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womens_riding_breeches
18 May
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Double bridles and Breeches fit snug on your body!

Helmets just make sense as you don’t know when and how an accident could occur. Skill level should NOT be a factor when deciding to wear a helmet as even the best horses can trip and can fall. You simply can’t predict how an accident may occur.

From western bling show shirts to the traditional English show shirt there are options galore in this category. Many schooling shirts and even some newer show shirts are now made from wicking, breathable performance fabrics. There is no reason to roast in the summer and freeze in the winter. Traditionally the western rider goes for Wrangler or Carharrt Jeans and English riders tend to favor breeches or if you are younger, jodhpurs. There are a whole range of styles of horse riding pants in both categories. Good western jeans are comfortable, have seams that won’t rub when riding, and are meant to last. Breeches fit snug on your body. They tend to be made from cotton or other materials combined with some spandex to help them fit. English breeches keep you from sliding around on a smooth leather saddle.

From Fringe laced full leather chaps to the English schooling half chaps there are many types of Chaps and Chinks to fill your needs. Full chaps are worn from the waist all the way down to the ankles, while chinks only go about to the knee. Half chaps are an English version commonly used for schooling or lessons. They connect under your shoe and zip or snap up and end at the knee.
Halters and leads are one of the most frequently used pieces of horse riding equipment there are! Even though we don’t generally use them for riding, we do use it for about everything else!
I prefer longer leads made of yachting braid. This allows the horse to have more drifted if he needs to move his feet. Better quality leads have more feel to them than a cotton or poly rope. Other longer training lines test the level of the communication with your horse from farther away. As for halters, you can read more about those on my horse training halters page.
The bridle is an important piece of horse riding gear. It consists of a headstall which is all of the parts of the bridle that go on your horses’ head, and the reins that you hold. Dressage double bridles are considered as important piece of equipment nowadays perhaps it is compulsory for higher horse riding competition. Double bridles are designed to support the two bits along with the reins. . Double bridles in dressage allow the rider to use more advance form of movements during riding. Moreover it gives aid to control the posture of a horse. Thus it’s a perfect piece of horse riding equipment for those who are heading towards big horse riding competition.

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20 Feb
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“Tagged” Explores The Dangers Of Social Sharing & Cyberbullying

I’m sitting in an intimate theater with a bunch of teenagers at the opening performance of the play Tagged. As you would expect, the teens are loud as they sing along to the blaring pop music as we wait for the show to begin. It reminds me of my teen years going on field trips and thinking “yeah, nothing we haven’t heard already, but we get a break from classes, right?”  I was totally that type of kid. What we were about to see is something we’ve all heard about: the dangers of sharing on social media. While social pressures haven’t changed much, social media has changed everything.  Thanks to smart phones we are able to upload and share every moment of our lives because “everyone does it.” How we feel, what we eat, where we are, who we’re with… in mere seconds our social networks are privy to our lives. Tagged asks the audience to think about where we draw the line. When does funny become malicious? The harsh realities of cyber bullying are explored in Tagged as an Officer investigates two teens, Jerri and Webber, after photos from a house party goes viral. Jerri, the popular girl who thinks she’s above the law doesn’t have time for all this nonsense because it was all harmless fun. Weber is a wannabe YouTuber who is looking to gain more followers and likes on his posts. The party scenario unfolds through flashbacks between the police interviews and unravels a story that is far too familiar. Do these teens actually understand the consequences of their actions? Have the police even caught the right people? How responsible are we for the words that we type and what they lead others to do? Torn from the headlines, Tagged dissects the dangerous potential for harm that exists between social media and young minds.

“She’s going to be famous, isn’t that what everybody wants?”

Explains in a Q&A session with the kids that when he was their age, he had the same types of social issues with peer pressure and bullying. “But we could go home and not have to deal with it and take a break for 12 hours or so and hope it goes away,” said Dave. “But today because of social media the issues are non-stop and don’t ever go away.” “But what’s the big deal?” a line from the play, but one we also hear all too often in real life. We all know just how big of a deal it can be regardless of age. Social media can be scrutinized, dissected and torn apart under a microscopic lens in mere seconds.

“Now she’s trending.”

I was curious as to how the play would be received with the teens… after all, they are the main audience. Judging by the emotional reactions from the teens at this performance, Tagged appears to have stirred something up. Their reactions were immediate and honest. Not surprisingly (but concerning) most of the students in the audience knew someone who was in this situation either as the victim or an active participant in social sharing. In 50 minutes, the play had reminded teens (and us adults too) to pause and think about what we post online and makes us questions why we do these things? I had a chance to chat with Dave Deveau after the play mentioning that if he’s able to draw emotion from even just one teen, then he’s on the right track to get kids to stop in think. In this particular audience there were a few tears.

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20 Feb
0

Shred dies’ “Search For Goodness” Highlights Canada’s Best

One of the things we cherish about being Canadian is our reputation for being polite. It’s great to raise our families in a country known the world over for having good manners (and it’s super handy to be able to invoke national pride when we’re trying to get our kids to chew with their mouths closed).

But this shared value goes so far beyond our habit of passively saying “Oh, sorry!” if anyone bumps into us. It’s about genuine acts of caring and selflessness that make our communities good places to live. It’s about those people who volunteer their time for the good of others, asking little or nothing in return. And there’s plenty of them; in a recent survey, 90 percent of Canadians said that giving back was important to them. Over half of Canadians encourage their children to volunteer, and 85 percent believe those who do will grow up to be better people.

That’s why the folks behind Post Shred dies cereal are mounting the “Search for Goodness,” a national effort to find someone who embodies both this Canadian value and the wholesome goodness found in Shred dies cereal. And as a person who ate Shred dies every morning of childhood, I’ve got to say that this seems like a pretty good fit!

This will be the third year of the search, which celebrates those who make incredible commitments to their communities. In its inaugural year, Shred dies recognized Greg Epp from Saskatoon for all the work he does for his community hockey rink, and featured his story in a National TV commercial. Then in 2014, sisters Julia and Emma Magus from Oakville were selected for their tireless efforts to donate books to youth in remote Northern Ontario communities.

So if you know someone from your family or community who goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others, be sure to tell the people at Shred dies their story. The nomination process is simple. Here’s how this works:

Complete an entry form, including an optional photo of your nominee and a 250-word description of why they deserve to be recognized.

Once a person has been nominated, Canadians can vote for their favorites story once a day to help the nominee make it into the top 10 finalists. From there a panel of judges at Post Foods Canada Inc. will select the winner. So now’s the time to single out a volunteer at your kids’ school, a Scout leader, or program visionary who goes above and beyond each day. We’re looking forward to seeing who you nominate!

 

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20 Feb
0

We’re putting a price on carbon. Get over it.

Who would have thought a year ago that carbon pricing would be splashed across Canada’s front pages?

Yet here we are. Energy- and resource-beat reporters are chronicling the at times heated exchanges between the federal government and the provinces as the former follows through on its pre-election promise to secure a nationwide carbon price — and certain leaders representing the latter say, in effect, “Not so fast.”

Given its recent prevalence in the media, carbon pricing likely feels new to many Canadians. However, with five provinces that together represent close to 80 per cent of the population — and just shy of 90 percent of the national GDP — committed to or already using one flavour of carbon pricing or another, it’s fast becoming business as usual.

As talk of carbon pricing moved onto the national stage, the conversation quickly turned to the nitty-gritty: Which mechanism is the most palatable? Which is the most effective? And how could a federal system possibly work with so many provincial policies already in place?

In the wrangling over options and approaches, we’ve lost sight of an important question: What do carbon pricing advocates, including federal government leaders, want their policy of choice to do?

Climate Action Network action climate Canada is a national coalition of more than 100 diverse organizations that work to inspire and inform policy leadership on climate change. Our members are, of course, pumped that Prime Minister  has moved carbon pricing to his government’s front burner.

As long as we lack a clear vision of the role carbon pricing can play in the coming Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change — and the opportunities it presents to everyone involved — tensions will continue to simmer between the provinces and private sector leaders will furrow their brows.

We suggest now is the time for all stakeholders, including industry stakeholders, to take a breath and consider the objectives of any national carbon-pricing policy. When federal policy makers begin designing the national carbon price program, they should first consider its intent.

To help get the ball rolling, here we propose a series of goals for a cross-Canada carbon price. In our view, such a policy should:

Reduce greenhouse-gas emissions;

Complement a package of regulations that targets pollution in specific sectors, such as transportation, buildings and electricity;

Create a revenue stream that provincial and federal governments can access to finance carbon-reduction programs while protecting the most vulnerable Canadians, such as those in rural or northern communities;

Send a signal across the Canadian economy that Canada is starting to internalize the costs of climate pollution;

Steadily increase the cost of carbon at a pace that industry can plan for, to reduce business risk and increase certainty;

Incentivize innovation toward cleaner and more efficient technologies;

Indicate to the international investor community that Canada is now open for business in the booming, global low-carbon economy.

Given the dollar-per-tonne amount we would likely see during its first year, a carbon price won’t immediately move the needle on climate pollution. The price will need to climb before it begins to truly influence market behaviour. That’s why we have to start today, and introduce a schedule that gets us to the sweet spot 15 years from now.

A carbon price could provide a stream of revenue to feed these near-term regulatory measures. All the while, it would be working away in the background, internalizing the costs that carbon-based energy production and use have long placed on society. It will slowly but surely rebalance the marketplace to make cleaner alternatives more attractive to consumers and industry alike.

This is not the only solution to the climate crisis. But as the senior business leaders in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition recognize, it is certainly a part of the solution. Carbon pricing will help us get where we need to be on emissions, accelerate our economic transition, and show the rest of the world how a globally significant oil producer gets the job done.

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20 Feb
0

How your backbenchers spent their summer vacation

The House of Commons is “on a break” for the summer, as they say, and Members of Parliament will be “back to work” in the fall.

While it’s true that the political news is a trifle thin these days (shirtless photos of the prime minister notwithstanding), we probably should dispense with the idea that MPs have stopped working.

In fact, they may be doing more work away from Parliament than they do while the Commons is sitting — more work that they consider valuable, at least.

All through the summer checking in on  MPs, first elected last year after that extra-long, August-to-October campaign. I gave the project so we could get to know some of the nearly 200 newcomers to this Commons, and remind myself of how political life is viewed through the eyes of people still new to it.

One thread runs through all of the conversations we’ve had to date: These new MPs get far more out of their jobs the closer they are to their home ridings. While they’re awed, even humbled, by the majestic surroundings of their workplace on Parliament Hill, their main job satisfaction comes from day-to-day contact with the people in their ridings.

“It is absolutely where I find I make the biggest difference,” said the new MP from the Windsor-area riding of Essex.

The lawyer who pulled off two surprise upsets last year — taking the Liberal nomination away from Conservative defector former Minister and then defeating former finance minister.

But it’s the work he’s been doing back in his constituency office, that makes him feel most useful — helping people navigate immigration applications, or deal with tax or benefit claims.

New Conservative MP was showing me around his riding office and seemed most proud of one small room, filled with a growing pile of backpacks. In a few weeks, those backpacks will be loaded with school supplies and distributed to disadvantaged students in his community.

He grew up in subsidized housing, relying a lot on charity. He spoke from some experience about the difference made in real people’s lives when MPs turn their attention to such projects.

Every time one of these MPs talks to us about the rewards of constituency work, We reminded of a lunch I had years ago , not long after he was first elected as MP. We asked him: What was life like as an MP, compared to the political world he’d witnessed growing up at 24 Sussex?

He said the biggest surprise — a pleasant one — came from his duties at the constituency office. He hadn’t seen his father doing that part of the MP’s job; as prime minister, He had to delegate most of the riding work to staff. But who (unlike his father) got his start in politics as a backbencher in opposition, said that riding work is where many everyday political problems get solved.

What’s interesting about this aspect of an MP’s job — and the rewards MPs get out of it — is the fact that constituency work really isn’t all that partisan. Sure, some government MPs will try to boast that they’re getting more help for their ridings because they represent the party in power, but frankly, those immigration claims and tax-benefit issues are going to get attention no matter where the MP sits in the Commons. Very few MPs (unless they’re in politics for the short term) are going to tell a citizen that their office is open only to supporters of their party.

Judging from the conversations we have had this summer and before, the partisan stuff is what appeals to backbench MPs the least. Question period, apparently, seems just as much of a circus to those down on the floor as it does to those in the gallery.

In the meantime, it hasn’t been hard to find Members of Parliament willing to sit down and chat over the summer. The only problem  had has been with slotting interviews into their packed schedules, between back-to-back meetings or sessions of door-knocking in the ridings. In a very real sense, this summer hasn’t been any less busy for them than last August, when they were auditioning for the jobs they now hold.

A month or so from now, when Parliament is getting set to restart for the fall, the headlines will be filled with that “back to work” phrase — as though political life as we know it simply ceased when the Commons went dark after Canada Day. But for most MPs, the real work — at least the work they like the best — never stopped.

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20 Jan
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Political Financing

The current Elections Act was amended considerably in the wake of the sponsorship scandal, which tarnished the governing Liberals in the mid-2000s.

Today, the financing of political parties comes from two sources: individual contributions and public funding.

Two series of amendments have tightened rules for private funding. The first, which stemmed from Bill C-24, came into force in 2004 under Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government. Other provisions were adopted by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government and came into effect in 2007 and 2008.

Under these laws, Canada prohibits contributions from corporations, unions and other associations, unlike most provinces and territories in Canada. Individual contributions are also subject to a limit, which is regularly adjusted for inflation.

Although funding from corporations and unions was stopped, direct public funding of political parties was increased.

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS:

In 2012, individuals could donate within these limits:

  • Up to $1,200 in total a year to a particular registered party
  • Up to $1,200 in total a year to the registered associations, nomination contestants   and candidates of a particular registered party
  • Up to $1,200 in total to each independent candidate in an election
  • Up to $1,200 in total to the contestants in a particular leadership contest
    Foreign donations are prohibited, but anonymous donations are permitted provided they are $20 or under.

PUBLIC FUNDING:

Political parties receive an annual allowance. It is based on the number of votes obtained in the previous election and is spread over four quarters. The allowance is regularly adjusted for inflation. In 2011, the indexed allowance amounted to $2 per vote obtained. To be eligible, a party must have obtained at least 2% of valid votes cast nationally, or at least 5% of valid votes cast in the ridings where it ran a candidate.

Candidates and political parties also have part of their election expenses reimbursed provided they obtained a certain percentage of votes. The percentages set for the parties are the same as those for allowances.

OTHER PROVISIONS:

Election expenses of candidates and parties are subject to separate limits based on the number of electors registered.

Any donation of $200 or more must be divulged.

Finally, candidates, riding associations and political parties must all file financial reports.

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20 Jan
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Majority or Minority Government of canada

Tradition dictates that the party winning the most seats forms the government. If a party ends up with more than half the seats in the House of Commons, a majority government forms and has control over the House.

But if the party winning the most seats still has fewer than half the total seats, it is likely to form a minority government. This status means that the opposition parties, with their greater number of seats, can block bills from passing. The Opposition can also bring down the government on major matters like the budget.

To govern, the party in power must have the support of the House. When there is a minority government, the Opposition can try to topple it by tabling a non-confidence motion. If the motion wins the majority of votes from members, the government then falls.

When the government is brought down, the House of Commons is dissolved and an election called.
A minority party can unite with another party in the House of Commons to obtain an absolute majority. In such cases, the alliance may be temporary like the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party in 2005. It may also be a formal alliance whereby the party that agrees to unite obtains positions within the government.

If a party comes to power without winning seats in every province, tradition allows the prime minister to appoint ministers from among senators who are from provinces without a seat.
Senators who are ministers aren’t permitted to sit in the House of Commons, but may sit in the Cabinet and on the Priorities Committee.

The prime minister may also appoint an unelected person as a minister. This new minister, however, must be elected as soon as possible in a by-election. If he loses the election, he must resign as minister.

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19 Dec
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Emerging Economies that are Shaping the 21st Century

Most economists agree the 21st century economy will not belong to the West. As both Europe and North America struggle with low growth, a refugee crisis, the of populist politics, and higher unemployment rates, the stage is set for the “rest” to make an economic breakthrough on the global stage. In this article, we will take a look at a few of the most significant economies to watch in the 21st century.

 

China

The rapid rise of China from an underdeveloped nation into a global superpower is simply astonishing. While there are many economists now putting down the strength China as it slowly moves into a consumer-based economy, the importance of the Chinese market can no longer be disputed. For example, wellness products manufacturer Melaleuca.com did a record $1.35 billion in sales last year, mainly due to its growth in the Chinese market. The stock market fall in August of 2015, which was triggered by the fall in the Shanghai Composite Index, is just one example of how the center of gravity in the global market is slowly shifting away from London and New York to Shanghai and Beijing. Economists who believe China is about to enter a long low growth period, just like Japan did in the 1990s, are getting their facts mixed up. China’s GDP per capita is only 25 percent of what Japan’s was in the 1990s, which means the Chinese economy still has a lot of room left to grow. A better comparison to China’s position in the world today is more like the Japanese economy in the 1950s. It will take a long time before China reaches a GDP comparable to the Western world, and this “latecomer” status is a good thing for the Middle Kingdom. While it may take time, China is still poised to overtake the U.S. economy as the global superpower as the 21st century wanes on.

 

United Arab Emirates

One of the hottest places to be in the Middle East today is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The economic growth in this region was made possible thanks to the discovery of oil, the industriousness of the local Arab population, as well as great policies from governmental officials. Just one example of the great policies put into place in the UAE is the success of the Emirate Ras Al Khaimah. Most economists believe this Emirate is the most favorable for international business. Under the progressive leadership of Shaikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah has made itself into a wonderful area to live, work, and do business in. With its modern highways, powerful shipping ports, international airports, and relatively low cost of living, this Emirate has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. The government here has kept the GDP stable, maintained a well-understood and respected legal framework, and supported the development of industries like steel and glass production, travel and leisure, and pharmaceuticals. Although all of the UAE is set to explode upwards in the 21st century, keep your eye on this Emirate. It might not get as much headline attention as the flashy Emirate of Dubai, but Ras Al Khaimah is drawing in major dollars from powerful international investors.

 

The Rise of Africa

Many investors are curious if the 21st century could see the rise of Africa as the “new China.” There are certainly plenty of raw materials manufacturers could extract from this region, and multinational corporations are just itching to dip into Africa’s growing consumer base. There is actually a great growth in the economic performance of sub-Saharan countries in recent years. HIS Global Insight believes that sub-Saharan African nations’ economies are set to perform better than all other economic blocs, excepting China, in real GDP growth in the upcoming years. Many global economists believe sub-Saharan Africa’s real GDP could grow by as much as six percent each year from now till 2022. Also, Africa has a growing population, whereas many countries in the developed world have shrinking or negative birth rates. While this data looks promising, just keep in mind that many African nations need to work on creating political stability, reducing poverty, and building up infrastructure. Although some of these problems have gone down a bit in recent times, we will just have to wait and see if Africa can emerge as a global power in the years to come.

 

Nobody can predict the future, but current trends indicate these three regions of the world could experience tremendous growth in the 21st century. There are many “ifs” for the future prospects of developing nations, but all of them have a great chance to unseat the West as the center of global business in coming years. Be sure to keep your eyes on these areas of the world for potentially lucrative investment opportunities in the economy of tomorrow.

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14 Nov
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Where’s the Best Place Online for Business Reviews?

Before you partner up with any business, whether as a new employee, customer, client, investor, or other type of shareholder, it’s important that you do your due diligence. You need to know what type of organization you’re getting involved with.

Is the company you are interested in growing? What is its mission? What are its values? What does it stand for? How does it treat its employees?

That last question may be one of the best when it comes to reviewing a company online. After all, its the employees who make or break a company, and if they are happy at work, chances are the business is healthy and prospering.

GlassDoor.com is an online review site made up of millions of employee reviews. Employees (both current and past) post anonymous reviews of their companies that include pros, cons, advice for management, and other ranking factors. They key is that employees post anonymously. This empowers them to actually speak their minds and say what they truly feel. When it comes to sites like these, anonymity and honesty are pretty much synonymous.

Pretty much any major company you can think of has a profile on Glass Door. Employees have been submitting reviews to the site since 2008. The larger the company, the more reviews you can expect to find. Most of the companies on Glass Door are based in the U.S. Let’s examine three different organizations.

1. Sears reviews
Sears earns an overall rating of 2.6 stars, which is average. However, only 32% of employee reviews would recommend Sears to a friend, and a dismal 19% approve of CEO Edward Lampert. Of the 8,074 total reviews, here are some samplings:
Pros – “Flexible schedule, good management sales training and support. Open to listen, flexible with scheduling changes. The colleagues in the office are friendly and supportive, too.”
Cons – “Too many metrics that you are graded on. You get pulled in many different direction, due to the fact of downsizing dept. managers. You are responsible more multiple depts. while overseeing the entire store performance. They make it so complicated just to sell stuff!!!”
Advice for Management – “Promote the right people and adjust to the times.” “Corporate is clueless. A trained monkey could do your job better than you!”

2. Bob Evans Reviews
Bob Evans does a little better, with a 3.0-star rating, 47% employee recommend rate, and 55% score for CEO Saed Mohseni. Here’s what a fe employees have to say about working at the restaurant chain:
Pros – “It is a great place to work for , the employees are very hands on with the customers and have a great relationship with their co workers.”
Cons – “Was expected to do more than what my position specified. Managers were lazy, and avoided angry guest. Kitchen staff was unsanitary and overly aggressive. Servers were lazy and didn’t do their job in a timely manner. Unsatisfactory working environment.”
Advice for Management – “Take part in the day to day instead of hiding in the office all the time.” “Good luck. Everyone is out for themselves and likes to put blame. It’s no longer a family environment company. Hope the new CEO is different.”

3. Melaleuca Reviews
Melaleuca, a consumer goods manufacturer, scores quite well on Glass Door. It enjoys a 4.0-star rating, 81% of employees would recommend it to a friend, and the CEO, Frank VanderSloot, has an 83% approval score. Employees said this about working at Melaleuca:
Pros – “The family values supported by the company are one of the main benefits. The Executive Leadership has been consistent in make good judgments.” “Good benefits if you’re in it for the long run.”
Cons – “Headquarters is in a small town. They have high expectations of employees, but that I think is what makes them successful.”
Advice for Management – “Keep up the great work. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone in the hall even if you don’t know who they are.”

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19 Apr
0

Providing gun laws for the United States

If you were given the responsibility of providing gun laws for the United States, or entire world, what would you choose? Many individuals desire to acquit the market and production of certain types of hand guns or rifles. Other extremist believe guns should be outlawed all together. However, 2016 is bringing a much more realistic and genuine ideal to the books. Leaders, mostly in Britain, have continued to push for some more specific laws related upon ones background, their stability, and there availability to possess guns. Although it can be quite difficult to determine the mental stability of a human being, it is more difficult to experience the outcome of giving mentally ill individuals weapons. It is important for our leaders to take action when it comes to the regulation of guns and the people who use them. Or, it may not be only the people who use them but more importantly the minds that use them. If an individual has had a history of Schizophrenia or anger management issues, it would be an intelligent decision to keep guns out of their hands. It is proved that mentally ill people act quite differently when they possess weapons, versus mentally stable people who utilize them. Many of these unstable people also not only use the weapons to harm others, but also themselves. Guns have been increasingly more involved with suicides than ever before. Since most suicides can be linked with emotionally distraught individuals, it would make even more sense to keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. This way not only would the homicide rate decrease, but the suicide rate would decrease as well. Developing gun control laws may seem almost impossible to perfect. However, what people and individuals of authority need to realize once again is that it is acceptable if the law is not exactly perfect as long as it saves many more lives than prior. No existing law is perfect in its form but most do their job of keeping humanity out of chaos and on a steady path. The recently enacted laws that restrict the possession of guns amongst the mentally stable have been said to have caused more deaths compared to lives kept safe. Taking guns or defense weapons away from people who are capable of handling them leads to vulnerability in cases where an individual and surrounding others may need to defend themselves. Guns need to now be kept in the hands of the mentally stable and kept away from individuals who are unfortunately unable to understand or utilize them safely and correctly

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