should remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. After it is finished they should come onto the field.

You can click here to read a second blog I have written on this subject.

Now in closing let me say this. I understand this is a very complicated issue, however it would seem the NFL really does not want to take care of the problem. If the NFL does not want to take care if it, maybe it is time for others to force the NFL to take care of these multimillion dollar babies that think their demonstration is more important than showing respect for our nation.

I would be amiss if I didn’t take this time to say thank you to the many players that respect our country and our flag at the beginning of each game.

The Southern Shout Out has spoken, it’s the readers and followers time to speak. Leave your comments so others can read and comment.