Humans Needed

Technology can be full of wonders, but oh it’s far from perfect! We’ve all enjoyed sites that allow us to make travel reservations, from airplane tickets to hotel rooms and car rentals. But we’ve also been frustrated at how complex it can get. We get a fare on a given site and by the time we check another site and go back to the first one, the price we saw is gone. Apparently this is now a common experience. That may be why Continue reading “Humans Needed”

Calls From Prisons

Calls to and from prison inmates are big business. It is now a $1.2 billion-a-year industry dominated by very few companies. In fact it is so lucrative it has caught the interest of private equity firms which now own several of these firms. The private companies which run these phone systems receive commissions, often sizable, from the sheriff’s departments that run Continue reading “Calls From Prisons”

Gun Ownership: Bit of Hope

32% of Americans either own a firearm or live with someone who does. That is actually a significant decline since the 1970’s and 1980’s when about half the population told researchers they lived in a household which had a gun. We’re not used to seeing encouraging trends when it comes to gun ownership, but a new survey by a respected research organization based at the University of Chicago documents what seems a hopeful movement, small but there nonetheless. Although the number of households with guns is declining, overall the number of guns purchased has not. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check shows there’s been an increase in the number of background checks. While this suggests the number of guns purchased is going up, it also suggests a greater concentration of ownership, meaning fewer Americans own guns—22% down from the 31% who said they did in 1985. The demographics of gun ownership point to a gender gap, indicating that the percentage of men who own guns declined. They are also older, 31% being over 65. Half gun owners are Republicans, and 4 in 10 are white, as opposed to 2 in 10 being black.

All in all these numbers remind us that as long as there’s progress in declining gun ownership, it doesn’t matter how slow it is.