Chapter 8
Chaos is the ladder used by the corrupt, to gain influence over the weak. 

Suuclick-suuuclick-suclick-suclick the elevator glides past each floor as it’s sucked through the conduit like a piece of ice within a straw. The entire five-minute, 2000-meter upward trajectory; Marie, Ruben, and their security detail remain silent. No information is exchanged between them, each is consumed in their own thoughts, swaying with the movement of the capsule like dead willows in a weak breeze. The sound caused by each floor’s air pressure differentials—suuuclick-suuclick-suclick, only adds to their anxiety. 
Rays of sunlight pierce the cloudy morning sky and blind them as the glass capsule ascends from the facility’s depths, into an atrium which now resembles a Greek coliseum after the most gruesome of battles.   
While they were underground the world was forever transformed, some say for the worse. Grenspen’s actions began a domino effect, and as planned the unaffected UN forces pounced on their foes ere they could exit neural trance.  
The situation topside was dire. The death toll caused by the initial connection alone tallied in the millions. The casualties that followed in its wake never did stop. And it would be years before the widespread use of inhibitors, designed and developed in the black market, would mitigate the damage. Until then, it was the usual stuff—the discovery of an unfaithful spouse, the pervert priest, the corrupt judge, the racist, the zealot—even with our help, it seemed impossible to stop the animal from self-destructing… The recorded memories of their leaders speak for them self.
Loose papers form miniature tornados, their past importance lost, as a breeze whistling through a shattered panel casually carries them rustling over the scattered deceased. The room is silent, except for the song of morning birds and the group’s cautious footsteps, as they emerge from the elevator akin to deer crossing a night lit highway. 
Pools of gore, scattered bullets, and fissures in the atrium’s glass wall make it obvious that not all of the dead passed from neural overload. The morning’s first crow silently enters from one of the wall fissures to perch on a severed arm, it seems to have found a bountiful feast this morning. 
Crackss Crackss Crackssss, Crackss Crackss Crackssss—Marie’s heart threatens to explode as she drops to the ground at the sound of an automatic going off in the distance. Their guards resemble a pack of wolves as they cautiously move into position; just for safeties sake. It’s clear that the gunshots are nowhere near the atrium. 
“Lingering resistance?” Marie scans for news over the standard channels, as Ruben helps her back to her feet. “How ironic! Conventional communications are down,” she mutters. “UN ComSat has been destroyed or is somehow being jammed!”
Ruben replies, “I’ve got a better plan! How many sim hours did you manage to rack up?”
“The recommended time allocation, why?” 
“Were you any good at seeking? Unlike their UN counterparts, EU forces are womb-born recruits...”
“Of course! Faults and all, I have to admit. You’re quite a resourceful man. I see why Alen keeps you around.”
The group makes its way out of the atrium, slowly, stepping over shards of glass, and avoiding the gruesome remains that lay discarded throughout the lobby. Ruben pauses to wrestles a semi from a severed hand. He wipes the blood of its grip with a handkerchief, adjusts his lapel, and moseys along unfazed. Ten minutes later, they stand in front of what had been their destination. 
Concrete debris, twisted iron beams, and dangling electric cables block their path. The six of them stand shivering in disbelief, as cold mountain air gushes through the ruptured wall where only a few hours ago, elevator doors heading to the building’s roof stood. Shu-shu-shu-shu,the sound of an arriving aircraft interrupts their thoughts and sends them scuttering for cover like cottontails from a hawk.
Meanwhile, back at the reactor, Cabell cautiously follows an agitated Alen through a corridor, towards the hypertrams. The yellow line running down the middle of the concrete floor is the corridor’s only distinguishing feature with the exception of the occasional fire extinguisher, or blue unmarked door. 
Cabell’s mind wanders about the mundane as they walk. Perhaps, purposely so; avoiding any thought of his first contact experience. Hours have passed since the initial connection, allowing his brain to become familiarized(a clever euphuism for addiction) with the neural link. The voices are now only whispers in the distance, accessible at will. He feels hyper-aware of his surroundings, on the contrary to Alen who seems to be lost in thought. The yellow line plays games with Cabell’s mind as they walk, the blue doors query his curio, the fire extinguishers yell at him. He recognizes there’s a certain pattern to his surroundings, a certain tempo—bureaucracy. He realizes this building holds well-guarded secrets.  
Both men barely exchange a thought as they walk. Alen is weak, still suffering the debilitating effects of his exchange with the interlopers. He pays no attention to Cabell, who he sees as merely another instrument to be exploited, if and when necessary. 
Psssst—the glass doors of the airlock hisses as it opens, allowing both men inside. Jets of air rustle their hair as they exit the chamber and enter the hypertram pod. Inside, the hypertram is more lavish than Cabell expected. It seems larger inside than hinted at by its outwardly appearance; about six meters in length and four across give or take. Its luxurious leather lounge is a snow dove white, which contrasts magnificently with the rich mahogany of the floor and walls. A mahogany coffee table islands the cabin’s center, a bottle of wine sits atop the table along with two wine glasses. 
Alen and Cabell sit facing each other, silently, like two rivaling kings agreeing to a parley. Cabell studies the old man’s face; every detail, every wrinkle. What are your real plans? He forgets that even though the thought is not projected, he doesn’t have an inhibitor and Alen can easily tap it.
“Are we waiting on someone?” he volleys the inquiry.
Alen looks up startled, “No, why?”
“Why aren’t we—” Murky green reflections—then sunlight, suddenly spill through the cabin roof’s transparent top as the hypertram’s glass tubing track emerges from the lake, onto an aerial platform about ten meters above ground. 
Alen chuckles, showing amusement for the first time since first contact. “Gravitational stabilizers, my dear boy…” he says; audibly. He casually leans forward fumbling with the coffee table’s underbelly. Light floods the cabin, as the mahogany wall panels lower revealing a speed blurred view of the outside world. 
“I’m afraid to ask… how fast are we going?”
“You’re transiting on a bit of a secret project, son. But to answer your curio; Mach2, at the moment. However, this capsule is capable of Mach 11 if necessary. You’re in the world’s first high hypersonic. Anyway, we have about an hour-long trip ahead of us.
“May I ask where we’re heading?”
“NeuroTek headquarters…”
“I’m no expert, but do you really think it’s a good idea to be traveling. I mean with all that has happened?” He worries about his wife and daughter back home. My family better be okay when all this is settled, he thinks.
“Good idea? No… Necessary? Yes. Besides, most of the track is subterranean, and who’s going to be attacking trams anyway? We’ll be fine. Now, if I can get some shuteye. That, would be appreciated!” A sentimental man, if he is to become one of us, that will have to change. Alen doesn’t share the thought.
The hypertram’s axial compressors, shoot it through its vacuum conduit like a projectile from a railgun. The four magnetic seams lining the tubing’s interior provide the capsule’s electrodynamic suspension, keeping it in frictionless motion as it accelerates at a constant rate, mach3… mach4—mach5.
Alen is casually sitting on the dove white recliner still facing Cabell. He appears to have passed out from exhaustion, but in reality, he is seek-tapping Ruben. 
Ruben, who now finds himself cautiously advancing, firearm flashlight flickering, in a dark stairwell to the pounding thump of his own heart.  
For a moment, Alen is confused. The stairwell doesn’t resemble any location he can recall from the facility’s upper levels. He considers consulting his host but decides not to less his interrupting prove detrimental to Ruben’s survival. Best if he remains unaware of my presence. 
Marie is following closely behind Ruben; her thoughts are riddled with a mixture of adrenaline, fear, and shock. The sound of rounds penetrating—concrete, glass, and steel—reverberates all around the group as the helicopter circles the building. The boom of a mortar shakes the building like a mini earthquake. Loose debris roll past their feet as they advance step by step towards. One more floor to go, before reaching the rooftop. Just one more floor.
The chopper’s pilot spins around for another look at the roof of the administration building; nothing yet. So far, he has managed to avoid the retaliating barrage coming from the building and its surroundings. He’s not sure how much longer he can continue this futile task. Obviously, after their [UN’s] initial attack, EU forces deemed all affiliated parties’ enemies of the state; including the scientists working here. The decided course of action was eradication. Why am I risking my own skin? 
The chopper’s gunner swivels his seat to look back at the pilot. Verbal communication in necessary, unlike the pilot the gunner does not have a neural implant. “Sir, less than 1,000 rounds remaining.” 
The clink of metal hitting metal, alerts the pilot that they are being fired on again. The chopper’s cabin becomes a Christmas tree of red and orange lights as fuel seeps out from one of its fuel tanks. Not good, Mannix, not good!
“Light those motherfuckers up, cadet!” bawls the pilot into his headset. 
“With pleasure, sir”
Inside the building, the guard leading the company up the shaft, raises his hand to signal for the group to stop. Gunfire is coming from the door to his right, a room that must be crossed to access the final ramp to the roof. Who designs these retched buildings? He wonders right before… 
The group is thunderstruck by the tumultuous ruckus; daylight rushes into their deathtrap. The only remaining shadows are cast from the helicopter. Ruben wipes away the warm liquid sprayed across his face, while narrowly being missed by 30mm rounds zooming past him. The leading soldier’s limp cadaver slides to the floor; rolls down two steps, stops under its own weight. The rest of the company, covered in a mixture of dust and entrails, crouches waiting either for a similar death or for the chopper to cease fire. 
Ruben uses the months of practice he’s had and suppresses his fear enough to communicate, “Mannix, not the stairwell—not the goddamn stairwell!”
“…Got it, roger that. Glad to know you’re all alive! I was about to return to command.”
On the opposite side of the door, EU combatants scatter like coach roaches exposed to the light. The M230 chain gun roars as it sends death their way. Its 30mm armaments penetrate glass, wood, concrete, and steel like hot knives cut butter. The chopper hoovers in front of the windows of the building’s last floor unleashing rounds on fleeing militants. A lucky shot; the gunner slumps over—plummets—dangles from the helicopter by his harness. A cheer goes up from the battalion’s remaining three fighters. 
“My gunners down, follow the plan—rooftop.” 
Sunlight rushes in to occupy the space left by the shadow of the departing helicopter, as it gains altitude on the building’s final floor. 
In the sunlight Ruben resembles an ancient king on the battlefield. Dust dried blood smears crisscross his cheeks and neck, as well as, drench his collar. Greasy strands of hair attempting to invade his eyes, are swept back by his hand. The hand goes back to the pommel of his semi. “We’re going to have to rush them. Madam, stay put until weclear the room.” 
Their three remaining guards stare at him in disbelief. Their objections spill into his neural pathways like a chorus—pleads, objections, demands. Ruben only nods. This is a man much more battle-hardened than appearances account for. 
“After the Madam, I am in command here.” He removes the safety from his semi. Heaves the door open and slides to the floor as his rifle unleashes a barrage of projectiles in the enemy’s general direction. 50mm of hollow tipped, reinforced steel alloy meet its intended target with devastation. The bullet’s impact lifts the enemy combatant off his feet with a jolt before he can reciprocate fire. By now the other two militants are in a panic, their comrade wheezes on the floor, as his life blood escapes his hole ridden body. 
Eardrums rupture; automatic gunfire sprays bullets that narrowly miss Ruben and his two companions, Marie cowers within what remains of the stairwell. Another EU soldier meets his fate. An empty click-click-click, comes from the direction of the remaining militant. Confidence swells, just one left. Ruben’s escorts advance—too quickly. The cornered man grins up at the guards and releases a pocket grenade. Son of a bi— 
Alen’s focus jolts back to the capsule’s cabin. Shit, fuck—the inhibitor fails to inhibit that. Cabell who was resting, sits up. 
“What’s up?” 

Meanwhile—A cold shiver runs through Ruben’s entire body, culminating somewhere on his right side. He’s disoriented, unable to see, unable to hear, and unable to move his right arm. His vision slowly returns, he looks down… he has no right arm! 
Marie stands over him, she’s saying something, but the soft hum of busted eardrums outweighs her words. 
“Ruben, look at me. Look at me!” Marie is literally screaming. “You’re in shock; your neural shunt has been blown to bits! We need to make it to the roof! The roof!”
In the center of the research campus, five stories above the tree line; General James Mannix struggles to land a helicopter, disbalanced, due to the loss of fuel in its portside tank and the hanging cadaver of its gunner. 
The rooftop door opens, and Marie stumbles out with Ruben thrown over her shoulder; barely conscious. Mannix cuts the body free from the helicopter using his Fairbairn-Sykes. Makes a tourniquet for Ruben using the severed harness; helps them into the chopper. 
A low rumble starts in the distance but is drowned out by the copter’s initiation sequence. Debris raise off the ground along with the helicopter as it gains altitude. Ruben’s head rocks side to side with the turbulence of the aircraft. Marie replays the events of the last 2 hours; still in disbelief. Mannix focuses on getting the hell back to base. The background rumble loudens to a monstrous roar. A sound Mannix now recognizes; jet afterburners… The flash of light glows growing in the midday sky; a ball of fire, as the scattered remnants of a helicopter tumble to the ground below. 
Alen stands up as the capsule enters downtown Seoul. The city is bigger than Cabell had reckoned. Neon lights seem to be everywhere, below the street is crowded with ambling people. 
“Let’s go. We’re here.”

Peter Xao paced his five by five holding cell, like a wounded tiger, tending his cuts and bruises. His relocation to a holding cell ended with a black eye, sprained wrist, and new enemies. Claudia watched him from behind a three-inch-thick glass, wondering why the young man was so opposed to the gift they had just given the human race; a gift, his research had in part brought to fruition. 
Amir also stood watching Peter through the glass. He applied pressure to the ice pack over his bruised and bloodied knuckles. Peter’s actions, especially on his way from the reactor to the holding cell, had really angered him, and he wished nothing more than to rush into the cell and continue pummeling Peter to death. 
The area outside of Peter’s new abode bustled with security personnel as they prepared the floor’s use for bunker security central command. Undisclosed elevators leading down to the facility’s lower levels were placed on security lockdown; quarantine against the recent outbreak of violence. The decision was made that precautionary lockdown would remain until the situation above ground could be properly assessed. In the meantime, the human anthill focused on determining their next course of action. 
“Am I your prisoner now?” Peter inquired. 
“You’re only under confinement for your own protection,” replied Claudia. 
“For my own protection … Since when did you blokes start concerning yourselves with the safety of others? Was it before or after you committed mass murder? 
“Nothing great has ever been achieved without sacrifice.”
“Listen to the mighty Claudia Musk! You’re just another one of Alen’s pawns, a subsidiary that simply exists to be called upon when needed, mate. A sacrifice, you say, eh? Who in God’s bloody green earth gave you people the authority? Or is it that you now fashion yourselves gods?”
“Nonsense, everything we’ve done has been for the betterment of the human condition. If you can’t see that, then I’m afraid you are simply not as intelligent as I originally thought. Even this conversation would not be possible if it weren’t for our initiative.” 
“And yet—and yet one must ask… Our colleague Kim Seo Yun; brain aneurysm, eh? Seems suspicious, considering, the implants supposed principal function is the monitoring and reporting of the body’s vitals. Perhaps, another one of the necessary sacrifices? How convenient that her remains were spirited back to the peninsula I suppose. I’m a bloody fool though, of course, even if Seo Yun had been conveniently silenced; why would simple peons like you or Amir be informed? Counterproductive if the sacrifices know they are to be sacrificed, I guess. 
“Outrageous! Your claims are outrageous and unsubstantiated, Mr. Xoa.”
“Are they—Are they really?”
“Claudia, no need to listen to this fool,” angrily objected Amir. 
Peter shrugged, “Sometimes, the wises amongst the arrogant ishe humble fools. In arrogance—Alen, Marie, Amir, and you—presumed the ability to control the medusa you’ve unleashed upon us. I don’t pity you; I pity the people you’ve sacrificed to accomplish you selfish aims. Perhaps, our entire ruddy species.”  
“Listen to the Doctor; suddenly an expert in humility!” Murmured Claudia sardonically. “Tell us something, Peter Xao. When our team of scientists originally reached out to you, did you object? Did you object, when you heard that our engineers were on the brink of breakthrough? From the reports I received; I was informed that Dr. Peter Xao seemed elated with the ongoing progress and eager for widespread implementation. Or was that simply you selfishly seeking your own self-aggrandization, um Doc? Please, refresh my memory, maybe I’m misremembering, eh? You clearly were experiencing signs of addiction, but did that awaken your urge to object? No… Doctor?”
“I never bloody thought… There was an unsolvable problem; physically impossible. How in bloody hell, was I supposed to know it’d be solved!” 
“You claimed in your filings that you were on the brink of solving the quantum Zeno effect paradox, is that not true?”
“I ruddy lied!”
“How surprised you must have been, then, when it was solved without you, I surmise.”
“I didn’t believe it—I didn’t; until, against my will you people brought me here to witness this blasphemy!”
“I’d hardly call the interconnectivity of the human race, blasphemy…”
“That’s the problem, you trespass on the sacred with disregard. I confess, I never did hold a belief in a higher power, a god or bloody whatever. Yet, I knew it. I knew it from the very moment Alen flipped that switch—we were trespassers. Don’t fool yourself, Claudia, you’re as much a slave as me.”
The conversation continued for some time. Amir stood by feigning disinterested. Meanwhile, personnel moved to-and-fro, guards changed shifts, and computer stations were installed for specialized units lacking implants. 
The room that contained the holding cells was decently sized, capable of holding some twenty to thirty individuals. Its original function appeared to have been some sort of surgical operation station and thus only five such medical bays complimented the wall perpendicular to its main entrance. The bays now converted into holding cells were constructed completely from glass, three to four inches thick, with the exception of their far facing wall; that being part of the same concrete that made up the rest of the bunker. 
From their workstations some of the personnel would occasionally glance up at the eerie spectacle; two silent humans engaged in a heated psychological battle, even their body language was slightly off. 

With the advent and proliferation of modern high capacity firearms, it has become imperative that the government of The United States of America implement significant changes to its current gun legislation. Using statistical data gathered from several accredited research groups, this paper intends to provide the reader with a clear and concise view of the key arguments in favor of gun control. The objective of this document is to both inform and persuade its reader that implementing laws restricting the free use of firearms will reduce gun violence in the USA, thus raising the standard of living of its citizens.

According to the current population of The United States 328,096,122. However, according to statistics as recent as 2017 the current number of owned firearms exceeds the current and projected population data; it sits currently at 357 Million according to data gathered by The Washington Post. (Ingraham). With so many firearms circulating throughout the population changes of deadly encounters increases significantly.

It can be said that America finds itself in a runaway gun hoarding frenzy, in part brought on by years of lax gun regulation. So how did the nation find itself in this scenario? Perhaps the answer to this riddle can be found within the very walls of the nation’s congressional halls; lobbyist! One of the largest lobbying groups against implementing gun legislation within the US is the NRA. So, what is the NRA you may ask?

“The NRA is an American non-profit organization that advocates for gun rights. The organization was founded in 1871-144 years ago. The association headquarters is in Fairfax VA. The founders of the organization are William Conant Church, and George Wood Wingate. The focus of the group is firearm ownership rights, political advocacy, and publishing.

The organization has many subsidiaries, such as the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, and the NRA Freedom Action Foundation. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is considered the lobbying arm for NRA.” (Musa)

So, what exactly does the NRA do to hinder changes in gun legislation? The National Rifle Association pours millions of dollars a year into our political system in the form of campaign donations. According to data gathered by the Center for Responsive Politics the NRA has spent more than 13 million dollars on campaign contributions from 1998 till 2016. Unfortunately, this is only a small drop in the bucket. In addition to direct campaign contributions, the NRA has also spent more than 144 million dollars on independent expenditures in favor of maintaining the current gun status quo (See Figure 1). According to data, this is not just a Republican issue; the NRA makes contributions to both political parties. Because of special interest groups and lobbying American gun policy has come to a grinding halt. By controlling which politicians receive financial support for their campaigns the NRA and groups that function like it effectively have determined how to intimidate and control the elected representatives of the people. Researchers at Harvard Business School have determined that legislation on the matter is no longer in correlation with public sentiment (Luca).
So, what does the NRA believe and lobby for? The NRA as a lobbying group claims they believe in the protection of the second amendment of the constitution which reads;

“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.”

The organization’s main argument has been that of the slippery slope; arguing that gun legislation would chip away at the second amendment until rendering it effectively useless. Their solution to the gun violence problem in America is a non-solution short of stating that the only way to maintain the second amendment is by sacrificing innocent lives to maintain the status quo.

In 2018 The Heritage Foundation after the Parkland Florida shooting release a Gun Violence Fact Sheet which contained a multitude of NRA talking points. The document starts out by warning the reader that they must not allow policymakers to fashion legislation based off of well-intended but misguided emotional fixes. (Heritage Foundation 1.) The fact sheet then continues to enumerate a list of statements whose sole purpose is to downplay and obfuscate the data in order to confuse the reader. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s fact sheet attempts to trivialize the impact of gun violence in American society with statements such as, “Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades”, and “Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution”. In short, the talking points do not call for a decrease, restriction, and decline of firearms they call for an increase in firearm ownership. They essentially claim we do not have enough firearms.

The take away from documents such as the 2018 Heritage Foundation Gun Violence Fact Sheet is obvious. American policymakers have become fully beholden to their corporate donors and must now do damage control in order to mitigate public backlash by muddling the facts.

These special interest groups argue that overall gun violence has declined over the decades and thus no action is needed. Does the average citizen see it this way though? The numbers have gone down, but the problem persists. The death of one innocent child is too many.

The numbers are still devastatingly high. According to data gathered in House bill H.R. 4573 in 2017 alone, there were 56,825 incidents of gun violence with 14,319 of these resulting in the death of an individual. The number of mass shootings defined as “shootings in which four or more individuals are shot” was 327. (Kelly) Would you call this an acceptable status quo?

In 1996 Australia experienced its worse mass shooting. A Port Arthur gunman opened fire mortally wounding 35 individuals and leaving another 23 in serious conditions. Australia moved quickly to implement much sterner gun legislation.

So what actions did Australian government take to make sure something like this could never happen again? The Australian government banned certain types of firearms, such as automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. The Australian government confiscated 650,000 of these guns through a mandatory buyback program, in which it purchased firearms from gun owners. It established a registry of all guns owned in the country and required a permit for all new firearm purchases. (This is much further than bills typically proposed in the US, which almost never make a serious attempt to immediately reduce the number of guns in the country.)

And what were the effects of the actions taken by the Australians? As a result, Australia’s firearm homicide rate dropped by about 42 percent in the seven years after the law passed, and its firearm suicide rate fell by 57 percent, according to a review of the evidence by Harvard researchers.
One of The Heritage Foundation & NRA’s main talking points is mental illness. They claim that the real problem is not the number of firearms and the easy access to them, but mental illness. These special interest groups argue that once America gets control of their mental health crisis gun violence is bound to decline. Is this sound logic? According to the data, the fastest way to reduce gun violence in a population group is to simply remove the main contributing variable – the guns.

Planet Earth does not have a limited sample size, and America does not exist in a bubble! Every population group on this planet suffers from individuals with mental illness, the difference is that these individuals don’t have easy access to firearms in places where gun violence isn’t a problem. In fact, Australia is just one example of a nation that has implemented measures to control gun violence within its borders; more on Australia’s results.

While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the [Australia gun control law], resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres. Other research backs this up. In 2016 review of 130 studies in 10 countries, published in Epidemiologic Reviews, found that legal restrictions on owning and purchasing firearms were usually followed by a drop-in gun violence — a convincing indicator that limiting access to firearms can save lives. The suggested conclusion was that no one policy appears to have a big effect by itself, but a collection of gun restrictions can create a meaningful effect over time.

Another example of a nation with gun control legislation that has substantially improved the quality of life of its citizenship in Japan. Japan is a country with a population of approximately 127 million people roughly 1/3 that of the United States. Yet, since 1992 Japan has not had more than 50-gun-related deaths in a single year. In fact, the numbers are way below that. 

So, does the U.S. have a major gun violence problem? According to the data, the answer is yes! Right-leaning think tanks and special interest groups attempt to mislead their readers but comparing current figures to the past. This provides the reader with only a partial image of the situation. According to data gathered by the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, the U.S. has the 31st highest rate in the world: 3.85 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016. That was eight times higher than the rate in Canada, which had .48 deaths per 100,000 people — and 27 times higher than the one in Denmark, which had .14 deaths per 100,000.

When viewed within the proper context, it becomes obvious that gun violence numbers in the U.S. are elevated way above the acceptable standards of the rest of the developed world.

The fundamental problem in the United States is that corporations using special interest groups push back against meaningful gun control legislation by controlling lawmakers with campaign contributions and creating decent amount the public with misrepresented data points.

The corrupting influence of money in politics has resulted in weak gun laws that allow almost any individual to easily obtain a firearm. Conservative think tanks flood the media with talking points against gun control after every major catastrophe to ensure nothing changes, and lawmakers of the Democratic Party cower in fear, afraid that speaking out against the gun lobby will lead to them losing the next election cycle.

So, what are some of the Cons to gun control that keep progressive gun legislation at bay? Organizations like The Heritage Foundation seem to draw a blank returning over and over again to the same reused talking points. They begin by stating that gun ownership is a right, and that by restricting gun ownership the right to use a firearm is being infringed. They continue by claiming that liberals and progressives will begin with restrictions on high capacity magazines and assault rifles and end with a full ban on everything including rifles used for hunting. Finally, they make the bold claim that gun restrictions will have the opposite effect; increasing gun violence. Conservative talking points seem to circle around the claim that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, and that people kill people; not guns. This point is partially correct... America has good guys with guns that stop bad guys with guns, they are called Police!

The truth of the matter is nobody is coming for the guns! America following the example of Australia or Japan could be a safer place. Legislators in favor of gun control are not against the use of firearms for hunting, they aren’t conspiring to make a gun registry, and they are not going to announce martial law anytime soon. They simply want to make America a safer nation one where students can go to school with a piece of mind knowing they will not be murdered by a deranged individual while there.
Perhaps if there was a full ban on all firearms not just the big scary one’s gun violence would be all but eliminated but that will not be happening anytime soon in America. With that said Gun owner should not be a right, it should be a privilege. The second amendment is just that an amendment and it can be re-amended.

Ask yourself the question, if driving a car is considered a privilege and not a right, if flying a plane, practicing law or medicine, and hunting all require licenses to do. Why is gun ownership a right? These semantic games need to end, their cost is too high and paid in blood. As America moves further into the 21st century these laws, the constitution, and the nation's frame of mine regarding gun legislation need to evolve and become more pragmatic. Otherwise, only darkness awaits...

In conclusion, based on the data it is obvious to the individual who wants to use the facts and available data that the U.S. is in dire need of legislation that prohibits the sale of firearms to non- qualifying individuals. How this is done should not be simply left to the states but should be federal legislation determined by the needs of the people (the voters). None of this can be done with the current predicament. In order to get started you the reader must begin to do your own research, to gather data, and become a voice in the social wilderness called America. Contact your local lawmakers, demonstrate that you are aware of the situation and that you demand change.
It is true that American politics is currently at a standstill, polarized between left and right. Nevertheless, should the deaths of innocent children caused by the corruption of the political system due to the influence of special interest groups be acceptable in any political climate?

From what you have read it seems that the take away is that in order to maintain and regulate society we must evolve a system for determining whether an individual should be allowed the privilege to own a firearm. This test must be in implemented for the good of the society as a whole, a sacrifice for the good of the group as individuals we must realize that the benefits of such a test far outweigh the negatives.

As the reader ask yourself if you feel safe with the current abundance of firearms switching hands without proper precaution in your community? Do you feel safe knowing that a mentally ill person can easily obtain a firearm, that a convicted felon can go to a gun show and purchase a firearm without a background check, and that your politicians are now calling for the arming of teachers; because, only a good guy with a gun... Does any of this make sense to you? What happens if the nation continues down this path?

The facts speak for themselves, America’s gun problem needs to stop and only you the reader can make that happen.

Work Cited
Kelly, Robin. “Text - H.R.4573 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Gun Violence Research Act of 2017.”, 8 Dec. 2017, bill/4573/text.
Ingraham, Christopher. “There Are Now More Guns than People in the United States.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 5 Oct. 2015, every-man-woman-and-child-and-then-some/?noredirect=on.
Musa, Sam. The Impact of NRA on the American Policy. J Pol Sci Pub ed., Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs, 2016, pp. 1–2, The Impact of NRA on the American Policy.
Luca, Michael. The Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy. Harvard Business School, 2016, The Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy.
Heritage Foundation. “Fact Sheet: Gun Violence.” The Heritage Foundation, 12 Mar. 2018,
“Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.” National Firearms Act Handbook | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, center/docs/undefined/firearms-commerce-united-states-annual-statistical-update-2017.
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 First off, I want to apologize to my readers. I know I haven't posted to this blog in a very long time. I hope that you guys do not think that I've forgotten about you I have not! I simply have been busy with life, trying to make money and get ahead. I started really focusing on investing and plan to write much more about that in the near future. 
Right now, things are crazy and I know I've let all of you down by not giving my opinion about what is happening in the markets and world.  President Trump, fragile stock market, social media manipulation, bitcoin, and so much more...
Don't worry though! I am here now, and you're safe. You won't continue to lose money in this dropping market because I am here to guide you back to the green; in fact I will post some due diligence this afternoon on the companies I am currently invested in, including what moves I plan on making to continue in the green. 
As always, hope to hear from you guys in the comments. - Cheers.

A Futile Waste Of Time
Una Perdida Fútil Del Tiempo(Lectura en Español abajo)

Perhaps I have become jaded with the world around me, and the epistemology of religious inquiry; but more and more I find myself wondering why we bother arguing with those who fail to acknowledge the obvious?

Honestly, I no longer see the point, and I think as a whole we atheist could use the time spent attempting to rescue others from the cave of ignorance in more productive endeavors.

I think those who are truly looking for the truth will inevitably go forth and seek it on their own, and that trying to change the minds of individuals who aren’t ready only causes frustration and anxiety for both participants.

I also find it hard to believe that a majority of the so called religious aren’t simply trolling us. It is apparent to me that in many cases we non-believers simply take this too seriously and fail to realize when we are being played. The bottomline is it doesn’t really matter if they believe what they are saying or not… We as atheist need to learn to pick our battles and I think that this battle is one that simply will not be won.

We should be concentrating on attacking the laws and practices that directly affect us, rather than vainly attempting to pry people from their believes. I say this not because I consider prying them from their believes as something bad, but simply because I do not find it to be entirely productive. We should be working on making society more secular by alternative means. In other words we should beat them at their own game.

Non-believers for too long have concentrated only on the problem and not the solution. So what is the solution? The solution is creating a community that is open and accepting of any who choose to want to join it. I think the world would move faster towards secularism if we had places dedicated to helping the needy, providing community, and education. I would like to see a  non-believers of the future congregating in free-thought and debate especially with the upcoming generations.

I think that a real secular movement would foster humanity into an age of true brotherhood, one where our differences and imaginary lines didn’t matter.

For thousands of years religious folk have been preaching to each other, attempting to convert each other to their school of thought… arguing, fighting, and hating each other. I believe that for secularism, atheism, whatever you want to call yourself to advance we need to rise above this. We have reality on our side and I think those who seek to embrace reality will see that although we as simple human beings don’t have many if not most of the answers, we are fellow seekers of the same universal truths.

Tal vez he perdido la esperanza en el mundo al mi alrededor, y en la epistemología del pensamiento religioso, pero mas y mas me encuentro preguntando el porque gastamos tiempo peliando con los que fracasan en reconocer lo obvio. 

Honestamente, yo ya no vea el porque, y pienso yo que nosotros los ateos podíamos utilizar el tiempo perdido tratando de rescatar a los demás de la cueva de su ignorancia en algo mas productivo. 

Yo pienso que aquellos que realmente están buscando la verdad inevitablemente saldrán en busca de ella solos, y que tratando de cambiar la forma de pensar de los individuos que no están listos simplemente causara frustración para ambos participantes.   

Ademas, también encuentro difícil crear que la mayoría de los llamados religiosos no simplemente están jodiendo con nosotros. Se me hace claro que en muchos de los casos los no creyentes estamos tomando todo esto demasiado serio, y fallamos en dar nos cuenta cuando estas personas nos están tomando el pelo. Al final realmente no importa si crean lo que proclaman o no… Nosotros los ateos tenemos que aprender escoger nuestras batallas, y yo pienso que esta batalla es simplemente una que no se puede ganar.

Deberíamos estar concentrándonos en el ataque de los leyes y practicas que tienen efecto directo sobre nuestras vidas, en vez de esforzándonos en separar al las personas de sus creencias. Digo esto no porque yo pienso que sea algo malo, sino porque no lo encuentro productivo. Deberíamos estar trabajando en una sociedad mas secular por medio de medios alternativos. En otras palabras intentar ganarlos en su propio juego.   

Hemos concentrado por demasiado tiempo en el problema y no en las soluciones. Así que cual es la solución? La solución es la creación de una comunidad que sea abierta y acceptable a los que buscan participar en ella. Yo creo que el mundo se movería mas rápido hacia el movimiento secular si existiera lugares dedicados a brindar ayuda a los necesitados, una comunidad y educación. Me gustaría ver a los no creyentes del futuro congregados en pensamiento libre y debate especialmente con los mas jóvenes. 

Yo pienso que una movimiento secular nos llevaría a una era de hermandad real, una donde nuestras diferencias y divisiones imaginarias no importarían.

Por miles de años la gente religiosa han estado predicando los unos a los otros, intentando convertirse los unos a los otros de una escuela de pensamiento a otro… discutiendo, peliando, y odiándose. Tenemos que movernos sobre este forma de actuar si queremos ver crecer el movimiento. Nosotros tenemos a la realidad de nuestro lado, y los que en verdaderamente lo están buscando lo verán aunque seamos simples humanos tenemos estamos en busca de la misma realidad universal.

This is getting old, seriously what is wrong with the rest of you people? I am beginning to wonder if there really is any hope for a species like ours? Honestly, I do not know. Lets get real here, I would like to say that most people are fairly intelligent beings, but who am I trying to kid? Most of you are primitive, ignorant, knuckle draggers, who hinder the achievable progress of our entire species.
There is something i’ve noticed about most people, and it’s starting to really annoy me, its part of the reason we have so many of the conflicts we do in this world. It’s the same reason most people see math as cumbersome, why evolution, and climate change are ignored to a large degree, and why academia is failing to meet its prospects in STEM graduates.
It seems the vast majority of humans are incapable of appreciating the nuance of any given situation. We can break these people up into two camps, the reductionists, and the deniers.
It seems to me that time, and time again the reductionists attempt to reduce every issue no matter how complex to its most primitive factors. Every issue is a red versus blue, black versus white, good versus bad scenario. This is the reason why especially in America we seem to never arrive at a the solution of any of our problems. It’s a major contributing factor to the failure of our current political system.
The reductionist attempts to see the world in only two colors, either something is black or it’s white. If “A” is even partially correct than “B” must be completely incorrect. Only the most rational among us seems capable of pointing out that in any given situation that cannot be proven mathematically there isn’t just black and white but a spectrum of colors, this is why compromise must exist in order to achieve balance. Without balance all is lost.
That being said even in factual claims, which can be tested and proven to be true, the solution to given set of facts can be extremely complex. Take global climate change for example, it’s a scientific fact that carbon dioxide is detrimental to the environment in large quantities, it is also a scientific fact that carbon dioxide is being produced in never before quantities by humans, additionally it has been proven that the increase in parts per million of carbon dioxide limits the release of thermal energy thus causing an increase in temperature also known as the greenhouse effect. Not to mention that CO2 is obviously a poison to humans in large ppm. So the solution to ending the treat is simple right? We should stop all processes that contribute to the increment of CO2 in the atmosphere immediately, correct?  The truth is no! Taking that stance is the position of the fundamentalist ideologue, just because you are factual correct doesn’t necessarily mean that the solution to the actual problem will be simple. Ceasing to engage in all activities that contribute to the increment of CO2 in the atmosphere immediately would be just as detrimental to the human race as not doing anything to address the issue in the first place. At the present our entire civilization is based on the consumption of fossil fuels (CnH2n+2). From our electricity, to the polymer plastics we use on a daily basis. Ceasing to utilize these would result in the collapse of our society, because an alternative infrastructure is not yet in place.
Unfortunately humans when faced with a difficult situation such as the mentioned usually panic, and procrastinate in finding a solution until the last minute, when draconian measures will need to be taken in order to avoid critical error. Something that could easily be avoided because in reality the solution is to simply begin to address the problem realistically and gradually migrate away from the use of hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, in the face of such problems some decided to take a third approach; denial. Which takes us into the second camp.
On the opposing side of the spectrum we have those who attempt to conflate factual issues with opinionated issues. The blind ideologues who would deny 2+2=4 if it conflicted with their narrow, and incoherent perspective on reality. These are the people who fight against scientific progress by simply denying the plausibility of the facts. Scientific nihilist, who apparently are capable of denying the substance of a verifiable scientific discovery no matter how much evidence you bring them.
Ironically, these same ideologues usually hold firm to some ridiculous claim that contradicts any, and all observable reality. And thus I consider them intellectually dishonest, the main problem is that these people are usually given a platform in society. These are the zealots of religion, jingoism, corporatism, radical leftwing or rightwing partisan ideology, racism, and overall bigotry. These are those who choose to turn a blind eye to reality in order to indulge in their own childish egocentric desires of self-importance, and grandeur at the expense of others.
We as human beings need to learn to appreciate the complexity of life. We need to try our hardest to refrain from becoming entrenched in our own ideology, or blindly following the identities handed to us by the society we just happened to be born into.
In order for our species to survive the next 50 years we need to grow up, its time to put away our toys, (flags, minor differences, religions, currencies, selfish urges), and look forward and face the major problems on the horizon, otherwise future prospects for the human race look grim at best.
Hopefully this motivates you to see the world differently, attempt to see the complexity of the issues at hand, and help spread the concept of critical thinking.
I would love to hear back from you if you agree or disagree with the written here so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, thank you.

Social  Capitalist  Obligations 

       It’s here again, the time of the year that most of us can’t bare, the holidays. I have so many things I want to say, where do I begin? Do I start with the false religion that is shoved down everyone’s throats, or the false sense of obligation to provide those who surround you with gifts, whether you think they deserve them or not? Oh no, or perhaps, we should start with the false sense of happiness you are expected to give off for no apparent reason at all. Last week you were miserable, but now all of a sudden you are expected to be “Jolly”; fuck you! 
The whole capitalist festival is a ruse, and I am tired of it! These people had the whole year to talk to each other, the whole year to show each other they cared… the whole year! Yet somehow I suppose in the skewed view of reality that they hold, this one week justifies the feelings they have demonstrated the entire year through their hideous actions. 
It’s sickening… this exchange of goods between people who deep down inside do not like each other. This pretend, false happiness circle jerk, that circles around whatever fictional character the masses have chosen. 
The worst part, those who seem to celebrate the most are usually the most ignorant of the bunch, they actually buy into the bullshit. Individuals whose mental faculties inhibit them from the motivation necessary to fucking go to Google and investigate their ridiculous belief system!!! 
I know I can’t be alone in this sentiment of disdain for the holidays, and it’s not just the winter ones (these simply happen to be the most ridiculous of the bunch). 
I mean, are you not tired of having to pretend for the multitude of imbeciles that surround you? Perhaps, I am a bad person, with a rotten heart i’ve considered that possibility before. No I can’t be, because I actually care about solving the problems that actually matter. You know real issues like improving the quality of life for those less fortunate then all of us greedy capitalist pigs, exchanging gifts and singing carols meanwhile others starve to death.
Maybe you enjoy the unnecessary shopping, the constant emotional capitulation, and most of all the stress. Well, I fucking don’t! If I wanted to give you a gift I would on my own accord, not because society told me it was something I was obligated to do. If I wanted to sit around, and believe in fairytales, I would pick one that was much more interesting than the desert dwelling peasant you call Jesus, or Moses, or Mohammad. Last, if I wanted to truly enjoy my day I would do something I find truly gratifying, rather than surrounding myself with people whose company doesn’t stimulate my Serotonin receptors at all!   
Just think about it, you aren’t happy… You’ve been deceived! Worst of all, you know whose fault it is? It’s the fault of your parents, and their parents, and their parents, parents… You’ve been brainwashed, indoctrinated, and you don’t even realize it. 
As a child you were taught this is what is to be done, and perhaps as a child you actually did feel happiness with the acquisition of new gifts. The problem is that as an adult your attempt at returning to that state is futile, that hollow sentiment of happiness for the material has long vanished. And like a drug that short peak of excitement quickly fades away into oblivion like an orgasm leaving you with only an infinite empty void.
I imagine if you are reading this it’s because you are trying to find a way out, you are attempting to escape this facade. Like me you have grown tired of the constant push of capitalistic consumerism upon you! You seek something more fulfilling to satisfy you existential vacuum, you’ve grown tired of the illusion.
If so I must confess, I do not have the answers you seek, and cannot solve the existential problems you face. The most I can do is let you know that you are not alone in your search, not alone in your refusal to conform to the ignorance the masses consume. I wish I could end this on an upbeat, I wish I could give you a solution, but I cannot.
My advise in the matter is to keep searching, keeping questioning, keep working on what actually makes you feel fulfilled. Personally, I won’t be celebrating these festivals. I won’t be exchanging gifts, and I won’t be happy about the ones I  unwillingly receive.
I’m tired, I’m exhausted, and I don’t have all the time in the world to cater to the empty customs, and traditions our culture imposes on me. I exhort you to continue being free thinkers, and not giving in to the consumerism that surround you, question everything and do not simply follow because those around you urge you to. 
Last, remember this one thing, nobody has moral high ground over you, nobody can tell you what is wrong and what is right, or what path to go down, in these things they are equally as ignorant as you, so I say fuck them and find you own path. - Cheers everyone. 

Don’t be fooled by the illusion presented to you, as reality, and the slavery given to you as freedom!
I know, I know my last few posts have been rather grim, reality is grim, and every time I come to the paper, I cannot help but express what my true thoughts are.
Truth is, I’ve just been thinking a lot guys, and the more I think the angrier I become!
Yes, I am angry! I’m tired of the bullshit, the lies, and the mindless sheep, the people who don’t question. The people who seem bent at maintaining the status quo.
Yes angry, and more than anything I am angry about the time that has been stolen from me; from us! Anger is the only sentiment I can feel at the moment, forced to conform to the ideals set by my predecessors.
Sure, the attempt at versatility may pay off to a certain degree in alleviating the burden thrown on our backs by society, but should it really be our burden to deal with?
I need to reiterate, I am royally pissed! I am pissed by the fact that the negligence of others has become a hinderance in my development. I am pissed that my goals seem to be obfuscated because of the flaw riddled society that I was born into. More than anything I am pissed by the fact that this poorly designed structure you deem a society doesn’t seem to be trending towards a more enlightened stance. On the contrary it seems more then ever on reversal if not on the brink of total collapse!
Enough of the flowery speech… of the appearance of balanced conservative intellectual approach that I seem to shelter myself in every time I sit in front of the paper to gather my thoughts for those who choose to read the words. Enough is enough!
I am saddened that my childhood didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it. Saddened that the most fundamental years of my development were stolen from me by religious zealotry. Perhaps I would be a completely different person had the variables of the equation differed. So many things fuel the flames of the anger that is raging inside of me, even rendering me unable to engage in honest dialog with my piers at times. This anger leading me down the path of isolation.
It wasn’t long before I came to the realization that life is fucking short, and at best trivial! The eye opening realization that I am going to cease to exist one day, and that most likely that day is not that long from now. In fact, I can sense it. The signals are everywhere, an ever present weakness, bodily aches, worsening vision, and weakening of cognitive functions. I think this is the reason I started writing to begin with. I needed to make sure that my words would exist once I no longer was here to share them. Worst of all, I wish I could say there were the good times, and the bad times, but unfortunately I cannot. The truth is most of the times were bad times, the good times are so minutiae I can barely recall them.
At most, I can say that in the short miserable time I spent on this sphere, only a few things brought me joy. The melodic sound of wind as it gently brushed through the leaves on a Autumn afternoon, or the tune of a song I can recall from my youth. Most probably illusions supplanted by the brain, false nostalgic sentiment, at best incorporated from the imagination of a child. You know like a smell, a taste, the shift of sunlight coming through the window for an instant at just the right angle; simple mind tricks of a time that never existed, perhaps supplanted imagery taken up by a movie I watched, and took in as one of my own memories. Childhood happiness so old perhaps it never happened at all… A rather empty thought, looking at it now in retrospective!
Maybe this is what happens when you become jaded to life, experiencing the pains of growing older, and realizing that most of the things you were told; alas were lies. Worst yet realizing that the bringers of these lies were either not knowledgable enough to see them for what they really were, or even worse that perhaps they knowingly deceived you. How unfortunate seeing these were the very people your evolutionary instincts mislead you into trusting. The realization that your parents in the end more than anyone else are looking out only for themselves.
Now in my solitude, I realize that i’ve been robbed. I’ve been robbed from the freedoms that we all inherently deserve. Writing these words, the paper looks back at me though as to say, “Who do you think you are to demand true knowledge, freedom, happiness?” The paper has its own mystical properties, always luring me to its side only to change my mind mid-thought; infuriating!
The paper shows me how selfish I am; greedy, unthoughtful, my flaws are revealed, and I must redact my complaint! How can I be so blind sighted that I raise my voice in contempt over the years that ignorance has stolen from me, while I benefit from the very mechanism that reaps the lives of billions elsewhere? I make myself sick…
I come up to you, seeking what, pity? Or worse vengeance?
Perhaps, my strife isn’t without merit, but even my situation is negligible in comparison to the individual trapped in insufferable conditions elsewhere who’s entire life is squandered in order for me to be able to preach my selfish victimhood.
Who am I to come to you sitting in my air conditioned room, with my cable television, and high speed internet? Who am I to complain about years stolen from me, as even now I squander away what others cannot even afford to pause from their labors to imagine? Who am I to toss ashes over my shoulders demanding penance for injustices committed against me when I have done nothing to mitigate the suffering of others?
Did I do anything to deserve the luxuries I partake in without second thought? Other than not drawing the shortest straw, I did nothing. In fact, my greed is the cause of someone else’s suffering! I have no right to demand anything! I steal the food and water from the cribs of the unborn, and less fortunate!
If anything the burden of helping others, the less fortunate is now upon me. Cursed paper, why must you flaunt me my errors, my lack of logic, and justice for all to see? I really don’t know how other people can come to the paper, and leave with the same thoughts they set out to share on it…
Either way, I hope that the remaining time I have in this existence I can use to lessen the suffering of those who are the weakest among us, both socially and mentally. Perhaps then I will find the happiness I so desperately search for.
We all must seek a way to undo the damage we have perpetrated. Even if you can’t afford to leave the creature comforts of your home nation, start by planting a tree, lowering your environmental footprint, and gathering others who are willing to make sacrifices alter the global society we now form part of. I exhort you!

***Quiero dar gracias a todos los que me lean el blog de España, Centro y Sur America... Veo sus views y pronto les dare artículos en Español.
**** Muito Obrigado a todos os meus leitores do Brasil!!! Eu ainda estou melhorando meu Português!

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