universal background checks, guns, Timothy Dimoff

Say Yes to Universal Background Checks for Firearms

For several years, teachers have looked to Congress to pass laws to keep guns out of active shooters’ hands. But it’s not just those returning to academia that is calling for gun reform. It’s the average U.S. citizen that no longer feels safe attending public events in America. One solution is up for debate, universal background checks for all gun purchases in the United States. It’s estimated that 20-22% of gun transactions occur without a background check. Purchase Loopholes Currently, only licensed dealers are required to run background checks. There are many other “legal” loopholes for private sales, including: Gun Shows Online sales Unlicensed dealers and Transfer of firearms between private parties The bottom line, there are too many ways for people who should not have a gun to purchase one. While some states have embraced universal background checks for all firearm purchases, others are still struggling to pass necessary reform. Currently, only 13 states require universal background checks before buying a gun. There is no denying these loopholes enable domestic abusers, people with violent criminal records, and people prohibited for mental health reasons to purchase guns from unlicensed sellers with no background check in most states. However, there is...

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Black Friday – Go or Stay Home?

We all like to save money- it seems to be how Americans do things; this year is especially challenging with COVID-19. Black Friday has always been the hallmark of savings, where each store has their fantastic deals with only a certain number of them. In 2020 the big obstacle is safety, so many stores have turned to virtual, online events.  However, some ardent shoppers want to pursue store deals, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Why Black Friday is Intense According to the International Business Times (IBT), there are three reasons that Black Friday is so intense: There is a rush of dopamine into the brain when we find deals. It is anatomically pleasing for us to find the right product at the right price – especially when there is a limited supply. Crowds get us excited because, from an evolutionary perspective, crowds = danger. Additionally, people copy one another’s behavior, which is why a few people can turn a happy group into an angry mob. When people are in a crowd,  they get a narrow worldview focus. Generally, people have an overview of the world and are aware of most of their surroundings, but they hone...

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expert witness, Timothy Dimoff, COVID-19, videoconference

Expert Witnesses Testify Via Videoconferencing [COVID-19]

The global coronavirus pandemic has and continues to have a profound effect on the way we do business, interact with others socially, and even how we conduct court cases, especially in the area of expert witnesses.   In the past, the preferred method for this type of testimony was to fly the experts in, prep them for a day or two, and have them testify. They were not considered to be “experts” until the judge and jury could see them, and each side could grill their credentials.   Since March, all of that has been tossed on its head. Depending on the state and case, expert witnesses have been eliminated or reduced for months. However, because there is no definitive end date to COVID-19 and many states are concerned about the escalating rates of this disease, remote appearances are taking shape, and judges are warming up to this way of testimony. Courts and Coronavirus During this time of COVID-19, U.S. federal and state courts are taking various measures, including restricting visitors to court buildings, canceling or deferring hearings, and conducting only essential matters face-to-face. One of the measures being adopted by courts to limit the risk of spreading the...

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workplace bullying, stop workplace bullying, Timothy Dimoff

How To Stop Workplace Bullying From Winning

Don’t Tolerate Bullying. How many of you have experienced these situations: You are in a meeting, and one person constantly interrupts or talks over someone else. They are the focus of attention, and no one can get a word in edgewise. You pitch a new idea to the team, and your boss tears it apart in front of everyone and makes you feel tiny. Internally you are frustrated and have decided not to share any more ideas with the group. There is someone constantly making snide remarks in the meeting, sort of under their breath. You can hear these comments, which are meant to shut you up, slow you down or discombobulate you altogether. What do all these situations have in common? These disrupters are workplace bullies, and unfortunately, they are tolerated in the workplace far too often. Why? Because most people, in and out of the workplace, are people pleasers who don’t want to deal with conflict and discomfort. So, what happens? A lot of triangulation, gossip, and office drama. A lot of silence by team members. And a setup for workplace violence when someone “cannot take it anymore.” 7 Effective Tools To Stop Workplace Bullying Develop a...

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Bullying the Disabled

How Bullying Happens to People with Disabilities

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. However, when mainstream media focuses on the bullying epidemic in our society, teenagers’ stories are traditionally publicized. The most tragic stories usually involve teens who seemingly have everything to live for takes their own life after being mercilessly bullied by peers. These stories of teenage suicide cause outrage because almost everyone can put themselves in the parent’s shoes. However, the people most vulnerable to bullies in modern society are those with disabilities. These are the silent, defenseless victims who are often quick to trust, making them the perfect targets for bullies. Someone with a physical, intellectual, or psychological disability is viewed as the perfect victim in the eyes of a bully because: They are more likely to “keep quiet” about the bullying for fear of making someone mad or not like them anymore. As a society, we often treat people with disabilities in a child-parent role, even when they have normal or above normal intelligence. People with disabilities are often at the mercy of others for housing, transportation, and day-to-day activities. When bullies come in contact with helpless, easily victimized individuals, they feel empowered. In some cases, the bullying escalates into violent acts....

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Hidden Bias Causes Workplace Bullying

How Diversity and Inclusion Can Drive Down Hidden Bias

  Have you ever looked around your office and noticed that the managers are primarily men? The clerical workers are predominantly women? That you have very few people of color as employees? These observations may go unnoticed in the day-to-day work environment, but addressing these issues is the only way to change. What is Hidden Bias? It appears at the unconscious level based on upbringing, identity, culture, and mass media. It shapes the way you view people and how you behave towards them. These differences could include several characteristics, such as: height and weight, introversion and extroversion, marital status, disability status, foreign accents, hobbies and extracurricular activities, sexual identity, gender identity and race Hidden Bias Can Lead to a Tough Work Environment But how do these hidden biases lead to a non-diverse work environment? Think about the hiring process. While interviewing, one of the main objectives is for the two people to connect and see whether they would be a good fit in the company. This “connection,” though, is most easily achieved when discussing similarities. Perhaps the interviewer and interviewee attended the same university, are from the same hometown, or their kids play the same sport. This connection makes...

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cyberbullying, stop cyberbullying, workplace bullying

Beware of a New Trend in Cyberbullying: Roasting

Most adults are familiar with the entertainment version of the word “roasting.” Roasts are traditionally intended as lighthearted dinners where various guests take turns “roasting” a guest of honor with good-natured jokes at that person’s expense. The key here is the phrase “good-natured.” As we’ve all witnessed, it can get awkward and downright uncomfortable. A roast that turns from lighthearted to vicious is becoming all too common. Guess who’s catching onto it? Your teenagers. Too Young to Roast It all started with the hashtag #roastme. Teenagers would post a picture or video on a social media channel (i.e., Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, or a group text) of themselves with that hashtag. Like a traditional “roast,” they gave people consent to make funny comments about what they posted. However, like most things exposed online, the opportunity to post malicious, hurtful comments have gone unchecked and spiraled out of control. This is such a dangerous trend that teenagers are often too young to understand the unimaginable repercussions. Teenagers are also more likely to follow others, feeling justified in participating and escalating the negative, hurtful remarks to make themselves look “cooler.” It happens so fast there is no time to distinguish the...

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employee threats, Workplace bullying, bullying at work, Timothy Dimoff

7 Steps to Stop Workplace Bullying

Have you ever repeatedly experienced the following at work: Name-calling Shaming in public Intimidation Verbal abuse Pranks People leaving you out of conversations Managers giving you partial instructions or Having your work efforts sabotaged? If so, you’ve been bullied. Unfortunately, none of the behaviors listed above are illegal. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 19% of all US employees have been bullying victims. 61% of bullies are bosses, which correlates with the statistic that 65% of bullying victims are either fired or resign. Bullying, left unchecked, decreases workplace safety, increases absenteeism, and impacts employee morale. It creates a psychological power imbalance between the person doing the bullying and their target(s). Once the bully cements this imbalance, it’s virtually impossible to fix.   7 Action Steps to Stop a Bully Train employees to recognize bullying. Everyone in your organization needs to know what it looks like and what to do about it. There are two excellent books on the subject to get you started – Beating the Workplace Bully: A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge and Back Off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying @ Work. If you experience bullying, speak up right away. Squash the behavior before it...

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workplace bullying, bullies at work, bullying, Timothy Dimoff

A Personal Account of Workplace Bullying

By Mark Adam Capretta Workplace bullying is a real problem, it happens all over the place, and it isn’t easy to manage. I know from experience. My Experience I just proposed to my wife, and she was wearing the engagement ring that I was still making payments. I just started a contract job with a small painting company and was very excited to do some hard work and get that ring paid off, so I didn’t have to worry about it come the wedding day. Little did I know that being a new contractor, I was in for some very intensive on-the-job training. Every day that I painted, I had someone watching and swearing at me. When I did something wrong, it got even worse. I learned some valuable skills, but once I got that ring paid off, I quit. I was fortunate to have another job and be working during that period, but it was the first time in my life that I had very low self-esteem. Unfortunately for me, there was little option for me to make the bullying stop in the contracting job. My company didn’t have an HR department or standards that the company was...

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Domestic Violence and Financial Stress

Is There a Link Between Domestic Violence and Financial Stress? [Updated]

Can Financial Stress Lead to Domestic Violence? As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, families are seeing their financial situation worsening. Unemployment rates are high, evictions are occurring, and businesses are permanently closing. At the same time, domestic violence (DV) agencies were reporting an increase in calls from women in need. The Facts This increase, unfortunately, should not have been a surprise. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, domestic violence is actually three times more likely to occur when a couple is experiencing high financial stresses versus low financial stresses. Women whose male partners experienced two or more periods of unemployment in a five-year time span are almost three times as likely to be victims of DV as opposed to women whose partners are in stable jobs. We also saw a substantial increase during the Shelter at Home time period. Stress Causes Violence When people are experiencing stress, they have a more difficult time controlling their anger. Anxiety activates the fight or flight response, and while it doesn’t necessarily cause “fighting,” it can cause other types of violence and aggression. When someone is experiencing anxiety or stress in the workplace or other parts of their life, their anger...

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