When is the right time to talk about gun control?

With yet another school shooting, we as a nation are once again at the gun control crossroads, where we must ask ourselves, when is the right time to talk about gun control? After each and every mass shooting, the two sides clash. What is better for the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy, thoughts and prayers for the deceased, or opening up talks about gun control and how to end this tragic pattern once and for all? I don't know if the quote really did come from Albert Einstein and I'm too lazy to look it up, but you've probably heard the quote "Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results." After each and every mass shooting, we hear that it is too early to be talking about gun control, that we have to let the families who suffered loss heal before we bring it up. And each and every time, before you know it, the shooting is a distant memory to all but those who lived it. We've tried these thoughts and prayers too many times and nothing is changing. When are we going to do something else since our current strategy is definitely not working? We need to start that change now! We need to ensure this last shooting doesn't become just another tragic moment in history, we need to keep it at the forefront of our minds each and every day and we need to confront our congressmen and senators and push and push until they change something. I don't know what increased gun control should mean, no guns, more guns, better background checks, more mental health checks for gun owners, I don't know, but at this point doing nothing is just an insult to those who have suffered through a shooting. I'm sure more of the survivors and families of those who lost people would prefer action over something as insubstantial and hallow as thoughts and prayers. If we continue to do nothing, I see a day not too far in our future where every single person in the United States will have a close personal connection to someone who has experienced or died in a mass shooting. Maybe then if not before there will finally be enough people willing to confront the problem, but I shudder to think how many more will have to die before the day when people finally realize, we've done nothing long enough, it's time to do something!

Friend Expressed Emotions

My friend recently expressed to me that he has feelings for me. I view him solely as a friend, and didn't really know what to say when he told me. I now feel friction in our relationship, and I miss what we used to have. I'm acting the same, but I feel like he is taking it as an insult. Should I talk to him about it, or let him come to me?

Would you live in Alaska (for money)?

I've heard that the entire state of Alaska pays its permanent residents every year as incentive to keep on living there. Every citizen gets over $2,000 no strings attached other than the stipulation that they live in the state. An extra two grand a year would be great to have but, I mean, it's Alaska. Sure I know how beautiful it can be but, that's really all it has going for it.

It's either dark for too long or the sun doesn't set, the average annual temperature is a measly 43 degrees, and there is much more uninhabited land than there is civilization. In fact, for being the largest state in the U.S. it's entire population is less than that of the city of San Francisco. All wilderness aside, common luxuries are taxed heavily because they have to travel a lot further. Not to mention most products you order online don't ship to Alaska, at least for the standard price. Hell, even most nationwide contests or lotteries are exempt in Alaska. So, is a meager two thousand dollars really worth it?

Move on to date or date to move on?

The last couple of months for me have been arduous, to say the least. Probably the most intrinsic part of this has been the struggle between my ex and my new gal. A couple of months ago, I started dating someone around the same time my ex did; and we are still friends somewhat. My ex and I had a three-year relationship, two of which were serious, the last in which we were "friends" but our behavior didn't exactly change so- yes, three years. One day, out of the blue, she tells me she's seeing someone. It was coincidence that we both had found someone around the same time but, I was hesitant about my next endeavor whereas she (personal opinion) STUPIDLY started talking about marriage and the future within barely a month of meeting this new guy. Never mind the details but, the thing is, this happened all so fast and I feel like something got ripped out of me. One minute, my ex is here, a person I care deeply about, and the next, she was gone, and I have this stranger, by comparison, where she used to be.

So all the while, the last 4 months I have been struggling with strong feelings for my ex while seeing this other girl BUT, I am not going to enter a state of denial because she very well may end up with this guy; who knows? So, I'm doing my best to move on with the new girl, trying to suppress any thoughts about my ex along the way. In no way is this new girl a rebound but, I don't want to ruin this relationship over the remains of an old one. I could easily tell her that I have feelings for my ex but, I know that the chances of my ex and I getting back together at this point have all but vanished and I refuse to be hung up on her and am giving someone else a real chance. So far, nothing has affected the new relationship. But, on the other hand, I feel like the right thing would have been to give myself a bit of time before dating again. Which do you think is the better choice?

Friend wants to visit me

I'm currently abroad, and one of my friends from home wants to come visit me for a few weeks. However, I know what she's like when she travels (she tends to complain, needs luxury, spends a lot of money). I am the complete opposite. Seeing her would be nice, but I know she would take away from my journey (I went traveling alone for a reason). Do I convey this to her, or let her come meet me and get over it?

Cats or Dogs?

The Trash Man's Side

The biggest question that has daunted mankind since mankind started taming animal-kind. I am a cat person through and through. Here's why. Cats are independent and autonomous creatures. They don't require a ton of care because they usually take care of themselves regardless having an owner or not. They groom themselves, can hunt on their own, and if let outside, don't even need a litter box. Hell, you don't even need to walk the damn things. Aside from the minimal care, cats are just adorable and fun. You can play them all the same as you can with a dog without any of the excess attention and expelled energy. And, they can be affectionate just like any other animal. Cats

x0ninalovex0's Side

Dogs are the way to go! They are a man's best friend after all. Dogs are always loyal and friendly and wont scratch you if you rub their stomach the wrong way. You can give them walks without people staring at you and you can play with them without them getting annoyed. They are energetic and will always be there for you- who's heard of a therapy cat? You don't have to buy their affection like you do with cats and their emotions are always honest. You just cannot beat a furry friendship. *bark*

Am I getting enough sleep?

Do I get enough sleep? I don't know if the 8-hour paradigm is relevant anymore. It makes me sad to think that instead of days being split into three equal parts, that sleep has to suffer the cuts. I usually find it hard to balance work, free time, socializing, etc., so I will compromise my sleeping schedule to have more time to fit the rest of my life in.

I think on average, I'm getting about six hours of rest each night. Has this become the norm though? It feels that way to me. We're all running around trying to find time in the day but, we're doing it with baggy eyes and slumping shoulders. Or maybe, you're not so tired throughout the day because you're used to having less sleep (which is a troublesome thought to me). Maybe it's specific to certain people's lives. I'm not sure so I'm asking: How does everyone else sleep? Do you think the norm has shifted?

Rome vs. Paris

Help me settle a friendly argument. If you had a weekend to spend in Paris or Rome, which would you choose?

Is Valentine's Day stupid or is it just me?

Valentines' Day just passed and, like many of you probably did, I did something special for the significant other. But, it's not that I really wanted to. I felt obligated to because well, it's Valentine's Day. Also, don't mistake me for a common ass either. Of course, I would love to do something special for my girlfriend but, it just irks me that there's a whole day dedicated to the ooey-gooey and the stigma that follows.

One, why is there a holiday that tries to condense something as magnificent as love into a typical ceremony? Two, why should there be a day that dictates when I should be doing something nice for someone? I feel like if I hadn't done anything then I would automatically be condemned for it (I dare you to prove me wrong). And, lastly, it's a day that excludes a great deal of people; ya know, people that aren't in relationships. Yes, some are happily single yet, for those others, this day really exacerbates that feeling of loneliness. And, to top it all off, I simply believe this is just a capitalist rake-in (don't think I didn't notice the $10 mark up on roses, Safeway).

But, I digress. Am I the only one that has a problem with this? What are your thoughts?

Is It Appropriate?

While this situation has nothing really to do with me, it's something that seems odd at the very least if not downright wrong, and I'm wondering how others view the situation? Back when I was a junior in high school, a 19 or 20-year old transferred into my grade, he'd been held back a couple years at other schools, that's why he was so much older. While he was in school I always got the sense that he was hitting on one of our younger teachers, but I'm pretty sure nothing ever developed while we were still students. Fast forward a few years to now, I just found out that that guy is now dating the teacher he was hitting on while a student, I know this for sure. Is it weird or wrong for a teacher to date a former student, or is it just me?