In California you are no longer provided a straw with your drink unless requested. How about you make them out of recycled paper and not plastic?

In Tennessee several restaurants are no longer providing bread with your meal unless requested. Isn’t this how most American families get their kids to put down their phones?

In New York, if you are convicted of domestic abuse you must now surrender all guns, not just handguns (wow, I really can’t believe New York was so behind the ball on this one). Did you know that on the Federal Form 4473 required to purchase either a handgun or long gun there is already a question about being convicted of domestic abuse and if you answer yes you are denied a firearm?

Currently in North Carolina, if a person is charged with domestic abuse, a judge will most likely order that all firearms are removed from the home until a verdict is rendered.

Bullies come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Every adult can remember at least one bully from their youth, I’m sure, if not more. A bully is a person that tries to make you feel insecure, weak and vulnerable. It is not okay to be bullied and if it becomes physical that is assault. In most cases, the person (or child) doesn’t want to tell anyone because they feel embarrassed.

It’s time to speak up and in the case of a father in Arizona, time to get the police involved. When his second grader was hit in the face, kneed in the stomach, dropped to the floor and kicked – the level has gone way beyond polite intervention. It must be a terrible feeling to call the police on a 7-year-old bully, but he felt he had no other choice.

We have to go back to basics and in the case of children, have both sets of parents (or guardians) and both (or all) children involved, sit face to face in a school office with the principal and teachers. There has to be dialogue, accountability and punishment and follow-up. It worked for my generation.

Your homework this week? Go outside and plant a garden. It can be six plants (tomatoes are always fun) or 100 – who cares. You will find yourself outside more, watching them grow and produce and will take pride that first time you eat something you have grown yourself. Does this sound silly? Sure it does, but it works.

Remember knowledge is power, gardens are good and bullies are bad. 


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.