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In Solidarity With Never Again - Stop Mass Killing

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We are in the midst of a great debate about guns. We are increasingly being killed by them.

There are some things we can agree on. People have a right to life. People have a right to defend themselves. Killing with guns has become a problem and something needs to be done. We disagree about what to do.

Our Constitution is our guide simply because of what it may uphold or reject that states or the federal government legislate. On the one side, the Preamble To Our Constitution proclaims, "... insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare ..." as primary goals. We are not being defended.

The right to life is enshrined in our country's values. It's called an “inalienable right” in the Declaration of Independence (not a law). It's enshrined as law in Amendment 5 of the Bill Of Rights, and in Amendment 14 of the Constitution. The government can't take away this right without due process of law.

On the other side are gun rights advocates. When the US Constitution was written, the US was following English Common Law. Owning a gun was a "natural right" to self defense, with restrictions and loyalty pledges. Muskets were used for self defense, shooting game for the table, and insurrection against England. The Constitution did not address the issue of private gun ownership. What would have been the point?

The Constitution did address the subject of militias in Article 1, Section 8. Insurrection was a definite possibility in the early years. The US Congress was given power over militias and was to arm them and specify training and discipline, for the purpose of putting down insurrections and for defense. The states were to provide the officers and do the training.

Amendment 2, is not clear, but the Alito era Supreme Court held that this applied to an individuals' right to own guns.

Unlike the right to life, the right to gun ownership is not absolute. The Supreme Court has upheld restrictions on types of guns, such as sawed off shotguns which were a menace to public safety, suppressors, and automatic weapons. It also has upheld restrictions on types of people who can own guns, such as felons.

Things change, and the law has to change with it. The National Guard became the militia, and their armaments are kept in armories. The national military services are not allowed to operate within the US (Coast Guard exempted), and our laws are established and our representatives are subject to public vote, so tyranny is unlikely. But that doesn't mean that people should not be able to own guns for their self defense. It also doesn't mean that weapons that were designed for war, semi-automatic weapons, should be beyond restriction.

The debate has prevented restrictions on guns for long enough that we see what works and what doesn't. It should be beyond debate at this point that even well trained people fail to protect others and even themselves in active shooter situations. Forty-six percent of the police get shot when confronting active shooters. Combat vets declare arming the public as a fantasy. There is a mountain of evidence against arming people. Additionally, arming everyone conflicts with evidence that the more guns there are, the higher the amount of gun violence. Arming teachers would just provide a gun to be taken away and used. They get taken away from police. And reacting effectively requires continuous training, and even then gets the person killed.

Mental illness is blamed. Psychologists give a variety of labels to mass shooters. The characteristics aren't mental illness but people who are isolated, feel helpless to change their situation, have lost hope of it changing, and lash out in anger. It's an anger and rage problem.

Our society, locked out by privacy laws and apathy, has proven totally ineffective at identifying and dealing with people who could become a mass shooter, even when they are repeatedly identified to authorities such as school counselors, the police, and FBI. The problems are endless. Part is failure of agencies to report. Part is failure to investigate. Part is failure to recognize there is a problem. Part is because the referring agency might have to pay for treatment. The causes are known for pockets of violence in inner cities, but no one cares enough to solve the problem. It's overflowing into the larger city and suburbs now.

School shootings are the tip of the iceberg. If we harden schools, costing millions of dollars to turn each school into a fortress, those shooters will just turn to some other places (which I won't mention). There is no safe place for our children or anyone else. Arming teachers won't help. Even many combat veterans say arming individuals is a dangerous fantasy.

Only 30% of people own guns, and of those, 72% own only a handgun. A small percentage own semi-automatic rifles. But there is a gun incident on school campuses every week with frequent mass shootings, and every day there is a mass shooting of four or more people in the US. Only 57% of gun owners store them where kids can't get them. Owning semi-automatic weapons, which have little practical value, are difficult to justify.

Since 1998 I have researched this issue with an unbiased mind until 2017, and published reports and statistics from relatively unbiased and authoritative sources. Now I believe gun control is the only realistic answer. You can find my in-depth report at Gun Violence Claims Reviewed and Evaluated. Recently I thoroughly researched and wrote this article: Guns and the US Constitution.

Two recommendations that meet everyone half way. Require all semi-automatic rifles to be safely secured at a shooting range or armory, and only used there. Require all semi-automatic handguns to hold six or fewer bullets in a permanent cartridge, or disable the automatic feed. If this can be accomplished, then removing all firearms might be avoided.

The right to life and to being defended by our government, in our Constitution, far overshadow the perceived right to own semi-automatic weapons.

Please support the Never Again movement:

March 14: Students and faculty to walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes, one minute for each life lost in the South Florida shooting.

March 24: March For Our Lives, Washington D.C. Ban civilian ownership of semi-automatic and automatic weapons.

April 20, which marks the 19th year since the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.

Please demand the resignation of any school administrator or public official who opposes, restricts, bans, threatens penalties, or in any way obstructs these events.

Please share this on other Web sites.

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How to Write a Movie: Screenwriting fundamentals.

Remodeling... continuously. Please pardon the heterogeneity and potsherds on older pages.
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What does it take to make a story rise to the top? Since 1990 I have had the privilege of critiquing screenplays from individuals, a few studio writers, and seeing some pilots. Most of the time they are in the "good range," but rarely rise to excellent or superior... and they aren't that difficult to fix. All of the information necessary to make a screenplay rise above the rest is on the menu button at left, marked "Screen Writing." A few hints are here.

What's New?

Articles and Series with something for everyone
•  Anon movie review on Netflix
•  Guns and the US Constitution
•  Pippy Hotamus for Christmas song
•  Cybersecurity Improved
on Nations Agenda (this site)
•  Story idea: Dead, Dead, Dead: The main character dies on page 1 - Comedy
•  Making News Credible
The Future Project on Nations Agenda (this site)
•  Communicating Effectively.
Can we do it? (On OneSpiritResources.com site)
•  Nations Agenda is now part of Visual Writer.
Informative and educational articles and commentaries on government, economics, climate change....
•  How Does Feedback Help People?

Author's book, Genre: Romantic Comedy, legal dramedy, suspense. Length: Novella - PG, 14 and over.

Unauthorized Access Dion demands justice and a rewarding career making a difference in people's lives, but... be careful what you demand. Nothing is ever as it seems with his clients and they drive him crazy. His "come here, get away" girlfriend and clients try to be good, but it's hard work keeping them all out of jail. Justice narrowly prevails at this nexus of the individual and larger questions about justice.

•  Nicholl Reader Judging Criteria
•  Story idea: Paranoia: Psychological thriller. A skeptic finds paranoia is real as he fights for his life.
•  Putting Variety in Stories: Easier than it seems. Story architecture.
•  Should I write that? Story architecture.
•  Movie Review: Spy.
•  What is the Most Important Element in Your Story? Story architecture.
•  Pushing a Rope Leadership, on nationsagenda.com.
•  About the business of screenwriting, in What does it take to make a story rise to the top?.
•  Story idea: Mars Problems. The race to Mars gets treacherous.
•  Everything Communicates in a movie.
•  Editorial: The Challenge of War - Challenges series
•  Film Violence - revisited

Interview With A Gremlin

STL Comedy - Movie Stream Productions - Author's production Interview With The Gremlin - PG to PG-13

•  Propaganda Oh, how are you deceived! Learn to recognize how others deceive and manipulate you, and get smarter than them, in this 10 part series on sister site One Spirit Resources. Stop polarization.
•  Writing Comedy, 3 of 3 Length format for Writing comedy
•  Writing Comedy, 2 of 3 Writing comedy one-liners
•  Writing Comedy, 1 of 3 The highest art is 90% perspiration and 5% inspiration.
•  Get your grammar on! Links offsite.
•  How To Get People to Do Anything You Want. Dangerous communication. Are We Creating the World We Want?
•  Are We Creating the World We Want? The Impact of Political Party on the Economy, in The Challenges For Capitalism Series
•  Are We Creating the World We Want? Or are special interests and polarizing voices leading us down a trail of self-destruction? Writers and leaders raise the consciousness of our world.
•  The writer's, director's, and editor's job - a step beyond "show don't tell". Writers and director's believe their job is to "tell a story in a visual medium." The following is a subtle shift, but often a very important one: "The writer and director's job is to understand what the audience wants or needs to see, and give that to them, so that they can imagine the story." - Dorian Cole. From The MSP Insider, on the Movie Stream Productions Web site.
•  Will artificial sweeteners make you gain 10 pounds? Update Sugar: The Imperfect Chemical. Writers should always be wary of how research is interpreted or misinterpreted and how others try to mislead us.
Nowhere Man: A frustrated psychiatrist has a crisis with his incurable wife, and an unsolvable, rapidly spreading, medical epidemic spiraling out of control, plus religious fanatics and conspiracy theorists. He must tackle a crisis in his own beliefs and confidence to resolve them all. Total Immersion: Two people strike out in relationships, then avoid people in a 3D virtual world. Work in that world forces an awkward intimacy. Their friends and work push them to confront and overcome their fears, bringing them together.
•  The Challenge of Polarization: Will our economy fail due to Congressional inaction?
•  Writing for the Market, on Movie Stream Productions:
Writing for the Market, and Loving It
Architecting a Story for the Market
•  Successful Thinking in College Dealing successfully with philosophy and the unknown, On sister site OneSpiritResources.com
•  Should We Dumb Down Communications and lose the ability to think? What's In A Word series.
•  Would you like to review screenplays and movies? Following are guides for doing reviews:
•  Philosophy of Democracy What new challenges are we seeing? A capstone article in the Challenges Series.
•  Movie Review: The Karate Kid (2010) Excellent example of the ability to change settings, characters, etc. Examples of visual writing, and the use of the set as a third character.
•  Say It Visually.
•  Eight steps to sparkling characters. What is it about a character that sparkles? Learn how to make them sparkle in Story Architecture.
•  How To Write Visually. What is this thing called visual writing, and how do you do it?
•  Conversations with a Cat. Just for fun.
•  Conveying meaning through non-verbal action. A movie scene study for individuals and groups.
•  Communicating the Message Effectively. Create drama better by learning the basics of effective communication. Whether in drama, speaking, or ministry, many of the principles of effective communication are the same - On sister site One Spirit Resources.com.
•  Story idea: Reality fiction - live! A story idea about real writers and for real writers.
•  Movie Review: Forbidden Kingdom - very entertaining movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
•  Polarization: What divides us is how we choose to divide ourselves. Expanding Horizons series: Words and concepts that open windows to new worlds
•  Story idea: One Week To Live (Drama)
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The Visual Writer Web site is a resource sites for story writers (including journalistic and other nonfiction stories) for screen, stage, and print.

This site empahsizes the visual qualities of a story, and good storytelling techniques.

The overriding concern of this site is what kind of world we are creating through the narratives that influence the meaning frameworks of our lives. Stories tell and reinforce narratives, and sometimes even originate narratives. Narratives stimulate diversity and empowerment, or diminish human potential. No specific philosophy or religion is promoted on this site, but they are discussed, and philosophy, religion, and spirituality are encouraged.

The articles are meant to challenge people to research stories more thoroughly and portray society more accurately, but do no harm.

Terms of Use

The information on this Web site is freely presented, but that doesn't mean that it is "public domain." The information provided here is copyrighted material, is subject to national and international law, and can't be distributed in any form by any person or institution, in whole or in part, for any commercial purpose or for the purpose of providing collections of information, or as part of another person's or institution's work. Standard citations, properly attributed, including quotes and brief portions of material of course are acceptable and encouraged. Provisions have been made and displayed on individual articles and index pages that permit the distribution of articles in non-commercial enterprises, such as in educational institutions and writers groups, as long as the author's name, Web address, and copyright notice appear on the page. Any other use requires arrangements through direct consultation with the author. Preferrably, articles will be distributed as complete works.

Linking to this site is encouraged. The pages on this site are set up to fully enable the function of the overall site, so the point of entry is irrelevant. Including any page on this site within another site through linking, copying, or by any other means is prohibited. Linking to any graphics file or program on this site is prohibited. Linking to pages on this site so that a page appears within a frameset on another site is discouraged.

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While properly attributed quotes from this site are encouraged, unattributed copying and other improper use are likely to be discovered. This site is routinely scanned by antiplagiarism companies such as Turnitin.com which detect improper use of material.

•  Copyright © 1996 - 2012, Dorian Scott Cole for all content including all text and images.
•  International rights reserved.
•  Some resource material used on this site predates 1996, and is copyrighted material.
•  Registrations pending
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•  Writers Port and WritersPort are trademarks of The Visual Writer, LLC.
•  The Visual Writer Web site is a production of TechGenie Media.
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•  The javascript menu system used on portions of this site is a result of the fine skill and graciousness of Angus Turnbull, and the scripts are available for free from his Web site, http://www.twinhelix.com
•  Some of the popup tooltips used on this site are a result of the fine skill and graciousness of © Erik Bosrup, OverLIB
•  The Visual Writer, LLC. is not associated with Visual Tools, Inc., a maker of writing correction programs using the VisualWriter trademark on writing correction programs.
•  The Visual Writer, LLC. is not associated with PACEL Corp. Pacel's Visual Writer is a suite of software programs that allow you to create Interactive Electronic Documents without writing any code.

The Visual Writer. Mission Statement

Who visits The Visual Writer Web site?

  • Growth: doubled in "user sessions" every 12-24 months (consistently from 1996 to 2002).
  • Peak: Peak visits surpass 12,000 individual users per month (2 pages per session).
  • Demographics: 42% Hollywood area, 33% other US, 25% international (over 80 countries).
  • Retention and New: over 60% of those visiting return, with 10 to 15% new visitors each month.
  • Top 3 Category popularity (ranking of these 3 varies each month):
    • How To Write A Movie
    • Human Condition
    • Critiques (See Movie Critic)


•  Links on this server are no longer case sensitive.

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The Visual Writer Web site was established in 1996, and provides free content and resources to communicators world-wide. Its content was born free and will remain free. Information (education) should be freely shared with all who want it, while skill in using information is what has commercial value.

Welcome to all! I hope you are challenged by these pages.


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The Visual Writer Web site is a production of TechGenie Media.


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All pages on this site, copyright © 1996 - 2010, Dorian Scott Cole