Problems With The NRA

The NRA Has No Right To Tell Doctors To Stay In Their Lane, Stay In Yours

It's time to unload the BS.

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These past few weeks have been a tumultuous time in our nation's history in regards to the prevalence of gun violence across the United States. On November 7th, 12 people were killed in a mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, with the suspect identified as 28-year-old USMC veteran Ian Long. This tragedy joined the more than 308 mass shootings that have occurred in the United States within the year 2018 alone.

A fair majority of these atrocities have occurred in populated areas, perpetrated by a male shooter with an appetite for destruction and a lack of regulation regarding how he was able to obtain a weapon without proper registration and licensing. In light of such a serious amalgamation of horrific instances, pressure has come down from survivors and witnesses of these crimes to control the flow of the firearms industry so that those who are not responsible enough to handle them with care don't retain possession of these killing machines.

Typically, the NRA (which claims to be a noble entity protecting the sacred doctrine of the 2nd Amendment as guaranteed by our Constitution) has routinely fired back at those who dare to argue against the obvious proliferation of guns into our culture and the subsequent massacres that result from a lack of acknowledgement of the threat of gun violence.

They claim that the only thing that can stop a "bad guy with a gun" is a "good guy with a gun" — except that in the only recent instance that occurred, the good guy was killed by police. It's almost as if the NRA is categorically terrified of any attempts to reduce expenditure and utilization of firearms, as potentially evidenced by their almost ludicrous donations to Republicans who lobby against any premise of gun control.

I am no expert on the usage and proper treatment of firearms. I am not well-versed in gun safety, the history of gun culture in the United States or in any other nation, or the economic benefits and downsides of a thriving firearms industry within our national economy.

However, I cannot help but feel that we as a nation cannot ignore our glaring gun problem, especially since our country has homicide rates approximately six times higher than that of Canada, one of our closest neighbors in terms of development. I also cannot help but feel outraged that the NRA would dare to treat the doctors and healthcare providers that work to save the lives of shooting victims with such utter contempt by telling them to "stay in their lane" — as if their opinions on the issue do not matter, despite the fact that they are the ones picking up the pieces of their patients after the smoke has cleared and telling the families of those who have died how exactly their kin was murdered.

This is as much a public health and medical issue as much as it is a political issue, and as such, the opinions of health providers deserve to be weighed in on this matter in order to reach a comprehensive conclusion regarding the nature of these horrific realities.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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