During the summer season, the Topsail Area receives an influx of thousands of visitors from all over the country. Driving has become an extreme sport and apparently there is a trophy for passing people. Stop lights, stop signs and traffic circles all become confusing. Red means stop. Red sign means stop. Traffic circles, first designed to test mice while under the influence of marijuana, have become something from the outer limits of our universe. Though everything in nature is round (yes, go ahead and ponder that for a moment), mankind likes things square or in straight lines. A traffic circle is neither square, nor in a straight line. The thought of sharing road space and safely merging are now things only done in European movies. The idea of not stopping causes panic. The idea of pacing yourself to allow others to safely enter the magic circle also feels foreign. How do those crazy Europeans do this? The traffic circle constructed on either side of the new Surf City High Rise bridge (yes, it will always be the new bridge) is rather narrow, which does not leave room for mistakes. Our vehicles now range from tiny to massive, how can they possibly work together? Toss in a crosswalk (also a new feature to Surf City) and you have a recipe for chaos
How do you handle the chaos? Here is the best approach. Take a deep breath. Turn down your radio (yes smart alecks, it helps you to concentrate better). Take another deep breath and realize you are now entering the magic realm of the intracoastal waterway. Smile, you can do this. Don’t be afraid to slow down a bit – but don’t stop. Stopping throws off the entire balance. Glide toward it if you must and hope that the person in the circle already is practicing this new routine. You don’t need turn signals; we are all going to the right. Look ahead, see where you will be departing from the magic circle. You got this. Be patient, be kind, and after all this realize that you have successfully made it around the tiny orb. Now smile once more and really mean it and let the salt air in that window! Whether coming or going, you are now crossing over one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world. Enjoy!
In the gun world, many of the higher courts, which uphold the laws of our country and abide by the Constitution, have been very busy lately when it comes to Second Amendment Issues.
Recently, and not without opposition, the Courts have declared that the following issues are unconstitutional:
1. Prohibiting people with Domestic Violence Restraining Orders from owning/possessing firearms.
2. Prohibiting non-violent felons from owning/possessing firearms.
3. Prohibiting citizens under the age of 21 from owning/possessing a firearm (including pistols)
All the new rulings are a result of the Supreme Court declaring that the Second Amendment does not end outside of a person’s home. The right to protect oneself does not specify a location in the Constitution. Even with the recent rulings, current federal gun laws are still in place.
Other issues recently making the news are the overturning of the ATF strict regulation regarding the Bump Fire stock (which they had approved for over a decade) and the latest Pistol Brace ATF ruling. Courts around the country are challenging the legality of ATF to make laws, citing an abuse of power in most cases.
Marijuana use and possession will have to be addressed by ATF regarding the legality of both medical and recreational use across the country. Currently there is a question on the 4473 Federal form for purchase of a firearm that asks if a person is an unlawful user of Marijuana. See where that is a bit confusing? Yes, federally it is still considered illegal, but it is also legal in Washington, D.C. Hmmmm.
But in the words of President Biden as he concluded his gun control speech at the National Safer Communities Summit last week, “God save the Queen, man”. Perhaps he didn’t get the memo that the Queen is no longer with us? Or maybe he knows something we don’t?
In the confusing times we live in, there is only one truth - that knowledge is power. You can never learn too much. You should never stop learning. Keep asking questions, keep poking the bear. The truth won’t necessarily set you free, but it will help clear up all the “social media untruths” that spread like fire with no accountability
Turn off the computer, turn off the TV and close your laptop. Take a walk, visit a neighbor, and celebrate your freedoms!