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Society & Culture

Cultural Preservation is Our Right

With no say in preserving your local and national culture what is the point of being a U.S. citizen?

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The presumption that anyone who seeks to control immigration, and to maintain the key facets of their culture, is automatically racist or xenophobic is beyond absurd. In 2015, Europe received one million migrants on top of a massive influx that had already arrived.

The 500 million population of Europe can, perhaps, absorb such waves but many communities are unduly impacted. One long-standing community in Germany, totaling 102 people, braced for 750 asylum seekers.

This bureaucratic blunder represented nothing less than the desecration of that town’s mini-culture. As the New York Times reported, “The influx is testing the limits of tolerance and hospitality.” In essence, those who don’t have the background, language, or customs of the long-standing villagers, or even any empathy for them, de facto were granted the capability to overrun the town.

‘Progressive’ Cultural Destruction

What terms are there for such cultural destruction? Who said that wanting to keep things relatively the same is an evil human characteristic? Do the Japanese not wish to maintain their culture? Or Thais, Finns, or Ethiopians?

Going back three generations, Turkish immigrants invited to Germany as workers have not assimilated, and if anything, have grown more apart from the surrounding host culture. Did Germany seek this? In massive enclaves both in North America and throughout Europe, particularly Denmark, Sweden, England, and France, little assimilation is occurring. Many immigrants make meager or no effort to learn the host language. Many do not adhere to the quintessential values of the existing culture.

In the United States, was it reasonable to go from 9.1 million Hispanics in 1970, to 35.3 million in 2000, to 61.0 million today (of which 15.7 million are illegal)? Suppose they’re all good people and productive citizens who make a solid contribution to society: Their sheer numbers contort society and we never had the chance to vote on the issue.

With refugees flooding Maine, did the state’s citizens choose to have a mini-culture of Somalis? In limited numbers, such immigrants certainly can add character and flavor to communities. In overwhelming numbers, they swamp the culture, often in undesirable ways, leading to cramped schools, higher crime, and bursting budgets.

Assimilation, Fast and Slow

One could make the argument as Arthur C. Clarke did in Childhood’s End, a science fiction book no less, that in the future all countries would be hosts to all types of immigrant populations because assimilation around the earth was inevitable. When such assimilation occurs over 200 years, existing norms and structures can endure. When it happens within a matter of weeks or months, and even years, it has proven to be too fast, depending on the numbers.

In California, where Hispanics now outnumber Caucasians, income and education levels have not significantly risen in decades. Hispanics do not populate the honor rolls of integrated high schools and do not go on to top colleges on par with their Caucasian classmates. Disparity still exists. One can offer a variety of assertions about socioeconomic status and so on, but after many years, the results speak for themselves. While California was not flooded overnight, the larger culture has nevertheless been irrevocably altered.

Off-the-mark Bromides

What society does not have the right to protect its culture, and to bar those who would not assimilate or respect the laws? The zeal with which some people support unbounded, uncontrolled immigration prompts others to think that they are insane.

The immigration zealots issue off-the-mark bromides about “melting pots” and “nation of immigrants,” but they do not understand the short as well as long-term ramifications of flooding societies with people from different cultures who, in many cases, will never assimilate. This is cultural suicide and the phenomenon confounds those to the right of center.

Some people, left and right, regard unfettered immigration as pure madness. As a U.S. citizen, if you do not have any say in preserving your local culture, as well as American culture in general, what is the point of being a citizen?

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com



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Life

Twelve Thoughts about Work and Life

Never write-off others because they are too old, too young, too rich, or too poor; each has wisdom to impart.

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Every person on the planet has some knowledge that could benefit others, including the people you work with everyday. Never write-off others because they are too old, too young, too rich, too poor, or for any other superficial reason. You’ll be surprised by the wisdom you can gain by simply listening with a non-judgmental ear.

I could be right or I could be wrong, but my life experiences have led me to the following observations. I hope some benefit you:

First Six

1. Do not lament that you’re not smarter than you are, or that you’re not as good at something as you would like to be. You can accomplish nearly anything you want through hard work. Your skills develop over the course of your life, and you can develop new ones. Maybe your boss will foot the bill for training, or maybe you have to enroll and pay for yourself. Further, recognize the things at which you are adept and put your talents to use, rather than struggling to excel in the wrong career.

2. It is of little use to dwell on the past and wish you could change it. Making mistakes and feeling as if you’ve squandered time is a natural part of life that happens to everyone. Anew, view your youth with a healthy perspective; while you might have squandered some time, you probably also accomplished a lot and had some fun along the way.

3. Never become so caught up in dwelling on your mistakes that you fail to seize present opportunities. You have time left in your life to move on and use it productively.

4. Regard change as a recurring event. It’s a part of life and certainly part of your work. You won’t be the same person at 30 that you were at 20, or the same at February 25, 2020 that you will be at 40 or 60. Growing in all different ways is a good thing. If you went through life with the mindset of a 20 year old, you would miss a lot of the joys of adulthood. While change can be disconcerting at first, each stage of life becomes more (or at least as) enjoyable and fulfilling than the previous one.

5. Make a constant effort to grow. Challenge yourself mentally. Explore different means of spirituality. Place yourself in new social situations. Unfamiliar scenarios are usually a little frightening at first but, with time, the unfamiliar becomes the familiar, and you’re glad you took the chance. Move out of your comfort zone and explore.

6. Stay flexible. In our rapidly changing society, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the technological innovations and information you think you need to absorb in order to function productively at work and even at home. Rest assured that everyone feels the same way. Remaining flexible is key to maintaining productivity. Find ways to make the changes in your work life advantageous.

Second Six

7. Life is a continuing process, and there is no one point when you become magically grown up and have accomplished everything you wanted. If there was such a point, what would you do when you got there?

8. The nature of life is to constantly grow and change, and there is always more to learn and experience. Be wary of feeling as if you have reached the pinnacle of all of your experiences and accomplishments. If you become complacent, that point really will be the pinnacle of your life, since you won’t feel compelled to achieve even more.

9. You only have so much time and energy in your life. To feel fulfilled, you must choose what things you want to spend most of your time and energy doing. Choosing your priorities might take some soul-searching, or they might be obvious. Is family most important to you? Or, do you envision a time-consuming career? Whatever your interests, you must define your priorities in order to be productive. You can try to have a dozen different ‘priorities,’ but they will hardly be priorities, and you likely won’t pay sufficient attention to each. Decide what few things are important to you, and spend most of your time and energy supporting those priorities.

10. Never underestimate the power of your attitude and the effect it has on your perceptions. In general, people see what they want to see. If you’ve heard something negative about a person before you meet them, you are more likely to dislike that person right off the bat, regardless of anything they do or say. The same holds true for almost every situation in life: There are both beautiful and horrible things in the world. If you think positively, you’re more likely to notice the beautiful things. If you think negatively, you will pick up on all the not-so-great things that occur.

11. Many people seem to blame the mistakes in their life on some unseen force that constantly brings them down. They think they are just unlucky or that others are out to get them. For the most part, this is not the case. Almost everything that happens to us results from the choices we make, consciously or unconsciously. Not choosing becomes a choice in itself. Don’t ignore the tough choices you will have to make.

Blaming fate for your misfortunes leads nowhere; taking control of your life and the choices you face does. To empower yourself, recognize the choices in your life for what they are and consciously make the best decision you can. Something completely random will happen to you occasionally and you have no control over that. Still, realize that most of the things that happen to you don’t merely “happen to you.”

12. Making effective decisions can be difficult. The best decisions result from careful thought. However, don’t ignore your gut feeling about something. We have instincts for a reason, and such instincts don’t often lead you astray. Sometimes it is detrimental to overthink an issue; instead go with what ‘your little’ voice tells you. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t realize you already know. The subconscious is a powerful thing. When you can harness some of that power and put it to use in the conscious world, you will find that the things your little voice tells you are usually on target.

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Society & Culture

Visiting the Gun Range 101

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Photo courtesy of Patriot Outdoors, Inc.

Does it Surprise You?

Does this surprise you? There are many factors that have contributed to the increase in firearm sales last year. Already knowing it was an election year, we had some added “scare” factors which we reacted to that led to this increase. Fears of gun ban legislation in one form or another by states and potential federal action by then potential new administration. The unprecedented outbreak of rioting across the country. To make matters worse, there was an amazing amount of illogical rational by state and local governments not enforcing law in many left or left leaning cities and states.

They literally threw gas on the fire by exacerbating law enforcement agencies with threats of decrease in funding, further scrutiny (some justifiable) but also leading to a notable decrease in officers on the streets.

So, more than ever Americans started coming to their own conclusions. “What should we do if we call 911 and cops aren’t going to show up or can’t show up fast enough?” Answer: “Well, maybe we need to protect ourselves!”

Myself, being in the industry and personally witnessing and assisting the rush of thousands to the stores and ranges for guns, gear and more importantly training was indeed unprecedented. The look of bewilderment of these first time visitors to a gun store or range was alarming. Fear in their eyes and money in hand they looked to us for answersand solutions

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Did You Know?

Did you know in the first seven months of 2020, we added easily 5 million Americans to the ranks of the existing 100 million new gun owners nationwide.  Oh, wait there’s more… A stunning 39.6 million FBI background checks were conducted and at the end of the year we Americans purchased over 40 million firearms and increased ammunition sales by 139% from 2019.

Further surveys indicate that 58% of firearm purchases were done by black Americans, while women initiated 40% of all purchases. Firearms retailers also noted that sales of firearms had nearly doubled, and ammunition sales were up 139% from 2019.” ~Americas1stfreedom.org

How to Visit the Gun Range

If you put all of that together common sense would dictate there are millions of unaware Americans needing knowledge, skills and a well rounded view of what to expect when going to a gun store or range for the first time. The statistics show already this year that millions more are flocking to the stores for gun purchases and training. I’ve been asked by the awesome staff here on politicrossing.com and many others over the years, how to “bridge the gap” or interpreting gun range or store protocols to the average all American.

Gun Ranges 101

Ok, here we go! So, How do you pick a range? I’m here to tell you that with the hundreds upon hundreds of ranges across this great nation, they are not all created equal! There are many ranges that are stellar and then there are those that are just “trying”. Like any business in any industry you will find that people make a business and we as humans are all not perfect. However, since people make up a business; you as a consumer should want the best experience possible. So, look for the best business possible to give you that experience.

  • Customer Service is Huge: Look up ranges in your area on www.wheretoshoot.org, google maps, yelp and on social media outlets. A good range facility will keep up with their content. You want to go to a range that has two key positive components
    • Product Knowledge: Do they know what they are talking about?
    • Industry Experience: Not everyone behind the counter needs to be some “billy badass” looking guy or “tough chick” with a cop or military background to get you great service or advice. I’ve personally brought staff on with little to no experience but what they did have was a care for others and a willingness to learn and those staff members I have cherished over the years and made my companies flourish! Bottom line, find someone who shows they care!
  • Location: Not all ranges will be in the most convenient locations, due to politics, price of real estate and encroaching negative demographics forecasting a ranges potential demise. Ranges seem to find themselves off the beaten path. Whether indoor or outdoor, I have found that to be true.  Just understand they all won’t be perched in the easiest to get to retail locations. Look for their website and directions and make sure it’sconvenient for you.
  • Essential Gear: Once you have picked a range, you’re on your way. Even if don’t have a gun with you already, you’re going to want some gear if you plan on shooting at all.
    • Gear Bag– find a range bag is what we call them, large enough for a couple handguns, ammo boxes, maybe even a first aid kit “I’ll talk about “medical stuff” on another video”.
    • Eye & Ear Protection: When you go to an outdoor range, any pair of good eye covering sunglasses will do, I prefer Smith and Oakley’s. However, when you go to an indoor range, you’re not going to want to where sunglasses due to being indoors. So, you’re going to need clear or yellow or other lighter colored shooting glasses to where. When it comes to ear protection being deaf sucks. Grab a great pair of “over the ear” ear muffs and “Listen Linda” don’t go cheap. Invest in a decent pair of Peltors or Howard Leights they range from 50-125.00 will do.
  • Questions to Ask: Now that you’re in the facility, looking around, they are going to know right away that you’re new. Here are some questions that will help you speak the native tongue and raise some eyebrows and just show that you’re serious and a little industry savvy!
    • Gun Rental and Gun Sales counters: Know the difference. Ask which one is which so you can start either handling one for a rental or handling one for a purchase and then ask if they have the same model to “test drive”.
    • Which caliber of ammunition does this gun use? the most popular handgun caliber is the 9mm. depending on your abilities or disabilities and hand size and body frame will typically determine what you may be comfortable to start with. Basic marksmanship classes will start you off with a .22. which has minimal recoil. If you’re wanting to start with something for defense right away look for a .380 “which is a short 9mm” or if you like a wheel gun (revolver) a .38special will suffice, but the most popular by far is still the practical 9mm.
    • Which gun manufacturers do you recommend? Now there’s a loaded question! Depending on which gunslinger is behind the counter and the shirt they where will determine that answer as well as their experience level. I’m going to just drop the mic right here though.. The Top 5 manufacturers out there that are guaranteed to stand the pressure of every day use on the street and in combat are: Cz, Glock, HK, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield Armory. My personal tried and true gun models are the Glock 17 (full size 9mm) and my Sig Sauer 365XL every day carry and nobody knows I have it on with 26rounds of ammo on me. Contact me on Social for more insight, I’ll be glad to assist!
    • How do I get on the range? There are many types of ranges out there and each have certain protocols. The main protocol is for you to provide your ID and sign a waiver, whether digital or on paper.
    • Other questions to ask: Do you have instructors available? What’s it cost to get on the range? Do you have memberships? Discounts? What are the range fees? an I get this gun in pink? Where’s the bathroom? Can I rent multiple guns? Can I get a lesson for class for a fee or included if I get a membership?
  • Safety First: Two phrases I want to burn into your subconscious brain to help ensure you become not only an intelligent person upon your visit but a safe individual and potentially a responsible armed citizen.
    • Finger Discipline: Keep your finger off the trigger and outside of the trigger well. there is no need to touch it at all until you are loaded up on the range and are cleared to shoot.
    • Muzzle Management: Point the gun in a safe direction always, a safe direction will be a directionthat for any reason the gun was loaded and you pulled the trigger or by an act of God the gun “went off” it would not cause personal bodily damage or “nominal” property damage. See Video
  • On the Range: Now that you’re on the range and hopefully with a staff member, let them guide you on the Gun 101 handling basics and how to start shooting,{you can also see my other videos on getting a grip and choosing an every day carry.}
    • “If you don’t know go slow” {I’ve taught this for years} You know we learn by crawl, walk, run. That means you can’t accomplish something fast and accurate if you’ve never done it before.. You gotta start somewhere, relax, have fun and enjoy the ride. Your goal should be to take it all in, slowing everything down and being patient with your learning this new skill will help reinforce confidenceand remove fears.
    • Correct, Continuous Repetitions: The old saying “Perfect Practice makes Perfect”. You don’t want to build bad habits. Understanding neuroplasticity and how we take information from the conscious to our subconscious mind requires us to complete quality reps. Therefore, when you go slow you will sealing in those good fundamentals which will build upon your successes.
    • Be Happy with Small Successes: Whether you just hit the paper or create any level of consistency on the paper when you are shooting, be thankful for any level of success. Your positive attitude will take you farther than anything. Be thankful for overcoming the initial fears of just being on a range. Be thankful that you are learning something new and it may take longer than you think to achieve your goals.  Just like in life, being content with our progress whatever it is helps us evolve into a better more well rounded person.
    • Note to Ladies: I have found over the years teaching thousands of women that they are, indeed, better shooters out of the gate. They are quite different then us men. They don’t come to train with fragile egos. They tend to be more coordinated, listen and learn more intently and their results show it!  

That’s A Wrap…

In closing, there’s so much to learn. Please get good quality advice from those that live and breath high industry standards for safety, crucial and relevant training, product knowledge and customer service.

I’d like to thank the wonderful staff and leadership at TSR {Ted’s Shooting Range} in Queen Creek, Arizona for allowing me to utilize their staff and facility to shoot the video. I walked in not knowing a soul there and was greeted with positivity.

When I explained my intentions they were willing to assist Which means a lot for them to care for thousands that will read this article and watch the video for the betterment of our fellow countrymen who are on their quest for shooting success. It’s comforting to find a great example in the industry of caring people who care about their business and those that are within their care. Go see them if you’re in the area!

That’s all I got for today, stay tuned with me on social media and please subscribe to my channel on youtube. If you would like for me to share my insight on a subject that you have of interest; please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or look me up on my social accounts!

 

Godspeed & God Bless,

Stephen D. Powell

~The GunLife Coach

 

 

 

 

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