Paris, Gun Laws, and The Black Market

One of the greatest things about technology is that news travels fast. Tonight in Paris, there were multiple terrorist attacks that killed over 100 people. The French president declared France in a state of national emergency and closed the borders while he also said he plans on retaliation when whoever did this comes to light.

There are lessons in every tragedy and our hearts should go out to all of those affected. This type of attack can happen anywhere and at any time, with no warning. But a source of surprise and something to take notice of is that France has very strict gun laws that basically allow no civilians to carry firearms for self defense. A total analysis of the French gun laws can be found here. This raises the questions – are these gun laws affective and where did these terrorists get their weapons?

First of all, the topic of gun laws is very debated here in America. Both sides have evidence to support them, but there are some hard facts that support the allowance of civilians being able to carry firearms. The Guardian, a British publication, says that even though the U.S. is the first in the world with public ownership of guns, it is ranked 28 in the world for percentages of homicides by firearms, with 60 percent. France comes in with 9.6 percent of their homicides by firearms. The number is much lower, but for a country that is hard pressed to let normal citizens carry weapons, it is surprisingly high. And makes the point that those who want to have weapons, those who want to hurt others, will find ways to do it, regardless of the laws. A person who wants to kill another human being has to have some sort of issues but knowing that they will find tools to kill their subjects regardless, is the answer to take guns as a form of protection away from civilians who could turn out to be first responders?

Secondly, not only did the terrorists have guns, they had lethal bombs and other weapons. Due to the strict laws for firearms, the buying and selling is now underground. This enlarges the web of illegal money-making and the risk involved of the Black Market. There is really no telling where these terrorists got their guns because of this. In the U.S., at least for now, most guns are easily tracked back to owners and shops where they were bought through serial numbers and such. But when shops are not allowed to sell guns and they are traded illegally, that avenue of tracking becomes slim to none.

While the argument that making guns so hard to obtain that it isn’t worth it is supported because those who believe in it also believe that it would deter those who want to kill because of difficulty. But is that really true? There are many shooters who make their own guns, who steal them, etc. The only affect that taking gun laws to the extreme in America would have would be that now civilians on the street would no longer have the option to protect themselves.

Thoughts and prayers go out to those in France. Even though the terrorists are all thought to be dead at this point, hopefully the motives and larger group behind these attacks are found. I encourage you to do your own research and become informed, but that’s just what nugget says.



11 Top Travel Tips

Traveling can seem overwhelming and impossible. And it can be overwhelming – expensive, far, etc. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful and nail biting experience. Here are 11 tips to help have a successful adventure.

1) Pack Efficiently
Most people overlook the little details when planning a trip. This includes forgetting the tragedy that hauling two suitcases through airports, to different hotels, and in multiple cars can be. Packing efficiently can save you so much grief and it starts with planning your outfits and bringing pieces that can potentially be worn more than once, and remembering to roll your clothes. This technique will provide much more space and One Bag can show you how to make it happen.

2) Bring Medicine
No one wants to be on vacation and get a migraine only to realize that after they’ve dragged themselves to the nearest drug store that they can’t find the medicine they need because they can’t speak german. Bring the basic medical necessities with you to save yourself the hassle of feeling sick and helpless.

3) Learn Basic Words
Locals appreciate this. You are a visiter in their home country and a little effort will go a long way. Purchase an english-to-language dictionary or write down few important words and phrases. The locals will be much more receptive and helpful towards you if they know that you’re truly invested.

4) Dress Nicer Than Normal
In America, it is normal for people to go about in sweats and old sneakers. In Europe, for example, someone wouldn’t only wear their gym clothes if they were on the way to the gym. And maybe even then, they would change into their workout clothes once they got there. Look presentable when you’re getting ready to go out for the day.

5) Ask The Locals
These people live here, what better way to find out the best things to do? Guidebooks and Google don’t have everything. Ask around to find the best places, restaurants, and directions.

6) Eat Local Food
You can eat all the pizza and burgers you want when you get home. Unless you’re in Italy, don’t eat the pizza. (but if you are in Italy, do eat the pizza. It is so good). Food prepared in other countries is usually much fresher and includes ingredients that are hard to come by in the states. It may not be your favorite, but branch out and get a true cultural experience.

7) Don’t Be Flashy
The Michael Kors purse? Leave it at home. Those diamond earrings? Don’t take them. People will steal from you, especially if you are out and about in valuables. Hotels usually have a safe to leave priceless items in. But remember that you should always carry your passport with you.

8) Don’t cram your trip
It can sometimes feel like if you’re not seeing a new site every few hours and visiting 12 cities in a week that you aren’t getting the most out of your trip, but that is not so. It is just as important to plan a day or two to just relax and enjoy yourself. Pick a few key destinations and get the most out of them.

9) Journal
You will not remember the details. There are so many things to see and smell and taste that you can’t possibly remember. Take time every night to write down what you did that day, from start to finish. In 30 years, you’ll be happy you did.

10) Be Flexible
You will miss your train. You will lose your tickets. Your reservations will be mixed up. That’s okay. You will find something else to do. Getting stressed out will only sour the mood and take away from your trip. You’re on vacation, have fun.

11) Be Present
Take your pictures, but then put away your phone. Post things when you get back to the hotel and talk to your friends when you make it home. You don’t want to miss the sunset over the Eiffel Tower because you were stuck to your phone screen. There’s a big world out there and you don’t want to wish that you had taken advantage of seeing it while you had the chance instead of retweeting that cat picture.

Traveling is a blessing and if you’re lucky enough to go on a trip, remember these tips. They will help, at least that’s what nugget says.


Breakfast Bar Bliss

Open and airy, breakfast bars in Spain need to be a daily visit. Fresh produce and pastries along with a great view of the city around you make them so memorable.
Open and airy, breakfast bars in Spain need to be a daily visit. Fresh produce and pastries along with a great view of the city around you make them so memorable.

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