Day Fourteen

Ted's Thirty Day Awakening

Alexa did not wake Ted up this morning. Last night, when insomnia came to visit, Ted made the mistake of turning on the news and that kept him up all night. He had managed to stay away from the Fear and Propaganda machine known as news for almost a month now. But while insomnia was pestering his brain old habits clicked in and he found himself bouncing between two cable news stations.

Ted was amazed at how each station slanted every story to fit their worldview (or at the very least the perceived beliefs of their viewers and more importantly their advertisers). Only a fool or the sleep deprived would assault their minds with such rubbish.

For thirty minutes Ted sat there, bewildered. Who are these people? He wondered. And why are they telling us what they think did or did not happen at an event they were not present for? And why is it that so much of their information is from anonymous sources? Ted felt as if he was watching a soap opera or a bad, really bad, Reality TV show. The only time it felt like a news broadcast, was during the weather report. Guess they haven’t found a way to debate the weather yet, wait a minute . . . maybe they have—climate change!

How did we get here? Ted asked himself. What have we done? And why have we sat idly by and watched while news became entertainment?

A mere thirty minutes of news and their biased opinions on a recent story had Ted all worked up. Unable to sleep and not wanting to take another handful of sleeping pills, Ted sat down at his computer and wrote an open letter to the world. But first, he watched .

Of all the posts you could be reading right now you have chosen mine and for that I thank you. You have turned over to me something as precious as life itself, a few minutes of your time, so in return, I will do my best to repay you with a few hand-picked words from my heart. Words structured in a way that you may or may not always agree with but at the very least I hope they get you thinking and motivated to help find a solution for this pressing problem here in the United States.

In most states, if you want to hunt, some sort of hunter education course and firearms safety instruction is required. It seems the government is of the opinion that every hunter should be familiar with firearms and their safety before venturing out to kill a wild animal. Not going hunting? Just want a gun for protection or target practice? Well then, you don’t need any training whatsoever, nope, no safety instructions are needed. But what if the states woke up and a safety course was required before a gun could be purchased legally? Might that be a common sense step in the right direction?

Many of these hunter safety courses are taught over the course of several weekends, which would allow plenty of time for running background checks. On top of that, the instructors would get to observe each potential gun owner and ensure that they were capable of using a firearm in a safe manner.

I know there are people who will scream, “it’s my constitutional right to have a gun.” That may be, but it’s everyone’s right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness that get trampled on when someone’s “right to a gun” results in the loss of innocent lives. So, which right should we protect? What’s more valuable, the right to own a gun or the right to live?

There is a reason you need to take (and pass) a test before you can legally drive a motor vehicle on public roads—you could, at the very least, injure if not kill someone. It is in everyone’s best interest that you know how to operate a motor vehicle and do it in a safe and sane manner. We need to apply this rather simple logic to gun ownership.

Want a gun?
Take a class.

(And if you are caught in the possession of a gun, without having passed a safety course, you should spend some time removed from society.)

Now, for the tricky one, the one that I have never understood, assault weapons. From what I can tell a lot of people that own assault weapons say they use them for target practice. For the thrill of firing off round after round in quick succession. So how about you are free to own them BUT they can only be used on a gun range or while hunting and they must be locked and stored at a gun range, not in your closet.

No more keeping weapons that were designed to kill people (as quickly as possible) at your private residence. What an assault weapon is capable of doing in minutes makes it something that should not be in our homes. Now, before your face turns red from screaming, can we at least think about it? Can we find some common ground so mass shooting becomes a part of history instead of the daily news?

Finally, a question for the 1% (even if you are not in the 1%, please keep reading). You have your foundations and you are spending billions to leave behind a legacy, so how about we spend some of those funds on fixing the gun issue, once and for all?

Gates, Bezos, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Musk, you want a challenge? Do you want to do something that will keep your name in the public light forever?

Invest in reducing gun violence in America.

If Target can use big data to figure out when one of their customers is pregnant (often before anyone else in the family even knows) and if Amazon can predict my next purchase before I make it, shouldn’t it be possible for these same brilliant minds to make our schools safe again?

Innovation is what we need. Innovation is what made you billions, so how about we innovate our way out of this problem? Instead of adding more metal detectors or placing more armed individuals on school grounds, how about we come up with solutions that remove (or at the very least reduce) gun violence everywhere.

Risky, yes, but what challenge worth taking on isn’t? Imagine how many people would become loyal patrons purchasing your goods and services if they knew that your company had made our schools and cities safe again?

Bezos, if Amazon came up with a solution, I would become your most loyal customer.

Zuckerberg, if Facebook was part of the solution, I would run ads on your site every day (even if I didn’t have anything to sell) simply as a way to say “Thank You!”

Musk, if one of your companies showed us the way, I’d buy a Tesla (even though I can’t afford it) I would find a way.

It’s time. For too many, it’s way past time. So, what do you say? Have you had enough? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to make schools and cities safe again? I know I am. Stop writing to politicians, and instead start asking the 1% to come up with a solution and let them know that if they do you will be a customer for life and will ask your kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids to do the same.

Instead of trying to legislate ourselves out of this tragic cycle, let’s see if we can’t innovate our way to a better future.

Ted Cox

Ted let Grammarly do its magic and run a quick check of his little article before he posted it online and emailed copies to his friends. Then, without the aid of any sleeping pills, he laid down on the couch, said, “Alexa … play Cusco” and drifted off to sleep.

<== Day Thirteen   |   Day Fifteen ==>

Ted’s Thirty Day Awakening is Serialized Storytelling with frequent updates. Each update is being written the same day it gets posted. There is no telling how the story will turn out. In fact, no one knows what Ted will be doing tomorrow, let alone thirty days from now. Clicking on any is like opening up Ted’s diary or having the ability to read his thoughts. Here you will uncover more personal notes from Ted concerning his story.

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