What Was The True Intent Of The 2nd Amendment Of The US Constitution?

The Second Amendment states:“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Merriam-Webster defines Militia as:

  • a group of people who are not part of the armed forces of a country but are trained like soldiers
  • a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
  • a body of citizens organized for military service

In my humble opinion, our forefathers and the founders of the US, wrote the second amendment so American citizens could rally together, using their personal weapons, in order to defend our country and maintain our freedom.

I am not a historian or governmental scholar. I am simply a US citizen who is tired of the personal agendas, especially of people in power, forcing their beliefs, views and opinions on others. I believe the second amendment is actually quite clear and has been exploited especially in the past several decades.

In no way does the second amendment suggest the “right to bear arms” means a person can have arms for hunting or sport. Nor does it suggest personal arms are intended as a means for personal, familial or property defense.

The second amendment was written in a time when the US military was minimal, at best. Therefore, if we were under attack, we could call on our citizens, using their own “arms”, to help fight together, as a Militia, to defend our freedom. Period.

Any other argument to “bear arms” is moot.

Given US citizens have not rallied together, as a Militia, in more than 100 years and the advanced state of our military, I would venture to say there is no longer a need for any citizen to “bear arms”. To that end, it may even be time to remove the second amendment from the Bill of Rights.

I seriously doubt that will happen so perhaps a new amendment should be written that accurately reflects the state of our country. I’d be happy to help and participate in that committee.

-Kevin S.


Acceptance Speech, Circa 2015

 (Inspired by where our time and attention are really focused.)

First and foremost, I would like to thank my iPhone. There is no greater force in my life than my iPhone. You’re there for me every moment of every day. You tuck me in at night often watching over me with a bright light holding on to everything I might otherwise miss while I sleep. Then, as reliable as the sunrise, you’re there to greet me when I awaken ready to spend every second of the coming day together.

I’d also like to thank the wine and beer in my life. If it wasn’t for you my celebrations and sorrows would be void for sure. There’s nothing I cannot accomplish without you or more accurately, you’re there whether I do or do not accomplish anything. I truly value your unwavering presence in my life.

During those rough patches, when things aren’t going so well, I would be remiss if I did not thank the ice cream and chocolate. Somehow, magically, knows just how to dry up my tears, at least for 15 minutes or so.

I’d also like to thank my car and house because without you I would not be able to express my joy. You are the truest symbol of accomplishment. Even though you came into my life before I was ready and have remained ever since, I now know the only way we will part is if there is an economic meltdown.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the people in my life that I’ve bullied and berated in order to get where I am today. My harsh words toward you gave me the power to persevere and reach my ultimate goal of money and fame. There is nothing more powerful than words and the hurt they help inflict.

Thank you.

Loneliness And Social Isolation Are Just As Deadly As Obesity, Study Finds

More and more research is showing how critically important connection is to overall health and well-being, even beyond physical health but also mental health, emotional well-being and social wellness. Here is some of the most recent research. And to help improve your connection with family and/or friends, try http://www.FamilyeJournal.com – designed to strengthen relationships with ease.


social-isolation-2Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, a growing body of research suggests that we have never been lonelier —and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. Now, a new study indicates that the health effects of loneliness and social isolation may be even deadlier than obesity.

“The public is very aware of common physical health indicators and risk factors,” said Dr. Tim Smith, professor of counseling psychology and one of the study’s authors. “Everyone understands that diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol use and obesity pose risks. Well, it turns out social isolation is just as predictive of death.”

In earlier research, Dr. Smith and the study’s lead author, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, associate professor of psychology, found that loneliness poses a substantial risk of death — similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being alcoholic. The new…

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Why Our Education System Is Failing And The Simple Solution

Teachers/administrators, parents and students are what make education possible. The connection between teachers and students is obvious because that is the purpose of education. Schools recognize the importance of parental engagement but struggle to achieve it. The system certainly makes an effort with Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs), parent-teacher conferences and a myriad of tools, such as websites, to communicate with parents about the happenings at school and with their children. The Triangle of Communication in Education fails because there are virtually no programs in place to support and nurture the parent-student relationship.

Triangle of Communication in EducationOur society is passionate about education. We dedicate extensive resources to making it better yet we’re still struggling to keep pace in the world. We try different philosophies and adjust curriculum. We build more modern classrooms and bring in computers, tablets and the internet. We try longer school days and school years and eliminate recess, art, music and physical education in order to give greater focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. We’ve shown that fewer students in a classroom helps but I’m not sure if we truly understand why.

Education involves people interacting and that means relationships.Until we focus on each type of relationship, significant improvements are unlikely. The most obvious relationship is between teachers and administrators and students. This relationship requires little explanation because the fundamental purpose of education is to share knowledge between teacher and student. This occurs all day long.

Teachers and administrators are tasked with improving students’ grades, retention, test scores and graduation rates not to mention managing behaviors. Beyond curriculum and technique, they recognize that the more parents are involved the better the students perform and behave. Why?

Is it because the parent knows what is happening at school? In part, because the better informed the parent is the better they can help guide their child. However, could it also be that when a parent is more involved with their child’s school then they are also more involved with their child’s life? Albeit indirectly, the child may feel like they are important and supported by their parent because the parent is taking an interest in what the child is doing. The child feels important to their parent. (Incidentally, this is also why smaller classrooms make a positive difference. A teacher isn’t changing their technique for fewer students. Smaller classrooms allow a teacher to have a more personal connection with each student.)

Assuming for a moment the above parental involvement premise is true thenby improving the parent-child relationship we can more directly and significantly improve the child’s development and success. According to the Triangle of Communication in Education, we have a well established teacher-student relationship. We also have a fairly robust teacher-parent relationship. In order to have the greatest improvements in education we need to support and encourage the parent-child relationship. (It seems so obvious but it’s not happening and we know this because of the myriad of symptoms we experience everyday – in children and adults.)

Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, 1943When parents and their children feel supported and connected their behaviors improve.This phenomenon is documented in the research and affects more than just scholastics. People, at every age, need to feel connected. It is a basic human need as theorized by Abraham Maslow in 1943 when he presented his Hierarchy of Needs (image).

When a person does not feel connected they attempt to fill that void by resorting to alternative behaviors. Our society is feeling those effects and they present as drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicide, bullying, eating disorders including obesity, gun violence and more. When someone feels a sense of connection their behaviors improve and so do their scholastics.

We always hear about the importance of family and of communication. We instinctively know why but I’m here to state it as plain as day. People need to feel genuinely connected and until each person’s fundamental need is addressed little will change… for the better.

We have a real opportunity to significantly improve our education system and it won’t occur in the classroom, it needs to happen in our homes.Just like we’re encouraging our students to incorporate fitness and healthy nutrition choices throughout their day, we can do the same to encourage a positive family communication and connection. Overall wellness is more than just physical and when we feel connected and a sense of belonging to others it feeds our mental and emotional health.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to improve communication and connection we encourage you to give FamilyeJournal a try. With our database of questions, you’ll create guided mini-journals that are shared privately with only your family members in just 5 minutes.


Note: This is an original post from FamilyeJournal’s Blog.

Why Typical Advice For Having Difficult Conversations Doesn’t Work

Plain and simple: The easiest way to have a conversation (with your kids or colleagues) about a difficult subject is to have regular communication about all of the easy topics that occur in everyday life. The better we know each other day-to-day, the easier it is to communicate and share – about anything.

I mean no offense to the myriad of lists designed to help make conversations easier but the reality is your internet search wouldn’t result in the same generic information appearing millions of times if it was actually working. Until there is a significant change in how we relate to one another, at home or in the office, the likelihood for improvement is minimal, at best.

Try Googling “how to talk with your kids” and you’ll find in 0.42 seconds 33.5 million websites saying basically the same thing. You’ve seen the advice in various formats and it looks like this:

1. Be positive
2. Be a good listener
3. Ask the person to repeat back what you’ve said
4. Speak age appropriately
5. Don’t be emotional
6. Be respectful
7. and so on.

This is all good advice but in actuality, the implementation is a lot more difficult especially when you’re in the moment. Furthermore, aren’t these tips generic to any conversation between two or more people?

Now, let’s try Googling “how to talk with your coworkers”. In another 0.42 seconds we find 6.54 million websites ready to help. Their advice is surprisingly similar and includes:

1. Be cheerful
2. Be complimentary
3. Avoid gossip
4. Be responsive
5. Ask for opinions
6. and so on.

Aren’t these tips simply defining the attributes of a nice person? Granted, some of us may need to be reminded but it really doesn’t address the core issue. We can’t talk about the difficult topics when we don’t really know or feel a connection with the person we’re talking with.

Furthermore, one must be careful following the generic advice or you could end up sounding insincere or patronizing. We all know it’s important to “talk with your [fill in the blank]” but when communication has been strained simply finding common ground, much less discussing a sensitive topic, is nearly impossible. Think about the last time you needed to have a sensitive discussion. How did it go? What was your current relationship with the person. How close do they feel to you? How could the conversation been improved, if at all?

Have you ever asked yourself “why?” is talking so important? I mean, beyond the obvious. Talking, or other means of communication (writing, for example), are how we can connect on a deeper level. As much as we think we’re connecting (e.g. texting, social media) our daily behaviors say otherwise. The research is clear and studies show when people don’t feel truly connected they try to compensate with the symptomatic behavior we see everyday such as bullying, shootings, substance abuse, suicide, low morale and productivity, poor attendance, disengagement, etc.

The truth is relationships take time to cultivate because in that time you’re getting to know who the person is and what they’re about. Once we knowsomeone, as a person, we’ll have a much easier time connecting with them on any number of topics, easy or hard. We’ll also have a better idea of how to communicate with that person in a way that works for them and vice versa.

So, the next time you need to have a conversation about bullying, suicide, grades, productivity, attendance or a pay raise, think about how well you really know the person. Chances are the better you know them the easier and less stressed you’ll be initiating the difficult conversations and your efforts will be much better received.


PS. I would be remiss if I did not offer a solution to help build relationships in a simple, fun and easy way. How best to learn about someone then to share answers to simple questions. FamilyeJournal.com and CorporateeJournal.com are two 5-minute solutions that you can use anywhere, anytime and in 72 languages. Try a 30-day challenge and see what a difference it makes and how much happier you’ll be.

Note: This post is an original from FamilyeJournal’s Blog.


What Is eJournaling?

eJournaling is a Cloud-based Q&A activity where users answer questions from a proprietary database and share those answers with members of their inner circle (e.g. family, friends, co-workers, etc.) eJournals are organized in sets of four questions with additional space to write about anything that’s on your mind.

Answering a few simple questions about everyday happenings helps encourage dialogue and communication on a slightly deeper level. It is through this casual and guided dialogue that helps people know each other on a whole new level. The better we know someone the more connected we feel to them and them to us.

eJournaling is about building connection with a few others through the basic sharing of personal, but not private, information. Your favorite vacation, tv show or ice cream flavor is personal to you and only your opinion matters. Yet, it’s a relatively benign piece of information that, when shared, does not put you at risk of harm, embarrassment or judgement.

Private information (which eJournaling does not try to find out) such as the first time you tried smoking, your thoughts or opinions of another person or your deepest fears and insecurities require a much greater level of vulnerability and depending on the receiver could result in judgement, conflict or embarrassment. eJournaling is not trying to access your private thoughts.

When we begin to share personal information we welcome others to learn about who we are without risk of divulging anything potentially controversial or being exceptionally vulnerable. It’s the combination and accumulation of sharing little details about who we are that allow us to develop a rapport, a common reference of knowledge and a more complete understanding of the people closest to us. The more we understand and know someone the more connected we feel.

This is the essence of eJournaling – simple, easy questions that encourage us to regularly share a little with our family, friends and/or colleagues to bring us one step closer together. Enjoy!


Note: This post is an original from FamilyeJournal.com’s blog.

Everyone Struggles With Mental Health – Let’s End The Stigma Forever

It’s hard to believe we (i.e. society) still think less of someone who is dealing with a mental illness. We stigmatize those with mental health issues. In contrast, a physical ailment is somehow acceptable. The only reason I have come up with is that a physical ailment is viewed as “not your fault” nor a reflection of you as a person while a mental health issue is something you have the power and control to avoid. To that I say, “Really?”

In reality, the opposite may be true. A “classic” mental disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar may be an uncontrollable chemical imbalance in the brain. On the other hand, lung cancer, heart disease and obesity can be significantly improved with personal lifestyle changes.

Perhaps the reason stigma exists around mental illness is because those suffering may act or behave differently than most people. Once again, just because someone is different does not mean they are “bad”. Sadly, mistreating someone because they are different than you is still commonplace around the world. In the words of the late Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”.

Another reason mental health stigmas may exist could be because when the general public thinks of mental illness they think schizophrenia, psychopathic, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar and multiple personalities. These disorders obviously exist but in far less numbers (less than 6% of US) than one might think and definitely far less than the mental health issues every person deals with every day.

Did you catch that? Every person on the planet is dealing with mental health issues every single day. If we accept the fact that we all deal with mental health issues everyday then the stigma can end because we’ll all have it. If you must maintain physical health daily then you must maintain mental health daily as well… and we don’t.

Have you ever felt stressed? Have you ever been anxious or worried about an upcoming event or an event that has already passed? Have you ever felt down, depressed, alone or lost even for a brief time? These feelings affect your mental health and are a natural part of life. Similarly, heart and lung health, ear, nose and throat, weight, skin and more factor into your physical health.

So what is society doing and what are you doing to improve your mental health? In recent years there has been a significant push toward physical health and wellness. Fitness and nutrition programs and apps have become well-accepted in today’s culture. But, what resources are available to improve mental health short of seeking counseling? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of counseling but it seems that resource is only called upon when a crisis is at-hand.

Did you know that personal connection can significantly improve your overall mental health? Relationships and a personal connection with someone is a basic human need. The bond between a parent and child is an obvious place to find connection. But also think about that teacher or coach you had as a child. Perhaps you had a best friend or group of friends that served as your deepest support network. It doesn’t matter where you find connection as long as you have found somebody and they have found you.

The key is, connection requires a two-way sharing of personal information. I’m not talking about deep dark secrets but I am talking about what you’re thinking and feeling. No, not what you post on social media, such as “I’m having the best margarita of my life!”. But something you’d share with only your best friend, such as, “I’m applying for a promotion at work and if I get it I can really help take our company to a new level.”

When you feel connected and supported it can lift your spirits on a tough day and give you the strength to move forward. Having a connection can give you the confidence to try something new because if it works out, you can celebrate together. If it doesn’t work, that person is there to help you through it. “Everybody needs somebody,” sings Bryan Adams and it’s true.

Easing the stress of life’s greatest and hardest moments and having someone who is there for you and you for them helps reduce the work our brains have to manage. In doing so we are improving our state of mental health.

Few programs exist for the masses to help improve their overall mental and emotional wellness. Fortunately, one called FamilyeJournal.com improves wellness by helping you improve your communication and connection. It’s free to use and great for ages 7+. FamilyeJournal is a fun and super simple way to have fun conversation with those closest to you. It only takes about 5 minutes to use so give it a try for a few weeks.

I began by discussing the stigma of mental health and I hope I’ve shown you why the stigma is unfounded because we all deal with our own mental health every day. I then explained how having a personal connection can ease the stress on your mental health system. Finally, I offered a program that’s free and can help you build those connections no matter what your age or where you live.