What does Ebola mean for America?

                  We are currently in the middle of a potentially huge Ebola scare.  It is a disease most of us know little or nothing about.  Going into this,  all I knew was that there was not a cure for it.  I heard it could only be passed through saliva or blood and couldn’t be passed if you didn’t show symptoms.  I will touch on the little I know in a bit.  What I really want to approach is the effect  this disease will potentially have on the country and it’s psyche.

First off I find it despicable that anyone would try to score political points off of this. Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, any using this for political gain should be thrown out of office. Rush Limbaugh should be kicked off the air for creating a panic, instead of trying to help calm people by feeding them facts. The media is blowing this out of proportion in attempt to gain more viewership at the expense of creating a panic. This issue is being handled horribly on all fronts. I think we should feel the people facts so they can make an educated judgement on where they land on how to handle this. But not in America.

What does this an for Americans? This disease if it becomes a pandemic can be the undoing of over 200 years of hard work. This disease could be our undoing. We have representatives saying to outlaw flights from certain countries, to box up any and all that show a symptom and are spending time looking for a scapegoat instead of a solution. The last I knew, 1 died from it and 2 others are infected. Is this our version of the zombie apocalypse? Will this run rampant through our country? How many will die before big pharma releases a cure? How many are already infected? Will we fall because of this? The government shutdown and sequestration cut the CDC emergency response budget by over a half billion. Are we even in a position to properly handle this? This is a game changer, this could possibly change America forever. How do we react?

I know it seems like I am pushing the panic button. I am just throwing out possibilities. We as a people are not prepared for this. There is a lot of ball dropping to allow it to get where it is. Now we need to act, to help one another. The nurses that helped the original patient, helped other patients, had contact with other doctors and nurses, as well as the public and had contact with their families. It only creates a larger net when you add in all the people that they contacted. How bad can this become.? We have all seen movies, this honestly could decimate us.

As I said before, Ebola has no cure. There is a potential it could mutate and become an airborne pathogen. The other ways it spread are still true. The symptoms of Ebola are as follows: 101.5°fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained hemorrhaging. Symptoms typically show between 2 and 21 days but are usually seen by 8-10. This is what I found in 5 minutes.

What does this mean for us? I think we will try harder to pay attention to little outbreaks in small countries. Be more health conscious. Support plans that do not cut important programs. Be done with fear mongering and those who cause it. We are by no means out of the woods yet. But I think we will come through this a better nation. Stay safe and don’t believe the hype.

NRA has funded a ban on federal gun research.

               The NRA has funded a ban on federal funding for gun violence research. Congress, backed by the NRA, voted to ban federal funding for gun violence research. According to an Institute of Medicine panel report there is a clear research agenda for answering life and death questions about gun violence. But in order fir any study to happen, Congress needs to lift the NRA funded ban.

                  The panel convened in response to President Obama’s directive that the CDC develope a plan for research on gun violence. It was tasked with developing a list of questions about gun violence that haven’t been sufficiently examined by current research. Since the 1990’s the NRA supported legislation has stripped the CDC of $2.5 million in grant money. That is the exact amount the CDC had for gun violence research. The legislation also stipulated that no funds made acailable for injury prevention and control at the CDC may be used or advocated to promote gun control.

Federal funding makes up 60% of all support for acedemic research. The federal ban has crippled research in a field as specific as the effects of gun violence. Today there are fewer than 20 acedemics working on gun violence. Very odd for something that causes 32, 000 American deaths per year.

Because of this ban there is a whole in the data about gun possession, distribution, ownership, aquisition and storage. What data there is, is weak and of little use. The panel identified 14 priority areas for federal research. For example, Improve the understanding of whether reducing criminal access to legally purchased guns reduces gun violence. Are there methods to enhance the reporting of stolen guns in order to reduce illegal access. To what degree would mandatory reporting of private ownership of guns be effective in reducing illegal access.

Despite the gaping hole in gun violence research, there is string evidence of a few things. Counties with more guns typically have more crime. The best available evidence suggests that background checks significantly reduce gun homicides. Stopping criminals from breaking once they have broken into your home with your gun is very uncommon, in fact the evidence suggesting that is dubious. Since Sandy Hook, more than 4, 200 have been killed by gun violence. There was also a spree of accidental shootings at gun shows. As well as children shooting other children.

What is unfortunate here is the incredible power lobbyist have over the laws governing our country. The NRA asserted their power by paying over $300, 000 to Senators before the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill vote. The Republicans say they stand up for the 2nd Amendment, but they only seem to stand for the second part of it. But I guess that is what they are payed to do, not by the people but by their corporate sponsors. A few of the Democrats are just as bad, voting against their party and President Obama. There was a lot of solidarity shown for a change on the Democrats side. This debate is not over and the NRA will lose. We need to stay persistent and believe or your neighbor will be parking a rank in their driveway.